Converting a $99 Target Schwinn beach cruiser into my Wedding Bike

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When we were planning our wed ding that happened back in July, one detail that kept creeping up was our ‘departure vehicle’ – that is, how exactly we’d be departing the ceremony and arriving at the reception.  Often times the bride and groom will take a old car, a limo, or even a carriage.  But, given we were only going a few hundred yards – and on the ground of a large resort, it seemed a bit silly to lay out the cash for any of those (which, btw, were quite expensive).  We suggested some sort of bike or scooter, but the resort didn’t quite have one that fit the bill.  So one night while out at Target we stumbled upon this $99 bike, and decided I’d have a go at converting it from a ‘nice’ bike to a ‘awesome wedding ride’.

Here’s how the bike looked the day I brought it home:

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I got to work taking it all apart.  I knew I wanted to paint the frame a glossy white, and there was no way I was going to do that with everything still attached.

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Because there existed a high possibility I’d have no idea how to put it back together again, I went ahead and marked each and every screw and put it in a little plastic baggie with details on where it went:

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Next up was my first attempt at spray painting.  Most of my work was done fairly late at night, and usually out in my front yard, or back yard.  It tended to be the coolest time of the day.

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Here below, are the front fenders drying:

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Below I’ve got some minor touchup work in the garage.  Getting everything ‘perfect’ was much tougher than I expected – but mostly because I’d never really done anything like this before.  Now that I’ve done it once, I could probably do this much more efficiently.  Most of it just comes down to really good spray-painting technique.

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Here we are with the bike fully painted.  I was too lazy to take off the chain or crank – so I simply taped them all up and then painted around them.  Much easier that way.

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Next, it was time to start adding accessories.  We picked out a handful of things – from a rear rack for my bride to sit on, to a front basket, to a little ding-dong bell that had a custom label on it.  Additionally, I had a slew of little custom vinyl labels made.

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With that, I was ready to get this thing down to the wedding a few thousand miles away on a tropical island.  Given I already had my soft bike case, that seemed the most logical – plus, I wouldn’t really get dinged for bike fees – especially once they saw all the rest of the bikes going down and my ‘wedding supplies’ cover story was complete.

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Now we fast forward a few days to the Big Day.  For reasons unclear to me, I waited until the last second to put it together – but thankfully my groomsmen were all craft in bike building – and helped me slap it together in about 15 minutes…as we were putting on our tuxes.  Before long, it was looking pretty sweet:

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And, in order to embarrass them all – I offer the following photo (not designed/composed by I).  I should note that the rightmost groomsmen (Joel) was the smart one: He wanted no part of this bike foursome.

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Just after we finished getting ready, I made sure it actually worked and went for a few test rides:

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Of course, shortly thereafter it started raining – so instead of getting it soaked for the nearly 1-mile ride across the resort, we loaded it up on a little shuttle bus and headed over:

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Once the ceremony was ready to begin, we moved it over to the end of the ‘aisle’, awaiting our arrival:

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(The Girl Created the “Just Married” sign and the wedding ribbon and cans)

And a short time later, after being married in a small gazebo in front of about 75 friends and family overlooking the beach we arrived as the newlyweds at our ride:

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The rain took over a bit, so we had to temporarily put the ride on hold, but later on we took it for a spin back to the villa for the night:

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For those curious on the rest of the wedding, The Girl (aka, The Bride), put together a slew of posts.  And, in typical wedding style – here’s all the details:

Location: Punta Cana Paradisus, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Wedding Photographer: ReadyLuck (All wedding day photos above taken by them, they’re out of Baltimore, MD)
Wedding Coordinators: Luxe Destination Weddings (lots of pictures over on their post of us)
Wedding Craft Items: Everything made by The Girl – check out all the how-to details here

Thanks for reading!

12 Comments

  1. I hope you guys are keeping that bike.

    Reply
  2. WOW!!! Very nice! Too bad I already got married and have no intention of getting married again (and I have not intention of getting divorced either!), otherwise I wouldn't think twice and steal this awesome idea and use it in my wedding...

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Congrats Ray!

    Great idea and execution. Really nice.

    One question: How did she ride on the back without getting her dress getting caught in the wheel?

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Awesome job buddy!

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  5. Lauren

    So adorable and romantic! Enjoy your life together!

    Reply
  6. Wow! Nice job on the bike. That will be a really nice memento for years to come. As an aside, I am regularly amazed out how many different things that you're able to get done . . . it makes me wonder what I do with all of my time.

    Congrats!

    Richard

    Reply
  7. looks great! good job in making that bike look totally custom

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  8. Great project, beautiful bride!

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  9. Anonymous

    Ray, I had no idea your brother was "Superbad" actor Jonah Hill.

    Reply
  10. Beautifully done. I love it.

    By the way, when my Big Sis got hitched, the wedding party all peddled from the wedding to the reception through Sacramento. The bride and groom rode the 5ish miles on their tandem. It was funny and fun too.

    Reply
  11. I sure hope you guys don't plan on The Girl giving birth to your kids while on a tricycle.

    Reply
  12. David Monteiro Neto

    Lindo casamento!
    Felicidades para o casal!

    Reply

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