David Tutera's 'My Fair Wedding' Be Damned: Bettina Hubby's 'Get Hubbied' Project Will Transform Your Wedding Into Performance Art
Photo by Tyler Hubby Party Favor by Ed Ruscha
In a way, every wedding is a multimedia theatrical production. Each detail is managed, choreographed, and rehearsed; from rings, to cakes, seating charts, music, vows, catering, decoration, and, of course, wardrobe.
Wedding professionals have to pull off flawless manifestations of other people's most cherished romantic fantasies. Hell, the wedding-induced emotional meltdown is its own reality television sub-genre. And these days, couples -- especially young, hip, creative types -- are increasingly interested in personalized, unique, YouTube-ready productions that seek to modernize tradition in a way that helps them feel better about their embrace of institutional social convention.
For one such couple -- the photographer Ruben Diaz and the artist and designer Bec Ulrich -- the answer wasn't to get married; it was to Get Hubbied.
Instead of hiring My Fair Wedding star David Tutera, or auditioning for a new season of Bridezillas, they expressed their love of art, adventure and each other through a creative collaboration with artist and interdisciplinary impresario Bettina Hubby.
What they got was both a memorable, lively, and infectiously joyful wedding day on Sept. 25, and a one-day festival of interactive visual and performance art featuring contributions from friends and luminaries -- including Barbara Bestor, Ed Ruscha, Joe Sola, Skip Arnold, Roger Herman and Michele O'Marah -- some of which will be exhibited at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts opening this Saturday, October 15 with a reception for the artists, the happy couple, and anyone who still owes them a wedding present.
Photo by Tyler Hubby Wedding Portraits by Abel Baker Gutierrez
The overall concept was to have artists reimagine the common, fundamental elements of the traditional Western wedding ceremony. From portraits of the couple by the painter Abel Baker Gutierrez (above) to the beautifully designed favors containing the Playbill, err, program, for the afternoon by Olivia Prime (below).
Photo by Tyler Hubby Programs by Olivia Prime
Guests were greeted at the pre-ceremony cocktails with an installation examining the often-obscure origins of things like rice-throwing, bridal veils, and of course the business with something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Books were a running motif of the imagery, and Nicholas Kahn offered a series of manipulated books, one of which held the "borrowed" family-heirloom jewelry.
Photo by Tyler Hubby Something Blue by Nicholas Kahn
An Andy Kaufman-esque sermon by Joe Sola used humor and even a fake pratfall to convey the unpredictability of married life, the certainty of troubles and the indispensable value of having a sense of humor.
Photo by Tyler Hubby Sermon by Joe Sola
It was during this monologue that it first fully dawned on me that the wedding guests were divided equally between the couple's real friends and family, who were just at their loved ones' wedding, and art-world people who had been invited to witness a performance event and may not even, like me, know the couple personally. I could tell them apart because the latter started laughing way before the former horrified group did.