Malorie and Michael Gulikers never dreamed they'd be able to get married with all the pomp and circumstance of the royal wedding of William and Kate (minus the wild hats). Both come from average Oklahoma families; not from wealthy, high-society families normally associated with country club weddings.
But on Jan. 13, the couple found themselves the central characters in one of the most unusual, lavish and extraordinary weddings professionals Judy Lehmbeck and Brent Patterson have ever dreamed up. The couple had a dream wedding at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, all courtesy of the vendors involved.
As a hair and makeup stylist, Malorie is used to being involved in elaborate events such as this one, so the hustle and bustle of the wedding day almost seemed like another day at work, she said. The reality that this was the moment she and Michael would exchange vows didn't sink in until she saw her father waiting to take her hand to walk her down the aisle.
“I was blissful,” Malorie said. “It just felt so perfect, like everything in my life had led me to that point. There are so many times when I feel like we make mistakes ... but at that moment I felt that nothing could be more right than what was going on at that point.”
Patterson, Lehmbeck and several other local wedding professionals had been planning to stage a wedding event to show off some of their latest and greatest wedding and reception ideas.
When Patterson heard that Malorie and Michael were talking seriously about getting married, he and Lehmbeck agreed that instead of throwing a fake wedding to promote their ideas, they'd throw a real wedding for the couple. The event would have cost the couple in the neighborhood of $50,000, Patterson said. As you ogle the price, keep in mind, these ideas can be used in small or extravagant doses, according to your budget.
Young girls often dream of the day their boyfriend will ask for their hand in marriage, but not all girls get that dream proposal. TV shows such as “The Bachelor” portray tropical, fantasy proposals that aren't always possible. Last week in Mood, we covered Malorie's fantasy proposal.
Read on to learn about the couple's dream wedding and reception and for ideas you can use to save money and make your special day perfect and uniquely yours.
Before the wedding, the couple and the wedding party modeled for a high-fashion wedding photo shoot by Traina Photography.
Malorie likes something with a little edgy/sexy look, said Christian Traina. He and his wife own Traina Photography — a company known for its bold and edgy photographic style — and provided all photo services for the proposal and wedding.
As the bride, her maid of honor, matron of honor and two bridesmaids spent the day in colorful silk pajamas and slippers, preparing for the event and being treated to hair and makeup styling by artist Jennifer McLaughlin, dozens of vendors were busy setting up Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. A pre-wedding cocktail party, the wedding itself and the reception would be held in three distinctively designed areas of the country club.
“I love fashion; I grew up in musical theater, competing in dance, teaching dance,” Malorie said. “So anything over-the-top is me.”
As guests entered the country club for the pre-wedding cocktail party, they found the grand foyer decked out in royal purple brocade table linens. Some of Malorie's former classmates from Imagine Paul Mitchell cosmetology school had beauty stations set up where guests could receive a little extra bling for their look with a dash of glitter, a touch of highlighter, hair and eyelash extensions and lip shades to add pop.
Brilliantly lighted cocktail glasses in hand, jovial guests mingled with the bride and groom and the wedding party, who were wearing cocktail party attire. Guests modeled for party pics wearing feather boas, wigs and other props in a green screen glamour photo booth provided by OKC Finest Photo Booth.
Wade Tower, a local performer who beautifully croons the standards of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin, entertained during the cocktail hour, courtesy of Box Talent.
As Malorie and the rest of the wedding party exited the cocktail hour to change into their wedding attire, a wall lifted automatically, opening the cocktail area to the wedding space.
The centerpiece of the wedding space was a glowing runway reminiscent of a fashion show. Above the runway, grand chandeliers refracted the shades of blue and silver that illuminated the room.
Guests were escorted to chairs lining the length of the runway, and the wedding began with the entrance of the bride's and groom's families, followed by the bridal party.
In true fashion week chic, each guest found a swag bag on his or her chair filled with Paul Mitchell styling products.
The groom and groomsmen swaggered down the runway and took their places to the tune of Usher's “More.” Then the bridesmaids entered to the strains of Kelly Rowland's “When Love Takes Over.” As members of the wedding party walked the runway, their high fashion photos flashed on a screen.
