Photos by David Woolley

The offbeat bride: Tanya, Public Servant

Her offbeat partner: Ross, Investment Manager

Date and location of wedding: Cottesloe Civic Center Gardens and Villa Pourzand, Western Australia — September 30, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Ross and I chose to forgo a bridal party and indulged ourselves with a custom-made gown and suit. It was important to us that our attire and details reflected our everyday goth-y style while still being elegant. This included our Victorian-gothic inspired invitations, and our music, which included our favorite metal bands as performed by the Vitamin String Quartet.






We chose to have our ceremony in a garden at heritage listed grounds, complete with massive stone staircases and creeper vines. Our reception venue's decor was in the style of fifteenth-century Renaissance Florence. At the reception, Ross and I entered to Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice theme song and left to the Tales From The Crypt theme, with steampunk music playing throughout dinner and industrial music for dancing.


Our bonbonnieres were wrought iron bird cages, to match our vintage cage wishing well and bejeweled raven cake toppers.


Tell us about the ceremony: My father walked me down the aisle to a string version of Atreyu's “The Remembrance Ballad,” and a glamorous female celebrant conducted our simple ceremony at the base of a stone double staircase. My young cousins did readings of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe poems, “Romance” and “Annabel Lee.” At the end, we had waiters serve champagne and canapes while the family portraits were taken.



Our biggest challenge: We tried to preempt drama over who to invite. But despite being up-front with family and friends in the early stages of planning, there were inevitably those who felt disgruntled and left out. There was little we could do to satisfy everyone's wishes, and simply had to accept that older generations may have different expectations about who ought to be invited to a family affair. We also realized that many people our own age may not truly understand the inherent difficulties in selecting guests, until they have personally experienced the difficulties of planning a wedding themselves.

My favorite moment: Eschewing tradition by spending the night before at home with Ross and helping each other dress and prepare for the wedding the next morning. Most of all, saying our vows and being pronounced husband and wife on our ten-year anniversary.

My funniest moment: During my groom's thank-you speech at the reception he addressed me in the language of the Dothraki tribe from Game of Thrones, referring to me “yer jalan atthirari anni,” which translates into “moon of my life.” It was sweet, unexpected, and funny, and most of our guests laughed and assumed he was speaking a language from World of Warcraft, since he is an avid gamer.


My advice for offbeat brides: Well-intentioned people will give you their opinions regardless of whether you asked for them or not. I found it was best to avoid over-sharing the details of our wedding plans. On another note, we also found it worthwhile to state “evening attire” on our invitations, as we wished for a formal aesthetic and hoped to avoid well-meaning relatives arriving in gothic Halloween costumes.


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Comments on Tanya & Ross’ elegant Victorian gothic wedding

  1. Love it!!

    Also, very excited when I see local weddings! There aren’t many from Perth, but this is the second one where I’ve recognised people in the photos, ha!

  2. I love everything about this wedding, it is gorgeous! I adore your dress and I really love the venues you chose. I am also using Vitamin String Quartet for the music at my ceremony. I also think your cake toppers are absolutely amazing. Congratulations!

  3. OMG, love the dress, the venue, all of it. What a beautiful wedding.

    Congrats! Have a great marriage hugz

  4. Sometimes you see people who are just born with grace and elegance.

    This beautiful couple is one of them.

    Congratulations on your marriage!

  5. Absolutely breath taking! Congratulations both on your marriage and pulling off such a beautiful gothic wedding!

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