Turning an Art Exhibition into a Wedding Reception

Two musicians have upended the traditional wedding, making their day extra special to them, creating an art exhibit wedding reception. The worldwide wedding market is at the value of $300 billion business dollars, where romance is exploited to such a high level that getting married is often the most expensive endeavor of a person’s life, besides from buying a house. Although wedding traditions seem to be governed by an iron fist, it is shocking to understand that significant retailers devised most of our habits; such as the white dress, diamond ring, gift registry, expensive wedding accommodation, and long list of guests during a ‘traditional’ wedding.

Miami is Nice, an art exhibit collection hosted at SpaceCamp, features the work of 45 artists from throughout the nation and looks nothing like traditional wedding art. Handler, a photographer, and Horan, a dancer, got engaged, and they then made a decision to plan their wedding about The Golden Girls, an 80s sitcom comprising four feisty older women living together in Miami, who became queer icons for addressing serious political and social issues such as the AIDS crisis, homosexual rights, feminine sexuality, and interracial marriage. In the long run, Handler and Horan decided to curate a thematic art exhibition as the setting for their marriage.

As Handler and Horan had little experience with exhibitions and weddings, they partnered with Michelle Gomez, a modern curator who conducts Creative Unions; an event planning company designed to incorporate contemporary art into parties, and with Carlyn Thomas, curator in Terrault Contemporary to plan every detail, including a nationwide call for entry requesting for homosexual, Miami, wedding, and Golden Girls inspired art. A few of the items used during the wedding included the Leah Guadagnoli’s and Frank Stella-meets-home products terracotta relief sculptures, which join pastel beach house décor with natural late 80s assemblage. For the exhibitions decor, Alex Ebstein’s collaged yoga mats of horizontal Matisse-esque shapes of hot pink, teal, and white sign in Miami in the ’80s, but also aestheticize present exercise culture. A mirror sculpture, which was neon lined by Esther Ruiz floats on an oblong hot pink glow on the wall around it, offering an abstract window into another world where geometric principles govern was also designed for the couple to be. The wedding altar was designed especially for the grooms by Anya Mizani and is among the most dramatic pieces in the series. It comprised of a human-sized pink neon rectangle, it is full of big, faux tropical leaves in green and glistening gold. Not only an altar for the ceremony, this piece reinforces the stunning spectacle of the wedding for a performance.

During the wedding ceremony, Kate Folson and Sarah Beth Oppenheim performed first choreography where two distinct entities merge into a single, borrowing moves from classical and nontraditional dance, with additional performances during the day. The wedding vows have been punctuated with interactive art. Each guest was given a print by Jimmy Malone to hold up, presenting a purple sea of the four Golden Girls’ faces, a symbolic gesture of friends and loved ones.

The ceremony, which was invite-only, was held a week after the exhibit’s public opening wedding reception, which gained several hundred attendees. What is most important about all of the different types of events embedded in Miami is Nice, such as the introduction, wedding, and additional programming, is their cohesion and diversity. This project makes you aware of precisely how much space exists within the modern wedding tradition to subvert, destroy, and reconstruct what, for many people is the most sacred occasion of their lives. And with the support of art, Handler and Horan have constructed a vision of a life worth living, and celebrated like it’s 1989.