Nikki and Kyle are self-described nerds. They’ve known each other since they were kids and dated for five years before getting engaged. When they started wedding planning, one theme emerged: Game of Thrones.
Both the bride and groom have read all the GoT books and love the TV show, so it was a logical choice for their wedding. “Not only did we both love it, but also there was just so much to draw from, it seemed like it would be really doable,” says Nikki.
“The wedding practically planned itself, and we somehow managed to find the perfect folks to work with on pretty much all the various aspects of the wedding,” says Kyle.
Costuming the 12-person wedding party could have been a challenge but it wasn’t. Nemmy Caceres hand-crafted the cloaks and Roxanne Femling from the UC Davis theatre department hand-crafted the outfits.
Nikki’s dress was a replica of a Daenerys’ dress from GoT. Kyle wore a custom-made wool cloak with the colors and sigil of House Stark, white with grey on the edges.
Members of the wedding party had fittings at UC Davis’s theatre department. “We had the option of buying our outfits entirely or simply letting the theater department have the costumes back after the wedding was over,” says Kyle. “I bought mine, of course.”
Most of the 75 guests loved the theme, even ones who didn’t quite understand GoT. About half the attendees dressed up in costume too.
“We took most aspects of the ceremony from straight out of Game of Thrones,” says Kyle, explaining the groomsmen came out first and stood on both sides of the path with swords drawn.
Next the bridesmaids lined up, followed by the mother of the bride and the groom with his parents. They all walked in to “Storybook Love.”
Then Nikki and her father entered while the groomsmen saluted with swords held high. Kyle was wowed by Nikki. “She looked so beautiful, so wispy and elegant, and happy and smiling,” he says.
Nikki says it was, “magical standing there and seeing him and knowing that we would get to be together for the rest of our lives. Nothing can beat that feeling.”
Nikki’s brother Matthew officiated the ceremony. During the ceremony, the couple had a bride cloak exchange. Nikki’s handmade cloak was two-sided: she entered with one side Targaryen. Then Kyle turned her cloak to the Stark side, matching his cloak, “symbolizing that we were now of one house,” says Nikki.
Then they had a hand-fasting where the officiant tied the couple’s hands together and told guests the couple, “are one heart, one flesh, one soul.”
Next, Nikki and Kyle exchanged vows straight from GoT: “Father, Smith, Warrior, Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger. I am his/hers, s/he is mine. From this day, until the end of my days.”
“I was super happy how well people responded to our theme and our ceremony, which was definitely out of the ordinary,” says Nikki.
— Kristen Castillo
Nikki & Kyle's Wedding Resources
Iron Lily Couture (cloak)
The Sanctuary Beach Resort in Monterey, CA, The Pacifica Beach Hotel in Pacifica, CA, and with Nikki’s brother Matt and his wife Valerie at their home in San Jose, CA
“The Bear and the Maiden Fair” by The Hold Steady
“Not Even the King” by Alicia Keys
“Not Even the King” by Alicia Keys
“Shut Up and Smile” by Bowling for Soup
“Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles
We had a cutting cake for just Kyle and me, and we had cupcakes for all our guests. The cutting cake was orange and chocolate marbled cake with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting that was covered in fondant black/grey dragon scales with a red fondant dragon on the side and a gold fondant crown on top! It was just so cool looking. The cupcakes were chocolate with raspberry buttercream frosting with a fondant dire wolf, red velvet with cream cheese frosting and a fondant dragon, and orange with white chocolate buttercream frosting and a fondant crown.
Nikki created paper flowers from Game of Thrones book pages, hand dying them individually for her bouquet. Nikki also made dragon eggs nests (including dragon eggs) for each bridesmaid in their house colors.
We actually did have a few flowers on the tables that were left over from the wedding the day before (unplanned).
Laser cut wooden coasters (with different minor house crests and names on them) created as a gift by Scott Goff with Ponoko.
Special moment: we had a very nontraditional wedding, but my (Nikki) whole family is rather religious. No one gave us a hard time at all for not having a more traditional wedding, but my dad ended up adding just enough to make it perfect. At the very end of his speech he said that when Kyle came to him to ask for his blessing, he didn’t give it, he gave his permission. He however will now give his blessing. “The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious to thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”
Unique moment: The speech my (Nikki’s) brother Tim gave. He gave a speech that told of our first meeting, a snow trip with my uncle when we were both pretty young (8 & 12), as if we were a princess and prince from neighboring lands. He snuck Game of Thrones references all throughout it. It was just so cool, it was perfect for our theme and told our story in the sweetest way. During the speech his fiancée came out and presented us with a chest of 3 handcrafted dragon eggs, just like Daenerys was presented at her wedding. It was such an awesome speech!
Great Vendors: All of our vendors were really amazing, but I’d really have to give a shout out to our photographer, Justin Buettner. He really went above and beyond; we didn’t have a videographer, so he grabbed his camera and caught on video our ceremony, speeches, and shoe game! He did our engagement photos as well and dragged all our stuff around a castle while we took pictures (not even bothering to let us offer to help). He was so much fun to work with and took our crazy ideas and ran with it. We wanted fun photos and his level of enthusiasm was palpable. He did some amazing post work where he Photoshopped in dragons and even me pushing Kyle into a lake.
Do a theme wedding, something you both love. It doesn’t matter what it is or how far you want to commit to it, just do it. It makes the day so much fun, gives you a bit of a guide “Does this relate to the theme? Yes? Awesome!” and the vendors love you.
Almost everyone we worked with remarked how they were excited to do a theme wedding since it was so unusual.
Have it earlier in the day. Because it was an hour outside of town and a little in the middle of nowhere, a lot of guests ended up leaving before the reception was over (and it was only a 5 ½ hour wedding & reception together). We also had planned on writing our own vows, but just ran out of time. We however have decided to write them and exchange them for our first anniversary.