For their 11th wedding anniversary, Diana and Michael Rapport wanted to celebrate with a vow renewal unlike any of their previous celebrations, as the couple has renewed their vows 33 times – once even seven times in a single day in Las Vegas, Nevada. “How many times should you say ‘I do?’ As many times as you can!” exclaims Michael. “That is how we live our life. ‘I love you’ are the words we most say to each other.” 

Though the couple is known for their unique affairs, this time, they truly wanted to surprise their guests with a one-of-a-kind experience. They desired a theme surrounding the wonderfully described 14th-century poem of Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” from the Divine Comedy blended with some elements from The Phantom of the Opera

Working with their wedding planner, Wendy of Just Wenderful Events, Diana and Michael envisioned a gorgeous, sophisticated event filled with moody, gothic elements. Opting for primarily black décor with pops of scarlet, the big day was rich with romance, entertainment, and all-around thoughtful details. “Every single component had an important significance,” illustrates Diana. 

After visiting a variety of potential venues for their grandiose affair, they agreed that Vibiana – a former Catholic cathedral, now deconsecrated and used for special events – in Los Angeles, California, was the perfect site. “It had a majestic feel with stately vibes and an ideal blank slate,” describes Diana. Stations that embodied the seven deadly sins, such as lust and gluttony were on display, and at the “River Styx,” a “ferryman” handed out “obols” (an ancient Greek currency), which were the coins you needed to enter the ceremony through the gates. 

The altar was bedecked with all-black trees, standing candelabra, red uplighting, and hundreds of white votive candles. A violinist played dark, dramatic songs as Michael waited for his beloved, sitting in a gilt king’s chair. Diana wanted to make a memorable entrance. In lieu of bridesmaids or family walking alongside her, the bride made her way down the aisle escorted by four “demons” donned in sheer black attire. 

They twisted, curled, and slithered, while Diana looked stunning wearing a custom, strapless ebony ball gown perfectly paired with a dazzling black crown sitting atop her raven waves. She held a full bouquet of dark-hued florals, including midnight roses. The bride chose classic diamond jewelry for her bridal look, but added custom details like metal finger claws. Michael settled on a tuxedo with tails and a bow tie, as well as eye makeup to darken around his eyes, giving off a steampunk groom style. 

The vow exchange, led by an officiant dressed as a fallen angel, was heartfelt and included all the personal commitments the couple plans to carry out in their marriage. “We celebrated beating all odds that two such different, yet interesting and engaging people met and married,” shares Michael. When the couple said “I do” and kissed at the conclusion, they were bound by metal chains to “signify their eternal promise, no matter what obstacles arise,” he adds. 

“We celebrated beating all odds that two such different, yet interesting and engaging people met and married.”

Loved ones applauded as Mr. and Mrs. Rapport recessed and made their way over to the cocktail hour, where guests discovered interesting hors d’oeuvres presentations. For example, award-winning fare prepared by Chef Neal Fraser was arranged in provocative assemblages, including on a “corpse” resting on a table. 

Guests entered the “gates of hell” into the reception space where they found their seats at round tables covered in ebony silk damask linens. Eye-catching centerpieces composed of dark branches and black roses, along with displays of tapered candles, decorated each tablescape. “The flower arrangements helped to create an ambience of dark, hellish vibes,” describes the bride. 

The bride and groom reappeared, boasting a change of fashionable attire. Diana’s ball-gown skirt detached and converted into a minidress, preparing her for a night of dancing, while Michael chose another custom tuxedo, this time in a deep-burgundy tone. Right on cue, a dramatic play ensued: the Phantom wanted to steal Diana. Michael furiously battled for his beloved, until alas, he wins, and Diana and Michael begin their beautifully well-rehearsed tango performance. 

Throughout the night, a variety of entertainment – from interactive performers, such as stilt walkers, sexy corpse brides who strolled through the event engaging partygoers, and aerialists who whipped through the air in awe-inspiring acts – provided guests with much merriment. 

Though loved ones had witnessed Diana and Michael exchange vows many times prior, they had never experienced an event as nontraditional as this one to celebrate over a decade of marriage. The grand party, with all of its dark, artistic elements, played out as perfectly as the couple had imagined. “Until next time,” Michael smiles.