How to Plan a “Moulin Rouge”-Themed Wedding


The musical masterpiece “Moulin Rouge” has inspired devotees worldwide. They love the romantic storyline, the superb acting, the engaging singing, and the amazing costumes. It’s an unforgettable film — the type you want to view over and over again.

If you’re a great fan of the movie and engaged to be married, why not plan your wedding around the “Moulin Rouge” theme? This can add a real touch of elegance and uniqueness to your affair. It’s sure to be a wedding no one will forget — and you’ll end up with your very own “Spectacular Spectacular.”

The Satine Influence

Who wouldn’t love to be the lead in “Moulin Rouge” — the elegant and universally admired Satine? You can borrow a page from Satine’s book when it comes time to a choose a wedding gown, such as a red number modeled after Satine’s famous “Smouldering Temptress” dress (the one she chooses to “seal the deal” with the Duke, before Christian so charmingly diverts her).

Or if you don’t like the idea of wearing red for your wedding, keep the gown, but choose another hue — or don an understated yet totally Montmartre style, like Maggie Sottero’s aptly-named Moulin Rouge gown.

This form-fitting Victorian-era Satine-style gown is a real showstopper. The bodice laces at the back through corset-grade grommets, while the skirt includes a train and a classic bow. The dress runs less than $400, so it could easily fit into your wedding budget. If you want a traditional veil, yet can’t seem to find one to fit your color or theme, try making a wedding veil that will be as unique as your dress. Yes, you can wear a red veil … it’s done more than you think.

As an alternative to wearing red or being that daring, consider dressing your bridesmaids in Satine-like gowns. But instead of sashes, why not give them slinky feather boas? Or if you know no fear, try putting your bridesmaids in corset tops, circa Madonna’s eighties period.

The Invitations

You can easily turn out wedding invitations inspired by the movie. Thanks to the miracle of computers, it’s simple to create an invitation just bursting with Victorian-era style. Focus your invites around Moulin Rouge’s signature colors of black, red, and white for added visual attraction. Remember your main themes are “Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love” …. and “The Show Must Go On.” Use plenty of big red hearts, and drop in the Green Fairy.

A “Moulin Rouge” Reception

Don’t stop there — tailor your Southern California Wedding reception around the movie’s theme. Decorate your reception hall to look like the movie set: this means “turn-of-the-century Paris” plus “Disco,” roughly.

Start with a big, sparkly mirror ball … your DJ should be able to help you. See what he can do toward creating that eerily wonderful green light to accent your night’s entertainment.

Then for food, plan a menu of French delicacies to give your event a touch of Parisian flair. Paste custom labels on bottles of champagne that include your wedding monogram and date … and declare the beverage to be “ABSINTHE.” Stack quality cigars in pyramids on the tables. You could even set up a casino.

There are endless opportunities for personalized and charming wedding favors to match your movie theme.

If this is a second wedding or a relaxed affair where your guests can get into the fun, ask them to come in costume. For the women, suggest glorious ostrich headbands, sequins and hats trimmed in black lace and feathers. Long satin gloves and petticoats will go a long way. The men will look dashing in black tie attire, or simply bowties, bowler hats, vests, (temporary) handlebar moustaches, and the occasional beret.

One of the best parts of Moulin Rouge is the unforgettable music. Hire a band with a male and female vocalist who can recreate some of the heart-stoppingly romantic duets and love songs from the film, like “Come What May” and “Your Song.” Or just buy the soundtrack and keep it pumping all night long. And if you’ve got the budget for it, this is the time to hire some dancers. Have them set the floor on fire with “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Lady Marmalade,” or just a rousing can-can.

Of course, with all that dancing, you won’t want to stay mired in a fussy veil or gown and train when the music starts. Take your cue from pop star Pink and other recent celebrity brides who changed into a sportier after-party ensemble when the ceremony ended.

In your case, why not slip into Satine’s signature “black diamonds” number (perfect for high-wire acrobatics) when it’s time to cut up the dance floor? The bodice, consisting of hand-applied rhinestones with seven layers of beaded fringe in the back, will make you feel like a million dollars. That kind of glamour won’t always come cheap — the most expensive version can run as high as $2,000 — but you can purchase a scaled-down model for much less.