Emily & Dan's gothically delicious 'til death-themed wedding

June 14 |
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Photos by Sara Harper-Hudson

The offbeat bride: Emily, Artist

Her offbeat partner: Dan, Owner of local store Excalibur Comics

Date and location of wedding: The Jekyll & Hyde Club, Greenwich Village, NYC — 04/13/2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Dan and I knew we wanted to get married, but we're not the romantic types. I hate wearing white and we couldn't see ourselves listening to "wedding music" all night. Why spend all that money, time, and effort if we were only going to be miserable all night? So our solution was to forget tradition and just do what would make us happy, no matter how weird the event became in the eyes of others.

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We met in a bar, so we wanted to really celebrate that fact and get married in a bar. While looking for a place to hold our ceremony, we stopped in The Jekyll & Hyde Club in Greenwich Village and we knew it was the perfect place for us. We also wanted to play only metal, rock, and goth music throughout the night.

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We built the elements of the wedding around the already existing decor of the club, which included a lot of skulls and skeletons. A "'til death" theme seemed perfect. Finding wedding invites and favors with skulls all over them is not an easy task, so I opted to make as much as I could for the wedding. I enjoy crafting, so this was something exciting and fun for me to dive into.

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I ended up making the dessert served at the wedding. Dan loves these Red Velvet cupcakes that I usually make on special occasions. So I transformed my plain Red Velvet cupcakes into "To Die For Graveyard Cupcakes" for the big day.

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Tell us about the ceremony: It was a really simple secular ceremony. There were some heartfelt words and we exchanged rings. Professing my feelings is not an easy thing for me, especially in front of a big crowd, so I was really nervous.

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Our biggest challenge: Time was a big challenge! We had a lot going on in our personal lives right before the wedding. Finding the free time to sit down and create the invitations, the favors, the centerpieces, the cake topper, the ring box, and the dessert took up a lot of time.

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Luckily for me, my bridesmaids are a pretty crafty and talented bunch. They were more than happy to get together with me and mass produce my wedding vision. I especially loved decorating the cupcakes with everyone. It was a great night spent in good company and we decorated 75 cupcakes in just a few hours!

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My favorite moment: The masks we wore during the ceremony were very meaningful to me. Dan and I went to the New York Renaissance Faire last year. I saw this booth filled with beautiful masks and fell in love. On a whim I said, "Can I wear a mask instead of a veil to the wedding?" and Dan replied, "Yeah, why not? I'll wear one too!" This may seem like a simple exchange of words, but it is the very definition of our relationship. He is always really supportive of my ideas.

The masks also tied in perfectly with our first dance to David Bowie's "As the World Falls Down" from the movie Labyrinth. While "As the World Falls Down" plays, the movie depicts a ballroom filled with masked guests and a dashing goblin king singing to the heroine of the story.

A silly choice for a first dance? Maybe for some, but definitely not for me. Dan knows how much I love the movie, and when we first started dating, the first time he ever gave me flowers, he quoted a verse from the song on the gift card. Needless to say, I took notice that he pays attention big time, and I've been pretty attached to him ever since.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: If you can't find what you want, CREATE IT! Your wedding will be all the more personal because you've put your own little touches into all the details. It will be a really rewarding feeling when the guests marvel over the elements of the event that you had a hand in bringing to life.

And seriously, don't stress over the small stuff. My maid of honor's dress looked like a completely different shade of purple than everything else in the wedding. I was annoyed at the misrepresentation of the dress on the site it was ordered from. But looking at the pictures now, I like the dynamic the color has in the grand scheme of things.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I think we both took away from the wedding that it is only when you are true to yourself that you can be truly happy. Both Dan and I, the self-proclaimed haters of all things wedding-related, walked away from the night extremely happy. And this is without a doubt due to the fact that we got to celebrate the perfect weirdness that is our relationship.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Great outfits! Everyone looks fantastic & so happy. The eyes in the flowers are killer.

    Congratulations!

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    • Thank you so much! The eyeballs were a last minute thing, but I'm so glad I did it! I was initially going to use them in the centerpieces, but they were too big, so I wasn't sure what to do with them. The day of the wedding I attached them to some wire and stuck them in the bouquet when I picked them up from the florist. They were the perfect touch, I thought they really complimented all the colors in the bouquet.

