Tag Archives: Victorian

Victorian Goth Wedding on a Deserted Beach: Katie & Eric

Victorian Goth_Amanda Summerlin-458

Katie & Eric didn’t have the wedding they’d originally planned, but when circumstances changed, so did their wedding. However being able to have the people there that meant a the most to them was more important than waiting for a big wedding. “When we got engaged last summer, we started to plan a big wedding for October 2013 that we could invite all of our friends and family to”, began Katie. “A few months after we became engaged we found out that my Dad had liver cancer, and everything changed. The most important thing was to have our family members at the wedding, and have them all attend in comfort. With that in mind, we changed almost every aspect of the wedding and planned it in four months.”

Victorian Goth_Amanda Summerlin-266

They chose Jekyll Island, GA as the spot where they would say ‘”I do”. Not only was it very close to where Eric proposed, it was where they spent their first day as an engaged couple while adventuring with a group of close friends. The ceremony was held on Driftwood Beach and the reception at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. “My favorite part had to be the ceremony. Eric’s sister, Laura, was our officiant, and she composed a ceremony specifically for us. I made our handfasting cords, and our friends and family set up the ceremony site. It really felt like a group effort and was truly magical. Laura scooped up the sand that was under our feet as we said our vows and gave it to us in a heart shaped jar as a wedding present.”

Victorian Goth_Amanda Summerlin-386

Continue reading

Clockwork Heart & Eyelash Dream: A Victorian Steampunk Shoot

Time travel. Steampunk. Victoriana. Turn of the century industrialism. If you love any of these things then you’re going to die over this shoot, sent over from Ireland by the fabulous Chemistry Photography.

“We put together this shoot with an amazing crew of 20 creatives including designer Alice Halliday (she’s the glowing goddess who designed Florence Welch’s infamous cape) and rockstar make-up artist Kathryn O’Neill (she rocks the wedding world and all the Irish mags)”, photographer Kait told me.

“I had been OBSESSING about steampunking out my iMac, my iPhone, and just about every electronic device I own for a few months. So when Kathryn contacted me and said she was dying to do a creative shoot together… it was the first idea that popped into my head. I had been waiting for a good excuse to buy steampunk goggles and a discombulating ray gun. If I were to get married again, I would definitely have a Steampunk wedding. All the elegant goodness of a vintage, Victorian wedding without sacrificing sass and quirk.”

Continue reading

A ‘Make Do & Mend’ Wedding: Rosie & James

I actually saw Rosie & James’ wedding in the archives of Adam, of Viva Wedding Photography‘s, own blog. I dropped him a line to say I was sure another wedding blogger must have featured it when he first published the photos, but just on the off-chance…and to my utter surprise he said they hadn’t! I have to say, I was thrilled. This wedding has a serious amount of cuteness. The wedding may have taken place in 2009, but it’s still hella inspirational!

The laid-back wedding was held in West Hill Hall, Brighton. “They’re a funny little village hall, in the middle of the city,” Rosie told me. “They put on riot grrrl shows and underground music events in between yoga classes and coffee mornings. They didn’t have a licence to hold the ceremony but we persuaded them to apply for one so that we could do the whole event in one venue. We paid for the license ourselves, but it was still cheaper than hiring a proper wedding venue, and the hall hold onto the licence for 3 years so hopefully lots of other people can have cheap weddings there too.”

The couple wanted to do things on a budget and the bride wore a dress which she’d bought 10 years prior for just £20! Her headpiece was a battered Victorian orange blossom headpiece from eBay, which she re-gilded, covered with antique milliner’s flowers and attached a Victorian tambour lace veil to it. “I had a secondhand 70s dress that I’d never worn. My look has never been groomed and minimal so I embellished it by sewing on as much extra stuff as I could – we called it Bridal Buckaroo. There was loads of Victorian and Edwardian lace and antique enamelled buttons from eBay. It was held together with safety pins inside because I didn’t have time to finish it. In my head it was going to be an amazing confection of perfect seams and antique silk but I was so busy making bunting and tablecloths that I didn’t start the dress until a few days before the wedding so it looks a bit rough round the edges. I also made Edwardian silk underwear out of old bits of lace and trimmed it with antique ombre ribbon rosettes, and repaired a broken Victorian corset. I was still sewing it altogether an hour before the wedding.”

