There was nothing conventional about Derek Whitener and Victor Newman Brockwell’s New Year’s Eve wedding. In fact, like the grooms themselves — two popular players in the Dallas-Fort Worth theater scene — the celebration was delightfully one of a kind, featuring unique details from beginning to end.
“We wanted old Hollywood glamour mixed with some slightly creepy elements,” says Newman Brockwell. “I’m a hardcore metal kid with a love for glamour, and Derek (who is artistic director at Firehouse Theatre) yearns for theatrical beauty, so we wanted to try to find that happy medium.”
The couple’s vision came to life at Chijmes Dallas in Oak Cliff, which has since shuttered. Neon signs, brass candelabras, skulls, and romantic arrangements by Rebel Floral decorated the space, along with pages from old fairytale books and vintage fashion publications.
The grooms walked down the aisle together with Whitener’s mother and Newman Brockwell’s aunt, while a string quartet played instrumental versions of songs by Joy Division and The Cure.
For the pair, a self-proclaimed “super-modern couple” who met online, it was a moment long in the making. In January 2017, Whitener was gravely injured in a highly publicized attack. The couple calls his recovery “miraculous.”
To celebrate the recovery, Newman Brockwell had planned a surprise “Welcome Back to Health”’ concert featuring more than 100 guests and performances from some of the couple’s closest friends.
“Unbeknownst to him, I was planning on proposing that night,” he says. “At the end of the evening, I invited him on stage to say a couple words. When he took the stage, I nonchalantly handed him a Cartier box, which caused him to get down on his knee. With a typical Derek twist, he proposed to me instead.”
On December 31, 2018, many of those same friends gathered to celebrate the couple once more.
Twenty-two “groomsmaids” spent the day enjoying full glam, courtesy of the grooms, who provided gowns, accessories and styling, along with hair and makeup. While that sounds like an enormous task, it was the perfect one for Newman Brockwell, who is a noted local costume designer.
“Spending time with our families and helping our groomsmaids feel just as special as we did was definitely one of the highlights,” he says.
Following a touching ceremony, guests enjoyed photo opps à la the Vanity Fair Oscar Party and danced the night away.
“We had a jukebox in lieu of a DJ and danced under an outdoor tent for the reception,” says Newman Brockwell. “It was pretty magical.”
Makeup: Laura Lomonaco & Morgan Mabry
Hair: Heather & Daniel Permenter
Catering: Wolfgang Puck Catering
Cakes: Fancy Cakes by Lauren
Floral: Rebel Floral by Lauren Morgan
Rentals: Top Tier & Marquee Event Rentals
Signage: Neon Popsicle
Photography: The Leitzingers
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