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  2. I want to know where those awesome tights came from! Beautiful wedding :)

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    • Thank you! Strangely enough, I was told we were not the first to book a wedding party at Jekyll & Hyde!

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  3. Omg. Your wedding looks fantastic. Mr. Azzie and myself were actually planning on using "As the World Falls Down" for our first dance, since I love Labyrinth so much. Totally understand why that is a fantastic song for it. Everything about your wedding is amazing. Congrats!

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    • Thank you! That's so cool that you were thinking of doing that as your first dance too! Its got romantic sentiment without being too much and it hasn't been done to death. I think it's a great first dance song, but then again I'm totally bias cause I ADORE all things Bowie.

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      • Yes! Of all the awesome parts of this wedding, the Labyrinth reference was my favorite! One of the main inspirations for my partner and my's wedding is that masquerade scene :) Love it, love it, love it. Bowie fanatics, unite!

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  4. I love it. I asked for the photographer to take pictures of us in the cemetery at our wedding and you should see the looks and hear the comments that I get. I want to frame a big picture of us in the cemetery with the words "'Til Death Do Us Part." Therefore, the theme of your wedding really resonates with me.

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      • This definitely gives me some ideas. Thanks!

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    • We were going to do engagement photos in a cemetary too. My lovely maid-of-honor takes amazing photos and she offered to shoot for us, but it became a time issue and we never did them!
      We got looks and comments a lot too, but in the end everyone had a good time so that's all that matters!

      Your photo idea sounds amazing!! I say go for it!

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      • We will do it. I will post the pictures once I get them so that everyone can see ours.

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  5. LOVE YOUR WEDDING SONG! An amazing first dance song! Once upon a time I chose it as well, but he and I never got to use it. 'S OK, it all works out in the end, right? ;-)

    Your leather and your flowers and your masks and everything are gorgeous!

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    • Thank you so much! We were a little lost on what to do, we knew we wanted dark/goth/horror, but we weren't sure how to pull it off. Luckily when we went to Ren Faire in 2011, we stumbled upon those lovely Satori masks and then the Son of Sandlar vests right after. We built our outfits and the entire wedding around the purchases we made that day. EVERYTHING just fell together after that. :)

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  6. Oh i love this wedding! Reading that you had the song from labrynth gave me goosebumps. We had 'home at last' playing at our ceremony. Everything looks amazing and so personal. No 'cut and paste' weddings here. Congratulations xx

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    • Thank you so much! I am so honored to be able to share my wedding with all you wonderful, creative offbeat brides! I feel right at home here and it actually *gasp* makes me really love weddings and all that goes with it.

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  7. Beautiful! Everything is great about this. I love your dress and the decor is awesome. Jeckyl and Hyde was a great idea for a venue!!

    The FH proposed to me in the pouring rain at last year's NYS Renne Faire! Great memories of that particular faire.

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    • Thank you so much! The Faire is a special place, I'm glad we both have such fond memories attached to it!
      I built the entire outfit around the leather vest we got there, I bought the dress online and altered it quite a bit to fit the vision I had for it.

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  8. Isn't your garb from Son of Sandlar? I'm almost positive that I saw pictures of you two a week or so ago on their fb site… and I must admit, you both look stunning!

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    • It looked like Son of Sandlar to me, too. I feel like a recognize the cut of her leather top.

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    • Hi Seleyna and Anie!

      You're both right, it is Son of Sandlar! And yea, I did submit some photos to their FB fan page as well about a week ago. When we bought the vests we told them what we intended to use them for and the Son of Sandlar group was so excited! They wanted to see pictures, so I made sure to follow up.

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  9. i am in love with this wedding. If we were doing a dance we would have the same song, though it is going to play in the background after our ceremony!
    Love love love. Love!

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    • I'm glad my first dance song choice was such a hit with everyone! I've been watching that movie on repeat since childhood, so it really has a special place in my heart. <3

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  10. You wedding features SO MANY elements of the wedding Ali and I are planning, and I am so happy I have stumbled across it as a fellow New York Goth. Willow, one of your bridesmaids, is a friend of mine! Small world. :)

    I love the purple and black theme, this unique outfits for everyone – that's exactly what we are going for. You looked SO beautiful, and SO happy!

