Niko + Murat's Surprise Wedding || Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

What's better than a Harry Potter wedding? NOTHING. Well, okay. A surprise Harry Potter wedding is totally....magical. *bah dum tiss* 

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It all started with an e-mail chain with the subject line "Secret Wedding Thread (DON'T TELL MURAT)" where I got recruited from this offer I'd put out/for being a friend-of-most-of-their-friends.

"Murat and I never really planned on having a real wedding in any sense of the word, but while we're down there I figured I'd surprise him with something a little special. The idea is to recreate the Unbreakable Vow scene from Harry Potter, but with a wedding-y sort of twist."

Niko knew that he also needed a set of robes, a pair of wands, and that was pretty much it - their friend Abby had happily stepped up to get certified to officiate the wedding, but the venue was up in the air and there weren't really any decorations to speak of. Now behold the power of magic (and surprises? who doesn't get stoked planning surprises?)...

Laura, a work buddy of Abby's, was recruited for her love of both HP and for being a crafty babe. She made banners and wands and delicious edible snitches (and also looked like she was straight out of a Beauxbaton lineup with her beautiful dress + hat combo).

Niko was taking Murat out for a little morning brunch, or so he thought. Meanwhile, the small circle of friends was waiting at the Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary after quickly doling out wands and hanging up decorations waiting for the absolutely perfect reaction of a surprised Murat.

There was even a tiny wand cuddling wizard on hand. *squeeeee*

Everyone gathered upstairs for the vows, where Murat was told to open the wooden chest for ceremony necessities, which included robes sewn and wands made via lathe by Niko.

Rings were exchanged, unbreakable vows were made, and it was time to get a little tour of the apothecary, which was chock full of incredible artifacts from when the it served Old Town.

True to the theme, the rings that Niko had made carry the iconic inscription from the book "After all this time?" -- "Always."

The ceremony was followed by a delicious brunch at Daniel O'Connell's, which fit quite nicely in with the theme of the day with it's warm wooden accents and bubbly champagne (which, let's be real, is probably the closest thing to real magic us muggles will ever get).

Afterwards, we wandered the cobblestone streets of Old Town for a few more portraits to commemorate the day in the last little bits of light.

Congratulations to these sweet gents on a smashing surprise wedding! -MEJ