May the 4th be with you! Our guide to having a Star Wars wedding

Words: Paul F. Cockburn

When Jennifer Landa married Joshua Busch in Los Angeles early in 2015, she probably didn’t expect images of their wedding to pop up around the world, courtesy of the internet. But that’s what happens when you opt for a Star Wars-themed wedding that manages to combine elements of the iconic film series with an overall look that’s still somehow classy.

For the most part, however, the details were quite subtle: a sparkling Stormtrooper belt as part of Jennifer’s dress; her flower girls’ hair styled with Princess Leia ‘buns’; reception guests sat at tables designated for the likes of ‘Jedi’, ‘Rebel’, ‘Droid’ or ‘X-Wing Pilot’; plus a discreet white-icing Millennium Falcon flying onto the top tier of the wedding cake.

That said, the bride couldn’t entirely resist the more obvious: her “cherry on the top”, as she puts it, was having two Stormtroopers to greet guests, escort her up the aisle and stand guard throughout the ceremony. Guests were given their own lightsabers; and, to Jennifer’s delight, her father dressed up as Darth Vader – complete with breathing apparatus and lightsaber – for their dance together.

While the traditional aspects of a wedding still have great appeal, more couples than ever before are looking to personalise certain aspects of the day by incorporating elements that express their particular interests. Given that several generations have now grown up watching the Star Wars films – the first released back in 1977 – it’s hardly surprising that George Lucas’s iconic tales of Good versus Evil in “a galaxy far, far away” are now inspiring a lot of weddings.

“People express their passions in their wedding cakes,” says Sammy Harrison, of Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes in Linlithgow. “It can range from a subtle reference to a full-blown four-tier black-iced Batman cake. Some want a classically elegant three- or four-tier cake, but maybe place character figures on every tier. Sometimes, they just want a little subtle in-joke.”

Not that having a Yoda or Darth Vader cake is your only option. As the likes of Etsy and Pinterest clearly show, wedding organisers should have no trouble sourcing Star Wars-themed wedding paraphernalia. You can get Star Wars-inspired confetti, Star Wars-styled wedding invitations and cards, and even beautifully made Death Star or droid-style his-and-her wedding rings. 

Cacá Santoro PhotographyBrides can wear a Star Wars wedding garter, while grooms can opt for Storm-trooper cufflinks; happy couples can raise a toast with Star Wars-styled champagne glasses. Hand out sufficient lightsabers and any couple, no matter how they’re dressed, can progress through a neon processional archway. If you’re really splashing out, you can even deck out your venue with an aisle runner complete with romantic message in the style of the films’ scrolling introductions!

While there is a huge range of Star Wars fancy-dress costumes available to buy and to hire, many are (perhaps) of the slightly cheap-looking, one-size-fits-all variety, so if that’s your preference then it pays to be careful, and to individualise them where possible.

Arguably, if you’re such Star Wars fans that you already have your own costumes, then one option – which can help keep the costs down – is to follow the lead of Duncan Thomson and Sammi Gardner who, in 2009, invited family and friends to dress up as characters from the films. Not only that, but they exchanged vows inspired by some of their favourite scenes: so, for example, Duncan promised to protect his wife “from the Dark Side, through hyperspace and into the far reaches of the galaxy”.

Given the number of costumes among the congregation, Duncan and Sammi’s day was certainly towards the more extreme end of Star Wars-themed weddings, but you could follow them in a more subtle manner too. The date they chose was what is increasingly known as Star Wars Day – 4th May. Not because it was the date on which any of the films was originally released, as it turns out; it’s simply down to a pun on the films’ most famous phrase, “May the Force be with you” – “May the Fourth be with you” Not a anniversary anyone is likely to forget!