Trigger warning: this post includes talk of suicide.
When a funeral director gets married, Til Death Do Us Part meaning shifts! Katie and David planned an October 2019 wedding that was 100% authentic to who they are. They channeled their goth roots with a cemetery engagement shoot, and then their wedding had all kinds of little touches throughout the day that made it sentimental and special, from Katie’s black wedding dress and jewelry, which included a necklace that was handmade by her maid of honor, to their flowers, which were paper and folded from pages of their favorite books (hers, Harry Potter; his, Steinbeck).
They tied the knot at the Olde Wicks factory, which is a space that hosts events in the historic, century-old rehabbed Pipe Organ Factory building in Highland, IL. While the building has been updated, historic touches and original details remain prevalent throughout, which brought a unique, authentic touch to the day.
Katie is a funeral director, and the couples’ love of horror and coffins was incorporated throughout the day, even including a handmade card box in the shape of a coffin and coffin-shaped earrings as well as flannel shirts that said “ghoul gang” for the bridesmaids.
Before the wedding, the girls did a yoga session to get the pre-ceremony jitters out, led by Katie’s foster/chosen mom, Kris (Katie lost her birth mom as a teenager). They leaned into the spooky, Halloween-y vibes even more with their decor, which featured a variety of elements including animal skulls and antlers, which Katie re-articulates/collects, and a badass customized leather jacket as well as a FABULOUS bridal hairpiece and an amazing cake, which was decorated with mini gold deer skulls and a topper with their wedding motif phrase, “Till Death.”
Even their favors were coffin-themed – black and white tie-dyed coffin-shaped cookies!
David plays in a metal band and had his bandmates serve as his groomsmen, while Katie’s bridesmaids included several close friends as well as her younger sister.
They were married by a mutual friend and exchanged handwritten vows as well as performed a handfasting ceremony, which was incredibly emotional and beautiful.
The couple’s photographer, Nora Sandoval, told us:
I think the thing I love the most about Katie and David is that yes, they are badass and super goth, but they are two of the sweetest, most smiley people I have ever met.
Also, they have survived a lot together; Katie been very open about her struggles with mental health issues and several years ago, when she was struggling and considering suicide, David was the friend she called who encouraged her get the help she needed.
Since then, she is an active advocate for suicide awareness and prevention and uses her experience as way to help others. She celebrates her re-birth every year, but their wedding day was an extra special reminder of how incredibly special and loved they are as individuals, and as a couple.
As a person who has struggled myself with mental health, I admire the commitment she has made to herself and to being outspoken about helping others as well as David’s incredible support of her and her journey.
If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
(En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
- Venue: Olde Wicks Factory / @oldewicksfactory
- Photographer: Nora Sandoval Photography / @norasandovalphoto
- Bride’s Dress: Altar’d State / @altardstate
- Bride’s Hairpiece: Dianne Isbell
- Bride’s Jacket: Painted by her tattoo artist, Billy Rath / @w.rath_tattoos
- Hair + Makeup: Emily Twigg @emilytwigghma
- Catering: Cured and Cultured Catering / @thecuredandcultured
- Real floral pieces: Steven Mueller Florist / @stevenmuellerflorist
- Cake + Cupcakes: The Happy Bakery / @happybakery
- Rentals: Sunflower Rentals / @sunflowerrentals