Each bridesmaid wore a gown in shades of lavender and plum and sported a unique floral accessory by Trochta's Flowers: One wore a white floral stole over her shoulders, one carried a single white rose in full bloom, one carried an elaborate masquerade mask in rich jewel tones, and one had flowers applied as accents at the waist and straps of her dress.
The bride “stole the show” in a cream gown, embellished with Swarovski crystals and pearls on the bodice, and a skirt of chiffon rosette fabric that flowed through a chapel-length train. The gown was provided by Moliere, which also provided the gentlemen's and bridesmaids' attire.
Naifeh Fine Jewelry made sure Malorie was drenched in diamonds — she wore a diamond bracelet that alone featured more than 50 karats. Daring to wear more than $500,000 in diamonds, Malorie was glad to have an actual police escort throughout the event.
“She totally owned it as though she were in the Victoria's Secret fashion show,” Patterson said.
Celebrating the couple
After Michael kissed his bride, the wedding party exited as another wall lifted, revealing the reception area swathed in soothing shades of cream and white, with lighted cocktail tables, a lighted dance floor with the couple's initials projected onto it and cream-color furniture providing comfy places for the guests to chat. Marianne's Rentals provided the furniture, chairs, linens and other decorative elements.
“We think that the color palette of white ivory, champagne and sparkle is very popular, and it goes a long ways on any budget,” Patterson said. With its subtle elegance, the reception was the most traditional part of the wedding.
“For me, the reception was pretty traditional because that's what I think works best,” Patterson said. “The truth is, by the time we had makeup stations at a cocktail hour, and a wedding on a runway, I kind of felt like we'd blown their minds enough.”
At the end of the reception, Von Wedding Films presented a video that contained clips of the entire wedding day. Finally, the bride and groom were swept away in a limousine for their wedding night at The Colcord Hotel.
Tips from the pros
Here are more suggestions from Patterson and Lehmbeck to save money and have the wedding of your dreams.
Invite fewer people. Many couples feel required to invite all their parents' friends, their fraternities and sororities, their childhood pediatricians — anyone who's ever been involved in their lives. Lehmbeck advises making out your ultimate guest list, “then go back through it and ask yourself about each guest: When did I see them last? Do they really know my daughter that well to invite them? When was the last time I had dinner with them?” Malorie and Michael only sent out 75 invitations.
Gifts for the wedding guests are one trend you can skip to save big money, said Lehmbeck, owner of Judy Lehmbeck Bridal and Party. If you really want to give your guests gifts, Lehmbeck suggests edible (or drinkable) gifts such as a split of wine, candied apples or other unusual edibles the guests can take home to remind them of the event.
Choose your favorite element and make it big. If you want hundreds of fragrant lilies to beautify your wedding, plan to splurge on your flower budget and find ways to spend less on other elements such as food. If you know you want a live band to energize your reception, cut down on your costs for a reception hall.
If ambiance tops your priorities, invest in a special lighting company, such as Innovative Event Solutions, that can provide everything from glowing cocktail glasses, lighted cocktail glasses and dance floors to the lighted runway Malorie was married on. In this scenario, you can cut costs for flowers by using glass vases filled with water and floating a single orchid or other beautiful bloom on the water. Lighting these simple centerpieces will add great eye appeal.
For some couples, photos and video are the most important elements because they want a tangible memory of their special days. If this is your priority, spend a little less on your dress, eliminate gifts for the guests and plan to spend the bulk of your reception budget on photo and video teams.
Marianne's Rentals, 225 W Britton.
Judy Lehmbeck Bridal and Party, 751-3780.
Innovative Event Solutions, 239 W Britton, 286-1254
Trochta's Flowers, 6700 N Broadway Extension, 848-3338.
Jennifer McLaughlin Makeup Artist, jennifermclaughlinmakeup.com, (580) 458-1636.
Mishelle Handy Cakes, mishellehandycakes.com, 348-5938.
OKC Finest Photo Booth, okcfinestphotobooth.com, 470-6607.
Wade Tower and DJ Boxtalent.com, 360-2263.
Black Tie Optional band during reception, seeblacktie.com