A gay couple has turned their wedding into a real-life Disney fairytale asking their guests to dress up as their favourite film characters.
Garrett Smith and Jason Bitner, from Chicago, donned suits during the ceremony, their attire already offering hints of their upcoming character metamorphosis.
Smith wore a white blazer, green shirt and purple trousers, while Bitner sported blue trousers, yellow shirt, red bowtie and a white blazer with a black palm trees print.
During the reception, the couple transformed into their chosen characters, Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear from the 1995 Pixar hit Toy Story and its various sequels.
A Passion for Disney
The couple has been together for five years and got engaged at Disneyland two years ago. “At that time neither of us had any ideas or plans for what the wedding would be like,” Bitner told PinkNews.
“About a year out from the wedding we started to get more serious about the wedding. That’s when we were like this is our special day we should do what we want and have the things that we like.
“We love Halloween and we throw an elaborate themed party every year. We also enjoy Disney-bounding in our everyday and cosplaying at comic cons and the renaissance faire. So it was a logical decision to combine all of these things for our wedding!”
Bitner said the characters’ choice was based on the music they wanted for their first dance, the film’s trademark track “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
“Garrett wanted to dress as Buzz and Woody because ‘You’ve got a friend in me” is one of his favourite Disney songs, and has known for a long time he wanted that to be the song he danced to as his first dance,” he said. “So of course [I] had to be Sheriff Woody. Both characters are reminiscent of each of our personalities.”
Bitner said the dance, choreographed by their friend Alesha Bales, was one of their favourite parts of the day. For the dance, filmed by Johnny Fentry Jr. at Krezzyy Studios and uploaded on YouTube, Bales mixed together a jazz version of the song with a Spanish cover, reminiscing of the scene in Toy Story 3 when Buzz’s settings are accidentally switched to Spanish mode.
The couple also enlisted the services of wedding photographer Tiffany Brandt to immortalise their special day. The photographer then showcased the pictures on her website for the world to enjoy.
“Jason and Garrett’s ceremony was extraordinary, hilarious and uniquely their own. After sharing funny and sweet stories from their past, a ceremonial Mai Tai was concocted and drank among the grooms. The rings were placed, the first kiss was had and the guests went wild! The love between Jason and Garrett, and the support from their friends and family was palpable,” Brandt wrote.
All dressed up
The photos show the wedding in all its colourful characters, from Tarzan and Mary Poppins, to Alice in Wonderland’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee, as well as its fair share of princesses and princes. The couple’s parents also did their part, dressing up as The Little Mermaid‘s Ursula and King Triton, Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Jack Sparrow and Peter Pan‘s Tinkerbell.
“Family and friends must have thought we were crazy to have a costume wedding in the middle of August. But we were happily surprised that most all of our guests were really into it and dressed for the occasion, even our dog!” Bitner said.
The photographer told PinkNews she and her boyfriend Kip Gire, who is her partner both in business and in life, had a great time working at the wedding.
“There is something to be said about a wedding where if you weren’t in costume, you were the odd one out!
“The grooms at this event are completely adorable and in love, it certainly makes for an amazing and fun wedding to photograph. The colourful costumes and amazing décor allowed us to easily show all of the fun with the pictures. We definitely had such a blast!” she said.
Brandt and her partner wore their work clothes—all-black outfits—to the wedding, although the couple told them they could have joined in the dressing up fun.
“If I had chosen to dress up, I would choose Merida from Brave and Kip would have been Russell, the scout lad from Up,” she said.
This story was updated with quotes from Jason Bitner received after publication by Pink News.