Photographer: Gucio Photography
Venue & Catering: Brock House Restaurant
Wedding Planner & Décor: Petite Pearl Events
Bride's Dress: Pronovias, from Sposa Wedding World
Lace Collar: Bride
Hair: Aaron Brousseau
Groom’s & Groomsmen Outfits: Baracos & Brand & Le Chateau
Bride’s Shoes: Value Village
Groom’s Shoes: J2
Stationery: Bride (invitation & save-the-date) Written Word Calligraphy (stationery at event)
Flowers: Celsia Florist
Cake Tower: Bride & groom
Doughnuts: Lucky’s Doughnuts
Officiant: Darian Kovacs
Disc Jockey & Music: Man About Town Entertainment
Owl Rentals: Radical Raptors Falconry
Aleksandra and Jesse may both be into fantasy and escapism, but they didn’t meet in a galaxy far, far away.
“We found each other on OkCupid,” says Aleksandra with a smile, adding that at the time both she and Jesse were “nearing 30 and wanting the whole family thing… so we decided to take matters into our own hands.” Chatting online, they quickly discovered they shared similar goals and values. A date at a local dog park confirmed it, further revealing that each had a “geeky” side, over which they formed a fast bond. The idea of marriage came up within a year and, after their son was born, Jesse proposed, offering Aleksandra a ring they’d chosen together.
“We started planning right away,” says Aleksandra. “I’m Polish and have always pictured a play on those customs on my wedding day, but it wouldn’t have necessarily worked for us as a couple. He’s the one who came up with the Harry Potter theme.”
“Just after we’d started dating, the final movie was coming out,” Jesse explains. “I was working out of town, and Aleksandra showed up for a visit, only to get me dressed in full Harry Potter gear and take me to a midnight showing of the film. It was something she did completely for me, so when we were discussing our wedding, that moment kept playing in my mind.”
Their first order of business was hiring Petite Pearl Events to help manifest their vision. From save-the-date magnets inspired by a Hogwarts Express train ticket to “Marauder’s Map” wedding invitations (made by Aleksandra herself), the couple found plenty of imaginative ways to incorporate Harry into their big day.
Wedding planner Jessica Minnie, meanwhile, gathered many of the “props” that would transform Vancouver’s Brock House Restaurant into a movie-set-worthy scene, including hand-hewn brooms, vintage luggage and a slew of mismatched chairs – she even set up a replica Quidditch pitch by the beach.
“One of the tricks of having a theme wedding is holding true to your vision while maintaining a level of class,” says Jesse. “Neither of us wanted a childish event, but rather an elegant day inspired by something close to us. Jessica facilitated this beautifully. When we saw the end product, it completely floored us.”
On the morning of her wedding day, the bride enjoyed a special moment as she slipped into her mermaid-style Pronovias gown.
“I made a custom collar for my gown because I wasn’t into the whole veil thing and I wanted something that would better suit our theme,” says Aleksandra. “I spent a lot of time looking at theatrical photos and historical images of real-life queens. The hardest part was stiffening the lace so it would stand like a plume on my back, but I finally got it to work.”
As she walked down the aisle, Aleksandra glimpsed her groom looking “properly Potter” in his navy blazer, white vest and kerchief. For his part, Jesse says he was “blown away” as he watched his bride walk down the aisle.
The ceremony itself incorporated several storybook touches, with real-life great horned owl ring bearers, Hagrid and Harriet, plus an officiant who worked flash paper and smoke bombs into his delivery. Guests, too, embraced the theme, appearing in their finest Hogwarts-inspired duds.
“People really loved and got into participating with the theme,” Aleksandra says. “We got a lot of comments along the lines of ‘best wedding ever!’ ”
“When we sent out the wedding invitations we had a simple section of appropriate attire to help aid in the theme,” Jesse adds. “However, our guests went so above and beyond, it was hard not to cry when realizing what people who love you would do for you... It really made our special day that much more amazing, seeing our guests dressed the way they were inside that old house. It felt, well, like a truly Potter experience.”