Tag Archives: Cemetery

Freakshow Wedding at a Cemetary: Jess & Matt

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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.”

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“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.”

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Tattooed Cemetery Engagement Shoot: Jesse & Chris

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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.”

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“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!

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Historic Cemetery Wedding with the Bride Arriving in a Coffin: Kristen & Jo

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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!”

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“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…”

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Adam & Barbara’s Day of the Dead, Cemetery Trash the Dress Photo Shoot

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.”

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Leigh & Brian’s Incredible Cemetery Wedding

I featured Leigh & Brian’s ridiculously awesome engagement shoot back in June – you’ll remember it, it was the one with the bed in a river! So, you can imagine my excitement when their photographer Hollie sent me the couple’s  recent wedding – they got married in a cemetery! The bride is a writer herself and so she wrote me a bit of an essay on their amazing wedding. It’s ace though so I wanted to share all her thoughts here with you.

“Oh my lord, where to even begin?  It was all just awesome, and our friends, family, and planners really thought of everything, from the “‘Till Death Do They Part”, Day of the Dead-themed engagement party, to the tombstone-shaped chocolates my mom made for our out-of-town guests,” she began. “We had such a great time, and I think everyone really enjoyed our crazy cemetery wedding.”

“I think we’re Rock n Roll because we did something that meant a lot to us, even though we knew we’d probably get some raised eyebrows.  And I also think we’re rock ‘n roll because we were able to pull off a completely unique event while still keeping our guests in mind — even though we were in an unconventional location, we made sure people were comfortable, and that they had refreshments, fans, and plenty of seating before and during the ceremony.  We had shuttles to take people to and from the ceremony site, and transportation for people inside the cemetery, if they had difficulty with the stone pathways.  Basically, we wanted to do it our way, but we didn’t want to do it at the expense of everyone’s comfort, and I think we did a good job of making our cemetery wedding a blast for everyone.”

“Overall, we went with a “vintage Savannah” theme; we wanted something unique and personal, but we also wanted to incorporate a lot of traditional Southern elements.  The location was definitely traditional and Southern – the ceremony was held on Lion’s Field in Historic Oakland Cemetery, in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta.  Oakland is Atlanta’s first city cemetery, and was designed in the Victorian garden style; it’s a beautiful place, with old stone pathways, gorgeous mausoleums, elaborate statuary, and plenty of trees and flowers.  The field where we were married is actually hundreds of unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, and has three enormous old magnolias shading part of the area.”

“We did a ceremony in the round, which meant the chairs were arranged to circle where Brian and I stood, with four aisles between the chairs; each aisle was marked by a pair of urns filled with hydrangea, dusty miller, and Spanish moss (to go with the Southern theme; all our bouquets had the same flowers, but with added gardenia, so they smelled unbelievable).  They erected iron gatework around the ceremony area, and covered that in vines, moss, and candles; we also had a refreshment table under one of the magnolias (where they served our signature drink, a lime, cucumber, and mint blend we called the “Bobby Jones” — Bobby’s grave is in the cemetery), and they hung a chandelier filled with candles in the tree above the bar.  Buses were taking people to the ceremony site, and because some guests would be getting there early, we had passed h’ors d’ouerves and robin’s egg blue silk fans on every chair, with a little note attached, telling everyone to stay cool.”

“After the ceremony (which was performed by a judge friend of ours), we’d arranged guided tours of the cemetery for anyone who was interested in seeing more of the place (it’s enormous, with 70,000 people buried there, and I didn’t want people feeling like they’d only seen a portion of it) — I’d coordinated the tours ahead of time with the Oakland director, and had people mark on their RSVP cards if they wanted to participate.  On our wedding day, the cemetery docents surprised us by dressing up in Victorian period costumes (which was awesome!) to lead the groups around the grounds; afterward, we heard rave reviews about the docents, and how interesting the tours had been.  People who didn’t go on the tours were taken straight to the reception location. where a cocktail hour was being held; meanwhile, we and the wedding party traipsed through the cemetery, taking roughly one million photographs.”

“We held the reception at the Wimbish Mansion in midtown Atlanta — it’s a gorgeous old stone home just sitting in the middle of the city, and it has a fabulous ballroom from the 1920’s, which we loved.  We wanted to tie in the cemetery theme, but without being too obvious about it, so we used the Bird Girl of Savannah — she was the little girl statue that used to be in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery (the one that was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), and we had a copy of her for the centerpiece of the buffet table.  The (amazing) food had the same Southern influence – there was the standard prime rib and whatnot, but we also had fried chicken and a mac and cheese bar, plus a ton of vegan options (including a vegan groom’s cake that people went crazy over).  For the father/daughter dance, we chose an old song from my dad’s favorite movie, and I surprised him with a fake mustache (I wore one, too), a top hat and cape, and dressed him up as an old-time movie villain, which he loved – he kept the get-up on for the rest of the night.”

“More fun reception touches included the photo booth, which we filled with vintage hats, mustaches, and other props (we got our mustaches and glasses-on-a-stick from MaroDesignson etsy).  Instead of having a guest book, we had a vintage framed chalkboard in the booth (which was purchased from RevivedVintage, also on etsy), so guests could be photographed with their personal messages to us.  For the bouquet toss, I made a bouquet out of scratch-off lottery tickets, and attached a penny to one of the ribbons — we announced that the toss was for anyone who wanted to get lucky, and it was actually caught by one of the groomsmen, who was so excited that he ran a victory lap around the ballroom immediately afterward.”

“Finally, when it was time to go, everyone was given a plastic egg filled with birdseed for our exit toss — for these, Brian and I bought a ton of plastic white Easter eggs, spray painted them (and a good portion of the driveway; oops) blue, then added brown “spots” with a spray bottle of thinned paint.  Everyone tossed the birdseed at us as we came down the stairs outside (I was still finding birdseed in my hair two days later), and the night finished with Brian and I leading a parade of guests down Peachtree Street and back to the hotel for a little post-partying, behind a (very tolerant) younger guest who carried a “Just Married” flag.  We walked into the hotel bar, and the people there gave us a standing ovation; it was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect day, and now I totally want to do it all over again.”

Yep, totally awesome huh!? I love these guys!

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True Blood

I think you’re gonna absolutely love these! Hayley’s trash the dress/bridal shoot had two ideas behind it – a goth bride and the movie Carrie! Scary and wonderful aren’t they?

I can’t actually decide which idea I prefer as both of them certainly have a ‘True Blood’ feel to them and I am obsessed with that show! I suddenly have a very strong inclination to go watch a very scary film…maybe about sexy vampires.

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