We recently shared a video featuring one couple’s amazing Big Lebowski-themed wedding. After watching it a dozen times, we were left in awe. In a quest to learn more about their inspiration and planning, we tracked down the newlyweds (Jesse + Chelsea). We found them in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-and-Out Burger and asked them the following questions:
The Big Lebowski obviously holds a special place in your hearts. Were you both fans of the film from the beginning or was it an acquired taste?
Chelsea: Not particularly. I hadn’t seen The Big Lebowski until I met Jesse. The first time we watched it, I didn’t exactly get it. I obviously liked the guy though, so I secretly watched it by myself to get in his good graces. I ended up loving it and have now seen it more times than I can count.
Jesse: I remember when The Big Lebowski came out in theaters, I wanted to go see it but never got around to it. When it came out on DVD around 1999, I watched it at a friend’s house, loved it and went out and bought it for myself after that viewing. So yeah, I guess you could say I loved the film from the beginning. I love the movie so much, before I met Chelsea I used to go to bed watching it as I fell asleep every night for about a year. I’d leave the movie on repeat so it would still be playing when I woke up in the morning. That really upped my ability to quote the film.
Who first had the idea for the Lebowski-themed wedding?
Chelsea: Jesse will probably say he did, but if we’re being honest, I said it first. I was skimming through Etsy and found some save the dates; they had a pair of wayfarer sunglasses and text that said “The dude proposes, and the dudette abides.” I asked him, “What if we had a Big Lebowski-themed wedding?” I knew as soon as I said it, I would never get out of it.
Jesse: Chelsea and I were trying to decide what to do for our wedding one night and we both don’t like to do things in a normal, predictable fashion. We knew it would not be a stock wedding, but we didn’t know what we wanted to do and we were trying to figure it out. I remember sitting on the couch and Chelsea said ‘What if we did a Big Lebowski-themed wedding?’ and I immediately sat up and said ‘That sounds amazing. Are you sure?’ She said ‘yes’ and I said ‘let’s do it!’ We instantly had ideas on rugs on the bowling lanes and getting married out on them, drinking White Russians, the neon star-burst signs, all of it. We wanted to go all out and pay as much homage to the movie as possible, and I think we succeeded 110 percent. It was an amazing day.
This was a wedding unlike anything most people have ever seen. Did your friends and family get it?
Chelsea: For those who got it, they really got it. We put in a lot of details, quotes, songs, apparel and decor that only a true Achiever would understand. I shouldn’t be, but I’m still a bit surprised at how many of my friends and family hadn’t seen the movie and had to watch it before the wedding. I mean, you can’t really go to a Big Lebowski wedding without, in fact, watching The Big Lebowski.
Jesse: My friends and I quote The Big Lebowski all the time so when I told them what our wedding theme was they were very excited. My family is pretty cool and they all also knew how much I loved The Big Lebowski, so while they may not all know the movie inside and out like a hardcore Lebowski fan would, they all understood where we were coming from as far as creating a themed wedding based on The Big Lebowski. Friends and family were all very supportive and helpful in bringing our Big Lebowski wedding to fruition and I’m very grateful for their support.
If you could have one character from The Big Lebowski (besides the Dude) give a toast at your wedding, who would it be?
Chelsea: The Stranger. His simple, but eloquent outlook on life would have definitely provided some interesting marriage advice.
Jesse: The Stranger. I’d love to hear what advice the wise cowboy sage would have to offer.
What’s the best reaction you’ve received to your wedding photos + video online?
Chelsea: I’m a social media junkie, so I love reading comments and positive feedback from people I’ve never met. It’s really interesting to see how our story has been shared on various sites throughout the world. A few people have even said ‘I wish I was friends with these people.’ Far out, man.
Jesse: I posted a few photos and our wedding trailer video on the /r/lebowski subreddit and one comment said: ‘Man I’m super jealous! That’s my dream wedding but my SO won’t allow me to go to that extent with it I’m happy for you guys though, it looks like you guys had an amazing time! Congrats! And you have a gorgeous special lady there man, props!’
It makes me smile quite a bit. Chelsea came up with some great ideas for the wedding and used her creative skills to help make the star-burst props with me and she made the MCNEW sign you see hanging above then lanes. Chelsea and I wanted to be as detail-oriented as possible because a Big Lebowski-themed wedding is not something you do half-assed; it’s all or nothing. We put blood, sweat and tears in to it–literally. Of course, in our planning, we were able to call watching the movie over and over nightly ‘wedding research,’ so that was awesome!
Settle this once and for all for us: Is Donnie real?
Jesse: Is Donnie real? Does the Pope shit in the woods?
What do you think the most creative part of Jesse + Chelsea’s Big Lebowski wedding was? Drop us a comment below and let us know.