Musician Nita Strauss Marries Josh Villalta in ‘Heavy Metal Dream Wedding’ with WWE Star Mick Foley as Officiant … – PEOPLE

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Nita Strauss is married!

The rock guitarist, 37, wed her manager Josh Villalta on May 4 at The Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, surrounded by 120 guests including Alice Cooper, retired WWE star Mick Foley, Demi Lovato and Jutes, and David Draiman of the band Disturbed.

Strauss — who describes the couple’s nuptials as “our dark, romantic, heavy metal dream wedding” — tells PEOPLE they chose the location not only for its aesthetic but for its logistical convenience.

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta pose at their wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

“We wanted someplace that was easy to get to for as many of our friends and loved ones as possible,” she says. “Los Angeles is my home, Josh’s second home, and where we met and fell in love, so it felt natural to tie the knot there.”

When they dug into the planning, however, they realized they had differing visions for the scale of the wedding. “I wanted simple and intimate — just us and our close loved ones — and he is more of a social butterfly and wanted to celebrate with all of his friends as well as our families,” she explains. “We wound up somewhere in the middle.”

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta exchange vows at their wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

Since they were out on tour at the time, she and Villalta — who is also a drummer and performs with Strauss — tapped wedding planner Sara Landon (with support from Efren Ramirez) for help pulling all of the details together. To bring to life their goth-glam “Haute Dracula” vibe, the couple leaned into a color palette of deep red, green, black and jewel tones, with lots of flowers from In Blume and nods to their favorite music, pets and hometowns of Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Making their wedding super personal was important to the pair. “[We wanted] the wedding to feel like ‘us.’ We didn’t want a cookie-cutter ceremony or reception that you could see in any bridal magazine — we wanted every aspect of the day and the experience to reflect us as a couple,” Strauss explains.

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta at their wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

They forwent typical wedding traditions and instead had a simple, heartfelt ceremony — which was officiated by Foley, 58. Cooper, 76, and his wife, Sheryl, also did a special reading together.

Strauss wore a Maggie Sottero gown, the Frederique Royale style, featuring beaded lace, a fit-and-flare silhouette and a sweetheart neckline. She paired the gown with white Valentino rockstud flats, which she later swapped for customized white Air Force One sneakers for the reception. Her wedding-day glam was overseen by makeup artist Candice Renae.

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta seal their union with a kiss at their wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

As the celebration kicked off, guests enjoyed a plated dinner with a menu featuring a fresh burrata and heirloom tomato salad and three different main course options — grilled beef tenderloin, Chilean sea bass and spinach ravioli. For dessert, a selection of New Orleans-inspired treats were served, including beignets, mini pecan pies and Napoleons.

Strauss and Villalta also had a wedding cake, a traditional Louisiana-style confection called a doberge, made of multiple thin layers of cake alternating with pudding. “It’s one of our very favorite desserts, and we were so excited to share it with our Cali guests,” the musician says of the cake created by Gambino’s Bakery.

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta celebrate after tying the knot.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

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As a surprise for her new husband, Strauss also ordered a custom groom’s cake from Cake and Art designed to replicate Villalta’s favorite snare drum.

Naturally, the couple included their love of music in their celebration, with help from The Moon Units. “We scheduled a live band karaoke set and invited all our guests to celebrate with song,” Strauss tells PEOPLE. “Since most of our friends are musicians, it was a rocking reception!”

She and Villalta shared their first dance as husband and wife to Extreme’s “More Than Words.”

Nita Strauss and Josh Villalta dance at their wedding reception.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

The pair first met in 2011 when they were introduced by mutual friends in the driveway of the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood. Fittingly, they returned to that very same spot more than 10 years later after they got engaged to snap a photo together.

Villalta popped the question onstage at their album release show at the Whisky A Go Go club in July 2023. The couple announced the happy news via a joint Instagram post at the time, sharing a video of the proposal. Strauss captioned it, “FOREVER YES @thejoshv!!!!!! I can’t wait to be your wife ❤️.”

Nita Strauss performs with Alice Cooper (far right) at her wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

Now, as she reflects on the wedding, Strauss says it was an unforgettable day. “A lot of our nearest and dearest friends and family never had the occasion to be in the same room at once, so having everyone all together was such a joyous occasion,” she tells PEOPLE, noting that it was important to her that she and Villalta took this next step in their relationship.

Nita Strauss and Alice Cooper perform at her wedding.

DeAngelo Castro for SYMBOLL

“Josh has said many times over the last nine years, ‘We’ve been together so long, we’re already married.’ And I’ve been the one saying, ‘No, we have to do the thing!’ ” she continues. “So now we’ve truly done the thing, we’ve made it official, tied the knot, as long as we both shall live.”

After heading straight into production days for two upcoming festivals they are performing in with Strauss’ band, the newlyweds will enjoy a honeymoon in the Greek islands.

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