Tom and I love all things horror. We also love creating and antiques, so we combined all of these loves into a wedding that suited us. For a couple of years before the wedding, I combed through antique warehouses to find old birdcages, old-time wedding photos, candelabras, skulls, owls, and old books to decorate the historic mansion we had our wedding in. We decorated the four fireplaces with these artifacts as well as areas throughout the mansion to add to the feeling of the day.

Our invitations were made by Royal Steamline. We chose a gothic-inspired design with matte black envelopes. I filled the envelopes with dark red, satin rose petals.

With our florist, we drove to a local florist wholesale shop and bought 20 manzanita branches and mixed concrete to set it into black vases. Our florist then decorated the branches with black magic roses, hanging tealight candles, spider webs, thorns, berries, and more.

Each table was named after a curiously-morbid line from poets like Edgar Allan Poe. Our guests retrieved their table cards from a wooden shadow-box platform we built. We covered it with grass, leaves, and branches, a skeleton couple, a book of Edgar Allan Poe poems, and the table cards.
We told our DJ that we wanted a lot of ’80s dance music and the classics. We also asked the guests to wear black.

We tried to add in lots of fun details like masks and mustaches for the guests to wear. Our bridal party walked out to songs by Carcass and Megadeth, and as we were announced as husband and wife, we entered the room to Slayer’s “Raining Blood.”

At the end of the night, our guests walked away with 4″ black birdcages holding tealite candles, and many delicious sweets such as chocolate-covered marshmallows on a stick, chocolate-covered Rice Krispies, and chocolate-covered Oreos in the shapes of pumpkins, bats, and witches.

Our biggest challenge: We loved the support we felt from our families throughout the entire planning process. Sure, a secular wedding with a skeleton and hanging bats as decor was hard to explain to our parents. However, seeing my mom get excited while shopping for decor with me at the after-Halloween sales is quite a special memory.

My favorite moment: The ceremony was the most meaningful to me. We chose our own traditions. Jessie Blum was our officiant and she told our “love story.” We planted a Japanese Maple tree and wrote our own vows.

Tom and I have a long history together. We started dating November 25, 1997 when we were in the seventh grade. We would hold hands walking home from school. He would skateboard to my house to walk my dog with me. A year or so later, we went our separate ways. However, when we started high school my heart always fluttered when I heard someone mention him or I saw him in the hallway. We had different interests and friends and it wasn’t until senior year that we began dating again. Our ceremony was carefully crafted to help those who didn’t know us too well to truly understand the passion behind our love.

My funniest moment: When our DJ played thriller and my six-year old niece started doing the dance and then the whole crowd joined in.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Don’t assume a themed wedding will alienate your guests. It can give them the opportunity to get involved and join in on the fun.

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