Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp Wedding

A union as unique as the couple who committed their hearts to each other, the words “I now pronounce you husband and wife” were music to the ears of Taft Stricklin and his bride Mina as they started a new life together on the right note at the House of Blues. Special guest blogger Sheila Appleby Williams offers an up close look at the couple’s May 15, 2011 I do’s, which took place in the presence of rock royalty during Rock n’ Roll Fantasy  Camp.

Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp Wedding

“A rockin’ wedding for a non- traditional couple who place a high premium on having fun times.”

by Sheila Appleby Williams

Fred Koury (drummer for Cinderella) stage left, gave away the bride. Beth Porter, Rock’n’Roll Camp Band Manager, was a bridesmaid.

Taft Stricklin has been a fan of singer, songwriter, guitarist, Sammy Hagar since he was a young kid growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio. His older brothers were big fans of the 70′s hardrock band, Montrose (featuring Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar) and adds Stricklin (now in his late 30’s) “I was way beyond just a fan of Van Halen when Hagar joined the band in the 80′s.”

The couple exchange vows. Chris Robinson presided over the ceremony.

So much so that he vowed when we got married, Sammy Hagar would be playing guitar at his wedding.

Fast forward to April 2011 when Stricklin’s fiancée, Mina (a P&G corporate attorney) chanced upon an ad for Rock’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp featuring a performance by celebrity rocker, Sammy Hagar.

The happy couple celebrates their union with a capacity crowd at House of Blues

The 1,300 guest list immediately got shredded and following a couple of telephone calls to the “incredibly nice and friendly” R&R staff member, Beth Porter, the wedding plans were finalized. Friends and family back home were understanding and responded to the idea with enthusiasm and support “It so fits you!”

Man and wife– a long hug in front of a cheering crowd

Taft, a talented guitarist who owns a wholesale audio/video store, enrolled in the 5 day camp experience featuring legendary musician counselors, jam sessions, rehearsals, song writing and performances. The couple flew to Los Angeles for the ultimate Rock and Roll destination wedding to take place following a live performance by Sammy Hagar, on stage at the world famous House of Blues in the heart of the Sunset Strip. A capacity crowd of rock camp family and friends and local rockers attended the event, which concluded the filming of the Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp reality show on VH1.

Tossing confetti into the crowd

Mina and Taft are the proud parents of an adorable 10-month-old baby girl, Violet who sports pink skull and crossbones booties and is already a budding rock star, says her Dad.

On their first date, 7 years ago (following a 2 hour phone conversation), Taft showed up with a song he had written for Mina (collective sigh) and her response was “What took you so long to find me?”

VHI host, Kimberly Caldwell (American Idol) introduces Taft to the House of Blues crowd.

The wedding nuptials were announced by VH1 Host, Kimberly Caldwell (American Idol), the wedding march played by keyboardist, Teddy Andreadis (Guns‘n’Roses, Alice Cooper), the bride (wearing an elegant bouffant skirted gown and retro fascinator as her veil) was given away by drummer, Fred Coury (Cinderella) and the maid of honor was Rock’n’Roll Camp Band Manager, Beth Porter. The groom wore a tuxedo shirt with a black bow tie, a red rose boutonniere on his lapel and a huge grin.

Taft Stricklin at House of Blues, prior to the wedding.

The newlyweds agreed, “The experience was more amazing than we had imagined! It was incredible and we are so happy!”

Sheila Appleby Williams is the author of A Traveling Pug, a blog dedicated to the L.A. scene as seen through the eyes of her pug, Phoebe. For more information:

Photo Credit: Sheila Appleby Williams

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4 Responses to “Rock’n’Roll Fantasy Camp Wedding”
  1. Kimberly says:

    I was at the House of Blues when they got married and it was really pretty cool!!! The groom threw out guitar picks with their pictures on them, and everyone ran to grab for them, by daughter’s friend caught the brides bouquet. It was really quit beautiful. I wish them both many many years of happiness.

  2. Nancy says:

    I couldn’t think of a better way for Taft and Mina to exchange their vows. This experience was tailor-made for them. Congratulations!

  3. Lisa says:

    I was there and it was AWESOME! My husband was a counselor at the camp who played the wedding march. Though I didn’t know Taft and Mina before the wedding, I felt as if we were all family celebrating their big day! It was so fun and festive! Made me wish that I had done something like that when we got married! I think more people need to breathe some creativity into their weddings. Rockin’ with Sammy Hagar is so much cooler than sitting in a stuffy banquet hall eating Chicken Kiev!

    Congrats Taft and Mina! I will cherish my souvenir guitar pick!


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