When it comes to iconic, mainstream images of mafia and gangster culture, one of the finest examples in the American cinema is the 1990’s film, ‘Goodfellas,’ starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci. So, being the movie lovers we are, when it came to finding a fun theme for our wedding, my fiance and I instantly agreed on using ‘Goodfellas’ as a theme for our nuptials.
While it may seem out of ill judgment, or maybe even wrong, to some, for our wedding to have a movie theme which is so provocative, both my fiance and I both love the film and have been able to find so many sharp and classy elements from the film to add panache to ordinary wedding details which would usually go unnoticed. Some great examples we’re using are listed below and we hope to inspire the Goodfellas in your wedding!
1. Wardrobe: First we’ll start with the guys. Who could forget the moment when Henry’s mother opens the front door only to find him dressed in a brand new suit and scream, “My God! You look like a gangster!” Well, grab your groomsmen and get ready to really stun Henry’s mom with a trip to the local tux rental shop. First things first: since our budget had some dough to spare, we’ve decided to deck our guys out like Ray Liotta and the gang in black Versace suits with crisp, white shirts and deep jewel-toned silk ties to match our colors. All the ‘fellas are wearing patent leather, square-toed shoes, black onyx cuff links, and of course, from the wedding scene, white rose boutonnieres all around. For any Pesci types in the groups, we’re going to be sure and deck them out in one of those iconic Platinum-colored suits he struts around around in on several accounts, just to show the, “goin’s good.”
Now, Karen’s wedding gown leaves quite a bit to be desired, but since we’re still sticking to the theme as close as we can, I’ve selected a single strand of pearls, simple drop earrings, and a white gown with a simple boat-neck collar. The veil has to be a zero-frill, behind the hair, fingertip-length veil that serves as a ridiculously puffy backdrop to what will lie before us. Bridesmaid attire is also inspired by Karen and is quite simple, but keeps the theme intact with a chic jumper-style dress tailored to fit each girl in a flattering manner and made of a retro floral-patterned fabric. To top it off, adding a simple white cardigan and a strand of pearls brings a cohesive layer amongst all the ladies.
2. Cake and Table-scape: When it comes to the cake, we have three words to remember: BIG, WHITE, COLUMNS. A cake consisting of five cascading tiers decorated with fake doves, tulle, a champagne fountain, and obviously white columns, will be our mobster dessert du jour and will taste so good, it may even be enough to bring the likes of Frenchy to swap out a cocktail for a dessert fork, even if only for a moment.
When thinking back to Henry and Karen’s wedding, there’s one thing I think everyone remembers: that giant wad of roses, which we can assume is being passed off as a lush centerpiece. So, we’ve ordered several large, slightly-smashed looking rose centerpieces large enough to hide any of Paulie’s goods, should the need for special protection arise. White tulle and gold ribbon will be draped from the sides of each table, and dinnerware will consist of white bone china with a 24-Karat Gold band, Gold silverware, and Gold banded goblets. A large Italian sampler meal will be served alongside enough fine Italian wine to cover all of Sicily.
3. Music: Using the soundtrack of the original film and music from the setting of the movie will create the ultimate ‘Goodfellas’ atmosphere. The soundtrack can be found on Amazon, but some of the tracks are listed below:
“Rags to Riches”
Performed by Tony Bennett
“Can’t We Be Sweehearts”
Performed by The Cleftones
“Look in My Eyes”
Performed by The Chantels
“Roses Are Red”
Performed by Bobby Vinton
“Life Is But a Dream”
Performed by The Harptones
“Leader of the Pack”
Performed by The Shangri-Las
“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”
Performed by Dean Martin
“Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)”
Performed by The Shangri-Las
“Baby I Love You”
Performed by Aretha Franklin
“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
Performed by Tony Bennett
“Sunshine of Your Love”
Performed by Cream
“Layla (Piano Exit)”
Performed by Derek & The Dominos (as Derek and The Dominos)
Performed by Sid Vicious
4. Transportation: This movie had some rather interesting cars in it, most of which are now hard to get your hands on; especially for any type of chauffeured service needed for a wedding, but we are on the hunt for a pink 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille for Bridesmaid transportation, a black 1965 Chevrolet Impala for the groomsmen, and for our exit as a married couple, we are hoping to find a 1949 Cadillac Series Sixty Special. All of these cars play only minor roles in the film, but can be spotted in the background throughout the length of the movie.
5. Swagger: The most important thing our bridal party can possess to show off that ‘Goodfellas’ flair is carrying ourselves with that certain De Niro swagger which will forever be the factor that determines so much of what ‘Goodfella’s’ cool is all about. Throwing in some fedoras, driving gloves, big, swanky cocktail jewelry and acting like we’ve got a million bucks will not only make us look like we roll with the ‘Goodfellas’, it will make us feel like it, too.
“See, it’s the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew.” -Henry Hill