Offbeat partner: Alyssa
Offbeat partner: Brian
Date and location of wedding: Lobo Castle in Agoura Hills, CA. 10/12/2019
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our fall wedding was Victorian – Medieval themed, with costume inspiration from the Age of Innocence and Crimson Peak. Our colors were of our favorite dark, orange and red leaf season, Autumn.
The venue was the stunning Lobo Castle in Agoura Hills, CA. The stone buildings and medieval interior set the stage for a day away from present day, and into the past. The venue itself became the main décor, so we were only left to provide table decorations including deep red and gold tapestry fabric and gorgeous iron candleabras.
The main project was making my own wedding dress, which I completed in 7 months. It was made of velvet, shantung silk, and hand-dyed lace. A few people suggested I should not make my own dress, but if you can, and make sure to leave yourself enough time, it's worth it! It's part wedding dress, part costume, so I get to wear it again in the future. And for all that time and money put into it, girllll you better know I need to wear it again!
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was held underneath a big, gorgeous oak tree, which brought nature into the ceremony. It was perfect to be married under a tree older than us that may just out live us as well.
The guests arrived to tables of wine as we wanted everyone to have a decadent experience from the moment they arrived until they left. It was never just about us, this was our once in a lifetime event, and we wanted everyone to feel like they too were being spoiled upon. My favorite picture from the wedding is of all our guests smiling, laughing and looking like they're all in a Renoir painting.
Our very good friend performed the ceremony, and boy did we give him some strange vows. The ceremony told the story of a Hobbit (myself) meeting a grey Wizard (husband), and tricking him into her Hobbit home. The Wizard grew to love the Hobbit, just as Gollum loved his ring. The main vows were a mix of Star Wars meets Flash Gordon, and I unfortunately had to promise not to throw him into the Sarlac pit. They ended with similar words to the ones on “the one ring” – Two rings to rule them all, two rings to find them, two rings to bring these two together, and in their darkness bind them.
We hired the violin trio OurStrings4You and they played a just amazing list of songs, from Lady Gaga, to Tchaikovsky, to Metallica. I walked down the aisle to The Rains of Castamere from Game of Thrones (and I promise you our wedding did not end like that episode did).
As we walked off, OurStrings4You played the Imperial March from Star Wars. Darth Vader would be proud.
We asked our guests to be creative, and adorn themselves with period clothing, spanning across many centuries to give them more than just the Victorian option. They each arrived with gorgeous threads, from kimonos, to top hats and cravats, to kilts, and more.
Tell us about the reception:
After the ceremony, an appetizer and cocktail hour started in a stone courtyard in the castle, which also had an indoor area with a pool table to entertain guests. It included charcuterie plates, and passed appetizers.
After the cocktail hour, we all gathered into the castle, into the dining room that sat our group of 24. It was a long candle lit table covered in fall colored flowers, candleabras, and upholstery fabric down the middle, inspired by the long glamorous tables of the Victorian period movies I love so much (well, that and the dinner table in Downton Abbey). The buffet was held outside in yet another beautiful stone courtyard. It included cedar plank salmon and short ribs, with various sides such as vegan fritters and orzo with mushrooms and garlic. Near the end of the wedding, our good friend surprised us with light sabers! So we finished out the evening having a great duel of the Sith! It was a perfect surprise to throw in there.
We opted against the typical wedding cake, because we prefer a variety of small desserts. We were served chocolate covered strawberries, mini cheesecakes, 7 layer Italian cookies and a white chocolate bread pudding that disappeared immediately.
There were no toasts, official speeches, or obligations for our guests, and it turned out amazing!
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Take time to take it in. It goes by too fast. Even if you have to lock yourselves in a room to reset and slow down for a minute, then re-emerge ready to feel more like a guest of your wedding! Because of this, the videography and photography was golden to us.
Also, throw out tradition if you want! For instance, we skipped champagne because most of our guests don't like it anyway, and that's okay!
- Photographer: Innis Casey @inniscaseyphotography
- Location and Catering: Denise Antico-Donlon at Lobo Castle @lobocastle
- Planning/Logistics/Lighting: Christine Lalonde @reserveevents
- Makeup: Erika Diehl @erikadiehlbeauty
- Violinists: OurStrings4You @ourstrings4you
- Bride's Victorian Dress Patterns: https://trulyvictorian.info/
- Groom's Victorian Suit: https://www.historicalemporium.com/
- Ladies' Victorian Dresses: https://www.victorianchoice.com/