Victorian-Inspired Burning Man Wedding

Michelle & Damien Photography

August 27, 2015

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There was a bit of a problem when I received Neysa and Kevin’s wedding submission. I was convinced they couldn’t be real people. I mean, have you ever seen a couple so attractive in your entire life? Add that to the fact that they probably had one of the coolest weddings I’ve ever seen and I was 100% convinced that this must be some kind of staged shoot.

I was wrong though, these guys are the real deal. Prepare to get wedding envy like you’ve never had before… And if you’re off to Burning Man this weekend prepare to get EXTRA EXCITED FOR IT!

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“We had only been dating for a short period when we decided to go to Burning Man together”, said the bride. “It was his first time and I knew that the trip would probably either make us or break us, which made me nervous! Surprisingly, the trip went really well… actually better than well. We fell madly in love with each other and when we returned home he moved in with me right away. Even before the trip, our connection was strong. I knew that our feelings were not artificially conjured by the ‘magic’ of Burning Man. They were simply reinforced, validating what we both already knew in our hearts. Our bond was undeniable and unlike anything I had ever felt before. Experiencing the way we were together on our trip made me want to spend the rest of my life with him.”

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So, obviously, when they came to plan their wedding they had to go back to the place they fell in love! “We wanted to do a Victorian inspired wedding”, she continued. “Two days before the wedding we were riding our bikes across the Playa and saw the most AMAZING Gothic horse drawn carriage made out of sheet metal. The artist and designer is known as ‘Pharaoh’. We were in complete awe of his work. So when he offered to pick me up and take me to the ceremony on the wedding day I was beyond excited!”

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The stylist bride wore a one-of-a-kind Victorian inspired dress made for her by Gena Shvartsman Cristiani. “Gena Cristiani did such a wonderful job designing my wedding dress. It was my most favourite project from the whole wedding. It was done entirely through email and Skype. She lives in Florida and I’m in Cabo so we never did a fitting, and I tried it on only three days before we left for Burning Man. She exceeded my expectations in every way. On our initial phone conversation, I explained to her that I envisioned a dress that was a mix between the Victorian Era and Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, and she nailed it. I wanted it to be constructed in different pieces so that I could remove the train after the ceremony and the corset if it was too hot. I ended up just wearing my bra during the day because of the heat. Then put on the corset and the train before the ceremony.”

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The couple didn’t care about most of the other ‘stuff’ that goes into weddings – cakes, catering or flowers. The most important thing to them was that their friends and families were there to celebrate with them. “We loved that our families came out to Burning Man to be at the wedding”, Neysa continued. “I would have loved to be in the car our parents arrived, I’m pretty sure none of them will have seen anything like it before!”

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“We wanted to focus on the meaning of it all, and the importance of our friends and family being part of it. Just being there with the people we love was the most amazing thing. Sharing something that has been such a big part of our life with them was a once in a lifetime experience. On our wedding day, the only thing we really cared about was that our guests had an awesome time and that we got some great photos.”

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One of the couple’s biggest expenses was making the trip fun and comfortable for their guests. “Since we had a lot of guests who had never been to Burning Man, we wanted to make sure that everyone was comfortable. Our friends from camp Anita Cocktail were very generous and shared their space with our wedding crew. We choose to splurge on making our camp a village, and helped some of our guests (who probably couldn’t make it otherwise) pay for their tickets, RVs and yurts. For us, just having everyone there was the most important part… and a few bottles of 1942. Priorities.”

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“Our advice to other couples having an alternative wedding is to have a wedding co-ordinator”, the bride concluded. “We didn’t because we didn’t want our wedding to have a conventional timeline so I thought we wouldn’t need one. But on reflection we missed a few important parts that were important to me because we didn’t have that timeline to refer to. Consequently, before we knew it the night was over!”

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