Gothic & Literary Lower East Side Synagogue Wedding: Devan & Keith

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Devan and Keith were married in New York’s Lower Eastside. Their incredible venue was The Angel Orensanz, the oldest Reformed Synagogue in the US. The bride wore a black Vera Wang gown but with it she rocked her T.U.K. Creepers – don’t you just love that?!

“I’m not sure if I can accurately ascribe a particular theme to our wedding because we weren’t necessarily going for one”, Devan explained. “We received various comments about its unconventionality, though that really wasn’t the aim either. We simply approached our wedding planning by choosing things that felt meaningful and personal to us, and based a lot of our decisions (like food and music) on what we liked, really sort of oblivious to tradition or trend.”

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“It made the task of planning a bit daunting at times (not being restricted to a theme left us with an overwhelming range of choices), but it really all paid off in the end. In different ways, we’re both the type of person who really needs something to have meaning for it to feel like a worthwhile choice. I can honestly say that every tiny detail was intentionally and purposefully selected. The end result was a wedding that felt very honest, personal, and ‘us’ (cliché, I know), in every single way.”

“Although we didn’t have a theme per se, we are definitely drawn to vintage, gothic, macabre, and Victorian aesthetics, so that’s reflected quite a bit in our wedding. We’re also very literary obsessed and admittedly rather on the nerdy side, both of which came out in some subtle, and perhaps some not so subtle, details (our wedding favors, which were a special edition of Pride & Prejudice designed by Keith, the inscriptions on our rings, our officiant’s book, which yes, sort of served as our something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and of course Keith’s suit).”

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“The touches we did add were intended to compliment the gothic feel of the venue (bell jars, taxidermy, candelabras, vintage books, vintage lace, etc.). We had an awesome super affordable decorator (who also does window displays for Anthropologie), and she totally got the look we were going for (she also did all the flowers, flower crowns, and boutonnières). I didn’t really want a lot of flowers, I really just wanted to keep them simple with darker reds and pale colors. We also wanted to put a unique spin on the boutonnières, specifically to get around using flowers. We went with feathers, which I think worked out so well and tied in with the other décor, the taxidermy, and the bridesmaids’ necklaces.”

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The ceremony was particularly important to this pair. They wrote the whole thing themselves and one of their friends got ordained to perform it for them. “It was just really important that everything felt authentic and personal to us. We wrote our entire ceremony as well as our vows ourselves and asked one of our best friends (who I’ve known since I was 15) to become ordained and perform our wedding, which he did brilliantly. In lieu of the normal promises that tend to get made, both of our vows were really just professions of our love for one another (the whole promising thing seemed odd and a bit superfluous to us since the things that get promised are really just an inherent part of our relationship; it seemed silly to promise to do things we do naturally). We also had another friend (Alex Paul of Science) play acoustic guitar and sing for our procession and recession music, and he completely blew everyone away (Keith said the second Alex started playing the tears started to come). I walked down to Alex’s acoustic cover of ‘Helena’ by My Chemical Romance and the recession was an acoustic cover of ‘Friday I’m in Love’ by The Cure.”

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 “So onto the dress…” she continued. “Long before I even started looking for a dress, Keith’s sister, knowing me well, joked that I would probably wear a black one. Little did she know, that was absolutely my plan, and although saying I was wearing black had some people scratching their heads, once they saw the dress, their minds were completely changed. I wore my absolute dream dress. I had always known that if I had a proper wedding I wanted to wear a black dress. I never wear white, so why would I wear it on my wedding day?”

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“Initially, finding the right dress seemed impossible, and the options in black were next to none. To complicate things more, I really have a thing for Vera Wang’s classic gowns, which left me with a slight dilemma – do I stick with black or do I let it go and go for a Vera Wang? I started to feel like I was going to have to compromise one way or the other (which left me completely indecisive), and then somehow, as if she’d read my mind, Vera Wang released a collection of ‘witchcraft and enchantment’ inspired black wedding gowns. My mind was blown. I really didn’t want to wear heels (I’m clumsy and knew I’d be very nervous walking down the aisle), but my husband is over a foot taller than me, so I wanted to give myself at least a bit of height. I ended up pairing my dress with my black creepers, which worked out so perfectly. I also wore matching earrings and necklace custom made from handpicked raw black tourmaline and a dainty rose flower crown.”

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We wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding”, she concluded. “We’re so happy we did everything our own way and didn’t feel bound by rules or tradition because we really ended up with a wedding that reflected who we are. I’m also so glad we really put the effort into making each and every detail something significant, meaningful, and personal to us.”

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Supporting Cast

8 comments

  1. oh my. THIS.IS.AMAZING. That dress is one of my favourite wedding dresses ever. The lighting, the outfits, the skulls, the centre pieces, the vows, the suit! I love just how personal this, every single detail. LOVE IT.
    Congrats Devan and Keith! :D Love from The Zoots

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