Jessi & John's horror film, Rocktober 31st wedding

October 29 |
gatwood_w-163
Photos by Penn/Carlson

The offbeat bride: Jessi, Microbiologist

Her offbeat partner: John, Waiter

Location & date of wedding: The Sherwood Room, Chicago, IL — October 31, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Well, first of all we decided to get married on Halloween.

For our favors we made Dia De Los Muertos Bride & Groom chocolate bars from molds I bought on ebay, and added a personalized guitar pick. We also gave out masquerade masks to everyone.

gatwood_w-014

I bought pre-made red rose bridesmaid bouquets from Michaels, ripped off the white ribbons, re-wrapped them with black and skull and crossbone ribbons and added black accents.

gatwood_w-108

I smooshed two bouquets together to make my bouquet and added black roses. Little skull beads and a spider were added to the guys' boutonnieres.

gatwood_w-073
gatwood_w-521

My centerpieces each had a theme of a different classic horror film that John and I love.

gatwood_w-510

Our cake was AMAZING! It was chocolate fudge cake with cookies 'n cream filling and red velvet with butter rum filling topped with creepy chocolate drizzle and Frankenstein and his bride.

gatwood_w-113

My little brother was the ring bearer, and instead of carrying a pillow, (he was twelve) he carried a guitar hero controller!

Tell us about the ceremony: I walked down the aisle with my mom and dad to the "Love" song from Halloween.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinup13/5075704906/in/set-72157625058948973

We walked back to the Tales from the Crypt theme song. Our best man and minister was John's best friend, Robb, who performed a beautiful hand fasting ritual. Our ceremony was quick, I felt like I blinked and it was over, we were married!

gatwood_w-457
gatwood_w-521

Our biggest challenge: Explaining to people that our wedding would be a "no children" wedding, and then having to defend to them the fact that my flower girl was three years old. In the end, the people who were able to come and support us did attend, and that was all we could ask for. People will always have their own beliefs about what you coulda woulda and shoulda done, but they are not the people paying for the wedding, spending hours planning, worrying about ideas/vendors that fall through, and making sure the night is exactly how YOU envisioned it.

gatwood_w-191

My favorite moment:

  • Seeing John for the first time before the wedding in that beautiful courtyard was magical. I'm so glad we decided to take pictures before the wedding. It was so much more intimate.
  • Having John's best friend preside over our wedding.
  • Taking a party bus to the financial district to take the Abbey Road picture was so much fun.
  • Our first dance was to Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, and my Father/Daughter dance was to Sweet Child of Mine by GNR. And finally dancing with my Fred Astaire of a papa to My Girl
  • And most of all, the friends and family who came to support us.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinup13/5075051527

My funniest moment: The DJ appropriately starting off dinner to Feed my Frankenstein.

gatwood_w-511

Also, me getting down on the dance floor so my cousin could teach me how to breakdance!

My advice for offbeat brides: If you want certain centerpieces/decor/etc. at your wedding and you cannot find it, make it! Don't be afraid or discouraged because you can't find that perfect centerpiece. Use those creative juices! You can find local/student artists in your neighborhood and tell them you would like to feature their work at your wedding.

All of my Horror Movie themed centerpieces were pieced together with items my dad and I made and/or bought. I realized that once I got the black candelabras to the hall, they were just too short in the middle of the table. So my dad and I made bases for them that I covered in beautiful Halloween fabric. To quote Tim Gunn, I had to "Make it Work!"

gatwood_w-059

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
Photographer: Penn/Carlson
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Cake: Babushka Bakery
Personalized Guitar Picks: In Tune
Personalized Bridesmaid gifts: Dunham Designs
Zombie Heels: Iron Fist Clothing
Wedding Hall: Garden Banquets
Personalized Shot Glasses: Discount Mugs
Bulk Masquerade Masks: E-Mardi Gras Beads

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!


  1. Wow! I love everything you guys did. I especially like the Abbey Road idea!

    5 agree
  2. I'm guessing this wedding actually happened in 2009 – otherwise, this wedding happened in the future? I think that makes it extra fabulous.
    I loved the centerpieces, the zombie shoes and the abbey road-esque picture.
    From one microbiologist to another: Well done.

    4 agree
    • Oops! Yep – it happened in 2009. Fixed. Sorry about that and thanks for letting us know.
      – Becca

      1 agrees
  3. As Jenni said, I'm guessing it also 2009 but what a fabulous wedding. I would have LOVED to pick your brain since we are wedding twins almost! Congrats!

    1 agrees
  4. Oh my – can you PLEASE tell me where you got the Frankenstein & Bride cake topper? That is amazing! We want to do a horror-themed wedding as well and that is so perfect! Also, what about the toe tags?

    0 agree
    • I bought separate Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein action figures off of ebay and glued both of them down on one of their bases. The toe tags are from orientaltrading.com, they're actually drink tags for parties, so you don't lose your drink, but we used them as seating cards for our guests! We hung them on a black christmas tree sitting on out guest book table.

      0 agree
      • Absolutely amazing. I'm so in love with your cake topper that I'm tempted to ask if I can buy it from you, ha! :)

        Thank you for the tip on the toe tags, too!

        0 agree
    • It's a Maggie Sottero dress. I had the custom corset back put in at the bridal salon.

      0 agree

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.