Friday, 3 February 2012

Guest Post: Tips for planning the perfect Gothic wedding

I'm Steff, author of the Gothic Wedding Planner e-book, and writer of the Gothic Wedding Blog, and I wanted to write a few tips and ideas to help you plan a beautiful and memorable gothic wedding, civil union or commitment ceremony. The wedding of two Goths is normally a decadent, fun and aesthetically stunning occasion. We Goths are fans of drama and romance, and what better way to express our dark and creative natures than at our weddings.

Victorian Reproduction Set from Romantic Threads
Available on Etsy here.

A wedding is both a celebration and a public reciting of your vows to one another. When planning your wedding, it's important first and foremost to ensure both of you are on the same page about what you want to do. Neither of you should feel like the importance of the ceremony is being lost amidst the planning process.

When thinking about wedding planning, most couples begin by deciding on a theme or a set of aesthetic ideas to create the look and feel for their wedding day. Sometimes a theme will be obvious based on your personalities – a Halloween costume party, a library-themed wedding, or a steampunk picnic. Sometimes, finding the perfect venue will determine the theme of the wedding – an old Edwardian manor house or an industrial gallery space will lend themselves to a certain set of aesthetics.

The other major component you should start thinking about from the very beginning is how many people you'd like to invite. Get lists of names from both sets of parents as soon as possible and write out a full-guest list. You need to know from the outset whether you're having 30 people or 230, as this makes a huge difference on the space you need, the catering costs, the decorating, etc.

Agree on a budget early on, too, and add on a 10% contingency for unforeseen expenses. Weddings can be unfathomably expensive, but with some creative ideas, they don't have to be. Budget-wise, Goths have it easy because we reuse a lot of wedding purchases – your new wedding corset and Victorian skirt will become part of your regular wardrobe, the black candlesticks you brought to decorate the reception will become d├ęcor in your home, etc.

Wedding planning should be easy and fun, but with money and relatives involved, it can sometimes get ugly. With the added burden of trying to incorporate your alternative personalities with more traditional family ideas, arguments inevitably ensue.

When parental units or other relatives chip in money, it's important to listen to and explore their ideas and opinions – even though these will often clash with your wonderful gothy ideas. One of the easiest ways to escape issues of "I'm paying for it, so I say the bridesmaids can't wear corsets," is to divide the budget into distinct roles.

For example, if your parents kindly offer to contribute some money, thank them profusely and ask them to pay for one or two specific things – maybe the catering and the venue. Choose things you don't mind not having much input into or that have already been agreed upon, and let them take care of them. That way, you retain financial and creative control over the aspects of the wedding that are important to you.

Once you've worked out the big details, you can start on the fun part of wedding planning – the fun, gothy details! The dresses, the suits, the decorations, the invitations, the bouquets, the guestbook – look at blogs like Rock n Roll Bride, Offbeat Bride, and Gothic Wedding Planner for inspiration, and let your creative side run wild!

Don't be shy about asking creative friends if they can help out. You probably know some talented bakers, photographers, graphic designers, dressmakers and make-up artists who can give you mates rates or help out in lieu of bringing a gift. Your wedding will be even more special if it contains personal touches from your friends and family. But don't forget to be gracious and thank everyone for their help.

Lastly, try to avoid all the wedding "hype" and "must-haves" in wedding magazines and blogs. Use the pictures for inspiration, but remember a wedding needs only three elements – a couple in love, a legal document, and some folk to celebrate with! Don't get sucked into thinking you need flowers, or new shoes, or a huge sit-down dinner – your wedding can be whatever you want it to be.

Readers, if you're married, what were your favourite memories and details from your wedding? What were the biggest problems you encountered and how did you overcome them? If you're planning to get married, what grand plans do you have for gothing up your wedding day?


Mjolnir said...

Thanks for having this guest post! My partner and I are hoping to get hitched in a couple years and when I brought up a pirate-themed wedding my parents weren't impressed. "Why don't you just have a gothic wedding?!" was what my mother said. I might have a casual (maybe a rockabilly/timburton) tea party for a reception instead of the traditional sit-down dinner.

Katherine :) said...

Awww Goth weddings :) How cute!! ^_^

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Right, well, I'm off to annoy Mr. Growlithe about this now. Be it on your head, amy.

My reception would definitely be an outdoors teaparty. I don't like formal dinners much, and it's far more way-of-my-family to do it all outside. The Greek dancing would be outside too. And sweets and cakes and tea oh my...

Cate's Goth Pocket said...

I'll probably be looking into this post more when I'm older and am ready to get married <3

*I know I commented with this yesterday but I saw a spelling error. Fixed it :3 *

Darling Violetta said...

Nice! I love reading Offbeat Bride even though I'm nowhere close to marriage. LOL! Have you read Offbeat Mom? I absolutely LOOOVE that blog. They have a number of goth parents featured on their site. My favorite being Pushba.

Maybe it would be cool to have a guest blogger talk about being a parent and being a goth? I know that Mrs. Schroeder from Wife Swap has a blog on Wordpress (here's the link to it). She's posted several entries about her life and such. She does plan to continue blogging because of a huge wave negative feedback her family recieved after doing the show. She intends to attack the misconceptions people have formed about her family and her and her husband's parenting.

ultimategothguide said...

Thanks for the link to an awesome blog! I hope she starts blogging again soon, I'm really looking forward to hearing her side of the story. (How do you find all the best stuff?!)

That's a great idea for a guest post! I may have to go bother TropigothMama now... ;-)

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