Sonya & Mark's cinematic retro theater wedding

By on May. 6th Photos by Julian Beattie
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Photos by Jullian Beattie

The Offbeat Bride: Sonya, eCommerce Coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Mark, Electrician

Date and location of wedding: Ceremony: Palace Barracks Cinema No.5; Reception: Peasant Restaurant, The Barracks, Brisbane; After party: Hotel LA Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia — August 11, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The quest to find a suitable venue was challenging because we came up with this criteria: it needed air conditioning, comfortable seating (no numb asses), an all-weather venue in case of rain, non-dominational, non-beachy, non-golf club-themed, allows a live band and booze during the ceremony, and able to host the ceremony and reception in the same place. We also wanted to accommodate a range of dietary requirements including gluten-free, vegan, and free-range chicken. One day we went to a movie at the Barracks and the light bulb just went on. It had what we needed!

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Charlie, our go-to lady at the Cinemas, was so helpful during the entire planning process and ridiculously accommodating in allowing us to make full use of all the cinema features on offer. This included having our guests greeted on arrival with champagne and popcorn, letting us create our own movie posters to hang in the "now showing" and "coming soon" poster and balustrade holders, having a technical projectionist available for the duration of the ceremony.

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From there, the reception venue was easily picked as there were a couple of golden options in the same complex. Peasant won out by allowing us to have the band we wanted, and following through with amazing service on the day. They even set aside a special area for Mark and I to chow down when we first arrived so that we got to eat before being overwhelmed at the reception.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Mark suited up in James Bond-inspired threads and I chose a vintage-inspired dress. To combine our love of old music and movies with our appreciation for our friends and family, we organised a movie trailer for our guests to watch while they waited for the ceremony to start, which consisted of silly pictures of us interspersed with well wishing messages that all the guests had all contributed on their RSVP cards.

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When I came in, we played the audio segment from Casablanca "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…," followed by the musical number from the Casablanca soundtrack "It Had to Be You."

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Emily Jade, our celebrant, did an amazing job of ensuring the ceremony was lighthearted. Mark did his part too by making sure she included that he was looking forward to having a baby soon. Everyone could tell I was shocked, until she said he meant a "fur baby." I had my best friend's husband do a reading for the ceremony: "To Diego and Frida" (Tina Modotti's toast) from the movie Frida.

I don't believe in marriage. No, I really don't. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it's a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it's a happy delusion. These two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they're about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don't think it's conservative or delusional. I think it's radical and courageous and very romantic.

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While we signed the register, "critics review" cards and colored pencils were handed out for the guests to rate the day so far. The reviews cards included these checkboxes:

  • Engaging storyline
  • Great casting
  • Amazing onscreen chemistry
  • Impressive costume design
  • Predictable ending
  • Opportunity for character development in a sequel

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My funniest moment: My dad has industrial deafness, and sometimes struggles with hearing in noisy situations. So after walking me down the aisle with music playing in the background and the guest clapping and whistling, our celebrant invited him to take a seat. As he couldn't hear her request, he just kind of hung around with the bridal party for several moments longer than expected. It was actually super cute as it looked like he just didn't want to give me away!

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Question components of the ceremony that you're doing just because everyone else does them. Ask yourself if it's an important aspect to spend your time doing on the day or if you'd rather be spending quality time engaged with guests instead.

Think about asking some well-meaning family and friends to not buy anything for the wedding unless you ask. I didn't want to have to incorporate things into the wedding due to financial guilt because they had already been purchased.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!



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