Aerin & Jeremy’s Neo-Victorian Haunted Museum Wedding

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You may know Aerin & Jeremy as the folks behind Royal Steamline invitations… but back in the day, they were just two folks, getting married themselves…

We may use this for one of our album coversThe Offbeat Groom: Jeremy, Designer & Musician

His Offbeat Partner: Aerin, Creative Director & Invitation Designer

Location & date of wedding: Portland's White House, Portland OR — 09.20.08

What made our wedding offbeat: Neither of us had really thought about what type of wedding we'd want until we were actually engaged, but there were definitely a few things we knew for sure… Churches were out. The white dress was out. Hundreds of guests were out. And then Aerin found a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and everything began to fall in place.

Steampunk robots cake topperThe theme: I love history and Aerin loves science fiction, so we blended these elements into a anachronistic melange glazed with a Neo-Victorian aesthetic: our venue was a lumber baron's summer home built in 1911; our table decorations included curios from our collection, such as a 1920s “lightning speed indicator” device, stereograms, and antique glass eyes.

We drank Old-Fashions made from an 1895 recipe.

Aerin's engagement ring was made in 1933.

The reception music included a healthy dose of early electro works from the '70s.

And somehow, it all worked together.

Some of the details: Skeleton keys attached to “vintage” tags acted as our escort cards.

We stocked each table with fun early century kids games and temporary tattoos.

Our cupcake topper was a wood steampunk-robot couple.

Guests wrote their well wishes on antique post cards and dropped them in a mini birdcage.

And the most fun was our centerpieces — my background is in museums, which inspired the idea to curate each table with a unique centerpiece in the spirit of Neo-Victorianism.

Cootie catcher wedding program

The ceremony: Our brothers and sister were the wedding party. A longtime friend of the family (who just so happens to be a judge) married us. I wrote the ceremony with references to Prince and Poe and we both wrote our own vows. Our friends read passages from Frankenstein and the Gothic Archies. We made cootie-catcher programs to keep the guests busy while Aerin fulfilled her personal prophecy of running late for her own wedding.

The ceremony
The music: We're lucky to know many musicians who we adore, so we were honored to walk down the aisle to an acoustic version of the classic “Nature Boy” played by Nyles Lannon. We walked into the reception to Gary Numan's “I Nearly Married a Human.” Nyles played our favorite songs from his albums in between our iPod DJ with all of our favorite songs.

Our biggest challenge: We are really lucky to have family members who truly accept us for who we are and our parents who were very generous in helping us create the type of wedding we wanted. Even our traditional grandmothers didn't bat an eye at the fact Aerin didn't wear a white dress.

UntitledWhen it comes down to it, all of our challenges were of our own making. Wanting to curate and design every aspect of our wedding was a blessing and a curse.

Once we decided on a direction, we both started dreaming of exotic locales, tailored antique clothes and bizarre culinary treats — none of which were quite feasible within our budget or timeline.

The biggest problem came down to time. We only had five months to plan and when you choose to make (or have others make) everything, it seems like you spend every waking moment creating something for the wedding.

In the end, we were both very happy with how the whole thing turned out. We didn't have to make too many compromises and we both liked how everything contributed to the feel of the wedding.

It was a genuine “Aerin and Jeremy” event that didn't break the bank… or our spirits.


3568512743 d6a5b129fb m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)My favorite moment: Aerin: 1. In the middle of my vows, I broke up all the lovey-dovey stuff with a little humor by giving Jeremy his own key to my car as a “true” sign of my commitment to him (which really was no joke). The only person who knew I was going to pull that stunt was my brother and it had everyone laughing and crying.

2. Sitting in bed with Jeremy at three in the morning drinking champagne and eating leftover cupcakes (which we continued to eat for the next week) and turning to him and saying, “Let's do it again!” Every moment of the wedding (and the entire weekend) was so much fun I wanted to do it again and again.

Jeremy: Probably the toasts, of which there were many. Members of both families had prepared toasts that were so sweet and funny, it was really touching.

Early 1900s wedding & family photos of our relatives lined the fireplace at the reception

My advice for other offbeat brides: Aerin: It's OK f you stray from your “theme.” Try using it as a guideline to help you develop ideas. You'll make yourself crazy trying to match pantone swatches on every accessory or matching your forks to the theme.

3571888985 0b05d700de m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

And don't be afraid to mix up nontraditional with traditional elements. Many traditional wedding traditions aren't my cup of tea, but it meant a lot to my dad (and me) to have him walk me down the aisle.

Jeremy: As a recent groom, I'd urge the guys to get involved. You may think that your bride-to-be wants to call all of the shots (and, sure, in some cases this might be true), but I'm willing to bet she would appreciate your input and assistance. And, ultimately, you'll have a better time at your own wedding if you do pitch in. Seriously, do you want to host a party where you hate the music, think the food and booze sucks, and feel like an idiot in the clothes you're wearing? It's your day too, sirs.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?: Nearly everything was handmade by us or by one of the many talented craftspeople in Portland (or Canada!).
3569324586 571d65e1cc m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!


invitations: Royal Steamline
accessories: Cyberoptix Tie Labs

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Comments on Aerin & Jeremy’s Neo-Victorian Haunted Museum Wedding

  1. There is so much about this wedding that we were planning on doing and some that we may have to borrow. I love it, and if the happy couple ever gets board and wants to bounce around ideas I sure could use the great creativity I saw in this beautiful wedding!

  2. I really love the understated nature of this wedding — it's complex and lovely and not flashy all at the same time. LOVE the gloves and shoes, too btw. 🙂

  3. We're so happy (and honored to be featured on OBB) to help inspire ideas for those of you planning your own wedding. There are a lot of other details we couldn't fit into this post — and we still find ourselves doing the "wouldn't it have been cool if we did …" I would be happy to share more to help spark ideas for your own wedding. You can post questions here or contact us through

  4. Ok I am on your site, you can now consider me a groupie, I love it all. You will be hearing more from me, I want you as a friend… too strong? Well how about your stuff just totally rocks.

  5. *happy sigh*

    This wedding is beautiful, and I am beyond inspired by it. I just might become a groupie too!

  6. This wedding is perfect, and their site is what I have been looking for forever! Thank you for posting this!

  7. OMG, I've been wanting to find a way to use cootie-catchers – A PROGRAM! this makes so much sense.

  8. Thank you very much for telling us about your wedding! As soon as I saw you found a copy of 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' as a jumping off point I knew I would be in love with your wedding. Great feeling to your wedding and recount.

  9. what an exquisite, elegant wedding. i love the photography and the bride's bolero is stunning.

  10. This is a beautiful wedding. I think I have favorited almost all your flickr photos! Congratulations!

  11. Love your wedding! I've been researching places in PDX and haven't come across that venue yet but now i think its on the top of my list!!

  12. Oh, thank you so much for posting. Totally going to steal some ideas since I am getting married in a Victorian garden in Astoria. I LOVE the skeleton keys!

  13. LOVE IT! Any chance you could post the template or link for the Cootie Catchers?

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