We solemnly swear that we are…totally transfixed by Cindy + Matt’s magical, mysterious wizard wedding! A Harry Potter fan to the core, Cindy began conjuring up the day’s most bewitching details with the help of designers + planners, Crosby + Jon. And though Matt had yet to read the books, even he couldn’t deny the unfolding magic of the final product! We’ve been admittedly obsessed with this wedding from the first photo, so we’re beyond thrilled to share the story behind planning such an extravagantly themed wedding with the glam and without the cliches. Oh, and just wait until you see the creative handiwork of the bride herself — in a word? Spellbinding.
Crosby + Jon, take it away!
Expecto Patronum! With a little design magic we brought the fictional Harry Potter tale to life. But for us it wasn’t as easy as waving a wand. In fact, the planning process brought waves doubt and questions that kept us up at night. As designers we are accustomed to taking on challenges, so when Cindy and Matthew explained that they wanted the ultimate Harry Potter wedding, we were thrilled yet admittedly terrified. The idea was so romantic, but the obstacles were significant.
First, our darling bride and groom were the most dedicated Harry Potter fans, so the experience had to feel authentic. The next major challenge was to maintain the feel of a luxury wedding—the Harry Potter theme can quickly look like a child’s birthday or halloween party. We knew we had to make careful choices or the Harry Potter dream could become silly looking nightmare. (Did I mention the sleepless nights?) Filmmakers have massive budgets and sophisticated special effects to bring pages of Harry Potter to life. We had neither, so we had to get creative. Fortunately, Cindy and Matt made great creative partners and together we channeled our own witchcraft and wizardry.
Thanks to photographer Nirav Patel, something romantic this way comes…let’s have a look!
The Marauder’s Map invitation was created by Owl Post Calligraphy…aka, Cindy! HOW PERFECT, right?!
Crosby + Jon knew that location was paramount, so they looked to the hills:
We needed a venue that emulated Hogwarts, but would also provide a warm, romantic space for an upscale wedding. Hollywood Castle, located high in the hills of Los Angeles, was the best of both worlds: an outdoor venue capitalizing on the beautiful Southern California weather and sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills, yet providing an old-world feel with stone castle walls and overgrown botanicals. We had found the ideal backdrop, and now it was time to transform the space into an otherworldly wedding.
Cindy decided to explore the world of calligraphy by writing her vows to Matt on parchment paper. Turns out, she’s got the gift! She’s currently making beautiful invitation suites and handmade paper through Owl Post Calligraphy.
JL Designs‘ floral creations balanced the dark undertones yet hopeful themes of the series with an assortment of deep + light blooms.
Love the ‘maids in black!
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Upon arrival, guests made their way to a lush garden ceremony lined antique church pews, weathered books, layered wood slabs from Archive Rentals. At the end of the aisle, Cindy and Matt were framed by an iron gazebo covered in vines and woven with trailing amaranths and quicksand roses provided by JL Designs.
C+M requested guests arrive ready for a Great Hall celebration, and WOW did they come through!
*Accio beer!* Totally worked.
So sweet!! And don’t they look just stunning?!
Speaking of stunning…
Guests made their way inside the castle for a big-screen surprise: Cindy and Matt would have their first dance under a hundred “floating candles” which seemed to hover magically above the dance floor, as if in the Great Hall itself.
With the “I Do’s” complete, the “sorting ceremony” began, and each guest was called into their respective Hogwarts house/reception table.
We designed the reception with the Hogwarts in mind. Long feasting tables from Archive Rentals were adorned with authentic artifacts from the novels, all in a moody gold and burgundy palette. For the tabletop, we took a sophisticated approach, starting with luxe brass flatware and chargers, and built on the palette by adding a mix of brass and garnet crystal goblets.
Centerpieces were no less dramatic. With the help of our couple, we designed long scrolling table runners made of aged Harry Potter book pages. JL Designs then draped massive floral garlands along the tables which poured over onto the floor. Taper candles in clear glass bottles added height and mystery as they melted into the night. And finally, we added stunning arrangements above in towering crystal candelabras filled with black ranunculus, red garden roses and untamed greenery. As guests dined under the stars and toasted the new couple in the glow of candlelight, we knew that we had achieved the most romantic possible version of Harry Potter.
More beautiful calligraphy by Cindy!
Cindy wanted guests to arrive to the table to something sweet + fun: chocolate frogs! She took on the task of printing and assembling the boxes (with Cindy + Matt-themed wizarding trading cards inside, no less), and called on friends to help make the enchanted frogs.
What’s a Harry Potter wedding without a towering feast? 24 Carrots Catering created a menu worthy of Dumbledore himself, complete with a sweets bar that would make any wizard proud:
And the final thought from Crosby + Jon? In awe of the night and overjoyed for our couple, we went home to have a good night’s sleep, and one last Harry Potter dream.
Mischief managed. Many congrats to Cindy + Matt!
photography: Nirav Patel // venue name: Hollywood Castle, Los Angeles, California, USA // event design: Crosby + Jon // planning: Crosby + Jon // florals: JL Designs // calligraphy: Owl Post Calligraphy // catering: 24 Carrots Catering // tabletop rentals: Archive Rentals // furniture rentals: Archive Rentals