Lady Zombie & Ali Fangsmith's romantic subculture bash with fangs, leather, and fur

May 31 |  
Photos by: Milestone Images
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Photos by Angela Gaul, Milestone Images

The Offbeat Bride: Lady Zombie, executive recruiter by day and subculture performance artist by night (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Ali Fangsmith, master fangsmith and SFX artist

Date and location of wedding: reBar, Brooklyn NY, — May 19, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Ali and I have a pretty wild and eccentric life, with an unabashedly fun and eclectic group of people close to us. We wanted a wedding that expressed not only love, but our true, subculture lifestyle, and was also an incredible party that inspired people to be themselves. Our themes were a gothic and tribal fusion of royal purple and black, leather, fur, fangs, and bones. Our wedding party nailed it, of course, and it was incredible to see all of our guests, even our older relatives, really have fun with it, embracing our theme with zest!

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We selected reBar in Brooklyn as our venue. The package they offered included everything from our DJ, to floral arrangements, to the buffet and open bar. Their staff was incredible, too. They are a pretty offbeat establishment, so with didn't have to worry about seating charts or anything like that. We tried to embrace simplicity where possible, while still showcasing special details.

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Tell us about the ceremony: When Ali and I crafted the ceremony with our officiants, Ina and Mado Curiel (good friends of ours and also a happily married couple), we wanted to devise a ritual that included meaningful words and an exchange of not only our vows and rings, but also the sweet raspberry liquor Chambord infused with our unified blood which we drew the night before the wedding. Taking a part of our life force into our bodies after we read the vows we had written to each other was a supreme element of magic. We poured it out of an ornate Moroccan bottle into our specialty made toasting glasses from Fellowship Foundry.

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Our wedding party entered to Die Form's "Bite of God," and the music transitioned to Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Face to Face" when my flower girls danced out, throwing black and purple flower petals and feathers. I followed them out, twirling and stalking up the aisle. I was trembling with excitement! I thought for just a second that my legs would give out, but thankfully, they didn't.

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We wrote our own vows to each other which included words like fire, blood, brimstone, beast, predators, passion, and wasteland. Our maid of honor read a short poem from Daphne Rose Kingma:

For it is in loving, as well as in being loved, that we become most truly ourselves. No matter what we do, say, accomplish, or become, it is our capacity to love that ultimately defines us. In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.

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When our officiant Mado passed us our rings, he read the following:

These rings are a symbol of the unbroken, ever-expanding circle of love. Love freely given, has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver, for each is the giver, and each is the receiver. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken.

Before our pronouncement, Ina read "Entering the Vow" by Maureen Tolman Flannery: "What is a vow, but an intention spoken out before the world, so that the world in hearing might take part in aspirations of the willing heart. In our coming here today to join and bless the joy of your becoming wed. May we enter in the truth of the words you've said." And Mado responded with, "Out of chaos, let us pledge our unity, never losing sight of the individuality that has spawned and enriched this love."

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Our biggest challenge: My father passed away last July, the week prior to our engagement bash at Times Scare. It was pretty intense to lose him, and know he wouldn't be there physically to share our wedding day. But in truth, I felt Daddy there that day, and I knew he would have been thrilled for us.

Also, during the planning, some long-term friendships dissolved. I've heard a lot from other brides that this happens for various reasons. Instead of taking anger into my heart over that, I try and see it like this: the people who were meant to be there with us, were. And those that weren't, were never meant to be.

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My favorite moment: The day I married Ali was the best day of my life, and there have been some seriously incredible days. I thought I might shape-shift from the ridiculous amount of happiness I felt trying to explode out of my skin. I will never forget the look in his eyes as we exchanged our vows, our blood, and our rings. My voice caught in my throat, and I had to take a deep breath just to get the rest of my vows out.

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After we kissed, and we turned to see a room of cheers, it made me so happy to see all of our bad-ass friends with huge smiles and tears running down their faces. We are so lucky to have these people in our lives — people who care for us, don't judge us, and who embraced our spiritual, alternative, and non-denominational ceremony.

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Also, I will never forget all the effort our friends put into everything. My hair and crown/circlet was handmade by Mistress Sasha, one of my bridesmaids. Mistress LaMorta, our maid of honor, gifted us with the gorgeous "Love As Thou Will" shot glasses we used for favors. Venus and Scarlett, our flower girls, handmade the baskets with black PVC and glitter. There were so many little details that we could not have done on our own.

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My funniest moment: I danced with my mother to Bon Jovi's "Thank You for Loving Me" because I knew it would make her cry. But I also wanted to make her laugh, so the song transitioned into "I Got It From My Mama" by Will.I.Am., and we tore up the dance floor!

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Another hilarious moment was when my mother danced with Ali's grandma, who is in a wheelchair. They both were getting down, and all our guests cheered and clapped so loud. It was just incredibly fun.

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I found out the next day from my sister and our reception MC, Honi Harlow, that right when the music started for our procession, Ali's dad ran back inside and bounded down the aisle ahead of our approaching mothers to hug him at the altar and say something to him. Ali hugged him back, and kind of gestured that the ceremony had started, and that he should probably sit down. I cracked up when I heard this! I can't wait for the video.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Disappointments happen. We were pretty lucky that things went as smoothly as they did, and part of that is because of who we chose to stand with us on that day. Our close knit group of friends and family really banded together to make everything go off without hiccups. We also selected our vendors carefully, read reviews, and reached out to people for personal feedback.