The wedding party also wore homemade and thrifted outfits. The bride’s niece had an Edwardian white lawn dress with crocheted lace panels from eBay and the adult bridesmaids had homemade cotton dresses which the bride made, “They weren’t my best work!” she laughed.

DIY was also a huge part of the wedding – from the cake, made by a friend, and the flowers collected the morning of the wedding from a local flower stall, the couple managed to pull off a lot themselves. They also made their own stationery, the inspiration of which was an old piece of sheet music called ‘Wedding Of The Rose’ that Rosie found in Oxfam then scanned and made the invites from the pattern.

The catering was helped along by friends and family as well. They asked everyone to bring their favourite picnic food to share instead of gifts. “We had an incredible buffet with vintage china, we had so much leftover food that we took it on our honeymoon and had sausage rolls and cakes every day for lunch. We barely had chance to eat anything at the wedding but the leftovers were great!”

To decorate the hall, the couple spent months trawling eBay, charity shops and jumble sales. “We collected net curtains, fake flowers, old sheets and bits of china and cutlery,” Rosie continued. “We dyed the sheets for tablecloths, made patchwork net curtain drapes to disguise the less attractive corners of the hall, did tacky flower arrangements in old Royal Wedding mugs and I handmade 400m of bunting from old clothes and scraps of fabric.”

“I also wanted to find a way to use lots of bits of old ribbon and haberdashery my Granny had given me, so really my inspiration came from finding strange old things and working out how to incorporate them. I had Charles Dickens’ Miss Havisham at the back of my mind – the dusty, rotten lace and cobwebs (probably a bit of my teen goth resurfacing). Almost everything we used at the wedding was secondhand. Someone else got married with our wedding rings, and someone else had worn my veil and used the cake knife. I really like the idea of stuff having a life and a story before it comes to you.”

“We didn’t care about making sure our table confetti matched the hired Rolls Royce, we just wanted an old-school wedding in the village hall, with loads to drink and plenty of foolishness. We both love car boot sales and charity shops, and I’ve always made my own clothes and things out of secondhand tat. I don’t believe in buying something new when you can make it yourself, or get a more interesting version secondhand. Loads of the stuff we used was past its best, and it was nice to resurrect it and give it a new purpose. Also, on a practical level, we thought it would be madness to spend £20,000 we didn’t have on a luxury wedding package when we should be saving up for a house deposit.”

Continue reading

A Neo-Victorian, Steampunk Wedding: Jasmine & George

“We are both crafty, artistic and creative,” the pink haired bride told me. “We wanted a mix of romantic gothic, neo-Victorian, vintage and steampunk for our wedding. We really wanted to make it our own and original with still trying to keep a little tradition for our families. We decided we just wanted hints of each. That’s why we decided to DIY as much as we could.”

After an 11 year relationship, Jasmine & George were married in The Greenhouse at The Foundry, NY by groom’s cousin, John Russo. “We got our wedding rings from Gemvara,” Jasmine continued. “My ring has black and white diamonds and his had black diamonds added to it. The inscription says ‘True Love Waits’ after a Radiohead song because we waited 11 years before we got married.”

The reception was held in the main hall at The Foundry. “Our centerpieces were made by us,” the bride explained. “We collected wine bottle corks and dried out lots of red roses upside down on a laundry line at home at least 3 weeks before putting them all together. The tops of the apothecary jars had a black ribbon tied around with a different steampunk and vintage-themed trinkets attached.”

“The cake toppers were from blimpcat on etsy. They were wooden cameos of us that we used on our Save the Dates. All the paper goods were handmade by my maid of Honor including the programs, menus, table cards, our table banner and the wedding entrance sign. She also made the signs that the entire wedding party and parents held up for the photos. We got our wedding invitations made by Royal Steamline.”

The couple also made a huge effort with their outfits, DIYing and accessorising with vintage and steampunk details. “George and his groomsmen had time piece lapels were made by us using mini metal gears, chains, a mini key & a watch face. We had the florist attach the black calla lillies to the pieces we made.”

“The hats that my bridesmaids wore were made by us as well. We bought simple tear shaped hats and added black & red striped feathers, dark red birdcage tulle, time pieces and mini vintage keys. I made my veil/mask with white birdcage tulle and Swarovski crystals. The feather was from Claire’s Accessories that I just clipped on the side. For the reception, I changed my headpiece to a headband which I also made myself. I bought the sequin trimming and a brooch from etsy which I simply put together.”

