The Unbreakable Vow



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By: Madoline Markham

Event Designer and Coordinator: Justin Bradford

When it came to their wedding, Kim Burleson and Cody Massey both wanted something over the top, something magical, something otherworldly. They wanted a trip to Hogwarts. And that’s what they got. The bride’s vision for paper flowers made out of pages from Harry Potter books became only the starting point for the bold and whimsical festivities to be held in their honor.

The ceremony took place on the stage of the Alabama Theatre under an arbor with a projected image of Hogwarts as the backdrop. Each bridesmaid wore a dress in a different house color. Afterward, the bride and groom donned student robes and entered the reception, wands in hand. The ballroom in the Hill Event Center had been transformed into Hogwarts’ feasting hall, complete with as many details from the books as possible. An “owl” feather quill was used to write in the guest book, the bride and groom toasted with butter beer instead of champagne, and a stack of signs pointed toward the Ministry of Magic, Azkaban, Diagon Alley, and other familiar landmarks.

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The décor of each feasting table was themed in a different house color, with Gryffindor as the head table and Patronuses projected behind it. Each table had a garden of large-scale floral arrangements running down the middle to create intimate spaces between tables. Scattered throughout the floral arrangements were goblets of fire, lanterns made with cellophane and LED lighting. Harkening to the importance of birds in the stories, feathers were placed in the boutonnieres, bouquets, and arrangements, and even the bride’s ceremony and reception dresses—both designed by Heidi Elnora—were reminiscent of feathers, as is evident in the sketches of the dresses on the bride’s cake table. Yellow Bicycle Catering Company created a potions table that served beverages, and per the groom’s request, a “Happee Birthdae Harry” cake from the first movie was on his table.

Perhaps the most theatrical elements in the room were the candles suspended from the ceiling like the floating candles in Hogwarts’ Great Hall. Technically they were lit with with 300 LED lights, but they appeared to have flames like real candles. In the Harry Potter books, a memory cabinet in Dumbledore’s office contains a large ornate apothecary receptacle full of bottles with memories. So, for the reception, guests shared memories from the day and well wishes and left them for the bride and groom to put in a curio of their own. And the photo booth was replete with signs, Potter glasses, wands, and moving picture frames in the halls of Hogwarts. All in all, the wedding was theatrical, it was magical, it was an escape into the world of Harry Potter.

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Vendors

Photography: 2B Photography – Becca Bell
Event and Floral Design: Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market
Venue: Alabama Theatre
Dress: heidi elnora
Caterer: Yellow Bicycle Catering Company

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