The Hunger Games has captured the imaginations of a lot of people with its strong visuals and heart-wrenching plot. It's a story that's easy to connect with emotionally--and let's not forget the fact that the lead female rocked some amazing braids the whole movie. It inspired a nail polish line, multiple fan sites, a Tumblr, and the adoration of fashion and pop culture sites alike (yeah, us too), even if the costumes ultimately disappointed the fashion media. And now...weddings? In the weeks after the movie’s premiere, various photographers staged at least three (that we found) separate and elaborate Hunger Games wedding shoots. Courtney Clarke, a photographer based out of Vancouver Island, BC, ran her photos exclusively on WeddingChicks, where they promptly went viral. Clarke told us she’s a Hunger Games fan, pure and simple (She also did a “Katniss, Girl on Fire” shoot which you can see here). Carmen Santorelli, another self-professed Hunger Games fan, also shot a full-on fantasy spread, as did photographer Meghan Christine.
All of these shoots were carefully thought-out, and meant to represent a full wedding; they’re not just a bride in a Katniss braid. That means table settings, bride and groom outfits, arrow and mockingjay paraphernalia, and even Prim. It should be noted, though, that these were staged shoots. They aren’t from actual weddings. So the question is, are real brides going to go for it?
The story of the Hunger Games, while it definitely has romantic elements (and involves an actual wedding later on in the trilogy), is still quite dark. A commenter on a forum on The Knot put it pretty succinctly:
Wtf about children killing other children in the name of the government says wedding?
The Wedding and Event Institute (WEI), an industry organization which is hosting a Hunger Games themed wedding contest, has the answer:
We already know and understand that this is a dark movie with a variety of underlying meanings, but that is not our focus. Neither is the plot, which sees 24 kids aged between 12-18 fighting to the death for entertainment value. We are not here to judge. However, we do know that we will see Hunger Games inspired weddings in 2012-2013 and there are many inspirations that can be drawn from it.
WEI is recruiting 12 “tributes” who will each represent one area of wedding planning like catering, music, bridal attire, floral, and hair and makeup. Each tribute will design an inspiration board and submit a written Hunger Games concept. The concepts will be made public and they have to get “sponsors” and votes. The winner gets an iPad, a book, a class and some other small prizes. Kylie Carlson, the founder of WEI, is gearing up for a 2012-2013 wedding season full of Katniss and Peeta wannabes and she's ready for it. Carlson said in a relase, “One of the main jobs of a wedding planner, stylist or designer is to come up with concepts and designs based on the requirements of our clients, however unusual they might be.”
So what exactly are brides thinking when they plan a themed wedding?
We spoke to Yolanda Crous, the senior articles editor at Brides magazine for her take on it. Pop culture themed weddings have become popular in the past few years, and she acknowledged that movies like Twilight inspire a lot of weddings. “In the last decade or so brides and couples are really trying to create weddings that say something about them and that feel unique to them,” Crous told us. “And one way they do this is by creating a themed wedding. Often that ends up revolving around some kind of pop cultural event.” She’s even heard of Office themed weddings, and Titanic themes are having a resurgence thanks to the anniversary and re-release of the movie (talk about a dark event around which to plan a wedding!)
But she suspects that rather than go for a full District 12 style wedding such as those depicted by the photographers featured here, brides will pick pieces to use. “In the bridal market now, there’s a lot of red dresses,” she said. “I definitely can see Hunger Games increasing the interest in these amazing tomato red, fire red colored wedding dresses--particularly for bridesmaids dresses in the next few months.” She thinks Katniss’ braid will also probably be a big hair trend.
The photographers haven’t had inquiries from brides wanting to stage a full Hunger Games wedding yet, but Courtney Clarke said, “I have had feedback from brides who were very drawn to elements from our shoot and are planning to include them in their wedding; from the rustic feel of the table and cake design, to the the gorgeous braids worn by our Katniss and the small details like the fern leaf accent in the lovely bottles serving as candle stick holders.” The Knot commenters concurred, one saying on a forum, “I do think some of the details they incorporated are very cool (cake, invitations, etc.)"
So time will tell, but the franchise is going to be around for the next few years. Do you like the idea of a Hunger Games themed wedding? Click through to see more pictures from the gorgeous shoots.
Photo shoot credits: CARMEN SANTORELLI Photography: Carmen Santorelli Photography Planner: Stacie Shea Events Stylist Assistant: Lauren Megerdichian Photography Assistant: Caroline Frost Photography ( Video: DMO Films Makeup and Hair: Erica Ogawa Wedding Gowns: Monique Lhuillier and Lazaro from Kleinfeld Bridal Tuxedo: Hugo Boss provided by Kleinfeld Bridal Shoes: Aruna Seth provided by Gabriella’s New York Hair Accessories: Kleinfeld Bridal and Gabriella NY Location: Horsefly Farm (Private Residence), North Salem, NY Floral Design: AvaFlora Paper Jessica Haley Ink Food: Pickles and Pies ( Cake & Cupcakes: Sweet Lisa's Vintage Rentals: The Vintage Rental Company Female Talent: Flavia Barbat Male Talent: Randall Harris
COURTNEY CLARKE Photographer: Courtney Clarke Photography Makeup: Lindsay Archdekin Hair: Danielle Bennett Cake: Ooh La La Cupcakes Dress Designer: Pronovias Flowers: Erica Smolders of Rook & Rose Floral Design Boutique Stationery: Joann Lee of TingTing Paperie Photographer Assistant: Rachel Broughton Furniture Sourcing: Leanne McKeachie Design Model (Katniss): Jill McQuary Model (Prim): Grace with Coultish Management Table & Food Styling: Erica Smolders & Ellie Chapple of Rook & Rose Floral Design Boutique Bridal gowns provided by Blush Bridal Boutique Stylist: Khloe Campbell Stylist Assistant: Whitney Buczkowski