    Congratulations!

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    • That's really awesome that you're planning something similar! If you need any help just let me know and I would be happy to give you advice or point you in the right direction!

      Funny that you mention Willow, she was actually the one who introduced me to Dan!

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        • I'm sadly not a tribe member. (I found out about this site after I had already had my wedding planned, so I'm no longer eligible to join.) But I still love and support this community 100%! So I'm here to help if anyone needs!
          I got the Facebook request and accepted! I'd love to stay in touch too!

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          • Fantastic! It's also pretty incredible that you chose that as your 1st dance song – it's on our "top ten" list of songs we're considering. Every time we're a little drunk we practice & test them out. LOL!

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  11. I've been coming to this site for a few years now. This is the first weeding I've seen where I would take it all as my own, hook, line, and sinker.

    So awesome.

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    • Thank you! That is a such a sweet compliment! If you want any help planning yours I would be happy to help. :)

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  12. I love that bar and I think it's a perfect place for a wedding! I am really impressed by how gorgeous those bouquets are, plus the eyeballs….. brilliant!! Best wishes for a wonderful life together.

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    • Thank you! The flowers were from a local shop called Unique Flowers
      1941 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11214
      (718) 618-7015
      (http://uniquebestroses.com)
      Sorry, I forgot the link when I submitted!

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  13. Love it!!! What a cool wedding!! Me and h2b are halloween mad and we were in awe of the docor round the pub!! Wow!! Looked like a Fab wedding!! x

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    • That's very awesome. Congrats to you on the future wedding planning!! Have lots of fun with it and let me know if you need any help/advice! I would love to help other lovely couples have their killer dream wedding come to life.

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      • Thanks very much! We are going for masquerade at night and getting married on Halloween this year! Can not wait!! x

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        • That seriously sounds amazing! Love the date! I forgot to mention it, but our wedding was on Friday the 13th, we were so excited about that date. It was perfect for us!

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          • Aww thanks defo will keep you informed with planning, getting there now though, been hard work. x

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        • All hail Friday the 13th weddings! I proposed to El Duderino on Halloween last year since it's our fave holiday and his fave horror flick and we got married on Friday the 13th, my fave flick and day of the year. That way we covered both of our faves.

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          • That is sooo sweet! I <3 that you proposed to him and the symbolism of the dates!!

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  14. Awww.. I love reading about people who think they will hate their wedding… until they realize they can make it something they love.

    Congratulations on a really vivid and beautiful wedding.

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    • Thank you for the well wishes!
      Its so funny, I never thought I'd be all into weddings like I am now. I had such a great experience with it I just want to immerse myself in alternative wedding culture and help other people create their vision!

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  15. love it! very similar theme/colors for ours that will be held in October 2012 – thanks for the ideas! ^.^

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    • Always happy to inspire!! Congrats on the upcoming wedding!

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  16. Great decision on Satori Masks. . .they create awesome work! We do a show at the Arizona Renaissance Festival together.

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    • Finding Satori was a happy accident, but I am so glad we did. They do make excellent work! :D

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  17. WOW!! This is really COOL & so UNIQUE! I love it! Congratulations to the both of you!!

    Ginger : )

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  18. Emily & Dan,

    You have kept our dream alive of a gothic/metal wedding. I've been coming up with ideas and themes, only to have our very traditional families criticise and make fun. The happy looks on both your faces have shown me that what makes the couple happy is what makes a wedding great. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    • Always happy to inspire! Our parents were a big part of the reason we were going to go the traditional route, we were afraid they wouldn't understand it. But we are both glad we did it our way because now we have some special (to us) for us to look back on.
      I made A LOT of the stuff myself, so if you like something you see or want to run some ideas by me, I would be happy to make some wedding elements for your big day. :D

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  19. That's the song I want to do our first dance to! Fiancee not so keen though,dammit…

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  20. Wow your wedding looked super fun. Those cupcakes are soooo amazing. You baked them yourself? I can imagine you must have had a lot of baking supplies in order to have done that.
    How did you come up with your outfits? And how did he propose to you!

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