Class tables and butterbeer at this magical, SUPER detailed Harry Potter-themed wedding

December 28 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Abby Williamson
Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding
Photos by Abby Williamson

The Offbeat Bride: CJ

Her offbeat partner: Lo

Date and location of wedding: Cama Beach State Park, Camano Island, WA — 11/19/2016

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

Lo and I joked about having a Harry Potter wedding early on in our nine-year relationship. Once we got engaged, no one was surprised when we told them our plans. We both grew up with the Harry Potter series, and were inspired by the all-to-real themes and subjects within the books. We loved Harry Potter for the escapism, the realism, and the storytelling.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

We decided to have our wedding in the fall because that is a favorite season of ours and it was fitting for the theme as well. As soon as we saw the event center at Cama Beach (which they called the Great Hall — no joke), we knew this was the right place. It was even complete with a giant chess board, perfect for picture-taking and Wizard Chess.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

As we did research about how we wanted to do the wedding, I looked online for how a lot of other people did Harry Potter weddings. Instead of a general theme, we decided to have each table set as a different Hogwarts class: Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Astronomy, History of Magic, Divination, and Quidditch. We also had two tables for each house: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

The park also had cabins, so we decided it would be fantastic if the wedding party (plus a few more) could stay in the cabins Friday and Saturday night. We planned a bonfire Friday night for the rehearsal dinner, then after the wedding on Saturday we had another bonfire before going home Sunday.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:

Our theme aside, we were already going to have a non-traditional wedding, what with having two brides. However, we still wanted our friends and family involved, outside of the wedding party, so we introduced a "unification ceremony" sort of idea instead of getting escorted down the aisle by our parents. We held a jar in which our close friends and family would place a feather, symbolizing their blessings and support for us in our journey together. Our officiant, Shiloh, a close friend of ours, wrote her own speech (which was magical), and we both wrote our own vows.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

We walked down the aisle to a swell of the well-known Harry Potter theme, "Hedwig's Theme." The rest of the reception was set to the soundtrack of various instrumental nerd themes including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pokémon, and Sailor Moon, to name a few.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Tell us about your reception:

Each table had a unique centerpiece, inspired by the professors and subject matter. Each table also had its own unique party favor, most of which were handmade by me. Our bar was Potions-themed (most potions created by Devon, a few by Emily, both Groom's Maids), and we featured some signature cocktails. We had our own Butterbeer cocktail, a whiskey drink Lo named "Alas, Earwax!," and a mojito-inspired drink we named Gillywater. Our caterer created a non-alcoholic pumpkin juice for us and our cake was a giant Hogwarts castle (created by South Seattle Community College — thanks Chef Harris and students!), topped with raspberry jam and lemon buttercream.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Devon created the flying keys we used for seat assignments, and my dad created 70 unique wands for favors. A close friend, Jess Stevens, handmade a beautiful leather-bound guest book for us, completely from scratch. Our prop master, Hally Phillips, created all the flower arrangements for the wedding, including the phoenix-inspired arrangement on the mantle at the altar.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

I created a method for stringing LED pillar candles from the ceiling, Great Hall style. Gretchen, one of our Groom's Maids, spent an astronomical amount of time stringing them together as well as the feathers to hang over the Charms table.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

What was your most important lesson learned?

Our biggest challenge was figuring out how we were going to set up the venue in the time allotted. We had to hang 100 LED candles, from the ceiling, set up 16 tables and recreate each unique centerpiece we designed. In the hours before the wedding, we had to set up the bar with dozens of potions, set out all the place settings and their matching favors, make sure everything is swept and clean, tablecloths pressed, and all candles lit. Half of this had to happen without the wedding party because we were off getting our pictures taken.

Hally had to assemble the flower arrangements the night before and the morning-of on site with the help of my dad and step-mother. We had another room that had the guest book table, the tree that held the seating arrangement keys, the wands, as well as a gift section that all had to be setup as well. In order to accomplish this, I made a list of all the guests staying Friday night. I assigned people to teams with leads and created a timeline for everyone to follow. Surprisingly, nothing went wrong!

The secret to getting this all done was having an amazing group of friends and family, willing to volunteer their time and energy to assemble this very demanding wedding. Even after, guests pitched in to disassemble the hall without even being asked. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful crew of people to make this day possible. I tried to remember everything people did for us, and I hope I didn't miss anyone. We are so thankful.

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

Class tables and butterbeer at this magical Harry Potter-themed wedding

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  1. It looks absolutely AMAZING. Every picture shows the dedication, time and effort put into the decorations and the theme. How wonderful that you were able to pull this off.

    Congratulations on a successful wedding, and I wish you the very best in your marriage.

    4 agree
  2. Wow they are the sweetest. I'm a wedding photographer and I've seen heard tell of some Harry Potter themed weddings myself and the details in this one are SO AWESOME. The candles especially are blowing my mind. Magic.

    3 agree
  3. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
    This Ravenclaw is amazed by your wedding, and may your union be as rich in love as Molly and Arthur's. 😀

    5 agree
  4. Amazing! Really beautiful! I love the idea! I don't think you can make a Harry Potter-themed wedding more beautiful than that! Amazing attention to detail. Congratulations!

    1 agrees
  5. This is … I just sat and stared at this for about 20 minutes before being able to pull myself together enough to type anything.
    I love every single thing about this. The details are just gorgeous and amazing and you guys looks so happy and like it was so much damn fun! I mean, you got to play giant wizard chess, how could it not have been fun!
    Well done, congratulations, and may you have a long and happy life together 🙂

    1 agrees

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