The fantasy wedding

The actual business of a wedding can happen in a matter of minutes at the courthouse, but how romantic is that? Sure, plenty of couples tie the knot on their lunch break, but why pass up the chance for a big party?

Fantasy weddings range from small to extravagant, depending on the couple’s style and budget. A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream affair can be staged inexpensively with the right outdoor setting (Asheville Botanical Gardens is a popular location) and a handful of creative friends who aren’t afraid of face paint and fairy wings.

At the opposite extreme, destination weddings allow the bride and groom to really get into the adventurous spirit with an African safari, a Bali beach stay or a week in a Scottish castle. Why not create a wedding that says something about who you are? Do you dream of exploring distant galaxies? Fancy yourself a daring pirate or free-spirited flower child? Here’s the perfect opportunity to plan a ceremony around your ultimate idea of fun. 

One of the better-known fantasy weddings has to be the Renaissance Festival ceremony, where the couple dresses in Medieval attire and says “I do” before a king, queen and crowd of onlookers. But if slaying dragons and clanking about in full armor isn’t your idea of romance, there are plenty of other ways to make the big day a life-long memory.

Janis and David Udder, owners of Asheville-based theme-deliveries service Masquerade Party (667-1885), have a special talent for dreaming up parties. Here, Janis offers her top 10 suggestions for fantasy weddings:

• Gothic—“This could be set at a castle or somewhere romantic,” says Udder. “Gothic is very romantic.” She also suggested throwing the reception at a Goth-themed club, such as Joli Rouge.

• Pirate—Thanks to Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, swashbucklers have made a major comeback. The couple can dress in frills, ruffles and tall boots, and the wedding party can join in the fun. Argh, matey! Top off the festivities with a novelty band in costumes perfect for sailing the high seas.

Moulin Rouge—“The bridesmaids can wear can-can dresses,” suggests Udder. “Think way over the top.” Add a burlesque troupe for entertainment at the reception. For more inspiration, check out the musical film of the same name.

• Space: the Final Frontier—From Star Trek uniforms to sexy aliens and Barbarella kitsch, outer space makes a perfect setting for adventurous couples. Jane Fonda’s mini dress and knee-high boots offer a fun alternative to typical pouffy wedding gowns.

• Angelic—Think wings, halos, and lots of white. Since white is the color of the day, a heavenly theme is halfway realized from the get-go.

Nutcracker Ballet—“This is a great theme for a winter wedding,” Udder explains. Sugar-plum fairies and other characters from the land of the sweets can make a showing, and the reception can feature tasty desserts.

• Rainbow—“While this can be used for a gay or lesbian wedding, it was also a popular theme in the

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70s,” Udder notes. “Years ago, each bridesmaid would wear a different color dress.” Multi-colors also help to cut back on expenses incurred by trying to match all the wedding clothes. According to Udder, the most important part of the rainbow wedding is that everything from the decorations to the wedding party are happy. Consider a butterfly release.

• Princess—“Every girl wants to be a Princess,” declares Udder. Here’s the perfect opportunity: Wear a tiara instead of a veil, consider arriving on horseback or in a carriage. If holding the reception at a castle is a possibility, even better.

• Tropical—“You don’t have to go to the beach,” Udder points out. “You can build a set and bring in sand.” She also suggests setting the tropical wedding at a lake and serving tropic foods, luau style. Tropical weddings lend themselves to casual attire—get married in a sarong or a bikini; have a picnic reception and book ocean-side rooms.

• Decades wedding—Some people feel like they were born at the wrong time. Why not time-travel for your wedding? Plan a Victorian theme, have a Roaring

<#213>20s Great Gatsby event, take a hint from the elegance of the 1930s or cut loose with a <#213>

60s-themed flower-power party.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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