In autumn 2012, Nikki Sixx whisked his beloved Courtney Bingham away to “her favorite place on earth – St. Barth” for days filled with romance and relaxation. She admits that the Mötley Crüe bassist “is romantic by nature,” but Courtney had no idea what amorous surprises he had in store. Nikki had indeed been very secretive in his planning. For months prior, he had been researching various diamond shapes and sizes online. Finally, he ventured out with his accountant (who is knowledgeable about diamonds) and selected a stone: “I knew as soon as I saw that rock, it was the one for her,” Nikki remembers. He had also secured Courtney’s father’s permission for her hand in marriage. “Even rock stars need to get the thumbs-up from the father,” confirms the Grammy-award nominee.
Courtney’s bewilderment began when Nikki, who doesn’t drink, escorted her to the hotel bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. From there, a hostess guided them to a path sculpted from luminaries across the sand that led the couple to a candlelit cabana. “I about had a heart attack and started crying because it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, put together by the man of my dreams, on the most beautiful beach in the world,” describes Courtney, who maintains she was still unaware of the forthcoming proposal.
Following an amazing four-course meal, Nikki told Courtney he was going to grab his phone for pictures and began to fumble around in his bag. Meanwhile, “I looked away for a moment and when I turned back around, he was on one knee, holding a red box,” she says. “[The entire surprise] was the most romantic experience of my life, and as a girl, I was secretly hoping this was the moment [he would propose]!”
As the wedding planning began, Courtney and Nikki focused on the elements that were important to them as a couple and tried their best not to stress over others’ opinions of what they should do. “Anytime we became a little overwhelmed with the never-ending to-do list, we reminded each other that [the wedding] was only one day,” confides the bride. “We wanted to make the entire process fun.” And it worked! The groom reveals, “Courtney showed me how much fun a wedding [and the preparation] can actually be.”
For instance, the couple settled on a magnificent estate for the celebration, all on a whim. Sort of. “I’ve always thought the 55-room Gothic manor was a beautiful place and it made me feel like I was in the French countryside,” explains Courtney. “Nikki and I drove past it one day and Nikki pointed the guard gate out to me telling me he ‘loved that house!’ House, I wondered. ‘Honey, that’s the guard gate! You haven’t seen anything yet!’” They walked the grounds and looked no further; the very next day they put down a deposit. “Nikki was the one that had the idea of getting married there. I didn’t even know it was an option!” laughs the bride.
With a strikingly unique inspiration theme – Alexander McQueen Gothic meets French countryside meets Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film – the couple strived for both sophistication and whimsy throughout the event décor. For the ceremony, boxed bushes lined the aisle, inspired by the bride’s love of the hedges in Versailles. Towering stone lions, flower-strewn wrought-iron gates, and a floral cross decorated the space adding regal, Gothic flare to the area. Two colorful peacocks greeted guests upon arrival, as well as a free-flowing sparkling-wine fountain made from Marie Antoinette-style glasses.
The bridal party was especially meaningful as it consisted of the groom’s two daughters and two sons. Bridesmaids wore elegant silk gowns in champagne and held nosegays of roses, peonies, and English garden roses in creamy colors. Courtney was a vision of beauty in an ivory strapless gown with ruffle trim and strands of diamonds that beautifully completed her bridal style. She carried a lush bunch of florals in fuchsia, cream, pink, and merlot – the same palette that would be used throughout the afternoon event. The groom and his men wore classic black suits, albeit Nikki who in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion accessorized his ensemble with chunky rings, dark sunglasses, and a black bandana.
The reception was largely influenced by Sofia Coppola’s movie Marie Antoinette, as the bride found it to be “the most visually stunning masterpiece of food display, flowers, and décor.” Courtney adds, “We wanted the décor scheme to be romantic and opulent, but still warm and inviting.”
Round tables sprinkled the courtyard of the mansion, surrounding the circular fountain. Tabletops boasted remarkable details, including dreamy florals, luxurious golden elements, and hints of sexy black lace. Centerpieces varied between tall gilded candelabra and short boxes, each displaying an equally striking mix of flowers. Bullion votives, gold-rimmed crystal, and gilt chairs fulfilled the Courtney’s desire to replicate the ambience of the lavish crown molding at Versailles. “The decadence of it blows my minds,” shares the bride. “I wanted the table settings to provide the same feeling.” Artichokes, Arkansas apples, grapes, and dishes with raspberries and blackberries added to the opulence.
Throughout the day, a variety of musical genres was played for attendees: punk rock, jazz, disco, ’70s glam rock, and ’90s pop. “We wanted the music to reflect who we are and what we love,” notes Nikki. “We think we have really kick-ass taste in music and that it should be like a feast – not a side dish.”
Loved ones enjoyed a sit-down dinner, then were encouraged to partake in many of the dessert choices. French pastries and slices of a three-tiered, triple-berry confection were guests’ favorites. “The cake was decorated with peonies and fresh fruit, and was left unfrosted because the layering was so gorgeous that we didn’t want to hide it,” explains Courtney.
The day was both magical and emotional for the couple, and though they wished they had set aside more time to take it all in, they focused on their excitement for a new life together. “I like to say ‘You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in the universe.’ That day I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else,” says Nikki.
The bride shares her favorite memory, “As soon as I saw Nikki standing there waiting for me, smiling, I wanted to freeze time… It will always be the best moment of my life.” The groom adds one final comment, “The kiss was pretty epic, too.”