Dark & Enchanting Wedding at Phipps: Nina & Freddie

When your inspiration is the likes of Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, and the unique beauty found in the darkness, you end up with an eerie, enchanting wedding just like this one.  Nina and Freddie totally win the “Most Unique Wedding” Award!  An October wedding day and the impending Halloween holiday didn't impact the couple's wedding day style too much, but they did want to throw a subtle nod to it while also paying homage to some of their favorite artists.  They did this with a dark and muted color palette of eggplant, deep purple, dusty lavender, black, and gray.  With the help of an all star vendor team, they seamlessly merged this with metallic and mirrored details, ornate finishings, and a romantic ambiance.  The result was magical, innovative, and truly reflective of their personal styles.  A triple threat if you ask me.   Keep your eyes peeled for:

  • Incredible florals and decor.  Hens and Chicks' creations will wow you.  Large Victorian style candelabras, climbing vines, mercury glass, hanging flowers and candles, reflective vases…oh.my.word.  It's amazing.
  • A DIY'd Corpse Bride replica.  Nina and Freddie often heard that they were a real life Victor and Emily.  So to celebrate the connection and bring a little bit of Tim Burton to the day, the bride handcrafted a replica of the movie couple to display on the dessert table.  So cute.
  • Musical performances.  Both Nina and Freddie are professional musicians and treated their guests to a mini private concert.  Also, Nina did a special rendition of “I Put A Spell On You”, Hocus Pocus Bette Milder style!  Talk about a special treat!

Tara Bennett Photography captured the dreamy, dark, actually-quite-beautiful wedding day.  I just know you're going to love it!

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

We are both professional musicians.  I was attending a benefit show that Freddie was performing in.  He was covering Queen (one of my late father's favorite bands) and I knew I had to meet him.  A mutual friend introduced us backstage.  We had an INSTANT connection, and haven't left each other's side since.

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

When Freddie's mom passed away last October, we decided to plan a wedding so that his dad could be present for it.  His dad suddenly passed away a few weeks later, so with only one parent left between us (my mom), we knew we had to get moving.  We picked out an antique style ring from Marlene Harris Collection and he gave it to me the night before Christmas Eve.

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

Dark, dreamy, eerie, enchanted, romantic.

Dark flowers, purples, eggplants, dusty amnesia roses, sage colored leaves – nothing super vibrant but rather monochromatic – plus hanging globes and climbing vines along the two large family tables.

We wanted to create a mysterious atmosphere with mostly candlelight and large black Victorian style candelabras on the round tables.

What inspired your vision?

Growing up as an artist and child prodigy on the piano, I have always connected with Tim Burton films and Danny Elfman's scores.  I wanted something dark, dreamy, eerie, and enchanting all while still being romantic and classic.  I absolutely did not want a “fall wedding” but wanted to capture the darkness that autumn represents, especially as we drew closer to Halloween.  When we got engaged, people started to tease us that we look like Victor and Emily from Corpse Bride.  I have never really seen the movie, but the resemblance is uncanny.  So I handcrafted a centerpiece for the dessert table of the characters getting married in a graveyard.  Even my dress ended up looking like hers (unintentionally)!

The maid of honor is renowned artist Adrienne Rozzi of Poison Apple Printshop.  She hand drew all of the save the dates, invitations, and stationery.  I worked with Hens and Chicks to create a vision for the room – dark flowers, hanging globes, climbing vines, enormous black candelabras.  When the doors opened for the first time, the theme to Edward Scissorhands was playing and my guests are still talking about how magical it was!  We also danced to Ice Dance from the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, which is one of my favorite pieces.

What made your wedding unique?

While planning, I would describe it to people and they would say, “Weddings aren't supposed to be dark; they are supposed to be light.”  But we find a lot of beauty in darkness.  I've seen a lot of Tim Burton/Halloween themed weddings that are cheesy and over the top, and I definitely didn't want that.  I wanted it to be a subtle nod to him, because he was my inspiration, but I still wanted to make it completely my own.  Creating this moment was almost like writing and recording an album!  It was very similar and took the same amount of creative energy.

What was your favorite moment of the day?

Toward the end of the night, I sang “I Put A Spell On You” from Hocus Pocus, Bette Midler style!  It was a serious nostalgia moment for all of my childhood friends and cousins who grew up loving that movie.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

Stay true to yourself.  Try to incorporate pieces of your life into every aspect of the day so that it feels uniquely YOU.  It could be things that only you notice, maybe a flower, color, or a song that means something to you, but it will make it that much more special for your guests.  Energy is everything – they will feel your magic in every detail!

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Do the work ahead of time so that when that day comes, you can stay in the moment and enjoy the people around you.  I absolutely would not do anything differently.  It was perfect in every way.

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Marisa Bridals from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Ring: Marlene Harris Collection | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Cake: Bella Christie | Caterer: Phipps Conservatory | Ceremony Location: Broderie Room at Phipps Conservatory | Decor: Hens and Chicks | Desserts: Bella Christie | DJ: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Flowers: Hens and Chicks | Hair: Hair by Bri | Lighting: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Linens: Lendable Linens | Makeup: Jodie Lynn Skrinjar |Musician: Joel Lindsey Entertainment | Officiant: Amy Lindsey | Photographer: Tara Bennett Photography | Reception Venue: Phipps Conservatory | Stationery: Poison Apple Printshop

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