For some couples, concerts and live music play a significant role in their love story, whether they enjoy attending shows or are musicians themselves. When planning a wedding based around your love story, it’s like planning your best date ever, and for a couple whose story is more like a soundtrack, music can be the driving force behind your experience. At ElopeNC, we know there are couples who would love a private rock show with their closest friends, who want to celebrate their fun and playful side, who love color and neon and aren’t afraid to be their authentic, rock and roll selves. With these ideas in mind, we planned a Downtown Rocker Barcade Elopement styled shoot for our January 2022 ElopeNC event.
Lead photographer Brain Anthony Photography said, “We like experimenting with different aesthetics, and it’s always fun to do something a little more edgy than the traditional wedding stuff. The rock and roll vibe really resonates for us based on our own personal style. The design concept and style choices really educated posing – there were certain items like the cake pops, jewelry, and outfits that were literally begging to be featured. This was such a fun elopement idea, especially for people like Anna & I who love video games and good music!”
The Historic Magnolia House in Greensboro opened its doors to us in the early afternoon as we got ready. Each room was unique, with different colored walls in each space, and they allowed us to roam throughout the Bed and Breakfast. This historic house is featured on the National Register of Historic Places under its formal name, the Daniel D. Debutts House, and we all loved the wall of famous and influential African Americans who stayed in the house during segregation. Not only was the house beautiful, but it’s available to rent a room or even host an event!
Set up beside beautiful windows in the dining area of The Historic Magnolia House, the hair and makeup artists had great natural light while styling our model bride, Ashley, whose red hair was perfectly suited to the design. Upstairs, LaVelle got ready, and the photographers made great use of the House’s decor. Updo’s Studio, based in The Triad, created a glam fauxhawk updo and a rad makeup look with dramatic eyes and deep red lips. Her look was perfectly accented by a hairpiece with black flowers and a mini birdcage veil, provided by The Magnolia Bride, the dress shop that provided a stunning black dress for our model. The dress skirt featured tulle and black polka dots, with off-the-shoulder puffy sleeves, a fitted waist, and a sweetheart neckline.
Videographer Chelsi of Summit to Sea Films said this styled shoot, “shows couples who are eloping a different way to do it – a lot of couples don’t know where to start or what their options are, and really the options are endless so this is a good example of what their day could look like! And I personally love the rock n roll vibe.”
LaVelle was dressed in a Chase charcoal paisley tuxedo with a black shirt from bernard’s formalwear. Ashley and LaVelle, who were married in September 2021, didn’t do a first look on their wedding day, so we created a sweet first look moment as Ashley walked down the stairs to meet her groom. Not only were their outfits dramatic, but they were accessorized by jewelry featuring the January birthstone, Garnet, provided by Diamonds Direct. A large garnet engagement ring had a matching necklace and earrings that were the perfect complement for our bold and beautiful rocker bride.
Anna Danielle Photography said, “The overall design and timeline throughout the day allowed the couple to have fun spending time with each other. We explored downtown, played arcade games, and had an intimate ceremony that was also decorated with things that spoke to the couple. Something I love about elopements is that it truly is your day! You make it what you want and spend it with the people you want to spend it with. So many new memories were created and the atmosphere throughout the day was lighthearted and full of joy. No one worried about a timeline or having somewhere to go next, we just spent the day celebrating love.”
With the couple dressed and ready to go, the group took to the streets with four photographers and a videographer in tow. They explored Downtown Greensboro and took photos with wall murals in the background before making their way to BoxCar Bar + Arcade. The arcade provided so many fun opportunities for photos in the neon lights, and the couple was able to relax and enjoy a beer before their ceremony.
“There is so much I could say that I loved about the shoot and design,” Sara Gibson Photography said. “Probably the thing that I loved most about the theme and design would be the emphasis on FUN. What I really love about elopements in general is that it can be so much more about the couple themselves, rather than the grandeur of the day. Jumping on an arcade motorcycle in your (black!) wedding dress and racing your new husband seems like it captures that so well. I feel like it was just a great shoot to show that your wedding day should be about you as a couple and nothing else.”
The ceremony was set up in a private courtyard in the back of BoxCar’s newly renovated 4,400 square foot event space. Florist Power Petals created an incredible and intentional living-installation ceremony backdrop for our couple in front of large doors with brick on either side.
“When I started brainstorming for this styled shoot,” Denise of Power Petals said, “the mechanics were so important. I purchased two 2’x7’ metal panels to build the backdrop, and we’ll be reusing these panels for other designs in the future. Storytelling is a key part of my creative process, and I want to invoke a feeling and depict the story each couple wants to share between themselves or with their guests. I chose jumbo amaryllis bulbs in white and red, which had limited availability but the perfect colors and structure. Amaryllis means, ‘You can do this, congratulations, recognition, long-held goals achieved, determination, discovery, positive thinking, splendid beauty, and pride.’ I took this meaning to develop a specific story for these arrangements – ‘Determination is always prevalent. Adding a good dose of discovery with a touch of pride in your individuality and creativity equates to success.’ Plus, the white Narcissus flowers mean ‘self-love,’ which is so important in marriage. These long stems and petite trumpet blooms added a touch of delicate interest, and the charms on the bouquet read ‘Splendid Beauty’ and ‘Self-Love.’”
On the top of the ceremony installation, a neon sign was hanging, with the words You Rock My World over a wooden heart. This custom piece, made by Durham-based Hex Neon, was real neon and will last for up to 30 years! Elopement statement pieces make great home decor afterward. A black and dark brown leather rug from The Studio by Tiger completed the ceremony setting, and officiant Magical Weddings by Carly brought their joyful energy to the scene.
