Melissa & Joe's Star Wars masquerade ball

Updated Mar 15 2021

It's getting close to one of our favorite holidays, Star Wars Day! Stock up on your geeky quotes, get your lightsabers ready, and use The Force. May the fourth be with you!

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The Offbeat Bride: Melissa, Writer/Producer/Editor for TV Promos (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Joe, Producer for Interactive Advertising and TV commercials

Date and location of wedding: Helen Mills Theater and Pier 60, Chelsea, New York, NY — July 5, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted a huge Star Wars-themed party and we got it in spades. Joe is a Star Wars fanatic and has a sleeve of Star Wars tattoos (all Dark Side). I am a theater nerd, movie nerd, and just general nerd nerd.

The ceremony was held at a stage/screening theater where guests were greeted by an usher who took paparazzi-style pictures of every guest as they entered on the red carpet. They were then guided to take a look at our movie poster (a Star Wars poster image with all of the wedding party's heads Photoshopped in). Guests then went downstairs to the box office where two ushers with Stormtrooper helmets handed out lightsabers and popcorn boxes stuffed with candy, toys, microwave popcorn, and postcard size versions of our poster (as a stand-in for a program).

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The reception was three hours after the ceremony which allowed the guests to make their way the few blocks to our reception venue and check out the sights of NYC while we drove around in a big pink party bus. Unfortunately, the temperature outside was about 95 degrees and the air conditioning on the bus was broken (so it was about 110 inside). We cut the bus ride short. It all worked out though because the reception venue was ready when we got there and we had our own air-conditioned suite to hang out in.

We ended up booking Pier Sixty at the last-minute after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our first venue. They made "blue milk" cocktails for us and our guests and played the disco cantina music all through the cocktail hour.

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The food was incredible! I am a vegetarian and my husband loooves meat. He was so nice to allow me to have mostly vegetarian food at the reception (and some people didn't even notice). We made up for it by having a beef option as one of the entrees. I had so much fun with that before the wedding when I sent out an email to all of the guests with the menu (we used electronic invites and communications). I listed each vegetarian meal in great detail and left the third entree option as only "#3 Beef Option."

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We knew that our more offbeat theme might not resonate with everyone since some people hadn't even seen the original Star Wars trilogy! So my mom and her team of helpers including my aunt, some of my cousins, and my new mother-in-law, worked hard for over a year creating masquerade masks for every seat. Each table was a planet and each mask was themed on the major aliens from that planet. We also had a Cloud City table which featured mustaches in honor of Lando. That way everyone could participate and not even have to bring a costume or see the movies.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
The ceremony itself was movie-themed, and we had trivia playing on the screen that lead eventually to the famous "Let's all go to the lobby" intro (which everyone sang along to) and "previews" of our life.

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We shot and produced three "previews": "Wedding Night," in which we were sleeping in our wedding clothes, "Babies," in which we had a baby with a Darth Vader helmet, and "Growing Old Together," in which we were in old-person makeup and watched Star Wars while one of us let out some gas (it's unclear who). All of that was followed up with personalized movie intro graphics and of course the Star Wars opening crawl which informed guests that Joe had been frozen in carbonite in order to "prevent any funny business" before the wedding and that the situation "brings a new meaning to cold feet."

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The video screen then lifted to reveal a life-sized Han Solo in carbonite replica that we rented. I snuck out in a robe (instead of a bounty hunter costume) and, with sound effects, released him from the carbonite. I ran off to get ready and the ceremony was on! Our good friend, dressed in a Yoda robe and mask, came out and prepped himself for officiating the ceremony while the Stormtrooper groomsmen and three best men (Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Chewbacca) entered the stage and lined up.

We then had the bridesmaids, with glowing fiber optic flowers and Jedi robes, along with the three maids of honor (C-3PO, R2-D2, and Wicket) walk down the aisle to a piece of Star Wars (Original Trilogy) score.

Finally, I entered escorted by my mom, who wore an Amidala-inspired dress, and cape with an Amidala-inspired hair-do. I had a Leia-ish wedding dress on and my hair was done in the fashion of Leia at the medal ceremony in A New Hope. We entered to the Throne Room music from the medal ceremony scene. Our "Yoda" was spectacular and had memorized the script and even added his own flair to it!

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Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was dealing with the damage at our first reception venue. We had the venue booked almost two years in advance. October came around and so did Hurricane Sandy. We didn't know at the time but our venue was flooded. We were notified that the venue was closed and had no plans to reopen. We arranged a new venue within one day and expected our payments to be refunded in time to make payments on the new venue. Eventually, after promising a full refund, the venue stopped answering calls. We panicked for a while but were saved eventually by disputing all of the payments we made to the venue, which were luckily on the credit card. Whew!

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My favorite moment:
When Joe was going to take off my garter (in my plan, to Sublime's "Caress Me Down") and I sat down in a chair on the dance floor. I didn't know but there was a secret plot among Joe and the guests to unleash a giant flash mob! Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison" started playing instead of the planned song, and then tons of guests lined up on the dance floor. All of a sudden everyone started doing choreographed dance moves! I could not believe it. It was one of the best moments of my entire life. The fact that they all went to such trouble (and apparently tons of practice) and did something so cool to surprise me just means the world to me.

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My funniest moment:
One of the funniest moments was the day before the wedding when our parents and friends surprised us with "Spaceballs: The Rehearsal Dinner." We walked in with blindfolds and had no idea that we would be greeted with Lonestar and Princess Vespa costumes. My cousin even played a very accurate Dark Helmet with ring of the Schwartz and everything!

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. This showed up in my fb feed and I was all, "Mo, we ALL know you had the coolest… Oh, wait. This is from Offbeat Bride. Awesome!" 🙂

  2. Her dress is absolutely to die for!!
    I'm not a huge Starwars geek but this wedding is Fantastic!! Looks like everybody had a ton of fun 🙂

  3. I love everything about this day! The individual masks are positively amazing. And the Spaceballs surprise rehearsal dinner is easily the best thing i"ve heard all week.

    Question about the lightsabers: were these from ThinkGeek? I LOVE the idea of using them in mine, but I can only seem to find the lightsabers that run for $120, which I'm not quite willing to splurge on. If you had any sources, I'd love to hear them!

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