A Victorian Ghost Who Visited the Seventies: A Cosy & Rainy Music-Themed Wedding

Danny Bergin of Chellise Michael Photography

June 15, 2022

For their October wedding, RoseAnn and Drew chose Spillian, an old mansion built in the 1880s in the Catskills, New York, that had been lovingly restored by a theatre tech and fantasy writer. As soon as they saw the piano and themed rooms full of antiques they knew it was the perfect fit for their wedding, which they themed, ‘A Victorian ghost who visited the Seventies’. “We wanted our wedding to feel like Morticia Addams and Cher had a baby”, said RoseAnn. “A little spooky, a little disco and always glam!”

The couple are both musicians so good music was an integral part of the festivities. In fact, almost the entire wedding revolved around it from the dress code (“funky, funky, but chic”) to kicking off the ceremony with Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy and being married by their best friend whose name is really Elvis! Before the ceremony everyone was given a tambourine to shake when they were pronounced husband and wife. The couple also performed an acoustic version of Thirteen by Big Star followed by The Story by Brandi Carlile instead of a first dance and a lot of the décor was inspired by music too! “We used vinyl records instead of a guest book which we plan to frame and hang in our home”, the bride explained. “The table numbers were labelled with the songs we’d put on mix tapes to each other.”

Sadly, their wedding planning had some hardships, with RoseAnn’s uncle, who was very involved in the DIY projects, passing away suddenly a few months before. “He had made a hand carved wood card box as well as all the wooden vases which held some DIYed dried bouquets. He also started our moon photo booth and was even going to build a chuppah before he passed away. He and my aunt were like my grandparents, they even passed down the diamond we used for my engagement ring, so it was devastating to say the least, but I knew he wouldn’t have wanted us to cancel and instead we put all the beautiful things he made on display. Our bridal party even stayed up the entire night before the wedding to finish the moon booth with us. He was toasted in every speech, felt in every song, and no one could get over all the work he’d put into making our day so special.”

The wedding was supposed to be entirely outdoors, but the weather had other plans. It rained all day except for a brief half hour when they all rushed outside so they could have their ceremony in the woodland grove as they planned. They read their own self-written vows, friends and family members played music or recited lyrics as readings, and their dog delivered their rings. “The BEST part though had to be our dog Merlin walking down the aisle when Elvis asked for the rings. He didn’t even need to rehearse, he walked straight to us like a pup on a mission. He wore a custom dog suit from Tuna And Bear and it even had an attachment for him to carry the rings.”

“Before the ceremony, I was feeling incredibly down”, RoseAnn explained. “I think if you’ve lost someone, especially so recently, it just hits you so hard on your wedding day. The weight of grief, the weather not cooperating, the different family dynamics to balance, it just got to me and I was really upset before the wedding. Lucky for me, Drew and I didn’t care about any superstitions about seeing each other beforehand so he and I holed up in the bridal suite with our dog until the ceremony and it just reminded me why we were doing all this in the first place. He gave me the space to just cry and vent and feel all my feelings and I felt so loved. A wedding is just one day, but the family you’re building is why you have it in the first place and that moment reminded me of that. The rest of the day went off without a hitch and we had a blast.”

“Nothing went as planned, but after ten years of being in each other’s lives we were just so happy to be married and the love and support from our friends and family and dog Merlin made it such a beautiful day. Your wedding day doesn’t have to be ‘the happiest day of your life’. Let go of that pressure. Life is unpredictable, sometimes it deals you a crappy hand right before your wedding. One day is not as important as the life you’re building with your partner. We loved our wedding, but did everything go right? No! How could it in these crazy sad times? It was still a magical day filled with so much love. We didn’t do anything we didn’t want to for our wedding. We played the songs we love, we said the words we felt, and we said tradition be damned and going into it with that attitude we highly recommend.”