Billy Idol praised the white wedding but me, well, it turns out I’m all for a wedding that’s as pink as possible!
A vintage-inspired pink wedding wasn’t always on our radar. It was a trip to the pinkest place on earth: The Madonna Inn, that kicked off the conversation of a pink wedding possibility between my future husband David and I.
The one of a kind, kitsch interiors and decor featuring so much of my favourite colour had me smiling bigger than David had ever seen. It was this, which made the Inn the perfect place to get hitched. When I managed to get my mitts on my dream, vintage pink cupcake prom gown, it sealed the deal and we were all systems go to get organising.
Arranging a wedding in California from our base in Australia was surprisingly simple, especially given our non-traditional take on the big day. Though our day was very vintage visually, it was far from old-fashioned in many ways. By some divine miracle, we managed to keep things low-key and low-cost without sacrificing all the visual vintage bells and whistles. A low-cost wedding: What is this insanity you speak of?!
We decided to be wed in our favourite room in the hotel: The Carin Suite. With pink glitter walls and golden cherubs hanging from the ceiling, it was hard to go wrong! As we only had a handful of close friends attending, space wasn’t a concern.
We booked a wonderful officiant based in the San Luis Obispo area who allowed us to pen our own short and sweet ceremony to suit the intimate setting we were to be married in. Rick met with us for a brief run through the day prior and even dressed to suit both David and I, as well as taking care of all the form filing: The international paperwork process was unexpectedly easy to navigate for us Aussie’s
We got ready together ahead of the ceremony, ignoring the traditional stance of it being “bad luck”. I even decided to do my own makeup and a get wiggy with it thanks to pre-styled locks by Necia’s Hairstyling. I saw this as another easy means of eliminating both cost and potential stress.
With all the formalities out of the way in the matter of half an hour, we were husband and wife and ready to paint the Inn pink!
Jill Kerswill (one of our closest friends who was in attendance) also happens to be an incredible photographer who had lovingly agreed to capture our special day. With no large party of guests waiting on us, we were able to take our time roaming the gorgeous grounds capturing some beautiful images to remember the day by.
With a party of 5 in total, a simple dinner reservation was all the organising required for the reception. The décor of the Madonna Inn Steakhouse is the ready-to-go equivalent of the vintage wedding decorations of our dreams, so it was positively perfect. We did plan ahead and pre-order a cake from the Madonna Inn bakery to ensure no sweet tooth went unsatisfied: A cake lover like myself, I couldn’t leave this to chance!
An absence of things to stress or worry about, meant all our energies went into feeling completely and utterly loved up. The romance levels rocketed and I felt like a pink princess with her prince, swanning about the opulent Madonna Inn wearing layer, upon layer of vintage tulle goodness.
We had originally planned to play Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as I walked into the suite for the ceremony. Truth be told, when the moment came it felt all sorts of awkward, forced and like the very traditions we were actively trying to avoid!
Instead, my beautiful friend Tamara made a special request with the resident live jazz band to play our song for us. We slowly swayed to our special tune in our first dance as husband and wife on the Madonna Inn dance floor. It definitely beat playing it out of a Bluetooth speaker, I’ll tell you that!
I guess where I’m going with all of this, is you can have your big do, but DO YOU too! I think it’s important to play your day, your way. We were so happy we followed our hearts and married in our pink vintage heaven. We are also evidence you can have the vintage wedding of your dreams, minus all the dollar signs. You just have to think outside of the box!
*Originally penned for feature in The Velvet Gazette.
All beautiful images by Jill Kerswille Photography. Find Jill on socials: @lovebyjill