A Cuban-American Moonrise Kingdom-themed retro wedding *

A Cuban-American Moonrise Kingdom-themed retro wedding *

Photos by Ryan Arnst

Offbeat partners: Krystal & Ian

Date and location of wedding: Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs, FL — 02/02/2020

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding was a Moonrise Kingdom-themed epic night in which we celebrated everything and everyone we love. Ian and I became friends when we were 12 years old and many years later, decided to give dating a shot (best decision ever!). One of our favorite movies, Moonrise Kingdom, seemed like the perfect choice for our wedding theme.

He’s my absolute best friend and even though we are much older than 12 now, we are still very much kids at heart (I’m obsessed with Wes Anderson). I also LOVE vintage with a passion and when I’m not acting or writing songs, I’m dressing in vintage and recreating my favorite film shots on IG!

I incorporated vintage items since Moonrise takes place during my favorite era: the 60s! I had vintage luggage and camping gear at every table, a vintage dress and veil, and even an epic 60s vintage reception jumpsuit (comfort is everything)!

Ian and I were both born in Miami. My family is from Cuba and Ian is half Cuban and half American. We did a special Cuban Cafecito with Tata (my grandmother) ceremony as our “Unity Ceremony”… more about that later!

One of our best friends, Tim (who I started a theatre company with) officiated, and my friend Jeanine sang… while My Tio (who brought music into my life) and his daughter played Sea of Love as our entrance song.

One of the most magical moments was walking out of our ceremony to the main Moonrise Kingdom theme song while giant, handmade, colorful pom-poms (in place of a rice toss) soared into the air as the sunset!

Tell us about the ceremony:
My first love was music, so my greatest music teacher, my Tio, played Sea Of Love along with my little cousin Sarah and friend Jeanine as we walked down the aisle. We arranged our own flowers in the color palette: pink roses, Crespidias, Tulips, and tiny baby pineapples! Keeping the Child-like theme, my bridesmaids had little baskets with rose petals. They tossed them as they walked, so they could be flower girls along with THE flower girl, our hilariously cute niece Ellie.

Tim, one of our best friends, officiated. (Script attached below). We let him take the lead and just asked him not to say “You may now kiss the bride” at the end, as it didn’t feel right for us. He was incredible. Readings: Since I love Mr Rogers, My Tia read The lyrics to Mr. Roger’s “It’s you I like”. Ian and I love sci-fi but Ian’s favorite is Star Trek, so his father read a beautiful TNG quote.

Favorite moment: The Unity Ceremony. I chose to create my own and honor my Cuban heritage and culture. Tata, My grandmother and matriarch of our family, made us cafecito. She poured it for us in the vintage cups that she’s had since she came to this country and gave it to us “Para hacer la vida más dulce.” To make life sweeter. I had lived with her and my mother my whole life. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to see her for nearly a year after that due to the pandemic. The Cafecito and the moment were delicious and bittersweet.

Can we talk about the wedding pompoms?

With the occasional help from loved ones poking fun at me but happy to help, I handmade 600 giant yarn pompoms in our color scheme for the sole purpose of them being thrown at us after our ceremony.

I put 4 or so in canvas pouches with a logo my talented graphic designer friend Kim Daley designed for us (Of course, with a Wes Anderson quote). “Songs From Friday Afternoons, Op. 7: “Cuckoo!”” from the Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack played and ALL OF OUR LOVED ONES THREW POM POMS AS THE SUNSET! Magic. Pure magic.

After the wedding, I repurposed the wedding day pompoms as pompom wreathes! I gave one to Ian’s family, one to mine, and one for us!

Excerpt from Tim’s Script:

