Southern Gothic Wiccan Wedding in the Rain

Sam Stroud Photo

May 24, 2018

The weather doesn’t always play ball and even though the heavens well and truly opened on Kelley and Jeff’s wedding day they didn’t let it stop them having the outdoor ceremony they always wanted!

They were married on October 29th and had a Halloween themed Wiccan celebration at The Glasgow Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. ” Our wedding theme was southern gothic, laid-back swampy”, said the bride, “the place where beauty and decay meet. We wanted a Halloween wedding that the ghosts of our ancestors would have felt at home attending.”

“Our inspiration was Harper Lee, Anne Rice and William Faulkner. Also, hoodoo, dark romanticism, nightmares, New Orleans, Savannah, the blues, jazz, Edgar Allan Poe, cemeteries, plantation, abandoned places, ghosts and magick!”

The ceremony was held outside, just as it started to rain, but it sure did make for some speculator photos of all the guests holding their umbrellas! “We got married in a downpour”, she laughed. “We keep asking the spirits for a dreary overcast day – who wants a bright sunny Halloween wedding? Maybe we should have been more specific though! It even started to thunder when we were saying our vows… We think that’s a good omen, right??!!”

“The ceremony was a handfasting as I am Wiccan and Jeff is Christian. Our officiant acknowledged the directions and we said our vows to each other by placing a hand on each others heart. When we fasted our hands, we declared our intentions to support and love each other. All of the guests were rain soaked but shook their tambourines while declaring ‘WE WILL’ help support the marriage as well… and the binding was made! Then we jumped the broom.”

They budgeted around $20,000, but in total they spent £55,000. “I wish we’d known before we started planning how our joint obsession with wacky details would keep manifesting! Getting the right flavor cake in black, happy faces vs. scary faces on jack-o-lanterns and how to have a Halloween wedding and not use any neon orange – you know the normal everyday details that the folks in the wedding industry handle all the time! Our biggest cost was food… because it’s food. And no one likes crappy food. Our caterer was a local small business that uses local and organic ingredients. They supported our vision of a Halloween wedding from the very start. You can’t put a price tag on your vendors support and enthusiasm.”

“The outside of the wedding cake was black with a brushed silver relief catacomb vibe (a skull and butterfly theme as well). The inside was Earl Grey cake giving it a black flecked appearance and lime filing. As soon as Catherine, who made our cake, told us she had the perfect flavor, Earl Grey, for a southern gothic wedding, I had to have it.”

The couple did a LOT of DIY projects including the pumpkins, the scarecrows and all the signs. They also made the cake stand, painted multiple oil lamps to hide battery votives (as no open flames were allowed in the venue) and even made the tambourines for their guests to shake during the ceremony. “I can’t pick just one thing, aesthetically speaking, that was my favourite -everything was designed to fit together and compliment each other. I had a dream team that brought the whole thing to life just as I envisioned it.”

The best thing about planning the wedding for Kelley was the team of suppliers she had around her to help. “Rachel, our planner, made everything so easy. Plus meeting some really fabulous creative people who will always continue to inspire me was amazing.”

“Have fun!” she advises. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, and the easy way to achieve non-perfection is to have a southern gothic themed wedding where everything is a little dingy, askew, and catawampus. So when the them of your wedding dress is a muddy mess, you can just say you planned it that way!”