I love this event for its over-the-top look and daring design!
The ceremony and reception took place on February 13, 2015, before 125 guests. It was both an auspicious date for the couple and Valentine’s Day weekend, all the more reason for the bride and groom to play on their love of the dramatic while treating their guests to a glimpse inside their very own love story. The venue, El Cortez in San Diego, was the perfect backdrop.
This Halloween themed wedding aesthetic was dark and Gothic, yet the wedding format was traditional and elegant. It reflected the couple who was also traditional, for the most part, yet had a passion for theater and wanted to express their love as if it was a romance novel being played on the big screen.
Like a screenplay, the planner — Cristina Burns of Bridal Stop & Events — began going over every detail of this wedding, making revisions and editing our own ideas until she had what was an award-winning screenplay that began with the Save the Date announcements. “We worked with the couple and Honest Films Co. to direct a movie trailer as the Save the Date announcement, “Burns said. That trailer was then placed in custom DVD cases that gave guests a taste of what was to come.
The design directive was to create a wedding inspired by the work of the director Tim Burton, an artist not afraid of going over the top in terms of fantasy and style. “We worked closely with the couple on the overall design of their wedding, from the colors, patterns, attire, and venue, ensuring that everything fit their vision,” Burns said. She and her team brought in Rheana Coon from White Lotus Productions for the design elements. Pulling from White Lotus’ large inventory of props, it was easy to bring Gothic elegance to life.
The evening began with a fireside wedding ceremony on the rooftop in front of the hotel’s beautiful outdoor fireplace. Two hand-built trees filled with moss and candles in red jars were placed at the beginning of a black-and-white aisle runner (ala Beetlejuice’s suit). Along it myriad white candles, driftwood (a stand in for the gnarled branches from fairy tale forests), imperfect balls of moss and lots of rose petals were artfully placed.
The desired affect was achieved – the guests were speechless, as they were once again when they then entered the ballroom for the reception.
The ballroom, already resplendent with architectural touches, was embellished with gobo projections of tree branches to create an unearthly forest. Each table was set with a jewel-toned linen and floral design that reflected the design balance of fantasy, reality and elegance. Again, rose petals and candles were abundant and on the sweetheart table, set within a Gothic lounge booth, the floral arrangements mirrored the bridal bouquet with an arrangement that looked as though it had sprung from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.