Tanya & Ross’ elegant Victorian gothic wedding

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Photos by David Woolley

The offbeat bride: Tanya, Public Servant

Her offbeat partner: Ross, Investment Manager

Date and location of wedding: Cottesloe Civic Center Gardens and Villa Pourzand, Western Australia — September 30, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Ross and I chose to forgo a bridal party and indulged ourselves with a custom-made gown and suit. It was important to us that our attire and details reflected our everyday goth-y style while still being elegant. This included our Victorian-gothic inspired invitations, and our music, which included our favorite metal bands as performed by the Vitamin String Quartet.






We chose to have our ceremony in a garden at heritage listed grounds, complete with massive stone staircases and creeper vines. Our reception venue's decor was in the style of fifteenth-century Renaissance Florence. At the reception, Ross and I entered to Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice theme song and left to the Tales From The Crypt theme, with steampunk music playing throughout dinner and industrial music for dancing.


Our bonbonnieres were wrought iron bird cages, to match our vintage cage wishing well and bejeweled raven cake toppers.


Tell us about the ceremony: My father walked me down the aisle to a string version of Atreyu's “The Remembrance Ballad,” and a glamorous female celebrant conducted our simple ceremony at the base of a stone double staircase. My young cousins did readings of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe poems, “Romance” and “Annabel Lee.” At the end, we had waiters serve champagne and canapes while the family portraits were taken.



Our biggest challenge: We tried to preempt drama over who to invite. But despite being up-front with family and friends in the early stages of planning, there were inevitably those who felt disgruntled and left out. There was little we could do to satisfy everyone's wishes, and simply had to accept that older generations may have different expectations about who ought to be invited to a family affair. We also realized that many people our own age may not truly understand the inherent difficulties in selecting guests, until they have personally experienced the difficulties of planning a wedding themselves.

gettingread 020812 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

My favorite moment: Eschewing tradition by spending the night before at home with Ross and helping each other dress and prepare for the wedding the next morning. Most of all, saying our vows and being pronounced husband and wife on our ten-year anniversary.

My funniest moment: During my groom's thank-you speech at the reception he addressed me in the language of the Dothraki tribe from Game of Thrones, referring to me “yer jalan atthirari anni,” which translates into “moon of my life.” It was sweet, unexpected, and funny, and most of our guests laughed and assumed he was speaking a language from World of Warcraft, since he is an avid gamer.


My advice for offbeat brides: Well-intentioned people will give you their opinions regardless of whether you asked for them or not. I found it was best to avoid over-sharing the details of our wedding plans. On another note, we also found it worthwhile to state “evening attire” on our invitations, as we wished for a formal aesthetic and hoped to avoid well-meaning relatives arriving in gothic Halloween costumes.


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Comments on Tanya & Ross’ elegant Victorian gothic wedding

  1. Love it!!

    Also, very excited when I see local weddings! There aren’t many from Perth, but this is the second one where I’ve recognised people in the photos, ha!

  2. I love everything about this wedding, it is gorgeous! I adore your dress and I really love the venues you chose. I am also using Vitamin String Quartet for the music at my ceremony. I also think your cake toppers are absolutely amazing. Congratulations!

  3. OMG, love the dress, the venue, all of it. What a beautiful wedding.

    Congrats! Have a great marriage hugz

  4. Sometimes you see people who are just born with grace and elegance.

    This beautiful couple is one of them.

    Congratulations on your marriage!

  5. Absolutely breath taking! Congratulations both on your marriage and pulling off such a beautiful gothic wedding!

  6. I haven’t seen a wedding this stunning in…um…well….EVER. 😉 Thanks for sharing. You’re making me all excited about mine…less than 8 months now and counting. 😉

  7. Oh wow! I am Facebook buddies with a few of the gorgeous ladies in black and red. I adore Perth weddings, especially those with such amazing style and class. Fantastic job guys!

  8. Thankyou everyone for your lovely comments and compliments! I’m so happy the day went very smoothly (after lots of bumps during the planning phase.. and a thunderstorm two days prior!)

  9. Holy SHIT! Your DRESS!

    I honestly just stopped and stared when I saw it as it’s so similar to the one I’ve been sketching for my upcoming wedding, beading and all!

    That’s so spooky but so awesome!!

    Your dress f**ing rocks!!

  10. Goth isn’t my thing these days (it used to be), but everything about this wedding is elegant and gorgeous. You completely brought me around. Congrats to you!

  11. Thanks to everyone for their kind words! We had such a great day and are stoked to be able to share it here 🙂
    And yes, Vitamin String Quartet are just brilliant! It was really hard for me to refrain from slipping some Iron Maiden / Slayer covers in there. Although beautifully composed, maybe a bit too fast and thrashy for a wedding!!
    I have to say for anyone using this tribute group in the future, check out their renditions of Atreyu and Interpol… They make for excellent mood music and are just so good!! ^_^

  12. I’m sitting at home alone, and when I saw that first picture of the bride and groom. ‘oh…my…god’.
    Then I felt silly for talking to myslef.

  13. wow, REALLY!?!? could she and her dress be anymore perfect?!? seriously, everything perfect to the last detail. well done!!!

  14. I thought I recognised the place! Beautiful, and 6 months before mine, with similar themes for dress and flowers… you both look fantastic and very happy. Congratulations!

  15. Ah, my hometown! With people we no doubt both know. I may have to steal virtually every idea from your wedding, it’s just gorgeous!

  16. This is a wedding after our own gothic hearts! We love how seamlessly our invitations tied into the look of the whole event. What stunning & elegant details you created. Congrats, Tanya & Ross!

  17. everyone has said it, but the dress is absolutely amazing! The only thing I didn’t like is that there aren’t enough pictures of the dress!!! Any way you can share more, or a link! Your entire wedding is beautiful, you made a running bride. I’m in LOVE with your dress.

  18. Omg!! I love this dress, i have been looking and looking for 2 months to find the perfect dress and i love this one! Does anyone know where i can find it?

  19. I adore this. My SO and I are also getting married on (or around) our 10th anniversary next month (gulp!) so this hit home. Just love the details!

  20. “he addressed me in the language of the Dothraki tribe from Game of Thrones, referring to me “yer jalan atthirari anni,” ”

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