Rachel & Matt's Moulin Rouge meets Tim Burton Wedding

May 1 |

The Offbeat Bride: Rachel, Project Manager

Her Offbeat Partner: Matt, Photo Retoucher

Location & date of wedding: The Regency Grand, San Francisco — 2/22/09

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a theme wedding and asked all our guests to dress in red & black, "festive" attire. Everything about the event was a hybrid of Moulin Rouge with Tim Burton.

We designed the invitations ourselves, created 13 different centerpieces each reflecting Moulin Rouge or a Tim Burton film, and then designed icons to correspond to each centerpiece for the placecards. The cake was a physic-defying, topsy turvy creation that was gorgeous to behold and eat.

The bride getting ready.
The bride getting ready.
We dressed in non-traditional attire – my groom was in a pinstripe, red, white and black suit with a bowler, and I had a black & white custom dress and opted for a top hat embellished with beading & feathers instead of a boring old veil.

The ceremony began with all the guests surrounding us in a show of love and support. The entertainment included a balkan gypsy brass band play, a techno DJ, and bhangra dancers. Instead of flowers on every table, we made a huge flower arch for the doorway and a dramatic sculptural piece with feathers and vines. (And there were rose petals *everywhere*). I had a large gay man in his 30s as my "flower boy". There really wasn't a "normal" thing about this wedding!

Everyone gathered around for the ceremony
Everyone gathered around for the ceremony

Our biggest challenge: Truly, the invitations were the biggest challenge. We are both designers, and wanted it to be perfect. The invitation is the first introduction people have to the event, and sets up everyone's expectations for the tone of the wedding. We had to find a way to communicate the theme without printing it on the invites. It took months of time and several heated discussions before we finally felt like it was "done", but we wound up with an incredible package that blew everyone away – it was an 11 x 17 movie-style poster, which we rolled up, wrapped in red velvet ribbon, and sent in a bright red poster tube.

A cake that Tim Burton would be proud of.
A cake that Tim Burton would be proud of.
My favorite moment: When I first saw the cake I was blown away — it was absolutely beyond all of my exceedingly high expectations. I also loved when the bhangra dancers came out to perform and everyone was so excited that they lept out of their seats and rushed to the stage.

My advice for other offbeat brides: Research, research, research – find inspiration anywhere you can! I spent a lot of time watching movies (Burton, & Moulin Rouge of course) but also searched the web for images related to those films. I looked at set design books and essentially anything dramatic that *didn't* have to do with weddings.

And without sounding like I'm kissing up, the girls on the Offbeat Bride Tribe really helped out when I was stumped for one last centerpiece – its really helpful to hear/see what other offbeat brides have done!

dancers.
The bhangra dancers.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
Dress by Black Lotus Clothing
Cake by Gabrielle of Cake Coquette
Flowers by Church St Flowers
Bhangra Dancers
Photography by Brian Ng
Catering by Melon's Catering
And of course, bits n bobs from various places on etsy.com

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

And we circle

  1. Wow, this looks amazing…I especially love both of your hats, the picture of your "large, gay flowerman", and i'm getting extremely hungry looking at your gorgeous cake :)

    1 agrees
  2. Bhangra dancers is an awesome idea ! That should get everyone moving. A very offbeat wedding, congratulations!

  3. This is by far the most gorgeous setting for a wedding I have ever seen! That stage is AMAZING! Congratulations on a most beautiful wedding!

  4. This wedding was so pretty it made my eyes hurt.

  5. I was lucky enough to be a guest at this wedding and I was blown away by two things:
    1. The bride and groom beamed at each other the whole time. They were lit up with happiness.
    2. The guests were super eager to get on the dance floor! I've never seen a wedding where folks wanted to dance so badly.
    It was a beautiful and kickass party!

  6. The best venue ever!!! I am jealous, you could have sold tickets to this beautiful event.

  7. I LOVE that cake – like nothing I've ever seen before. It seems like a shame to eat it!!

  8. All around fabulous & what an AMAZING venue!!!
    I'm a Bay Area gal & never knew this was in my backyard – swoon!

  9. i absolutely adore your look – the dress is stunning and the hat compliments it so well.
    very cool :)

  10. FABULOUS!!!! Very theatrical but still charming and personal. I am amazed by the sound of those poster invites – what a great idea!

  11. Hey Ladies – thanks so much for the compliments! I still love looking at the photos and am amazed myself at how well it all turned out!

    Big props to my amazing helpers: Christina of Black Lotus for the dress, Gabrielle of Cake Coquette for the delicious and stunning cake, and of The Regency Grand for their secret upstairs red room!

  12. I got the link about this wedding porn in one of the forum sites about wedding, and it's nice to see for I've found a nice theme about a wedding. And at first, I'd never thought that there's really a couple who uses this kind of theme. And the outcome is amazing for it's extraordinary. And looking at the cake, it's really unique. Enough budget for that authentic wedding is really a need, I think. That's just states how artistic people are, and how they put importance in marriage.

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