To say this was an elaborate Halloween gothic-themed wedding would be an understatement. You'll dig ALL of these details. They started off the weekend with an interactive film noir murder mystery party, had a twilight horse and carriage ride after the cemetery ceremony, and had THREE gothic themes for their seriously killer reception. Think Victorian Gothic, Spanish Gothic, and American Gothic. You don't want to miss this one. Let's hear from the couple for each phase of the wedding weekend…
We brought out a love of the theatrical in each other and agreed that neither of us wanted a traditional wedding. So we chose October 31, Halloween, as our wedding day. We knew we had to get married in a cemetery, so we booked the Wilde Chapel at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. And we had to have a party in the woods, so we booked the weekend at the Cliffside Lodge, in Poland, ME.
Murder Mystery Dinner Party
In lieu of a rehearsal dinner, we started off our weekend with an interactive film noir murder mystery party the night before. We designed the Cliffside Lodge to be a 1940s bar and restaurant. Our guests were assigned characters ahead of time and everyone dressed the part. There was a primary “murder” but all guests were able to acquire the means, or hire someone who did, to kill someone else who may have known too much. We had more people than roles RSVP to this party, so we had to create additional characters and story lines on the fly. Everyone had a secret, and every one of them was revealed by the end of the night. The event served as a great way for our guests to get to know each other. The next day, our guests were calling other guests by their character’s names.
Our marriage ceremony focused on historic rituals, the five senses, and the four directions. We embraced audience participation as much as possible, having our friends and family participate in ceremony rituals, and readers who explained each ritual before we performed it. We featured altars devoted to the Upper World, the Middle World, and the Lower World. We honored our loved ones who had passed away, as well as the spirits residing the cemetery. We exchanged swords and symbolic gifts, and committed to each other through a Celtic handfasting ceremony conducted over an anvil. The ceremony concluded with everyone singing “Auld Lang Syne” by candlelight. After the ceremony, we enjoyed a twilight horse and carriage ride through the cemetery.
The Black and White Masquerade Ball
Our Halloween ball had three gothic themes that changed on the hour. The food, the music, our attire, the lighting, and the drinks all changed according to the gothic themes. The Victorian Gothic theme opened with a Masked Grand March, and featured tea party fare and classic music. The Spanish Gothic theme was showcased by Latin music and food. We also performed a tango. Our final mood of the evening was American Gothic, which featured American comfort food and a '50s sock hop feel. We performed a raucous swing dance for that theme. The ball concluded with our 10-piece band leaving their platform and playing New Orleans-style dirge while wandering through the crowd, followed by a curtain call for all of the vendors on site.
Designer/Coordinator: Pencil Events • Ceremony Venue: Wilde Chapel • Reception Venue: Cliffside Lodge • Officiant 1: Spirit Unions • Officiant 2: Friend of the couple • Photographer: LAD Photography • Videographer: Sweet Thunder Productions • Caterer: The Good Food Store • Reception Dessert, Chocolate: Ella's Chocolate • Bartender: Bar Association • Reception Dessert, Petit Fours: Duane Park Patisserie • Reception Dessert, Cupcakes: Love Kupcakes • Ceremony Musicians: Krysia Tripp • Reception Band: Stage Door Canteen • Hair and Makeup: Strange Beauty Bombshell • Transportation: VIP Charter Coaches • Party Rentals: OneStop Party Rentals • Wedding Gown: Lyndsey Clarke Boutique • Dance Dress 1 – white: Artistry by Loraine • Dance dress 2 – black: Artistry by Loraine • Dance dress 3 – B&W: Unique Vintage • Attendant Gowns: La Bella Boutique • Kevin's Coat: Samiah Fine Clothing • Engagement/Wedding Ring: Galaxy Gems • Stationer: Tweedle Press • Groomsmen's Tuxedo Jackets: Keezer's Classic Clothing • Wedding Jewelry: The Pampered Pansy • Wedding Petticoat: MissBrache • Guestbook/Photo Album: Dreaming Old Books • Ballroom Dance Instruction: Swing n Sway • Event MC: Dee Dee de Ray • Lighting: Maine Event Décor and Design • Horse and Carriage: TD Robinson • Ceremony Supplier – Velvet Pouch: Madlight Designs • Ceremony Suppliers – Candy: Baxter's Fine Candy • Ceremony Suppliers – Linen Pouch: Linen Spring • Bridesmaids' Gifts: Emma Locket Shop • Belly Dancer: Rosa Noreen's Grace Academy • Party supplies: Smarty Had a Party • Kevin's Zoot Suit: El Pachuco • Kevin's Other Costume Items: Gentlemen's Emporium • Tango Shoes: Felina Shoes • Waltz Shoes: Angela Nuran Shoes • Sharon's Mask: Bordello Lingerie • Murder Mystery Script: Dinner and a Murder