Boys and girls of every age, wouldn't you like to see something strange? It's our favorite week for spooky, gothic, and horror-themed weddings — it's HALLOWEEN WEEK!
The Offbeat Bride: Domenica, Prevention Director
Her offbeat partner: Brian, Production Supervisor
Date and location of wedding: Rockwood Mansion and Gardens, Wilmington, Delaware — October 31, 2009
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted to create a classy Halloween setting. This was challenging, but I think we pulled it off. One of the best things we did was set a budget in the beginning to avoid debt. If we couldn't pay for something outright, we didn't do it. This resulted in pushing the wedding back a year later than we had originally planned, but the extra planning time was tremendously helpful.
We went into it as a Halloween party that happened to include a ceremony. We infused multiple traditions as well. It was important for my mom to see me in a white gown (not my original plan), so I wore that for the ceremony and changed into my purple and black Renaissance-themed gown before the reception. We also included The Addams Family theme during our cake cutting!
Tell us about the ceremony:
This was our opening, which I wrote with the help of a few close friends:
We have come together on this festive holiday to bless the marriage of Domenica and Brian. We, your family and friends, are here to celebrate your love.
Halloween is Domenica and Brian's favorite holiday. In the ancient Celtic traditions, Halloween is a time between times. All laws of time and space are suspended for the evening. As the end of summer and the turning closer towards winter, it marks an opening between our world and the spirit world. The veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest on Halloween night. Legend has it that spirits intermingle with the living. The tradition of wearing costumes is to confuse those spirits who may want to do us harm. Yet for us, this night is more about merriment, trickery, and yummy goodies.
We have all had moments of peak experiences where time and space are suspended, and these unusual moments takes on a timeless quality. Halloween will forever be linked to two such moments for Domenica and Brian. Tonight, they will deepen their bond making a sacred union whereby their hearts, their bodies, and their souls shall be united as one in marriage for the rest of their days. And it is our honor and privilege to stand witness. For this blessed act is magnificent and tender to behold.
Domenica and Brian are so grateful to all of you who have come to share this memorable occasion with them. You honor them with your presence and your support for them.
We jumped the broom, and then did a chocolate and wine ritual using this verbiage:
Long ago, wine and chocolate were revered as gifts from the Gods. For the ancient ones, wine represented the blood and life of the earth and all the abundance of her harvest. For the ancient Mayans, the rare and desirable chocolate was revered as ambrosia that would heal you body and soul. Domenica and Brian, as well as the members of the bridal party will engage in this ritual together signifying that they are becoming one family and one kin. We invite all to witness here this act of sharing and remembering life's gifts of growth from sorrow and sweetness.
The years of life will have some hardships and disappointments, of which this bitter wine is a symbol. Remember to forgive the frailties of one another. Bear together life's adversities and be confident that the good will always return.
The years of life have indeed much happiness, joy, hope, healing, and goodness, of which this sweet chocolate is a token. We ask that you eat of it together, and as you do, earnestly seek the power and wisdom to use all the pleasure and prosperity that may come to you, with gratitude, modesty, and sympathy for all those less fortunate than yourselves.
As you have shared the wine and chocolate, so may you share your lives. May you find life's joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched by a constant love.
Our biggest challenge:
Our original venue closed three months after we booked it with no further communication. We lost our deposit and had to scramble to find a venue. Then we found out I was pregnant, so we had to work all the details out with a bit of uncertainty. I think the biggest challenge was not financing anything and keeping it affordable. At one point I was certain that we were going to have to push back another year. Halloween is our favorite holiday so that was a non-negotiable. But our families pitched in and helped out every step of the way.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
To really slow down and enjoy every moment. It went by so fast! And if you can afford it, we recommend getting a videographer. It's the only regret I have.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Andre Smith
- Venue: Rockwood Mansion and Gardens
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!