By: Travis S. Taylor | August 14, 2017
Nikki and Dan earlier this year celebrated the 10 year anniversary of their first date! Nikki had been working with Dan’s brother at the Fox Theatre for 10 years before that, having not met Dan that whole time. An invitation to happy hour with friends and a mutual love of Battlestar Galactica launched a romance that led to a unique wedding ceremony and reception at the Fox Theatre.
After 19 years with the Fox Theatre—most recently working in Private Events—Nikki joined the Affairs to Remember family in July 2015.
I didn’t get to meet Nikki until a week after she started, and her office is right across the hall from mine! I was deep into a big project, but in the meantime she’d come to the conclusion that I was an anti-social, pondering “What’s wrong with this guy?”
When we finally got to have a conversation, it didn’t take long before a mutual love of science-fiction was revealed. We’ve been great friends since!
Having worked at the Fox, dated at the Fox, married at the Fox, and hosted their wedding reception at the Fox, Nikki and Dan were perfect candidates for my “Love at the Fox” series. I had the great honor and pleasure of interviewing and making some new photos of them at the Fox Theatre.
[Dan and Nikki in front of the Fox Theatre marquee | Photo: Travis S. Taylor]
How did you meet?
“We met through Dan’s brother, Oliver, who also worked at the Fox,” Nikki said, “I went out with some coworkers one night, including Oliver who invited Dan.”
Nikki had loaned Oliver some Battlestar Galactica DVDs, who in turn loaned them to Dan. When Nikki and Dan were introduced by Oliver, he said, “Oh, this is the coworker whose DVDs you’ve been watching.” The fellow Battlestar Galactica fan was–to Dan’s delightful surprise–a girl.
[Dan and Nikki in the Fox Theatre Auditorium | Photo: Picture This! Photography]
Where did you become engaged?
“Traveling through Utah, we stopped in Zion National Park. Dan climbed to the top of a boulder in the not-too-far distance. He sat me down and nervously pulled a diamond ring from his pocket and asked me to marry him. I said, ‘Yes!‘. Just moments later, some passing tourists offered to make a keepsake photo of the moment for us.”
Dan later explained why he chose that spot to propose. He told Nikki that he wanted that special moment to be preserved forever. Instead of in a fancy restaurant–we know how quickly those come and go–or any other place, Dan proposed in a national park with a scenic vista knowing that they could revisit that very spot anytime throughout their married lives. That’s romance!
[Dan and Nikki in the Fox Theatre Auditorium | Photo: Travis S. Taylor]
When and where were you married?
Nikki and Dan were married on Friday, August 14, 2009. Happy 8th anniversary, you two!
Their wedding took place in the Fox Theatre’s Oasis Court on the Mezzanine Level. The ceremony music was performed by a 3-piece “orchestra”–actual members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra–which was coordinated by a work friend.
Nikki and Dan are one of the only couples to ever exchange vows in ‘Oasis Court’.
“Grease” was playing in the auditorium the evening of Nikki and Dan’s afternoon wedding, so they had to be brief in exchanging their vows. (Today, a wedding on the Mezzanine when there’s a show run, even when not during the show itself, is less likely to happen.) Jeremiah O’Keefe-West, their officiant, obliged their timeline and with a heavy brogue accent kept the mood light, fun, and even funny…and he recited a lovely poem. Following the “I dos“, guests moved to the Grand Salon and Terrace for hours of festive celebration!
[Nikki and Dan on the Terrace | Fox Theatre | Photo: Picture This! Photography]
Tell us about the marquee.
Dan’s mother is Italian, and his parents immigrated to the U.S. from Italy before he was born. Italian culture is part of who he is.
“In the planning process, one of Dan’s romantic gestures was to have ‘Amore Sempre‘ on the marquee for our wedding day. ‘Amore Sempre’ means ‘Love Forever‘ in Italian,” Nikki said. “At least that’s what we thought until Dan’s Aunt Hélène said, “You forgot the ‘per‘,” Nikki continued.
When Nikki and Dan retraced their wedding day at the Fox Theatre with me, they corrected the marquee to read, “Amore per Sempre” for a photo-op.
[Nikki and Dan on the Terrace | Fox Theatre | Photo: Travis S. Taylor]
Tell us about the wedding reception.
“The planning was stressful, but not really…
Our wedding reception was in the Grand Salon and Terrace at the Fox Theatre. Coincidentally, Affairs to Remember Caterers catered our wedding reception and Rich Wilner, now General Manager at Affairs, was my Catering Consultant. I told him what I wanted and left all the decisions to him. He selected linen, decor, menu, etc.!” said Nikki. “We had the ever famous ‘Miss Josephine’s Mac & Cheese‘ and an awesome charcuterie and artisan cheese board, and more!”
