Jennifer Anderson, 32, married Edward WinterRose, 40, on Friday at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, each wearing Time Lord robes from “Doctor Who,” a British TV series about a time-traveling alien that debuted nearly 50 years ago. They were congratulated by 50 audience members, many wearing sci-fi or fantasy character costumes, after riding a trolley from Dragon-Con, an annual convention that draws thousands of sci-fi and comic fans to Atlanta.
“I love doing costumes,” said Anderson, an aspiring fashion designer who works as a custom-frame maker at a Michael’s, before her Friday wedding. “The geeky, nerdy part of me is a really big part of me and a big part of my fiancé. I didn’t want to have a boring wedding, and I really look horrible in white … This is an opportunity to do something and extend my experience onto other people.”
WinterRose said the couple wanted to have a wedding that would be fun to watch on video in the future.
“We were never going to have a traditional wedding,” he said. “We wanted to do something fun and memorable.”
WinterRose said Doctor Who was a natural choice for a theme for the wedding because both he and Anderson have been fans of the show since childhood.
“It was something of non-violent science fiction,” he said. “The characters didn’t have to shoot their way out of a situation. The main character didn’t carry a gun. This is something I appreciated as a youth.”
The couple met in 2009 at Frolicon, another sci-fi convention in Atlanta that is held in the spring, where they learned they were practically neighbors in Raleigh.
“We found out after we got home that I can throw a stone and hit where he works,” Anderson said.
Simone Pernsley of Nashville, who was wearing a Time Lord robe as part of the wedding party Friday, was partly responsible for the couple meeting, because she ran the game area at Frolicon with her husband. She said Anderson was volunteering there and was setting up a game that WinterRose was playing.
Pernsley said she actually met her husband at a live action role-playing game event in Virginia Beach.
“There’s a lot of romance in playing games,” she said.
WinterRose proposed to Anderson at the 2011 Dragon-Con in front of 2,000 cheering fans at a “Buffy Horror Picture Show” at the Westin Hotel. Anderson said this is her 13th year coming to Dragon-Con.
“I love Dragon-Con, because it’s everything,” she said. “I don’t just cleave to Star Trek or a specific thing. I like all things, and Dragon-Con has everything.”
Anderson said they wanted to return to Dragon-Con to get married this year, but organizers wouldn’t allow it. Instead, they rented a Marietta Trolley to transport friends to the Strand.
Anderson, who lived in the area while attending Atlanta College of Art, said they chose the Strand because they wanted to get married somewhere with an organ, and Midtown Atlanta’s Fox Theatre was too expensive. After the wedding, their reception featured theme songs from their favorite sci-fi movies, including Terminator, Jurassic Park and Star Wars, played on an organ.
“I love the idea of having a pipe organ playing,” said Anderson, whose parents are members of the Greater Atlanta Theatre Organ Society.
But the party didn’t last too long, because the WinterRoses had to return to Dragon-Con to watch more panel discussions Friday night.
On stage, the wedding featured a replica TARDIS, the blue time machine from “Doctor Who.” After the wedding party slowly marched to the stage, WinterRose emerged from the machine to greet his grinning bride. After the ceremony, backed by organ music the entire time, concluded, they entered the TARDIS together.
The bride and her father, Randy Anderson, worked on the TARDIS together. Randy Anderson said it consisted of foam cardboard and a Walmart light on top.
“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” he said with a laugh.
WinterRose, a tech support worker who does voice work for an online audio drama called “Star Trek: Outpost,” put his own stamp on the couple’s wedding invitations. Guests received “save the date” notifications complete with an audio recording of a show called “Stolen Hearts.” The four-hour program puts WinterRose and Jennifer Anderson in their own sci-fi adventure. It can be accessed at www.giantgnome.com.
“Essentially, it’s a projection of ourselves into the universe that Doctor Who takes place in,” WinterRose said.
WinterRose legally changed his last name a few months ago. When the couple was married, Anderson took the new moniker as well. Anderson said her now-husband had been using the name online for a while and decided to take it on permanently.
“It’s really pretty,” she said.