Let’s Get Personal: Are Movie Themed Weddings Ruining the Sanctity of Marriage?

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  • July 17, 2012

Huffington Post blogger, Justine Lorelle LoMonaco seems to think so.

A few weeks ago, this article appeared on the Huffington Post, “3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Have A Movie-Themed Wedding”. A reader of mine [Danielle from the Slytherin engagement shoot!] sent it my way, as she is planning to incorporate Harry Potter into her wedding. One of my blogger friends [& favorite blogs to follow] Cassandra, of When Geeks Wed, wrote an AWESOME rebuttal right after Danielle told us of the HuffPo Post.

I couldn’t have agreed with Cassandra more – and agreeing vehemently just wasn’t enough. I felt so strongly towards defending themed weddings, that I felt compelled to write my OWN rebuttal to Ms. LoMonaco’s post about using movie themes in your wedding.

First, as someone that took part in crafting a Harry Potter Wedding Styled Shoot, obviously you can tell which side of the argument I am going to be on. But up front, this is my thesis: to me, weddings have ALWAYS been about the joining of two persons, their families, their friends, and the things they love in life. Couples should focus on those four things [eachother, family, friends, things they love] in their weddings and those four things most importantly. The rest, is just details.

[Harry Potter Wedding Inspiration - Photo by Abby Grace Photography]

So that being said, if your life loves include Harry Potter [as mine does - I have a Harry Potter tattoo for goodness sake!], then why SHOULDN’T it be in your wedding?!

[A Star Wars Wedding Cake from Elizabeth & Oliver's DC Wedding - Photo by Softbox Media]

Ms. LoMonoco first argues that movie themes shouldn’t be included because of the temporal nature of the theme.

“I’m firmly convinced that movie-themed weddings will be for our generation what feathered bangs and bell-bottom trouser pants were for our parents — quickly outdated and the subject of much mockery.”

Well – so does that mean that no one wore feathered bands or bell-bottoms in their weddings of the ’70s? I think my parent’s wedding picture would beg to differ.

I argue that you should focus on what’s important to you right now – not what might be important to you in 10, 20 years. You can’t plan your wedding around what might or might not be outdated in a few years. We can’t tell the future, how should we know?

Ms. LoMonoco then argues, quite ironically, that “your wedding should be a reflection of you”. Wait. What? Isn’t that what I was trying to argue? Apparently not ….

“You know what is real and should be taken seriously? Your marriage….”

Honestly this one just makes me laugh. How is using balloon decor or rustic wedding signs, any different than drawing on themes from a movie? They are all ELEMENTS of a wedding – of course couples know that fairy tales & movies are not real. Just because someone incorporates a movie into their wedding design or wedding ceremony, doesn’t mean they aren’t taking marriage seriously.

You know who didn’t take marriage seriously? Britney Spears & Kim Khardasian – but I bet they didn’t include movies in their weddings, so that made there’s OK …. right?

But the next sentence is where Ms. LoMonoco really makes me shake my head …

“…there’s something about basing the most important relationship of your life on a fairy tale that spells trouble for the future. “

Uh-oh. I better call Andy and tell him our marriage is doomed.

[My bridesmaids & I with my 2nd love, Harry Potter - photo by Live It Out Photo]

I’ d really love to see some statistics on this [weddings that use a movie/fictional theme end in divorce] – because I would venture to guess that couples that dare to put themselves into their weddings (even if that includes a sorting hat, magpie pin, orks, or the Millennium Falcon) probably have a GREATER chance of their marriage working, than a couple that does everything in their wedding “by the book” just because “traditions” instructed them to, without giving any thought as to if the tradition means something to them.

Instead of being worried you will come off “tacky” if your bridesmaids hold Disney-themed bouquets

[When Geeks Wed]

or take pictures with light sabers …

[When Geeks Wed -An Intergalatic Wedding - photo by BG Productions]

I say let your love of the geek chic and fantasy world take hold, and customize your wedding – allowing your guests to witness what makes you and your new partner happy.

Now onto the last “point” that Ms. LoMontaco makes, “I’m not sure that means what you think it means.” She basically makes the whole point that the Hunger Games are not a wedding appropriate topic while surface level I agree that books about kids killing kids is not exactly wedding material – perhaps the couple met at a book club where they read that book … or maybe they met at the theater seeing the movie?

