Retro & Kitsch Wedding at the Madonna Inn

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The iconic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, was the perfect setting for Jasmine and Kyle’s retro wedding in August. They wanted their wedding to reflect the 50s and 60s – an era that they both love – as well as to be colourful, pastel, kitschy and easy-going.

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“The main source of inspiration was the venue, The Madonna Inn”, said the bride. “The place is extremely colourful and playful in its design, and for the most part they’ve retained the charm that drew people to it in the 50s and 60s. My mom took us kids to the hotel a lot on our way to Disneyland and southern California, so there was a comforting feeling about being in a place that felt like from before I was born. I’m also German and there is something Bavarian and classic like a retro children’s fairytale book that I loved. I was inspired to incorporate marbled paper because of the dramatic rocks and minerals and gold rush theme of the hotel as well.”

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“All the décor was vintage, DIY or found in thrift stores. We had DIY paper marbled decorations and table numbers made by me, large confetti and lucky troll dolls from Paper Source, crystals and stones from my own collection, hand-marbled bouquet ribbons and a marbled paper guestbook. We had photo boards decorated with vintage pastel linen, and handmade glitter K+J sweetheart table signs.”

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“We did have to pare down some of my more ambitious projects when we were getting too close to deadline”, she explained. “I was inspired by the mid-century trends, so I initially wanted to do a bunch of impressive little projects that would really bring that out as the theme. Then reality set in and I couldn’t really achieve it all. It wasn’t too bad though, I’m still proud of what we ended up with and now I have some new ideas for future art projects.”

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The ceremony was held at the bottom of a grand spiral staircase. “The Madonna Inn has a unique spiral staircase over the stage, so it was decided that I would hide upstairs and glide down the spiral staircase for my entrance”, said Jasmine. “My friend Aaron is a talented musician and he agreed to play my intro and exit music. So when everyone was gathered and ready, he began by playing I Will by the Beatles, beautifully and with repeated parts to give the wedding party time to get down the aisle. I was graciously escorted down the stairs by my brother Kristoff, as my dad passed away about 10 years ago. My BFF Corey got ordained just for the occasion. He did a lovely job reading our chosen ceremony script even as a first-timer, even making the audience laugh a few times.”

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“The best bit of the day was the moment that we kissed and walked back down the aisle to Mr. Sandman. In a whirlwind of a day, in this moment I felt calm and was able to appreciate what was happening. My heart was soaring and Kyle told me his was too.”

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“My advice to other couples would be that it is possible to create a unique or memorable event but don’t stress about perfection”, she concluded. “People will remember a happy vibe more than if the napkins were dyed to match the candles or something. Do only what you can afford without going into debt. Secure competitive elements like venue, wedding date, and photographer early to structure the planning and reduce stress. Don’t go too cheap on the photographer, after the blur of the wedding day you’ll really want to enjoy those photos.”

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