In the critically acclaimed and audience beloved 2012 Wes Anderson film, “Moonrise Kingdom” the 12yo lead characters, Suzy and Sam, share a scene on the beach that I think will help guide us today. Sam asks Suzy: So, what do you want to be when you grow up? Suzy replies: i don’t know…I want to go on adventures I think…not get stuck in one place. How about you? “Go on adventures too, not get stuck too.”We have gathered here today to celebrate the union of Krystal Valdes and Ian Moore. Marriage is miraculous and challenging and inspiring and beautiful and today we get to celebrate Ian and Krystal’s embarking on this new adventure together. Marriage is an adventure, but not just one where you travel the world and visit new places and try new things and meet new people and find a passion and change the word together. It’s also an adventure into intimacy and honesty. The scene goes on and Sam confesses Suzy “It’s possible I may wet the bed, by the way, later I mean.” “Ok.” “I wish i didn’t have to mention it, but just in case i don’t want to make you be offended.” “Of course I won’t.” Is there anything we humans crave more than having someone look us in the eyes and say “I accept you.” And not just when we’re crushing it in life or when we’re looking really great or succeeding in all the different ways we are societally pressured to measure success. But when we’re at our worst. When we’ve shared that dark secret or deep regret. When we wet the bed. The “I accept you” on the back end of those moments is what love is. It’s what marriage is about. It’s the for better or worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer..What today means. This ceremony. Your vows. The rings. All the things…Is that you commit to the “i love you and the i love you too” when you disagree, when you hurt each other, when you’re confronted with your own selfishness because of each other. You commit to helping each other become better versions of yourself. You commit to saying “i accept you”, even under the most challenging times. I asked Krystal and Ian what the best adventure they’ve been on together. Both said: Europe. Walked to Stonehenge from the cottage they were staying at. Had to walk through a bunch of farms. Ian insisted they go the wrong way. They ended up on a highway and a 3k walk became a 7 mile hike. Once they got to stone henge it started raining so they had to sneak onto a tour buss to avoid the rain and make it back to their cottage. The best adventures are the ones when you’re with someone you love and everything goes wrong.

Tell us about the reception:

At the reception, we all walked out to “Wouldn’t it be nice” by The Beach Boys! We had disposable film cameras at every table which looked like vintage 60s, Moonrise Kingdom era Brownie cameras with a life aquatic quote in the back. Two words: amazing candids! It was so fun to see our wedding reception fiesta through the perspective of the people at each individual table.

We found all sorts of pictures from nice family photos and pictures of kids dancing to my grandmother breaking it down and some of our friends literally making toilet paper hats in the bathroom.

We had classic Wes Anderson character hats such as red beanies for The Life Aquatic and, of course, the Sam ad Suzie hats from Moonrise Kingdom that floated around the party as we danced all night. I chose not to do a bouquet/garter toss, as the concept seemed a little problematic too me and, instead, replaced the time slot with strictly my absolute favorite Cuban songs. It was lovely to see so many different people dance to them.

For our first dance, we used The Moon Song from the film “Her” because it was one of the first things we bonded over when we first started dating. As the Bride and father dance, we danced to OUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SONG: What’s up by 4 Non Blondes and although it initially started as a sensible dance, it resulted in an epic latino karaoke rendition of the tune with everyone giggling and belting their hearts out! Later into the night, I changed into a vintage 60s jumpsuit and sneakers!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
The most important lesson I learned: The trick to making the process easier is prioritizing pure joy over flashy expensive stuff that stresses you out at the end of the day. From a family of immigrants, I couldn’t afford to have a giant flashy wedding. I had to sit and prioritize. Is it more important to have 10 more loved ones attend or to have the light pink table napkins? Is it more important to have a venue that means a lot to us because of where we met, a DJ friend that we love, and more time to celebrate together or 5 food options for everyone and ridiculously expensive tables that look nice but are only enjoyed for 3 hours?

The limitations of the budget forced me to think creatively, which, as an actor and musician, is one of my favorite things to do! My loved ones make me happy. Music makes me happy. Wes Anderson makes me happy. So those are the “themes” I leaned into and prioritized as I planned. Soon enough, I found myself happily making giant colorful pompoms everywhere I went!

Also, having our rehearsal dinner at our favorite local diner, owned by the people that own our first date spot! and focussing on music selections, readings, and ceremonies that made me smile! Having a housewarming party as our afterparty! and in a soft panic, trying to hilariously learn the art of arranging flowers with my girls! After our wedding, we immediately went into the pandemic and I’m so grateful that we had a modest budget with clear priorities and goals. It was pure happiness.


Photographer: @ryanarnst
Dress, veil, table decorations, ceremony decorations: Vintage, thrifted.
Wedding dress ceremony topper: Anthropologie, thrifted on Poshmark
Afterparty 60s jumper : @sweetcarolinesvintage
Shoes: Unique Vintage
Flowers: Purchased wholesale, DIY arrangements.
Venue: @curtissmansion
DJ: @uplightmiami
Caterer: Maggie from miamiparty-rentals.com
Pom-pom supplies, along with most other craft supplies needed: Michaels


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