Continue reading

A Darkly Dramatic Gothic Wedding: Alix & Zach

AZ 461

Some of you may remember Alix & Zach from their gothic tea party engagement shoot. Well I’m thrilled to be able to share their wedding with you today – and guess what, the smoke came with them!

After getting ready at The Rookery Hotel (somewhere which I’ve actually stayed – its a beautiful hotel!) the couple were married at Lauderdale House in Highgate. The reception was held at somewhere that’s fast becoming one of my favourite London venues, The Metal Works in Islington.

AZ 219

Newlywed Alix told me all about it. “We wanted everything to have a very lush, maturely decadent, and darkly dramatic feel.  Our theme was more romantic from a by-gone age than modern Goth. We were inspired by all that is dark and whimsical…a fusion of Victorian vamp, fanciful garden beauty and Old-World luxe tweaked with flavours of Rock n Roll and Carnival/Circus…elements included mismatched French style furniture, vintage silver ware abound with roses and ostrich feathers and candelabras all in a rich palette of blood red, deep plums, black and white.”

AZ 433

“There were many elements that made our wedding a little bit different and very Rock n Roll,” she continued. “I walked down the aisle to Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses – and when guests arrived at the ceremony we had string quartet versions of Black Sabbath, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Metallica playing.  We wanted to incorporate an ancient Celtic handfasting ceremony as a nod to my Irish heritage which our celebrant was happy to do.  We added a paragraph to the program to explain what it was about so it wasn’t lost on the guests!”

AZ 500

As part of their day, the couple went away with their photographer Lisa Devlin for a photo shoot in a nearby cemetery. They brought along smoke pellets and the photos are quite frankly stunning! Certainly worth some time away from their guests I reckon. “We loved doing the photo shoot in a beautiful ivy covered Victorian cemetery – it started to rain and I had to clamber over brambles in 4” heels but it was totally worth it and I cannot believe Lisa managed to get such an amazing smoke effect from the smoke pellets – ever since we did our engagement shoot I feel nothing looks right without a little bit of smoke wafting into view!”

AZ 572

“We weren’t too fussed about doing a first dance as we totally ran out of time to do any choreography/come up with an original idea/figure out something funny to do.  Speaking to The Metal Works venue a few weeks before the wedding they described the time the circus came to the venue. My jaw dropped with excitement as this worked perfectly with the carnival twist that was creeping into the wedding.  So for the first dance to “Without You” by Motley Crue Zach and I twirled around on the dancefloor for about 20 seconds and then the aerial silk performers took over to finish the dance!  It looked great and was the last thing anyone expected.”

AZ 570

“As I am Vegan and Zach is vegetarian it was important to us that the food we had at the wedding reflected that.  We worked with the very Rock n Roll and super talented Jake from Octopus Food on creating a menu that everyone couldn’t help but love because it was just so damn tasty – even if it was completely meat free! It was a bit of a gamble especially for the evening BBQ – but everyone said they loved the food so that was awesome!”

“One of many funny bits of our wedding was when one of the evening guests arrived, dressed in drag as Nancy Spungen, along with his friend dressed up as Sid Vicious!  The dress code for the evening was Rock n Roll Royalty so this was hysterical.  But even better was the look on my Dad’s face!”

AZ 575

The couple DIYed a lot of their wedding with some extra help at the last minute with on-the-day-styling from Josie from Savoir Weddings. “We DIYed a huge amount for the wedding mainly because I couldn’t find in shops or on the internet the things I envisaged for our wedding.  My Mum and Dad made jam using fruit from their strawberry farm in the Cotswolds for the favours along with a ‘love potion tea’ complete with love spell.  My Dad also made the wooden A and Z letters which he painted white, covered in black lace and then attached to black and white striped ribbon to hang – they worked out to cost about £20 for the 2 which was much so cheaper than buying something similar and turned out way more on-theme. I designed the pin badges, programs and flags, with a huge amount of help from my friend & graphic design guru, Colin.”

