Offbeat partners: Randi & Matthew
Date and location of wedding: Ceremony: Colonial Dames, Reception: Mitten Hall, Great Court Temple U Campus, Philadelphia, PA — October 13, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our theme was affordable moody goth-lite with nods to Halloween and heavy on the velvet. I wore a blue velvet wedding dress I found on Etsy for under $200 and Matthew got his blue velvet blazer from ASOS. The wedding party were all in velvet jewel tones but were allowed to accessorize as they wished, which included spider brooches and skull pins for the boutonnieres.
Flowers were pricey so everyone carried lanterns that housed fall-colored faux flowers and faerie lights in colors that matched their outfits. All from AC Moore! I had a man on my side and he had a woman which we referred to as bridesdude and groomslady.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We walked down the aisle to Peter Gabriel's cover of David Bowie's, “Heroes.” Our officiant is a long-time friend of ours named Louis and he co-created the character Reptar from The Rugrats! The man who walked me down the aisle is the Director or the Photojournalism Department of Temple University, where Matthew and I met.
One way it was a little offbeat was that the only blood family I had there were my sister and her children and my son. I am estranged from everyone else, but that day, I felt so completely loved by a family I have chosen. By those who radiate positivity and who lift me up. Also, I kept my name. It's not a family-name, it's chosen by me, and I didn't want to lose it.
Also, there is a near decade age difference between Matthew and me, with myself being older and I have a son from a previous relationship.
Our ceremony was secular and Matthew and I wrote our own vows. Our rings are matching with rose gold bands and black onyx pear-shaped stones. They were hand-made by Henri David of Halloween jewelry store in Philadelphia, which is also a favorite destination of Stevie Nicks and Elton John for jewelry.
After, Matthew and I walked through the city and took public transportation to the reception venue. We are car-free so the subway is a part of our daily lives.
Tell us about the reception:
We chose a different reception site to save money. We learned that our alma mater has a beautiful space and it's deeply discounted for former students, which we both are. Later, we all had a vegan meal which was pasta with lentil and mushroom bolognese, stuffed peppers, and green beans with blackened tomatoes. I'm vegan but Matthew is not. If people wonder if a vegan and omnivore can live together, well, they can!
Each table was marked with a different horror icon and the hall was decorated with spider webs, pumpkins, gourds, and lanterns. The linens for the tables were orange and purple, very Halloween colors. There were Halloween-inspired cocktails served in blood bags and a black vegan cake by Crust Vegan Bakery. Our first dance was to “Absolute Beginners” by David Bowie.
We danced to a largely punk/hip hop/Halloween playlist and we encouraged everyone to change into Halloween-themed garb with Matthew and I donning Frankenstein's monster and Bride of Frankenstein tees. We gave little coffins filled with candy as favors. Our guestbook was the Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Beetlejuice and we all conga-ed to “Jump in the Line" by Harry Belafonte. Our card box was the Lament Configuration from my favorite horror franchise, Hellraiser.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Our biggest challenge was money, as it is with many couples. We paid for it largely ourselves, but we did have donations from others. It was difficult for me to say that we appreciated the donation but we were still doing the wedding our way, black cake and all. I know that if we had accepted help with conditions, it would have made it not “us” and I urge every couple to do it their way, always.
Photographer: Love Me Do Photography • Cakes: Crust Vegan Bakery • Makeup: Maebee's Beauty • Bride's bouquet: The Faux Bouquets • Ceremony site: Colonial Dames • Blue velvet wedding dress: Etsy • Groom's jacket: ASOS
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