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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Custom Fangs: Ali's Savage Traits
- Ceremony and reception photography: Milestone Images
- Vow scrolls: Artful Beginnings
- Engagement photos: Black Room Photo
- Bride's dress and groom's tailcoat: Calla Corsets
- Officiants: Curiel Ceremonies
- Bride and groom wedding boots: Harley-Davidson
- Card box: I Have Been Framed
- Bride's chainmail earrings: Inksplot Studios
- Bride's bone and amethyst necklace: Joanne Bedard
- Floral arrangements, catering, venue: reBar
- Cake topper: Sable Arts
- Cake: SlaytaniCakes
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: