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Raising a Rebel gets married!

Even before the date of our wedding was set, I’d already let go the notion of a Star Wars-themed ceremony. There were budget considerations to think about, and the dearth of cosplayers, droid builders and 501st members in my social circle meant resources were thin on the ground. Resigned to the fact that this would be just another typical wedding, I banished the galaxy far, far away from the plan.

But with input and advice from family, and through conversations with our wedding planner, my partner and I not only created a wedding better suited to our tastes and sensibilities, but one which reached a compromise with the franchise that’s become like a third member in our relationship.

Instead of a Star Wars-themed wedding, we instead incorporated elements of our fandom into the ceremony and reception in a way that, I hope, was fun and tasteful for everyone. Although the wedding itself was small, reserved for close family, I wanted to share it with the Star Wars community and the friends I’ve forged in the year since starting Raising a Rebel.

The ceremony

Music was always going to play an important part in our wedding, every bit as expressive and iconic as the dress, food and flowers. As our guests gathered, we played a medley of Star Wars themes, starting with Yoda’s, moving into Rey’s and ending with Leia’s. Elisabeth was fashionably late, so our guests were treated to those first two a second time. Not that I’m complaining.

We knew that while our wedding would have one toe in tradition, it would be a departure from a lot of the usual trappings. In other words, the ‘Bridal Chorus’ was off the table. Instead we wanted something stirring, something beautiful… something Star Wars. We decided on ‘Across the Stars’, Anakin and Padmé’s love theme from Attack of the Clones. It’s a moody, evocative piece that pulls at the heartstrings and stirs the soul. It was perfect.

Standing in front of our gathered family, hearing those first sultry notes was certainly emotional. But that was nothing compared to seeing Elisabeth walk down the aisle on cue (1:40 minutes, if you’re interested) in her dazzling dress, beautiful as ever I’d seen her, with a bouquet in hand and flowers in her hair. It was like something from a story book, a fairy tale come alive for a moment that seemed to stretch from here to eternity. A moment I will forever associate with one of finest pieces John Williams ever recorded.

The exit music proved more difficult. We went back and forth on a few options and bounced a couple other ideas around. This was where the Twitter community really helped us out after I put out a call for advice. More than a few folks have incorporated Star Wars into their weddings, and music is one of the easiest and most effective ways to accomplish this. ‘The Throne Room and End Title’ from A New Hope is undoubtedly the most popular and was exactly what we decided on. Walking back down the aisle as a newly married couple, escorted by that heroic fanfare was the perfect way to cap off the ceremony.

The reception  

If music allowed us to inject a little Star Wars into our wedding, then the reception was the chance to really let our hair down. To quote Anakin, “This is where the fun begins”. Our budget meant that we couldn’t go crazy, but it also forced us to get creative, thinking up fun and quirky ways of bringing a little of our fandom into the celebrations.

We settled on a simple table design of flowers and scattered petals, leaving us free to add a few goodies of our own. It wasn’t easy selecting which pieces from our personal collection we’d use; they had to be small, robust and, preferably, nothing overly rare or expensive. In the end, we decided on a mix of little LEGO ships, figures, plushies and Funko Pops. The harder part was deciding which characters to pick. Obviously we didn’t have room to make sure all our favourites were featured but we still managed to include Rey, Ahsoka, Yoda, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, Kylo Ren, Hera and even Thrawn.

 

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In place of a traditional wedding cake, we opted for a display of cupcakes, each one beautifully decorated with swirled purple icing and a sugar leaf. They would have looked great on their own, but they weren’t quite Star Wars-y enough. So we bought lightsaber cake toppers, adding a touch of galactic gravitas to our afternoon tea. In place of the usual plastic bride and groom, Elisabeth and I instead topped our own cupcakes with minifigs of Artoo and Threepio, which we’ve long joked are like our in-universe counterparts. My mum surprised us both by making her own wedding cake, giving us the opportunity to pose for the traditional cake cutting photo.

The most ostentatious touch was the life-size cardboard cut-outs of Darth Vader, and Artoo and Threepio. The thinking was that they’d make a great photo op, giving our guests selfies to remember. Although it didn’t quite take off the way we’d imagined (we were the biggest SW fans there, after all), enough people took their own snaps to make it worthwhile. Besides, I got to take them home with me.

The Force will be with you, always

As I’ve already said, it was a small wedding, but there was one notable absence – Elisabeth’s mum, Vivienne. She lost her short battle with motor neurone disease before getting the chance to see us marry; before we were engaged even. We both would have loved to have her there on the day, but we tried to keep her spirit alive not only for us, but for everyone present. As well as the purple colour scheme, we had a memorial candle specially made. But we also wanted to do something in her honour, so we used the wedding to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. I’m happy to say we exceeded our target. You can make a donation yourself by visiting the website.

Advice for your own wedding

A wedding is by its very definition a celebration of your love and if, like us, Star Wars is an important part of that love, then it’s only natural you’d want to involve it in your wedding. It can be easy to get disheartened if you don’t have the time, budget or resources to replicate the impressive nerdy ceremonies seen on YouTube and Instagram. But a few carefully chosen decorations, collectables and music really goes a long way.

Let us know if the comments if you’re thinking about, or already have, incorporated Star Wars in your wedding.

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