AZ 647

“We weren’t allowed to throw confetti at the ceremony venue so instead we got the guests to wave flags and streamers.  The streamers were made again by my Dad and me by screwing small metal hooks into wooden cake dowels and then threading black and white ribbon and lace through the hook. I got everyone to collect jam jars which I covered with black lace, these then became candle holders and vases. I wanted to have a guestbook that also doubled up as a decoration so it would catch the guests’ eyes so they wouldn’t leave without signing it!  I cut out some red and white hearts some I covered with some of our favourite bands’ album covers in corresponding colours like Guns N Roses, T Rex, New York Dolls, Black Sabbath etc.  The hearts were attached to bakers twine with pegs so guests could write their message and peg it back on – by the end of the night we had touching messages graffiti-ed all over the hearts and an interactive wedding decoration to boot!”

AZ 591

“The place cards were made from black bracket gift tags which I bought from etsy I then printed the guest’s name and added 2 metal studs for a bit of punk attitude. Finally, I made the wedding cake, and wedding cupcakes –which of course I HAD to baring in mind I own a bakery. We also hired quite a lot too, obviously not many venues provide black tablecloths and black studded plate chargers as the norm!  This bumped the décor cost up a bit but was totally worth it.  We hired the French lounge furniture from Prop Solutions – who were really helpful and eager to work within our budget unlike some other hire companies I approached.  The furniture looked great against the cobbled street in the group shots.  I bought some battery operated fairy lights which we cellotaped into the shade so it could be switched on when it got dark.”

AZ 667

Ahh there’s just so much to take it but I love it. Alix & Zach really certainly have released my inner goth. I love everything.

Continue reading

Chris & Courtenay’s Pirate Ship Wedding

Chris & Courtenay had a “Book Nerd/Steampunk /Pirate/Sci-Fi” themed wedding which was held on The Hawaiian Chieftain, a historical replica of a 1880’s trading ship. “We really wanted the wedding to reflect who we were, and a celebration of what we loved about each other,” the couple told me. “We wanted to be able to have a killer party with our closest friends and family and not compromise our tastes and values. Our venue came complete with cannons (which they fired off for us in celebration!) The double edge of this was a headcount of under 40, which was great to us, but some people just assumed they would be invited who were acquaintances and we had to explain this wasn’t an everyone in the world kind-of affair.”

Courtenay wore a custom dress from Dark Garden Corsetry and shoes from Fluevog. “The Dress is a combination of Victorian and Indian influences, made out of silk dupioni in lavender/gold and a wedding sari from an Indian bridal store in Berkeley,” the bride continued. “I knew that a dress from a traditional bridal store was never going to feel right. Mostly because of all the beautiful dresses available at those places they were never going to fit my curvy 5’2” short waist-ed frame. Autumn at Dark Garden was able to perfectly capture and create my personality and vision into an awe inspiring corset and bustle skirted wedding dress.”

In keeping with their theme, the whole wedding party and a lot of the guests dressed the part too. The groom wore a suit inspired by the movies Firefly and Stardust made by Laurie Tavan at Daze of Laur. He even added a firearm and sword! The bridesmaid’s outfits were also from Dark Garden and the groomsmen wore outfits hired from Costumes on Haight, San Francisco. “Almost everyone who attended got dressed up to the nines and looked fantastic,”  Courtenay explained. “My father went out of his way to get a 1890s cowboy style outfit with beaver felt hat and classic oil cloth duster, he was so handsome. My sister got a beautiful Dark Garden corset, and my niece and nephews got into the act with pirate/Victorian style costumes. For the first hour and a half people kept coming up to me just in awe of how beautiful it was that day, mid 70s and sunny, it was truly magical.”

“I think the most Rock n Roll thing was us, how we approached the whole day with humor and a little literary wit,” the bride concluded. “If the wedding had to be a musical genre I would call it folk-punk, or Steam-folk. We set out to have an amazing day and it turned out better that you could ever imagine. We wanted to live the quote “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Because it was about us, not a huge affair with doves and dollar dances and stuff being thrown about, we were determined to avoid bad DJs, crazy relatives we’d never met before, flower girls, ring bearers, punch fountains, ballrooms, chicken or steak entrees, towering confections or bored guests who couldn’t wait to leave. There were casualties of this of course, hurt feelings, traditionalists, and others, but at the end of the day it was about Chris and Courtenay celebrating their lives together, be happy for them or not that’s all there is.”

Continue reading