At Nikki and Dan’s wedding, Picture This! Photography was on hand to make photos, which Nikki loves to revisit from time to time–she keeps a couple of them on her desk here at Affairs. The founders and owners, Sandra and Greg—trusted partners to Affairs to Remember for many years–were out-of-town during Nikki’s wedding, but a couple of years later, Sandra and Greg were personally on-hand to photograph her sister’s wedding in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
“Our wedding cake was from Frosted Pumpkin. I sent Jeff–the owner of Frosted Pumpkin with his wife–a copy of our invitation to use as inspiration for the cake design. The cake was white with black accents and decorated with the same red flowers that were used to make my bouquet. There were three tiers: chocolate ganache, carrot cake, and yellow cake, with raspberries between the layers. The cake was devoured!” said Nikki.
“The only real planning challenge we faced was selecting songs for the reception playlist. I like current music and Dan likes 80s alternative. We went for the win-win…we had a mix of both at the reception! Our guests really enjoyed the non-typical reception music,” said Nikki. “The same Aunt Hélène who commented on our marquee grammar also tried to teach Dan how to dance…so sweet!”
[Rhonda (sister), Nikki, Rose (mother), Nancy (aunt) | Photo: Picture This! Photography]
Tell us about the ‘Sisters Song’.
“Rhonda is my sister. Growing up people would spontaneously ‘sing’ the chorus of The Beach Boys‘ ‘Help me, Rhonda‘, and for me, they would spontaneously break into Tony Basil‘s 1981 hit song “Mickey” swapping Mickey for Nikki…‘Oh, Nikki you’re so fine…,” said Nikki. “Well, in a preemptive strike, I had my wedding DJ play ‘Help me, Rhonda‘, because I knew she would be playing ‘Mickey‘ at her wedding.”
As soon as it started playing, Nikki grabbed Rhonda and they both got their mom out onto the dance floor…now a classic photo, from both weddings! Their beloved mother, Rose, who also used to work at the Fox Theatre, passed away in 2016. There was a wonderful outpouring of love for Rose from her Fox Theatre family. She is dearly missed.
[Dan and Nikki cutting their Fox Theatre marquee cake! | Picture This! Photography]
You had a Fox Theatre marquee cake?!
“Yes! Our Fox Theatre marquee cake–lemon-lavender pound cake–was a gift from our friend Denice. It was made by Sugarplum Visions, located off of Marietta Square, owned by Jamie Fine. I’m not a big sweets person, but it was so delicious! So delicious, in fact, that ALL of the marquee part and most of the box at the bottom was eaten,” said Nikki. “I’d spoken with the baker so I knew that it was a cake designed after the Fox marquee, but I didn’t know the size or any other details about it. When it arrived, we had to get another table it was so big!”
[Dan and Nikki on the ‘Oasis Court’ in the Fox Theatre | Photo: Travis S. Taylor]
What’s your favorite Broadway show that you’ve seen at the Fox?
“Dan enjoys the theatre, but he didn’t grow listening to Broadway music like I did, so he doesn’t really have a favorite Broadway play,” said Nikki. “I, on the other hand, do and that would be Phantom of the Opera, which I’ve seen time and again!”
[Nikki’s red wedding shoes | Photo: Travis S. Taylor]
Nikki said, “All night long people kept asking to see my shoes!”
“I knew I didn’t want white or cream color shoes so I’d been looking and looking for something else, exactly what I didn’t know. When I saw these, I immediately knew that they were the ones. They’re a nod to my Chinese heritage and I still think they’re beautiful. I loved the shoes so much that Dan went back to the store and bought me the same pair in black, which I wore with a red dress to our rehearsal dinner.
I didn’t realize that my red shoes-decision would drive the color choice of other aspects of the wedding–my flowers, pedicure, bouquet, lighting, cake table linens, etc.–as well as Dan’s boutonniere. Dan graduated from Georgia Tech–Go, Yellow Jackets!–but it wasn’t until just before the wedding that we realized we were wearing the colors of Tech’s biggest rival. Oops!”
On the day of their photo shoot with me at the Fox, Nikki wore those same shoes that she’d worn on her wedding day. Still stunning!
What is your favorite Fox Theatre memory?
Nikki’s first time to the Fox Theatre was when she was a sophomore in high school to see “Camelot” starring Robert Goulet. Having grown up knowing musicals quite well, Nikki knew the music by heart! And she knows the music to many, many, many other musicals.
“There are so many!”
Nikki continued, “I fell in love with the Fox the first time I went, so much so that friends and family kept telling me, ‘One day, you’re going to end up working at the Fox!‘ and I did. But first, I was a volunteer usher starting in spring of 1996 and later that year I was officially hired by the Fox Theatre, during a run of ‘Beauty and the Beast‘, another personal favorite. It would be 13 years after I started ushering that I would get married at the Atlanta icon that had become such a central figure in my life…the Fox Theatre.”
By Travis S. Taylor
Director of Communications
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Travis manages the Communications Department for Affairs to Remember Caterers, which includes internal and external communications, media relations, website, Social Media and other Communications-related responsibilities. Travis holds a Bachelor Degree in Technical Management with a concentration in Web Graphic Design and he is a prolific blogger.