My counterpoint here is that it really shouldn’t matter WHY a couple picks the theme they pick – if they love it and want it to be a part of their wedding day, then there is nothing any outsider should say about it.

I think I’ll close with Ms. LoMontaco’s closing …. why you ask? Well, it seems that she goes on to end the article with a 100% contradiction of what she just spent an entire article saying ….

Now, obviously I’m not saying you shouldn’t incorporate the things you and your fiance are passionate about in your wedding. You should. And if one of those things happens to be the latest Young Adult lit craze, by all means, incorporate details into your wedding.

Wow, so it turns out we actually DID agree the whole time! ;)

So now I turn it over to you – what are your thoughts on this? Are themes like Harry Potter and Star Wars “wedding appropriate” ?

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4 Comments

  • This is the quote that makes me laugh the most. “…there’s something about basing the most important relationship of your life on a fairy tale that spells trouble for the future. “

    I’ve seen many many brides that want to feel like a princess on their wedding day. Are they included in her diatribe?

  • Anon says:

    After reading Ms. LoMonaco’s post, and yours, I have a few comments I’d like to share:

    A. I think it’s important to point out that Ms. LoMonaco’s post never uses the phrase “sanctity of marriage”. Implicitly associating her opinions with that particular phrase seems unfair, considering it’s a loaded phrase that’s been frequently used in debates over gay marriage. Ms. LoMonaco doesn’t seem to think two people in love with fantasy shouldn’t get married; just that their theme choice could stand some scrutiny.

    B. It seems you misunderstood Ms. LoMonaco’s point that a wedding should be a reflection of you. Her point seems to be that, despite having a Harry Potter tattoo, you’re not Harry Potter. You don’t go to Hogwarts. You can’t play Quidditch. Thus, according to Ms. LoMonaco, having your wedding theme revolve around a fictional interest makes the wedding about that interest, rather than the whole, well-rounded individuals your husband and you are. I suspect Ms. LoMonaco might also argue that while you certainly can’t anticipate what might be important to you in 10 or 20 years, it’s entirely possible that your passion for Harry Potter may fade as you get older. What won’t be transitory, hopefully, is the love between your husband and you. Thus, why not focus on that reality, instead of the Harry Potter fantasy?

    On the other hand, and this seems to be your underlying point, what’s wrong with fantasy? If two people connect through a fantasy, does that invalidate their connection? I tend to agree with your point that couples, who can share passions, are more likely to have successful marriages. And if such a couple is comfortable with being remembered and defined by a fantasy theme, then so be it.

    C. I fear the point that both Ms. LoMonaco and you are missing is the underlying concern about fantasy overtaking reality, where fantasy themed weddings are the latest example. It does seem that we spend more of our lives focusing on fantasy than our reality. Three generations ago, the reality of the depression was our country’s primary focus. Two generations ago, World War II and the threat of communism demanded our attention. One generation ago, racial equality and the Vietnam War were powerful fights that helped dictate our country’s future. But today’s generation, as a whole, appears more worried about frivolities than solving the problems of reality. Headlines about who was wrongfully voted off American Idol are side by side with the latest health care bill. Some American cities have real people dressing up as superheroes to ‘fight’ crime. We’ve become disappointed with reality and rather than trying to improve things, we seem to have chosen to let the seductiveness of fantasy go from an occasional escape to a persistent presence. Thus, while there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with a themed wedding, this reader finds it a little sad that some people are willing to define their weddings and themselves not by their real emotions and experiences, but by fantasies.

  • sue says:

    Yes! I love them! There’s a gorgeous Star Wars inspired wedding on Style Me Pretty California and it was done very classy and beautiful! It should be about the couple and what they love. Who cares what the “typical” idea of what a wedding should look like. More power to couples who make their wedding their own!

  • Great post! I’m a person who does hope that everything I choose for my wedding day will be things I look back on with fondness in 10, 20, 30 years. But I’m pretty sure that if you put your heart and soul into making your wedding as personal as possible, you’ll always look back on it with joy, even if the “theme” or anything else about it has become outdated. I say, be you!!

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