Romantic Memento Mori & Skull Wedding

Ashley Tiedgen Photography 

April 8, 2017

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Amber and Chris were married in October and took inspiration for their wedding from Amber’s vintage skull engagement ring. They wanted their wedding to feel old worldly, and described their wedding theme as a ‘Memento Mori Romance’. Roughly translated, ‘Memento Mori’ means ‘remember you must die’ and Memento Mori jewellery was given to loved ones to remind them that life is fleeting so to live each day to the fullest.

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“We had a hard time describing the vision for our wedding to other people”, said the bride. “The second you say skulls in October everyone assumes Halloween or Day of the Dead. Don’t get me wrong we’re obsessed with both of these things, but we wanted to do something different for our wedding. Our family owned business, The Cupcake Gypsies, shows our love of Dia de los Muertos in full force! But we wanted our wedding to feel more old worldly so we thought ‘Memento Mori’ was the perfect sentiment to bring into our marriage!”

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The wedding was held at Space Gallery in Denver. “We tried to keep everything true to us. We love art so we were married in an art gallery. We love tattoos so we included a DIY tattoo station for guests to sticker their skin. We love food trucks so we had the Steuben’s Food Truck cater the wedding. We also provided a few lawn games for guests to enjoy. We wanted it to be an elegant night with a relaxed feel. Plus the obvious, the skulls. We took the ‘until death’ part of our vows and ran with it!”

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“Our ceremony was outside on the patio at Space Gallery and we kept it short and sweet. The ceremony was performed by our friend (and my bridesmaid), Danielle Balsley, she did an amazing job! Chris, his parents, and the rest of our bridal party walked down the aisle to Somewhere over the Rainbow performed on violin and viola. I walked down with my dad to the string version of First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.”

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“We opted for a ‘wine box ceremony’ over a unity candle. It’s a romantic time capsule that contains letters we wrote to each other as well as a bottle of wine. On our fifth anniversary we are to drink the bottle of wine together and then separate to read the letters we have written to each other! After being announced as man and wife we walked back down the aisle to The Beatles All You Need is Love. I grew up in a Beatles family so I had to include them on our day! It was perfect!”

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“Our family and friends are super crafty so we were able to recruit them for a few things”, she explained. “We could have done more but we really didn’t want to overwhelm anyone. We really just wanted everyone to enjoy the entire process. My mom, sister, and I all did the ribbon curtain that hung from the arch at the ceremony. My dad helped us spray paint the skulls we used for the table numbers. A couple of my bridesmaids helped me pick out pumpkins and paint them. My mom made her dress and my sister, Andrea, made my niece (and flower girl) Molly’s dress. My Aunt Jane made my garter and Molly’s flower crown. Since my sister is the baker for our business, The Cupcake Gypsies, she made our cake and cupcakes plus passion fruit and apple pie caramel candies. Honestly we’re super lucky to be surrounded by such talent! Also my bridesmaid and officiant Danielle made the giant Jenga we used during the reception, she cut and sanded every piece with her dad!”

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The couple’s biggest expense was their décor. “We spent a large chunk of the budget on décor, including rentals, flowers and props. The visual aspect of our wedding was very important to us! We wanted to make sure that there was an element of fall in our wedding so that’s why the flowers were so important. We wanted to take the modern space of the gallery and transform it by adding vintage rentals. We had to purchase all of the skulls and unique vessels for the flowers as well. Every item used really did add to the overall feel of the wedding. Everyone loved the unique theme and fun atmosphere!”

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“The real money saver for us was keeping our head count to about 50 guests. Also using a food truck over a traditional caterer, which really only worked because of the smaller head count. Food service this way takes longer than the traditional route.”

“Our advice for future brides and grooms is remember, at the end of the day ,it does not matter what anyone else thinks you should do at YOUR wedding. This is the one day you have to show your unique love for each other. Never let anyone dampen that glow!”

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