Boho Maximalist Vulture Culture Wedding

Tori Sokalski Photography

February 19, 2024

Jasmine and Asher’s wedding, described by the couple as “a boho-maximalist-vulture-culture wedding since it just hits all of the buzz words” was a combination of their love of natural artifacts with a fantasy feel since they’re both self confessed nerds, The pair, who met in college in biology lab, were married at Fonthill Castle in Pennsylvania, the day before Halloween.

This couple handmade every detail to suit their theme. Each centrepiece had a different theme and backstory that stemmed from unique causes of death. The tables also featured stacks of their favourite books with spooky or conspiratorial themes. Most of them had a variety of skulls and skeletons they have collected over the years and the table place cards were designed to look like mortuary toe tags.

“Honestly, we were just inspired by how we decorate our home”, Jasmine told us. “Nature and museums are both very important to us and we like to decorate as if we were in an art gallery or natural history museum. We wanted the wedding to be an extension of that same style and passion. We pulled most of the decorations off of our walls and display shelves.”

One challenge they did face, was conveying their unique theme and ideas to others and dealing with their reactions! Jasmine explains, “Because we had such an untraditional concept, there were definitely difficulties in communicating exactly what we were looking for and that the end result would still look classy when we were updating family members on how the planning was going. It can be a bit discouraging to get the funny looks when you say ‘Yeah… there’s going to be bones on the tables’ but knowing in your heart of hearts that the end result was going to look awesome. Wee stuck with our gut and are so thrilled with the results. It really felt like there wasn’t any significant compromises we made on our final vision and I’m so glad it turned out so authentically.”

Instead of starting the day with a first look, or seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, Jasmine and Asher did a private hair braiding to have a moment alone. They sat together and read private vows, and then took a few minutes together as Jasmine finished Asher’s hair.

The ceremony then began with Jasmine emerging from the woods (rather than walking down an ‘aisle’) to Lower the Heavens by the Donkeys. As they’d already done their vows in private, the ceremony was quick, just a short handfasting ritual, and then they exited to It Always Happens this Way by Toulouse.

Each family member and wedding party member also had a unique detail carefully picked out by the bride. They were all dressed in pseudo-renn faire outfits with accessories unique to their personality.

Choosing a venue that was 70 miles from their home did present some challenges, especially as this was a fully DIY wedding! They made all the decorations, floral arrangements, table settings and signage themselves and brought in all their own couches, chairs, tables and rugs! The vases were thrifted plastic and glass ones which they painted with a baking soda/acrylic paint mixture so they would look textured, like clay or terracotta.

“We rented a U-Haul and loaded it with everything the day before the wedding”, they explained. “We drove it to the venue the day-of and frantically unloaded and arranged everything in the couple of hours we had prior to the start of the ceremony. There were a couple of hitches along the way, but we accomplished almost every goal we had for the décor, and couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“Being able to see how beautifully the full vibe of the event came together was so so so rewarding”, the bride concluded. “There were times leading up to the event where I felt like we weren’t going to meet our own expectations for all of our plans, and that all of the time we spent meticulously planning weren’t going to have been worth the effort. But seeing the bridal party in their wonderful little outfits, and just looking so put together, and seeing Asher at the first look, and the ceremony space… just everything one after an other seeing the plans from paper come to life was absolutely magical.”

“Seeing the plan come together and all of the people who matter the most to us show up to help us was the best”, Asher agreed. “We had more than a dozen people help us in the lead up to the wedding and being able to direct them as a team to achieve the goals we laid out months prior was extremely gratifying. We had to dissemble and repack everything by the end of the night as well. We figured the same people who helped us set up would be the only ones to help us take down, but when people saw us frantically stuffing decorations into sacks and boxes we had loads of friends jump in unprompted to help us repack and reload our truck. It may not seem like a big gesture but having people abandon a party to help you pack without even being asked was incredibly heartwarming, and it made me feel truly connected to those people.”