Denise added, “To ground the installation and bring an earthy element, I displayed the entire plant including the bulb, wrapping each in moss. I brought ‘noir’ silk into the design, and because it is plant-dyed silk, it added living color to complement the living installation. I ordered the bulbs and started growing amaryllis six weeks prior to the event, and we stayed true to our core values: using only local blooms and sustainability. Did you know amaryllis bulbs can be viable for up to 75 years? We reused the 30 amaryllis bulbs and other natural elements, repurposed the cardboard boxes in our flower beds, composted the cut stems, and collected 10-15 zip ties and 3 rubber bands as the only waste.”
Magical Weddings by Carly said, “I love music, elopements, black wedding dresses, and video game arcades! It was a fun, beautiful design. I love dressing in theme for ceremonies so I painted my nails the dark red of one of the theme colors and wore a chunky black bracelet I found from my high school days that felt very rock and roll.”
As a January elopement, we were aware that winter weather in North Carolina is unpredictable, and we wanted to plan for anything. We love that BoxCar has this new outdoor space for an intimate ceremony and also has a large indoor event space, both featuring a dramatic door that’s perfect for a ceremony backdrop. We knew we’d be ready for any weather, and we were thrilled to have a comfortable and sunny day after a weekend of snow!
When it comes to winter weather plans, Brian Anthony Photography said, “We are firm believers that its always important to have a plan B, whatever that may look like – backup indoor options are always a plus. Also, this is one of those moments where an awesome planner can really save the day, as chances are they have seen most everything and will have great ideas to keep to your vision while keeping everyone safe & dry.”
Inside BoxCar’s event space, Partners in Planning created an awesome sweetheart table in front of grand wooden doors from the original building. The sweetheart table featured square gold mirrors in place of chargers, with black plates and flatware, a charcoal gray napkin, and a drinking goblet. The centerpiece included more long-stemmed flowers from Power Petals, and under the table, a charcoal gray leather rug and lanterns were set out. Two white and black guitars on either side of the table completed the look. The long built-in bar was decorated with candles, greenery, and wine bottles with custom labels, provided by Carla of Partners in Planning.
Carla said, “This style fit us well because I already had things in my inventory that I was able to make look cohesive with the other vendors’ looks and special touches. I supplied a foundation for the sweetheart table and bar décor, with two Cocktail tables for a couple of friends to attend for drinks and dessert with the elopers.”
A dessert table was set with cake pops and dessert shooters by Main Street Cake, who created four fun flavors for cake in shot glasses: Strawberry Margarita, Cookies ‘n Cream, Red Velvet, and Guinness & Baileys. The cake pops were red, black, and white and featured music notes.
Holly of Main Street Cake said, “The color scheme was really striking. There is a whole world of desserts that fall into the black-white-red theme, providing a huge selection of flavor options. I love miniature desserts, so the opportunity to take cake and put it into shooter-size glasses was hard to resist. For the cake pops, they can be dressed up or down and bedazzled in any number of colors. We went with sparkles and added edible chocolate music notes to tie in the rocker theme.”
The dessert table was also home to a beautiful keepsake frame by revelry + heart, which featured dry leaves matching the boutonniere, two black skeletons with the words ‘Til Death, and the couple’s names and wedding date.
Kasey of revelry + heart said, “I love merging opposites, black for a wedding always catches my eye, and rock music when traditional just makes me squeal. I love creating or endorsing the unexpected, the quirky, the non-traditional, so this was an obvious opportunity for me to jump in on. By creating a custom keepsake for our couple, I was able to provide something that lived beyond the fun of the day, permanently marking the occasion with something that encompassed the vibe and can be used to remember the emotions and memories captured for this celebration.”
“Everyone deserves to honor and remember the important moments in their life. I believe in keepsakes and these pieces are so unique, just like each couple. If you are sentimental and don’t have traditional mementos like ceremony programs, professional photos, or even a non-perishable bouquet, this piece is a special work of art that can encompass those emotions for you,” Kasey said.
We knew this couple would like nothing better than to rock out with their closest friends, so Greensboro-based Southern rock band Chuck Mountain was the perfect way to end the festivities. This three-piece band came in to perform a short set and give the couple a memorable first dance experience and reminded us all that intimate weddings rock.
The Downtown Rocker Barcade Elopement styled shoot was designed by ElopeNC as elopement inspiration. All featured items and services were graciously donated by the following incredible vendors. The prices listed are estimates provided by the vendors to reflect what a couple could expect to spend on this elopement. Total elopement cost: $9,430
Vendors (*ElopeNC member)
Venue: BoxCar Bar + Arcade Greensboro – $800
*Planner: Partners in Planning – $500
*Lead Photographer: Brian Anthony Photography – $1800
*Videographer: Summit to Sea Films – ($3000 Not included in total)
*Florist: Power Petals – $535
*Dessert: Main Street Cake – $100
*Officiant: Magical Weddings by Carly – $350
*Stationery/Keepsakes: revelry + heart – $495
Backdrop Decor: Hex Neon – $900
HMUA: Updo’s Studio – $250
Wedding Dress: The Magnolia Bride – $2,500
Groomswear: Bernard’s Formalwear – $200
Band: Chuck Mountain – $1000
Getting Ready Venue: The Historic Magnolia House
Jewelry: Diamonds Direct – ($8,500 Not included in total)
Rug Rental: The Studio by Tiger
Models Names: Ashley & LaVelle Bigelow
Sara Gibson Photography