When a wedding is described as “Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Lord of The Rings”, you know it’s going to be pretty unique, and Natalia and Steven’s day certainly lives up to this promise. They even dared guests to outdo the bride and groom within the realm of the ‘fancy dress’ theme they’d set!
Their “playful and ethereal fantasy forest” wedding theme was based on everything that Natalia and Steven enjoy together – like the fancy dress theme, which is crucial to how they got together. “We had mutual friends but we really bonded after meeting for Halloween and admiring each other’s fancy dress outfits”, the bride explained. “I was a voodoo witch doctor and he was a cross-dressing banana (I’ll leave that one to your imagination!) I admired his dedication to fancy dress and we started to discover how much we had in common – it quickly grew from there.”
Guests were encouraged to wear fancy dress from any era or any realm, so long as they dressed up, and seeing the guests’ amazing outfits made walking down the aisle even more special for the bride. It also meant the hotel manager came up to her about half an hour before the ceremony, exclaiming “YOU HAVE A UNICORN DOWNSTAIRS FOR YOUR WEDDING – I’VE NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE!” If that’s not the sign of a Rock n Roll Bride wedding, I don’t know what is!
Both lovers off Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Hannah and Derek wanted their Portland wedding to transport their guests to Middle Earth. The theme was a botanical woodland and the day was unique, intimate, and moody, while reflecting their Oregon roots.
“We wanted a wedding fit for hobbits and elves”, began the bride. “We wanted it to reflect our love for fantasy, but also be elegant and not blatantly obvious. In the end, I think it was exactly how we imagined it would be.”
They met on OKCupid and with both of them being card carrying introverts, it was important to them that they both felt their most comfortable on the day. They opted for Hannah’s parent’s back garden as the venue. “We wanted to keep the ceremony short and sweet”, Hannah continued. “I came from the deck and walked through the garden to Derek. I walked down the aisle on my own to Iron & Wine’s cover of Time After Time. We had done a first look and photos before, so he wasn’t totally surprised seeing me, though he is a softy and cried. Our officiant went through his speech, which included a quote from Bilbo Baggins. We saved our vows for the honeymoon, as we both have a hard time talking in front of crowds. After kissing and being announced we exited to the song All I Want is You by Barry Louis Polisar.”
Bunny and Michael’s elegant castle wedding is an absolute STUNNER. Their big day was gothic whilst still being glamorous, grungy yet gorgeous, and dark without being dull. These scenes look like they’ve been lifted straight out of a fantasy world (not that we’re complaining, in the slightest!)
Even though it looks like it could be nestled in mysterious Transylvania, their venue was the glorious Hempstead House in New York. Bunny explains that both her and Michael “fell in love really hard with this venue, so there was no doubt [we] were ready to do what it took to have it.” And we can totally see why – those airy feature windows and intricate corners inside, with that incredible walled ceremony garden and it’s expanses of candyfloss coloured sky beyond.
It’s all too easy for venues to give loads on the outside but have been forgotten about on the inside, but all these gorgeous portraits captured by Mike Zawadzki Photography and Tara Tomlinson Photography prove this is the cream of the castle crop, full of nooks and crannies and ever-changing shafts of light that keep throwing up more never-seen-before magic.