A D.I.Y. HALLOWEEN WEDDING: ORLANDO, FLORIDA // DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | ZAKAS PHOTOGRAPHY
You know you have found your person when they also want to have a Halloween Wedding and your saying to each other is "Forever Weird". Leslie and Drew had an intimate D.I.Y. wedding in Orlando on Halloween last year and I was lucky enough to get to document the party and even luckier I got to document their love. (AND we are all lucky to have Rock N Roll Bride feature this wedding as well!)
Most of the decorations were hand made or things they already had around their house. "My best friend made my skeleton hand belt and my sister had a friend make my skull garter ", says Leslie. "I’m lucky enough to have a talented hairdresser cousin, Cindy." Her dress and veil was sourced from Amazon, and Drew's suit was a super sweet Vintage Thrift find! And to top it all off, Leslie's brother-in-law, turned Jedi for the day, was their officiant. Having such personal touches to your wedding is why intimate weddings are the way to go.
"Our invitations said ‘Costumes Mandatory’ on them. It made the atmosphere, some people were scary, some were pretty but no one was wearing something they didn’t want to be in and everyone had fun with it. Because costumes were mandatory everyone assumed we’d be dressed as Beetlejuice or something, so when we showed up in a white dress and suit it was a surprise. One friend even exclaiming ‘He showed up in a fuckin’ suit!’
"I used to frequent the bar he worked at. Our mutual friends thought I could persuade him not to move back to Florida, I couldn’t but we stayed in touch. We spent three years, emailing, talking on the phone and flying across the country to see each other and he eventually persuaded me to move Florida." She said about their story. They had been together for nine years and knew that they just wanted a party. They wanted to have a big celebration, didn't want to do anything that wasn't fun, and didn't want to have a wedding party because they wanted everyone at their wedding to feel included.
Leslie walked down the aisle to the Indiana Jones theme, and she made it about half way down before she started laughing. "My brother-in-law, Stuart, wrote the ceremony, we told him to keep it weird and he obliged, opening with a brief history of homo sapiens and their rise to power through unity and ending with the mathematically increasing odds that we will be swallowed up by a sinkhole. Our favorite lines being about our pets: ‘They enter this union with a loving cat named Tuesday, and a suspicious, mistrustful rabbit named Thunder, both of whom doubtlessly view these proceedings with studied indifference, or possibly even resentment.’ We realized to late that we hadn’t practiced the exchanging of rings but everyone had a great laugh when we screwed that up, Stuart exclaiming ‘you had one job.’"
Leslie says about the D.I.Y-ness of the day: "Most of the decorations were DIY, some from previous Halloweens, two of my close friends got together and made center pieces for me, painting bottles black, hanging mini skeletons on them. The night of Drew’s bachelor party I stayed home, drank some wine and splattered ‘blood’ on our white tablecloths. My bouquet was made of creepy craft store flowers. Instead of a rehearsal dinner we invited our families over to carve pumpkins and displayed them around the garden too. We were really lucky, a lot of big things people spend money we found a way around. So it really came down to what did we think was important enough to splurge on, and that was the photographer. We don’t have a lot of pictures together and even though its a Halloween wedding I wanted some photos of us being stupid in love, but the floating bride pic is my favorite! I look pretty and creepy its exactly the kind of thing I wanted. All of our friends and family are so talented, at the end of it all I’m extremely humbled, grateful and in awe of how much they gave and did. The fun Halloween party we planned, to celebrate our love turned into a kickass Halloween blowout that celebrated the love we have for everyone there."
Leslie's advice to future brides was "Advice: At a certain point something will go wrong, it might be small, it might be huge, just go with it. If you want to walk yourself down the aisle do it, if you want to serve tacos and seaweed salad do it. Don’t throw a garter if you don’t want to, don’t let anybody tell you how your wedding is ‘supposed to be.’"
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