Sorry! Before you read this feature, you’ve got to give us the secret password! Seriously guys, if you’re all about the eclectic, off-beat, Art Deco, New Orleans meets 1920’s aesthetic, then buckle up because this wedding is a whole experience! In fact, after seeing this, we’d love for more couples to create a similar immersive experience for their guests. V + N pulled it all off with the help of event planners As You Wish Events. The inspiration behind this Prohibition-themed wedding day (note – this was held pre-pandemic in 2019) at the Hall of State in Dallas, TX, was a speakeasy bar where Virginia + Nathan became stranded during a conference trip. We’ll let V tell you all about it:
We had decided early on that we wanted the overall aesthetic for the wedding to be in the spirit of Art Deco after getting stuck in Denver on our way to Wyoming. After spending the first night on the airport floor, we finally found one option for a room at the Oxford Hotel, which turned out to be beautiful! That night we stumbled into their “prohibition-era” speakeasy-style bar called the Cruise Room and had such a great time drinking at the bar and chatting with our bartender we decided then and there we wanted our wedding to be in this vein of design, decor, and era.
Since we weren’t there to give the secret code in person, we have to give major thanks to The Brothers Martens for capturing these secret society images for us to spy! Let’s go!
Art Deco + 1920’s Attire
V looked like she stepped right off the cover of Vogue 1928 with a curled bob and glam makeup by Elan Make-up Studio.
And speaking of glam, can you get over the rhinestone lines of this Naeem Khan ‘Laguna’ gown?? Total Art Deco-inspired dream! V shares more about how she found it:
I am so lucky that I got to shop at the Neiman Marcus bridal boutique in downtown Dallas. I have a history with that particular location since it was where my sister chose her dress and Neiman’s salon was the first place my father worked as a stylist when he moved from El Paso to Dallas. The dress I ended up choosing was designed by Naeem Khan. I remember thinking it looked like an Elvis jumpsuit on the hanger since it had large rhinestones running the length of the dress and that kind of sold me on it. When I first walked out in the dress, my mom and sister both said “NO!” and that was the last bit of evidence I needed to know that I had found the right dress (they both later recanted their opposition to the dress and now agree that it was the perfect choice).
Loving these emerald bridesmaids? BHLDN just put out some gorgeous styles in their latest line of Fall Bridesmaids Dresses!
We love a Groom in a good tweed suit. N’s came from Papa Tutu Designs and is perfect for the occasion!
Art Deco Architecture
When the setting for the wedding ceremony looks like a movie set, you know it’s about to get EPIC!
Don’t you just love this fun detail of mismatched black chairs from Party Dallas??
Bella Flora of Dallas used our favorite pampas grass to create a dramatic feather-like effect in the floral arrangements. Perfect nod to the 1920’s!
Officiant garb ON POINT!
For me (Virginia) I have such a clear memory of driving up to the ceremony in the car we had rented for the day, which is how we had planned my grand entrance. My mom, Rachel (our amazing planner) and I were in the back seat and my brother was in the front. Rachel asked me if I wanted to listen to a song while we waited to drive up and as I sat there paralyzed with anticipation, she said "I got this" and put on Bjork's "All is Full of Love," which was the song I had chosen to play as I walked down the aisle. It was such a surreal out of body moment when the reality of the fact that I was about to get married really hit me.
For Nathan, it was in the same moment but from his perspective. Nathan: As I waited at the top of the grand staircase leading into the Hall of State my anticipation had been growing to the point of feeling overwhelmed. I had just witnessed the entire wedding party walk the aisle and I too felt slightly out of body. Then Virginia's bridal vehicle pulled around the bend and as she stepped out of the back seat I could still just barely make her out. Then it happened, I saw her in her dress for the first time... Glittering in the sun, a perfect glowing beauty of my wife to be. It took all of my will power not to burst into tears right then and there. I will remember that moment 'till the day I die and probably beyond.
Initiated into the Newlywed Club!
Remember what we said about an experience?? V + N hired masked performers from Bravo Entertainment to interact and guide guests through the immersive reception.
Art Deco Reception, Speakeasy Style
The theme of the wedding day was secret society. We implemented this theme by having masked provocateurs to greet guests as they entered each space, initiation pins on ceremony programs, Save the Dates & Invitations with hidden messages and symbols, a wall in cocktail hour where guests could push a button and be given a clue about a secret password to enter a speakeasy room with a secret signature cocktail, a society photo station, customized French Food menu with wine pairings and the guests were encouraged to dress in 1920’s high society attire.
Did someone say Absinthe Bar??
I think couples are required to be so much more flexible right now while we live through this pandemic, but our advice still stands: an amazing planner makes it possible to allow things to fall into place when the (inevitable) unexpected challenges come up. If you don't hire a planner, pick your most trusted, organized friend to help get you through the day so you can be in the moment as much as possible and have fun! It's your party at the end of the day.
We’ve got to give it up to all the guests! Their attire choices are SO rad and really complete the entire picture.
V + N played off the high ceilings and marble floors of the reception space with black and white rentals, florals and loads of sparkling candlelight.
Other specialty rentals from the event came from Bella Acento which is the sister company to floral studio Bella Flora of Dallas.
The floral mix of dried and fresh, bleached and green is so perfect for this space!
Processional: “All is Full of Love” by Bjork
Recessional: “A Real Hero” by College & Electric Youth
First Dance: “Look at Where we are” by the Hot Chip
A total masterpiece of an event! The architecture, the attire, and the overall Art Deco vibes were perfectly styled. Congratulations Virginia + Nathan! We’re hoping life is a party from here on out! -The GWS Team
photography: The Brothers Martens // venue name: Hall of State, Dallas, Texas, USA // event design: Rachel Burt Garcia, As You Wish Events // planning: Rachel Burt Garcia, As You Wish Events // florals: Bella Flora of Dallas // wedding dress: Naeem Khan 'Laguna' // wedding dress boutique: Neiman Marcus Bridal Salon // hair stylist: Elan Make-up Studio // makeup artist: Elan Make-up Studio // groom attire: Papa Tutu Designs // paper goods: 5 by 7 Designs // calligraphy: Amy Sue Designs // catering: Food Glorious Food // cake: Fancy Cakes by Lauren // furniture rentals: Party Dallas // specialty rentals: Shag Carpet Props Rentals // music: DJ William Ryan // lighting: Absolute Entertainment // photo booth: The Brothers Martens // harpist + bass player: Cindy Horstman // rentals: Bella Acento // masked provocateurs: Bravo Entertainment // rolls royce: Romantic Remembrances // band: Safety Patrol // fireworks: Harmland Visions