Felicia & Andre's Christmas lover's burlesque wedding

December 23 |

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

The offbeat bride: Felicia, Hairstylist

Her offbeat partner: Andre, Television Sound Guy

Location & date of wedding: The Mercury Cafe in downtown Denver, CO — December 21, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: It was our ceremony that set our wedding apart from most. Held in a heavily holiday decorated wooden-floored ballroom with a stage surrounded by heavy red velvet curtains, guests were surprised to be treated to scantily clad burlesque female fabric aerial dancers starting off our ceremony.

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Dancing to the haunting "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley, they performed aerial ballet and stunts for five minutes. Then, becoming our flower girls, they littered our black aisle runner with blood-red rose petals.

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Each female guests received a long stemmed red rose upon entrance from our female ushers. The effect made our ceremony sexy, romantic, dreamy — we wanted our guests fall in love all over again with their own spouses and loved ones.

Also, guests seemed to love our fajita bar and Indian food, which reflected both of our heritages!

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Our biggest challenge: We kept every detail of our wedding top secret from absolutely everyone until they needed to know something. There was so much creativity driving our planning that we decided to keep it to ourselves so as not to have any outside influences disrupt our creative flow.

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

We just kept telling everyone that it was for their benefit that we were keeping things secret, and that the element of surprise was the biggest theme of the wedding. It was our gift to them. Everyone handled it rather well, but it was so hard not sharing details, especially with people who REALLY wanted to know and who seemed hurt they weren't let in on it.

Nikki the Ring Bearer

There was another challenge — a very unexpected one. My gorgeous, Hindu gold lace ruffled Moulin Rouge style dress was ruined by a seamstress six days before my wedding. She bought me a new dress, but I'd had my heart set on the previous one for over five years. It was heartbreaking to let go of the vision I had of the kind of bride I'd be. I ended up pulling a gorgeous dress together, even though it was a more traditional than I had wanted.

And, to top it off, the florist didn't deliver my beaded bouquet and I had to walk with my small throwing bouquet. It was a challenge to accept my new look, but I just smiled through it.

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

My favorite moment: For our ritual, we did a ring warming. Early in the ceremony, the officiant announced to the guests that our rings would be passed through the rows by our usherettes and each guest should take a moment to hold the rings in their hand and place their own private blessing or prayer for our marriage onto our rings.

This was a chance for our Jewish, Catholic, Wiccan, Christian, and non-religious friends alike to put their energy into the ceremony. It felt wonderful to have everyone's spirituality mark our wedding rings.

After we were pronounced and as we kissed, the DJ played the Hall and Oates song "You Make My Dreams Come True," which seemed to give everyone permission to start the party!

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09My advice for offbeat brides:

  1. Consider keeping things a secret. Planning an offbeat wedding can be like creating a sculpture without knowing yet what your end result will be. It can be too easy to become swayed by someone standing over your shoulder, scrutinizing your every idea and move. Also — it's very annoying to share an exciting idea you LOVE with someone to have them look at you with disapproval. Gift your guests with surprise!
  2. Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

  3. Enjoy taking your time to think things through. Lay in bed and visualize everything over and over with a smile!
  4. Get EVERYTHING in writing from your vendors. We ended up paying two vendors more than the quote at the end of the night because we didn't have a contract. It cut into our honeymoon fund. BIGTIME.
  5. Do NOT skimp on a photographer! Meet with him/her beforehand to discuss in detail the kind of photos you want. Do not assume they know.
  6. Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

  7. Don't buy a dress you haven't tried on. Just don't do it!!!! It's not worth it!
  8. Right before you walk down the aisle, stop, take a breath, enjoy every single minute. I wish I could relive my ceremony a million times over.
  9. Don't take things too seriously!

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Dress: David's Bridal. Due to a SNAFU with my original dress, six days before my wedding, I had no dress. So, after lots of tears, I had no choice but to reluctantly go to David's Bridal — this Offbeat Bride's ultimate nightmare! But I walked in and I was immediately surrounded by their wonderful staff who lifted my spirits and pulled ten dresses off the rack. I was absolutely shocked at the variety, quality and fabulous prices. Don't be afraid of David's Bridal. You'd be surprised at their unique selection, especially in the couture section. While my dress was not as offbeat as I had originally planned, it fit me well and I felt gorgeous on my wedding day.
  • Bridesmaid Dresses: Retro Scope Fashions. The owner, Laura, is wonderful and it's very fast shipping if you don't need anything custom made. Sizes run a bit small, FYI.
  • Feathers: Tony Hill. Feathers arrive so much more beautiful than the pictures!

Andre and Felicia's Wedding 12-21-09

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Beautiful wedding!!! I was also going to get my dresses from retroscope fashions but I got nervous since one of my bridesmaids is pregnant. Again beautiful wedding and LOVE the theme!!!

