Love is in the air. You met the perfect person at the comic book store. You both reached for the latest issue of Hellboy at exactly the same time. Several passionate rants about the changes in the Star Wars movies, multiple discussions about the best version of Dungeons and Dragons, and one Doctor Who marathon later, you’ve decided it was meant to be. You’re taking the plunge, and you’ve decided to weave your love for all things nerdy into your wedding day. Chances are the latest issue of Brides magazine isn’t going to give you the right kind of inspiration or the best resources. Since ads for custom wedding lightsabers don’t tend to find their way into the pages of mainstream planning magazines, you have to look outside the white, lacy box. We’re here to help.
This is where it starts: one question, one ring. It’s like Lord of the Rings except without the fiery chasm at the end (hopefully). This is the time to pull all your tricks out of the bag. Proposals don’t have to be big or flashy by any means, but they should be memorable. They should be meaningful to the couple, and for some that means a quiet moment and for others it means getting Patrick Stewart to bless the engagement with a signature line:
It might not get much nerdier than proposing on a convention floor, but other settings can fit the bill. Choose the Gamestop where you met, a location from a film or television series you both love, or be like this guy and make your living room into the castle from Super Mario and propose there.
You can add extra flair to your proposal by considering ring presentation. The plain box works, but it’s not a bad idea to dress it up. You could make a Pokeball ring box or tuck the engagement ring away inside a Harry Potter book. If your significant other has a sense of humor and likes Dune, a gom jabbar box of pain with a ring in the bottom could be just right.
Planning the Details – Rings and Invitations
You rolled a natural 20 on the proposal, and your partner said yes. It’s time to move to the planning stage. Planning a wedding means dealing with an unending stream of details. You can cut out whichever ones don’t suit you, but a few facets are standard. Unless you’re eloping, you’ll have to send out some invitations. You’ll also need to pick out rings. Fortunately, there are plenty of geeky options.
It’s not unusual for wedding invitations to show up with glitter and lots of frills. Why go that route when you can have zombies on your invitation? To change it up from the normal name/date/location format, you can make the invitation a movie poster or a comic book cover. Use the periodic table or action figure photography to announce your special day. You can include the glittery bits if you must.
Rings. Plain bands are made to be engraved or otherwise customized. You’ll be wearing them forever, so make them into something you’ll be attached to. You could have the rings marked with Elvish, Aurebesh, or the fictional language of your choosing. Choose bands with moving parts like the Kinekt gear ring or rings made from meteorites. Incorporate movie quotes, like these “I love you, I know” rings, or a shared hobby, like these rings based a Leica camera lens.
The Big Day
You’ve sent the invitations on parchment scrolls via owls that look like Hedwig, guests have RSVP’d, and the day of your nuptials has arrived. Start your day with Wheaties and mana potion because you’ve got to survive the ceremony, a million photographs, and the reception. Tie the whole day of events together with overreaching themes such as:
Star Wars – Dubbed “my big fat geek wedding,” this ultimate Star Wars themed wedding is most impressive. The wedding party and guests were in costumes from the galaxy far, far away. Different pieces of John William’s score played for all the entrances, R2-D2 brought the ring, the invitation matched the opening crawl from the films, and the table decorations were different planets from the Star Wars universe.
Cosplay – Everyone sort of plays dress-up for weddings. Why not encourage your guests to ditch the uncomfortable heels in favor of tights? This group includes a range of characters from Jessica Rabbit to Captain America. You can leave it wide open, or you can be specific and ask guests to come as their favorite X-Men. It’s much more fun than buying a pastel dress you’ll never wear again.
Dinosaurs – If you can’t limit your wedding to one theme, pick a primary one and set everything else against its backdrop. This wedding takes place in a natural history museum and combines dinosaurs, science fiction, and gaming elegantly.
Maybe choosing a venue and managing vendors and decisions isn’t for you. You can have a ready made nerd wedding by getting hitched at a convention or renaissance faire. Last year, Star Wars Celebration V had a commitment chapel, and ZomBcon had Bruce Campbell officiate a zombie wedding.
If it’s not in the cards for your entire wedding to ooze with geek, you can at least make your photographs stand out. You and your wedding party don’t even need to be in costume. Re-create an iconic scene like this one from Battlestar Galactica (which was, of course, inspired by da Vinci’s Last Supper).
And it’s never a bad idea to add zombies to your wedding portraits.
Cake is a form of expression – tasty, delicious expression. If you can dream it, someone in the world can bake it (and make it entirely too attractive to slice and eat). To inspire you and make you hungry:
Eating and tabletop gaming go together like Buffy and Angel. This D&D cake features an old-school chart, figures, and a dragon. I hope the wedding reception tables were covered in dungeon maps.
If you look at your cake and feel like something is missing, just add gore. It works for this wampa and tauntaun confection, and maybe it will scare the guests off and leave more cake for you.
Speaking of blood, a little bit of brain atop an otherwise tasteful cake is pretty perfect. Photo by Dayna Hartley; Cake by Katie Karcher, owner of the Seasoning restaurant in Benton, Illinois.
Some people don’t think blood and guts have a place at a wedding. I can understand that. This Super Mario Bros. cake is a charming and whimsical alternative.
Stay Puft vs. Ghostbusters. What more do I need to say?
Want more cake ideas? Browse tons of nerd cakes at our sister site That’s Nerdalicious!
After all of the planning and stress of the wedding, you will desperately need a vacation. If you have the funds and love seeing movie locations, consider going to New Zealand to see sets from Lord of the Rings or to Tunisia to see the Lars homestead from Star Wars. If you’re fascinated by tall ships, go on a working cruise to learn how they work. It might not be the most romantic option, but you aren’t likely to forget it. Drive to Area 51, visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or go on an epic museum tour. There’s also something to be said for staying home with a projector and a pile of movies.
Mishmash any combination of the above with your own nerdy passions, and you’ll create an unforgettable day. Remember, in theory, you only get married once. Put your time and energy into the aspects of the wedding that matter most to you. It’s easy to get lost in the details and be distracted by new, shiny ideas and suggestions from well-meaning family members and friends. Focus—and don’t let anyone talk you out of getting married in the desert and pretending its Tatooine. I know I won’t.
And if you still haven’t found your nerdy soul mate, don’t worry—we have some tips for you as well.