Courtney Ritacco and Shytle “Billy” McMillion added a truly unique element of fantasy to their nuptials, but it wasn’t one of castles or glass slippers.
Instead, the newlyweds opted to incorporate their favorite movie, Jurassic Park, into every element of their nuptials. “Throughout our relationship, that has been a go-to movie we could both agree on, and then it became our favorite,” Ritacco, 28, tells The Knot. “We started to make dinosaur dates and go to different dinosaur-themed exhibits, and of course the two new Jurassic Park movies.”
The event manager says that personally, the obsession with the franchise really stems from her love for the Jeep Wrangler that is synonymous with the films. “The idea of a Jurassic Park wedding was brought up as a joke one day when we were watching it,” she says. “And there was a moment we both paused and looked at each other and both started to realize how awesome that could actually be!”
The Jurassic Park theme actually began with the way McMillion proposed. The quality control engineer, 26, had managed to work it out with Ritacco’s boss so he would propose at her work (incidentally, Ritacco is an employees at the venue where their wedding eventually took place). “He was there with flowers and a barbasol can,” she says, noting that the can is a Jurassic Park reference. “And [then] he unscrewed the bottom of the can and my ring was in there!”
For their wedding, the couple opted to go all-out, infusing every part with some Jurassic Park magic. In fact, their wedding video created by OpenBox Events was made in the same style of the films.
In place of more traditional flowers, the pair went instead with greenery—and specifically, ferns. They also had different dinosaurs littered throughout the space, including a few animatronic dinosaurs greeting guests at the reception. Their officiant even surprised them by dressing up in an inflatable T-rex costume and getting down on the dance floor.
Place settings included palm leaves adorned with napkins and tasteful gold-plated dinosaurs, along with a menu that featured their custom-made logo in the Jurassic Park font. The DJ made a spot light with the logo for their first dance of the evening as husband and wife.
A donut wall was crafted to look like the Jurassic Park gates that Billy built in the original film. Centerpieces alternated between tall vases with ferns and greenery coming out of the top and gold dinosaurs at the base and wooden slabs covered in moss with a black lantern and a dinosaur skull (it was luck of the draw for their guests!).
And to add the icing on the cake, the couple’s wedding hashtag was #AMcMillionYearsInTheMaking, a play on the Jurassic Park tagline, “65 million years in the making.”
“So many people were very confused when they got invites with dinosaurs on them,” Ritacco says. “I think people have ‘child’s birthday party’ stuck in their head when they hear ‘themed wedding,’ and it was so exciting to show them what we had been working on, and that it was a sophisticated and elegant adult version of Jurassic Park!”
Fittingly, at the end of the night, the newlyweds rode away into the evening in none other than a Jeep Wrangler with their custom logo emblazoned on the side.
Watch the entire wedding video above for more inspiration. Secure your ideal wedding vision by starting with The Knot’s Style Quiz, here.