Weddings, if not the times, are definitely changing. Once upon a time, pictures of the bride with her wedding finery and cheesy shots of the couple inside champagne bottles, bubbles, hearts, or flower arches were de rigeur. Wedding guests were used to being pestered by aggressive roving freelance photographers who charged an arm and a leg for hideous photos. Candid photos of the newlyweds and their guests were unheard of, as were things like photo booths and guests snapping photos of their own at the event.
Thank goodness these days, you can have your wedding your way, any way you like. Couples today like to share their story with their guests, and one of the most popular ways to do so is to have non-traditional pre-nuptial photoshoots.
This Halloween-themed pre-nup shoot is one of the most interesting we have seen just yet. Check out their video and how couple, Ivan and Kristine prepped for their shoot.
WE: Why did you choose Nightmare Before Christmas as your theme?
We chose Nightmare Before Christmas as our wedding theme and inspiration of our save-the-date shoot because the film (directed by Tim Burton and released in the 90s) is a favorite of ours. It’s also able to mix the playfulness and whimsy of both Halloween and Christmas — two holidays that have an important meaning in our lives. We met at a Halloween party in 2015 and we became a couple just a few days before Christmas that same year. We love Halloween and we really like the film’s concept of Halloween taking over Christmas. In our save-the-date video that features a spooky couple (we drew inspiration from The Addams Family) preparing for Christmas. We wanted to give our audience a bit of a laugh and so you see the couple getting into some dark but funny situations — from making skeleton gingerbread cookies to feeding a man-eating-plant — as they decorate their house for Christmas. You’ll see a lot of Halloween film references throughout the video.
I think our theme Nightmare before Christmas embodies not just the circumstance of how our relationship started but also our personalities. We embrace being different and we have a lot of fun misadventures. On top of that, we’re just drawn to creativity and dark humor (Note: We don’t dress up as Halloween characters on a daily basis though).
WE: How much work went into the preparation and the shoot?
This video was 2 years in the making since we were supposed to get married in 2020. Because of the pandemic, we ended up having an intimate civil wedding in 2020 and decided to delay our church wedding and reception for 2022. During the lockdown, we started working on our props for both the prenup and the wedding. Ivan sculpted the man-eating-plant from clay and I helped paint the gingerbread men. Some of the props seen in the film such as the Christmas tree and wreaths will be used for the wedding. Ivan, who is also a commercial director, had a storyboard made and we did a lot of planning behind the scenes. We did not have a stylist so we had to figure out our own wardrobe. Thankfully, our suppliers were very open to our story idea and the unconventional theme.
WE: Were you worried about how people would react to the video?
I was quite worried about how people would react, especially since Halloween is not widely celebrated in the Philippines. In the US, Halloween weddings have actually become more common. We’ve been following a couple of large Facebook groups for Halloween weddings.
Nightmare Before Christmas really made a lot of sense for us and we didn’t want to conform to the usual wedding themes that are trendy right now. We are very proud of what we produced and we just prepared ourselves for possible negative feedback. Thankfully, our friends and family loved the concept. We think we were able to execute the idea as planned — making it look fun and whimsical but also elegant and sophisticated.
WE: What is your advice for couples who are considering unconventional wedding and prenup themes?
Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events. It would be great to look back at your wedding photos and videos and see how the theme reflected your personality and uniqueness. We wish more couples would consider more adventurous themes. At the end of the day, the wedding is about you. For us, we just wanted to have fun and showcase our creativity. What’s important is that you are happy and you have no regrets.
Credits: Events by Marge l Pragma | DreamCatchers PhotoCinema | Chateau de Tagaytay | Raffy Prieto Francisco | Gown Rental Manila | Gown Republic | Special thanks to Marge Montemayor