Kitsch, John Waters’ Valentine’s Prom at the Madonna Inn

Elizabeth Burgi Photography

May 30, 2024

Jade and Tony’s wedding was a delightfully kitsch blast from the past, combining the whimsicality of the 1950s with the flamboyant flair of John Waters’ films such as like Hairspray and Cry-Baby. Held at the iconic Madonna Inn, their day was a celebration of their love, but also a great excuse to have a grown up prom!

“We’d been watching John Waters’ movies while looking for a venue, and the combination of the Madonna Inn and a flamboyantly colourful prom seemed like a great match,” Jade explained.

They kept the ceremony, officiated by a friend and held outside on the lawn, pretty short, instead focusing more on having a great party with all of their friends. They encouraged people to dress creatively which gave the day a real party vibe.

“The main thing we learned while wedding planning is that the couple should plan the event around having fun and not get too caught up in preconceived notions”, they continued. “For the reception, we had a dance/ prom, held the dance upstairs in the Madonna Inn’s private Garden Room. There was a small dance floor, and a prom photo setup. Music was provided by my DJ friend Mickey, loosely based around a fun, retro playlist we had made with songs like Be My Baby by The Ronettes and Mr Sandman by The Chordettes. Seeing everyone we love, together and having a great time was the best part.”

The decorations were a labour of love, with Tony designing and setting up the (faux – the bride is allergic) flowers for the wedding arch and Jade taking charge of the reception decorations and table settings. The seating assignments were written on valentines cards, and the table markers were designed to look like Love Heart sweets.

“The biggest single expense was, not surprisingly, booking the Madonna Inn”, the bride concluded. “That being said, their catering and service were incredible, and in the long run it ended up being a great deal.”