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  2. I have to echo what the bride is saying about David's – I haven't bought my dress yet, but I wound up there after a frustrating day of shopping in snooty boutiques, and the staff there really made the difference for me.

    Fantastic wedding though – I love all the red!

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  3. I thought about the Merc for my reception too! Cool!

    I can't say how much I needed to hear someone say it's okay, maybe even a good thing, to be secretive about your wedding plans today. I've been running into issues because I don't want to share every detail of my wedding plans with every person I meet. But certainly family members seem to be really hurt that I don't want to share with them. I am really, really relieved to hear someone else feels the same way I do. My family was treating me like I am insane.

    You worded it perfectly when you said "Planning an offbeat wedding can be like creating a sculpture without knowing yet what your end result will be. It can be too easy to become swayed by someone standing over your shoulder, scrutinizing your every idea and move. Also — it's very annoying to share an exciting idea you LOVE with someone to have them look at you with disapproval." I feel like forwarding that quote to everyone in my family right now. It's total serendipity that your wedding was featured today, because I was dealing with some major drama regarding this issue last night.

    Also, the David's Bridal thing. I bought my dress at David's, and while I love the dress, I'm embarrassed that I bought a dress there. I made this big deal about how that place is the puppy mill of bridal salons, and that I was going to have my grandma make my dress out of some hemp/bamboo satin I found online, and then I ended up going in there and falling in love with a dress. I'm a little ashamed. I'm also afraid my dress was sewn by some child in a sweat shop, and that tons of petrochemicals were used in it's manufacture. I'm wracked with this guilt about not being a very conscious consumer for such a big purchase. It makes me feel a little better to know other offbeat brides have shopped there too.

    Cool wedding! First one from Denver I've seen here, I was pretty excited!

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    • I feel (felt) your pain! it's hard to do. Most people were happy to let the surprise unfold but people like mother in laws and parents, best girlfriends, etc, they get hurt. Probably the most offbeat thing you can do is keep your details top secret. I highly recommend it.

      Another thing is that a ton of ideas we had never really panned out or got drastically changed. So we didn't want people to have any expectations of things being one way then ending up another and being questioned about it. I shared too much about my dress and in the damn receiving line a few girls before they even said hello said "but weren't you supposed to be wearing a gold dress?" It was annoying!

      At the wedding rehearsal, we sat down at the venue and told everyone everything. The theme, the vibe, all. By then it was too late for my mother in law who just wanted a springtime flowers and white aisle runner and pastel wedding to say a thing about it!

      Everyone loved our wedding. The ones who didn't, couldn't say anything because by then it was all over with.

      Keep it a secret and just tell them it's for their own good. I kept saying "the element of surprise is the theme of my wedding!"

      Just be strong!

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  4. awesome! I'm also thankful you mentioned its ok to be secretive about wedding planning! The surprises make the wedding that much more fun! Its like skipping chapters in a good book.

    LOVE THE DANCERS!

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  5. I totally know those two aerialists! Alex and M! I saw them in a show in Boulder a few years back and they are TOTALLY AWESOME! That's fantastic that they could perform at your wedding!

    LOVE the shoes! And your dress looks fab!

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    • Hi L!

      Actually their names are Adrienne and Viktoria. Denver/Boulder has quite a few aerialists. Alex and M are the ones who frequently perform around town and are VERY pricey. Adrienne and Viktoria were more reasonable.

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  6. Yay! I love the Merc! I used to teach dance there. I thought about using it as well but ended up with an outdoor venue. Oh, I love it. So glad I got to live vicariously through your awsome Mercury Cafe wedding!

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    • That's awesome Jedi! It really is a wonderful place to have an offbeat wedding!

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  7. "The effect made our ceremony sexy, romantic, dreamy — we wanted our guests fall in love all over again with their own spouses and loved ones."

    AWESOME.

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  8. Such a beautiful wedding! I love the dresses! They look like they're from pyramidcollection, are they?

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  9. Hi Kerry–the bridesmaids dresses are from Retro Scope Fashions. In the Q & A part of the article above the pictures, there is a link to it where it asks me where the bridesmaids dresses are from.

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  10. BUT WHERE DID YOU GET THE OSSUM RED SHOES???? I can't believe no one else has asked about that – or did I miss it through my gawking at how hawt you looked in your dress and how amazing your wedding was as a whole?

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    • haha awesome! thanks for the compliment. The shoes are the brand Romantic Soles and can be found on zappos in a variety of colors. They are VERY comfy, too! The bottom of the sole have a big read heart on them, too!

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  11. I LOVE that Hall & Oates song! Your wedding looks amazing and so lush and rich! also love the red shoes!
    Congratulations (especially for keeping it all a secret)!!!

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