For everyone that wants the big, family wedding there are those that can think of nothing worse. They crave something small, intimate and just for the two of them. That’s exactly what Erin and Ryan wanted their wedding to be like. They said their vows in front of an old abandoned church with Ryan’s best friend Travis officiating the ceremony.
“Our wedding was pretty far from normal”, the bride told me. “We eloped for one. We decided a big wedding wasn’t for us, but still didn’t just want a courthouse wedding. So we decided to take everything we liked about more traditional weddings, and left the rest behind. I had a dress, he had a tie, but Instead of inviting (and feeding) all our friends and family, we bought a dozen donuts and had my mother and a few close friends there (6 people including us).”
Courtney and Todd were married on October 31st and had a Halloween wedding at Bradley Chapel at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, NY. The cemetery made for the perfect location for their portraits too!
“I love cemeteries and I have always said that if I ever got married, it would be in one”, Courtney wrote. “We’re both big horror fans so getting married at a cemetery on Halloween just made sense! We really wanted to capitalise on the whole Halloween and horror theme. We used real toe tags as escort cards and instead of table numbers we assigned every table a horror movie. We also incorporated ‘jumping the broom’ into our ceremony, which is something that none of our guests had ever seen before.”
The bride wore a beautiful princess style dress from David’s Bridal with gothic style accessories that all came from eBay. “For years I had told everyone that I would be wearing a black dress when I got married”, she explained. “I looked and tried on a few black dresses but I never got that ‘bride’ feeling until I tried on a white one. I fell in love with the third white dress I tried on, and purchased it without even giving it a second thought. From that day on, I had to keep the colour of my dress a secret from EVERYONE!! I wanted it to be a huge shock when the doors opened and I came out in white. It was especially hard to keep the secret from Todd. Especially since I made my own veil. He asked me one day why I was making a white veil and I had to tell him that it was for a friend who was getting married as well. So imagine his surprise when I walked up wearing a white dress and the veil that I made right in front of him!!”
Jess and Matt were married at a cemetery. Although this might sound a bit ‘weird’, they thought it was anything but, “Many people get married in a church, and pretty much all churches have graveyards so our venue was not too far from the ordinary when you think about it”, Jess said. “Arnos Vale is a place we hold deep affection for, so the surroundings were the focal point and the building was an aside.”
“As neither of us are religious or keen on upholding tradition were very eager to do things our way, creating a day that was so obviously ‘us’ every step of the way”, she explained. “We only the kept the traditions we want and threw out those we didn’t. We got dressed on the morning of the wedding together – we get ready with each other every time we go out, trusting each other implicitly to be honest about how the other looks. We are each other’s mirror, so to get dressed with anyone else would’ve started the day on completely the wrong note.”
You all know that I don’t blog many engagement shoots, but I just couldn’t resist this one. I think you’ll see why pretty quickly…
“We decided to do their engagement photos in the Allegheny Cemetery, one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest cemeteries”, wrote photographer Sarah of Sugar and Spice Weddings. “We were very low key and just took a nice walk through the 300 acres that are there and took little stops along the way to take some photographs. I wanted to show the cemetery as a subtle backdrop but I didn’t want it to be a main focal point in the photos.”
“Both Jesse and Chris are tattoo artist and have beautiful work themselves so I really liked contrast of their bright tattoos and all the green in the cemetery this time of year. They are really into each other (obviously) so I tried to get a lot of photos of the two of them just interacting with one another. I wanted to keep it simple and natural. It was a blast.”
I dunno about you but I am just dying to see this wedding!
It feels weird to start a real wedding post with a disclaimer of sorts but this is just one of those weddings that I share with a small sense of trepidation. Without wanting to sound like anybody’s mother, let’s just remember that this is two people’s actual wedding day and their way of expressing their love. I am under no disillusion that parts of the wedding may well divide opinion, but as always, let’s keep the comments constructive and remember what Rock n Roll Bride is all about…
Kristen & Joe were married at Mountain View Cemetery Oakland, CA. “I knew before Joe and I even got engaged that I wanted to be married in a cemetery”, Kristen explained. “We searched multiple cemeteries from Sacramento to the Bay Area, and Mountain View was perfect for us. It was welcoming and alive with people enjoying the beauty and history of the place. It was challenging to find a place to hold a ceremony and have 150 guests without them feeling uncomfortable by ‘sitting’ on people. We had almost scoured the entire place and given up when the main crypt came into view. We had found it!”
“The path to the ceremony site was long and we spent ages thinking of different ideas on how to get me up to the ceremony without having to walk forever as well as how to keep me hidden from view until the right moment. We originally planned on using a car, so I told Joe that my mother had a friend who would use their classic car for the ceremony without charging us. Yes, I admit I started our marriage out on a lie… but I was working on a surprise for my groom and all of the guests.”
“I decided I wanted to show up to the ceremony wheeled up in a coffin. There was only my mother, her husband, my mother in law, and the man who built the coffin in on the secret. An hour prior to the ceremony I had the photographer grab the groomsmen for photos with the bride. Little did they know, that they had been chosen as the pallbearers. They practiced picking up the coffin, wheeling it on the gurney, setting it up and dropping the front door for me to walk out. They only had one shot to make it happen and there was no turning back. The ceremony started and the bridesmaids made their walk alone, to Joe’s confusion until he saw a coffin being wheeled up the hill by his groomsman. At that point he knew…”
Adam & Barbara’s trash the dress shoot is like nothing I’ve ever seen! Day of the Dead make up fused with an awesome cemetery location made for something pretty special. The bride did the make up “It was a trial and error process,” she explained. “I looked up make up designs online and tried different ones to see which would look best with my (and my husband’s) facial structure, without looking too cluttered. Since it was right before Halloween, I could find cream makeup almost anywhere, and picked up a few tubes, and some extra just in case I ran out. I applied it with paint brushes, which helped so I could layer it on without it looking too thick. I had to apply three layers of white to give it a true white appearance, and if I hadn’t run out of time, I would’ve applied more.”
The couple, who said their wedding was a bit of a ‘toned-down’ version of them, wanted to do something really dramatic and something they’d always remember for their post-wedding shoot. “Our wedding was very calm, very pretty, very “toned down” from the route I would normally go,” Barbara continued. “We met at a Hot Topic store, started dating at a Halloween party, and got engaged at a rock Concert in California, but I wanted our families to feel comfortable, so I opted for only a few things that were on the darker side (mainly, the table that held my seating chart, which had Beetlejuice figures of “Barbara” and “Adam” and a twisted looking votive tree).”
“I wanted to do a Trash the Dress shoot because… well… you only live once, and I wanted to do something that I could remember, and look at the pictures down the road, and say “I’m glad I did that, that was so much fun”. The Day of the Dead seemed like it would be really fun to do. We wanted to do something completely non-traditional, something a little off-the-wall, something with a bit of shock value (which we definitely got when we went into town with the makeup on, plenty of stares, scared children, it was really funny), and this was the perfect opportunity. We were actually planning on changing out of the Day of the Dead stuff and do a normal Trash the Dress shoot halfway through, but… it was too much fun, so we decided to stick with it.”