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Your wedding should be something that makes the two of you happy. We celebrate our love all the time, so we just had to extend that to include our other loved ones in our wonderfully weird kind of way.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. This wedding looks like so much fun. I love the color scheme and how EVERYONE seems to be wearing the exact same shade of purple! And that last pic, in the rain, is intense.

    And I always feel so creeperish saying this, but I swear I mean it in a nice complimentary way– the couple is HAWT.

    13 agree
    • I keep seeing little details I didn't catch the first four times I drooled over the pics! Love the crying bridesmaid in the center pic (under "Biggest Challenge") paragraph. And the cake topper. And that the officiant looks like what I imagine a distinguished older Rhaegar Targaryen would look like. And the lace parasol. And pretty much everything!

      8 agree
    • Thank you so much for your comments! When I found the fabric I planned to have my dress made from, I gave everyone a swatch and sent them off into the night to stay as close as possible. I was so pleased with how close their color choices really were! <3 You're not creeperish at all, lol.

      5 agree
  2. I'm sure everyone here wishes they could be you for even five minutes. Gah, you guys, EVERYONE in your wedding looks so cool. :(

    4 agree
  3. Congrats again to the lovely couple! An incredibly unique celebration! I love that you used Entering the Vow. Such a lovely poem.
    BLESSED BE!

    2 agree
    • Crafting our ceremony with meaningful passages wasn't easy at all, but I think the ones we selected expressed our minds & hearts well.

      2 agree
  4. This is so stunning! Every detail is absolutely gorgeous and so jam-packed with personality.

    2 agree
    • Thank you! We definitely wanted to showcase our personalities every way we could, and also to allow our wedding party to craft their own looks according to their unique styles. :)

      2 agree
  5. Congratulations! Everything looks amazing, I love all the details. I am glad you both had such a fabulous day and I wish you the greatest happiness in your marriage.

    2 agree
  6. Just stopped in to objectify your officiant, Mado. ¡Muy guapo!

    2 agree
    • That's what I get for assuming. I meant the best man, though I'm sure the officiant is fine, as well!

      2 agree
  7. I know the couple…They are beautiful people with hearts of gold. I wish I could have been there to send my blessings to them, but alas I am too far away. Ali and lady Zombie….You looked magnificent and I wish the both of you all the best! Miss you guys tons!

    -Mia (kitten)

    2 agree
  8. Zombie! SO PRETTY!!! Those colors! Everybody looks fantastic. And that cake! <3

    2 agree
  9. Oh my GOSH I suddenly want to be a man so I can do intricate facial hair designs!! I have never seen anything like that! That is so fucking cool.

    4 agree
    • YES! I feel that way! :-D He did an awesome job, and I love that the designs were different on either side of his face.

      2 agree
  10. I don't have the words to express how utterly cool and awesomely fun your wedding looks. Wishing you many years of wild and eccentric happiness :)

    4 agree
  11. Everything about the dress/cake/mood/theme is just like decorgasm. Aughh.
    Dat cake.
    Happy future to you both!

    2 agree
  12. Hey, there! I know we have written to each other on OBB several times throughout your planning stages, and I just have to say CONGRATULATIONS!! You two are beautiful and so obviously in love, plus all of your details are amazing. (BTW, I recognize several people in your wedding party and I know it's your day, but I must say that Father Vincent looks like he's from another world– in a good way!) I wish you both the best that life has to offer.

    2 agree
    • Hey Lisadee! Thank you so much! It was an incredible day. I can NOT believe three weeks have gone by already.

      One of my girlfriends came up to me at the wedding and said (regarding Vincent), "Where did he park his horse? Hubba Hubba!" I cracked up. He's always stunning!

      2 agree
  13. Oh yay! My wedding twin! Congrats! Everything looks so beautiful. I'm so happy for you and your husband. I'm glad you had a great time.

    2 agree
  14. This is Just Breath taking! Every step is just more inviting and wonderful! This is by far the only wedding I can say is a Dream wedding! So Beautiful! :D

    2 agree
  15. Lady Zombie, I can only hope to have a wedding as divine and elegant as yours on day. As Gothik Secret put it, it was just breath taking. After reading this article, you and Ali give me hope for like individuals.

    2 agree
  16. This is exactly why I adore and recommend this website!!!
    I hate all the dating/wedding shows and magazines that shut people down for being beautifully outside the box. We hear "be yourself" but not if the world doesn't get it?!?
    Your wedding and love is magnificent. There is one thing I desperately wish from offbeat bride. Please include a story on how the couples met. I wish there was offbeat dating! LOL! But honestly there are so many times since my divorce I wish I knew I could find someone like me, but where? How other offbeats met would be so inspiring.
    Blessings!

    1 agrees
    • Thank you so much! Ali and I met in a tattoo shop in Harlem when I was a sophomore in high school. Our mutual friend took me to him to get my very first pair of custom fangs! I (clearly) have never gone to anyone else since. :)

      3 agree
  17. That ring picture is one of the hottest things I've ever seen. Those nails! You had one majorly sexy wedding.

    1 agrees
    • The way we found our wedding rings was pretty cool, too. We wandered through the city for the entire day, going into all kinds of jewelry stores and vintage shops… but nothing really spoke to us. Finally, the last place we wandered into… it was a warehouse style jewelry shop in Chinatown (different vendors selling their jewelry all over the place). Ali walked up to one case, and I walked up to another directly across from it. He said, "Look!" at the same time I said, "This one!" They were our exact sizes already… it was meant to me!

      2 agree
  18. I love this bash so much. It's amazing how the love can be felt just by reading the words. Little teary over here. Lol Much love from the universe to you both!

    0 agree

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