Cemetery Chic: A Wedding Inspired by Death and the Funeral Industry

James Mottram Photography

January 16, 2020

Sophie’s time working in the funeral industry has taught her that true love shines brighter than ever in our darkest hours. Therefore when it came to planning her wedding to Tim, there was only one theme that felt fitting to them. “Funerals capture your story and reflect our true feelings”, she explained, “so for us it was the perfect theme for our special day. We are a family that celebrates life and seek to change the outlook of death and the stigma surrounding it in the UK.” 

Married in the woods at Bradgate Park in Leicestershire in June, with a reception at Horseshoe Cottage Farm in Cropston afterwards, Sophie and Tim put their all into creating a day bespoke to them, which was taxing at times. “We originally looked at a venue that supplied everything but the cost was so big we took on the challenge of doing everything ourselves and in hindsight, we wouldn’t have saved that much money. Though we did get more for our money but it took everything including our sanity at some points.”

Their planning included hunting for decorations at car boots and in the sales, then bringing them home to goth up! For the ceremony venue, they kept it simple – Sophie’s dad made an arbour for them to get married under, Tim’s mum spent months crocheting seat pads for the log ceremony seating and Sophie’s sister hung mirrors decorated with a poem throughout the walk to the ceremony location. The couple spent most of their efforts pimping up their ceremony venue. They decorated the woods, tipi and field themselves. They used lace – lots and lots of black lace – and Sophie’s mum made gothic bunting and hula hoop lace chandeliers. They decorated tables with moss, candles and dusty wine bottles. 

Their table plan was displayed on an old, vintage desk with an anatomically correct, life size skeleton sitting in an old chair writing our their names! They hung a black photo frame from the trees in the woods and filled a coffin with props for a makeshift photo booth. They even designed and made their own Graveyard Golf to entertain their guests – they holes included a heaven and hell drop, personalised headstones and a cauldron of bones.

Sophie’s funniest moment of the wedding was the reception when their wedding transport turned up. “The funeral home I work for supplied hearse and limo for me and my bridesmaids to travel in. When it arrived at my parents house, the neighbours came out to offer their condolences as they thought someone had died!”

For their ceremony, they wrote their own vows, and also had speeches written for them which captured their beliefs surrounding death and marriage. They then sloped off to a beautiful local cemetery for a photo shoot. “I find cemeteries very peaceful places and it was brilliant to take half an hour out of the chaos and breath with my new husband. Those few minutes will be forever precious and we have the photos to remind us.”

“Our non-traditional theme certainly split the room when we sent out invitations out, but despite some dark judgements, nobody can deny it wasn’t a positive day filled with love and happiness. We’re glad we stuck to our guns and had a day that represented our love and life so well.”