Every aspect of Darren Criss’s Valentine’s Day weekend wedding to his longtime love—director, producer, and musician Mia Swier—was personalized to a T, and the couple wouldn’t have had it any other way. In a new interview with Vogue, Criss, 32, explained that he and Swier were adamant about making their New Orleans wedding their own by taking traditions, shaking them up, and adding their own fun twist to the festivities.
“It was less a celebration of us specifically and more a celebration of the life we’ve built together,” Criss said. “The whole thing was a dream. It was exactly what we had hoped it would be. Best weekend of our lives.” Here’s what we learned about the couple’s themed wedding weekend.
The Welcome Party Was an ’80s-Themed Prom Night
The celebrations kicked off on Thursday, Valentine’s Day, with an ‘80s-themed prom night at burlesque and comedy show hotspot One Eyed Jacks. On Friday, guests were invited on a swamp tour in the bayou, where they held baby alligators and took in the richness of the city’s vast environmental terrain.
The rehearsal dinner later that night included, naturally, a whole lot of singing by both the bride and groom-to-be and their guests, with an infectious energy that carried the whole crew into the weekend itself.
The Bride Wore White Doc Martens
On Saturday, the day of the wedding, Criss and Swier continued on with their non-traditional theme by donning unconventional outfits for both the pre-wedding photos and the ceremony itself.
Swier wore a strapless crepe Vera Wang gown with classic garter belt elements and black Chantilly lace detailing in her cathedral-length tulle veil; she topped off the look with white Dr. Martens. Criss wore an off-white custom Giorgio Armani shawl-collar tuxedo trimmed with silk grosgrain.
The Groom Sang His Way Down the Aisle
Then there was the ceremony itself, held at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which included a beautiful display of candelabras and giant oak trees decorated with Spanish moss and Mardi Gras beads.
Instead of the traditional procession down the aisle, Criss appeared first, strumming a guitar and singing a song as his family and Swier’s brood walked down the aisle.
The Couple Officiated Their Own Wedding
When he finished, he then ran to the back of the aisle to walk his bride down toward the front of the area, where they proceeded to officiate their own wedding. Their friends and family offered up words of love and wisdom in the form of brief toasts, songs, poems, and stories, and the entire experience was, as guests put it, “So Darren and Mia.”
The Couple Shared a First Song
The cocktail reception, held on the front steps of the museum, was its own musical affair as well, with music that kept folks on the dance floor until around 10 p.m., when the steps were lit up with glow sticks and guests were ushered into the museum itself for a late-night treat. Fueled by shots of tequila and espresso, the couple’s friends and family then watched as Criss and Swier shared their “first song” together, descending down a marble staircase onto a stage, where they immediately picked up a guitar (Criss) and bass (Swier) and began to play “The Ballroom Blitz” by Sweet, setting off the start of the live concert portion of the evening.
“One of the things we looked forward to the most was something we actually hid from nearly everyone at the wedding,” Criss said. “The idea was to take an old tradition and turn it into something a lot cooler and certainly a lot more fun for us as bride and groom.”
In all, some 30 different guests, including Lea Michele and John Stamos, performed about 30 different songs over the next three hours, something that meant a lot to the especially musically inclined couple.
To cap off the evening, guests were handed headphones for a silent disco with personalized playlists that the couple had put together just for the wedding. The Cafe Du Monde food truck then served up coffee and beignets outside the museum in the perfect send-off to the happy couple.
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