I spent £12k on my dream Harry Potter wedding – it had dragons, butterbeer and even a Hogwarts photoshoot

A HARRY Potter-obsessed couple flew 4,000 miles and spent £12,000 on a wizard-themed dream wedding.

Elaine Gilchrist and Martin Ward spent their big day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida – complete with dragons, butterbeer and a pre-Hogwarts photo session.

Elaine Gilchrist and Martin Ward had a grand Harry Potter themed wedding


Elaine Gilchrist and Martin Ward had a grand Harry Potter themed weddingPhoto credit: KennedyNews/StephanieCaldwell
Bride Elaine even has a Harry Potter tattoo


Bride Elaine even has a Harry Potter tattooPhoto credit: KennedyNews/StephanieCaldwell
The couple spent £12,000 on their magical wedding


The couple spent £12,000 on their magical weddingPhoto credit: KennedyNews/StephanieCaldwell

The officiant had a real-life owl Hedwig, famous quotes from the series were incorporated into their marriage vows and music from blockbuster movies was played as they tied the knot.

“It was our dream wedding – we wouldn’t change it for a second,” said Elaine, who works for a student loan company.

The joy-filled event comes 33 years after she and Martin first met as teenagers in their hometown of Largs, Ayrshire.

They bonded over their love of movies and visited the massive Universal Studios location in Florida every year for the past decade.

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Martin and Elaine celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at the amusement park and even got engaged there.

And when planning their wedding, they abandoned the idea of ​​a traditional Scottish ceremony to go Stateside and indulge in magical stories.

“We wanted something that reflected us,” Elaine explains. People don’t know what a wedding should be like.

“We wanted a day filled with laughter and joy – and that’s what it was from start to finish.

“The celebrant had a little Hedwig and a wand, so we took pictures with that. And we toasted our wedding with butterbeer.

“Universal also arranged for us to access the actual setting of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Voyage.

“And we were allowed into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, which normally visitors can only pass by.”

The couple did a photo shoot together that included photos of them in front of Hogwarts Castle’s triple-decker Knight Bus.

And Elaine’s veil blew in the wind as she stood next to the Hogwarts Express.

She revealed her love of JK Rowling’s novels led her to get a special tattoo. It includes the Deathly Hallows symbol, the quote “Always” by Severus Snape, and three stars at the top of some pages.

Elaine said: “Martin and I are huge fans of Harry Potter, we adore it.

“I was one of the sad people lining up to get books. They are magical.

“And I can watch those movies over and over again.

“I identify as a Slytherin, so we used its green color in the wedding ring box, and I also wore green earrings and a Deathly Hallows necklace.”

After their special day last December, the couple spent their two honeymoons visiting other film-related attractions in the area.

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Elaine added: “We had a great time – and would do it again in a heartbeat.”


Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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