A goth or gothic wedding is a joyous and happy occasion. Planning any wedding is an exciting and a busy time and you may decide to visit one of the many wedding fairs taking place. There are many wedding fairs across the UK, lots claim to be alternative but only one is aimed at goth weddings and that is the Til Death Gothic Luxe Wedding Fair held in Leeds in January.
From their website:
The Gothic Luxe Wedding Fair, organised by Til Death – Dark Wedding Collective, is a specialised event focused on showcasing wedding vendors and services in the gothic and alternative wedding scene.
The fair aims to provide a unique platform for couples who are interested in planning a gothic or unconventional wedding to connect with vendors who share their interests and create products and services tailored to their tastes and preferences.
Finding inspiration and suppliers has never been available under one roof before. To help you plan for your perfect wedding, here is a checklist, a gothic wedding checklist to make your wedding planning easier.
SET YOUR GOTH WEDDING DATE
Set a date and time.
Evening weddings can work out cheaper if you are on a stricter budget as there is only one meal to serve.
Are children invited or will it be adults only?
Halloween is a popular date for many, and if you require a specific date or venue, booking early is essential.
CHOOSE YOUR GOTH WEDDING VENUE
How many guests are you expecting overall?
Is there a specific person assigned to your wedding arrangements?
Can you provide your own catering/caterers?
What seating is available?
Is there an additional room you can use as a quiet room for those who need this?
Can you decorate the venue accordingly if you require this?
Do they have music playing equipment for you to use during the ceremony?
If you intend to use alcohol or candles during your ceremony, will the venue allow this?
Are they dog friendly if you want your dog there?
Is your venue accessible for all?
Is your venue easy to get to?
Is there parking onsite?
Does it have accommodation close by for guests needing it?
Does it have findable Sat Nav or What Three Words directions?
Will you be signposting if not?
Things to consider:
If you are planning your ceremony to be outdoors, you should make a backup or contingency plan as the weather here in Britain is unpredictable. Is there a different room or building you can use if it rains?
Is your venue practical? Can you manage to walk up flights of slim stone steps in heels, New Rocks or if wearing a huge gown or ball skirt?
If you want an alternative venue such as cemetery for your gothic wedding ceremony, get permission from the local council or enquire if this is possible.
BOOK A GOTH WEDDING CELEBRANT
Do you want to say the same vows and have the same wedding as everybody else says, or would you like the freedom to write what you want to say to each other and have a ceremony unique to you?
IF you want a meaningful and memorable ceremony to celebrate your relationship, you’ll require the services of a celebrant. If you want a celebrant who can design and create you a goth or a gothic wedding, handfasting or renewal of vows ceremony, you’ll need a goth wedding celebrant, and this is where I come in:
Ellie Farrell, Goth, Pagan and Original Alternative Celebrant www.alternativeceremoniesuk.com
As soon as you have a date, book your celebrant as certain dates such as Halloween and Whitby Goth Weekend dates get booked up fast. Currently celebrants in England are Wales aren’t marriage celebrants which means you’ll need to visit a registration office to do the very short (less than 10 minutes on the day, legal stuff). You do not need to be legally married or even divorced to have a celebrant wedding as a marriage and a wedding are two very different things. A marriage is a legally recognised equal partnership, a wedding is a celebration of your relationship and the next milestones in your joined lives together.
Are you Pagan and would like a Pagan handfasting?
Will you be making your own cords, buying them, or asking your celebrant to supply them?
What colours do you want?
BOOK A PHOTOGRAPHER
This is a very important thing to budget for when planning your wedding as it is a special day, and you want it documented. Everybody knows people who take a few shots as a hobby, but do you really want to entrust such a huge responsibility to a non-professional? Once the day is over, the cake has been eaten, clothing packed away, your wedding becomes a treasured memory and having images of your wedding day keeps those memories fresh.
BOOK A VIDEOGRAPHER
Do you want your day videoed? If so, book a videographer and choose one who understands your needs on the day.
WHAT IS YOUR DRESS CODE?
Goth weddings are prominently a beautiful sea of black clothing. If you require your guests to wear or avoid wearing certain colours which will compliment or clash with your outfits, let them know.
WILL YOUR GOTH WEDDING HAVE A THEME YOUR GUESTS NEED TO BE AWARE OF?
Will it be a romantic gothic wedding?
Will it be a goth wedding?
CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PARTY
Choose your wedding party, those who you want to be involved within your day and decide on what they will be known as. Titles to consider include:
Non – Binary Wedding Party Titles:
Paranymph (an ancient Greek word)
Person of Honour
Goth of Honour
If your dog is to be included:
Dog of Honour
WEDDING CREW GIFTS
Are you gifting your wedding crew with a small gift?
Items to consider include:
Make up palettes
WHO IS TAKING PART IN THE CEREMONY?
Do you want anyone to read anything or say anything during your ceremony?
Do you want anyone to take part such as wrap handfasting cords?
Who will play any ceremony music?
Are you walking in together or with a family member or a friend?
CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING ATTIRE
What style, colour, material, and length do you prefer when it comes to choosing your wedding dress?
Do you want a black dress, or do you prefer another colour?
A bustle skirt or a full one?
Corset or bodice?
Will you be wearing a veil, a cloak, a fascinator, a headdress, or a hat?
What clothing will your wedding attendants wear? Requesting them to wear their own clothing in a specific colour keep down the cost and is sustainable.
What clothing are Grooms and their attendants wearing?
Victorian, Trad Goth, EBM style?
Are you going to have a tailormade suit, a frock coat, a cloak a kilt, a dress, a hat
Will you be wearing matching wedding dresses or matching outfits?
It is your day and all about you and whatever you choose to wear will define you as a person with your own style.
Shoes and Footwear:
If you are wearing heels or new shoes, take a change of footwear with you to change into.
Remember to break in Docs or New Rocks if you are having new ones for your wedding. We all know the torture of these items of footwear.
BOOK A MAKE UP ARTIST AND HAIRDRESSEER/BARBER (if required)
Make sure a potential MUA and hairdresser/barber can give you the look you are going for as not all are skilled in goth make-up and hair styles.
Book a trial before your wedding day.
Don’t forget about your nails.
RINGS AND JEWELLERY
Are you exchanging wedding rings or another item of jewellery?
Gold, silver or black?
Plain, patterned, inscribed, or set with stones?
Will your ring be part of a set to fit with an engagement ring?
Off the shelf or custom designed?
Are you exchanging other jewellery too such as a collar, bangle, or necklace?
INVITES AND STATIONERY
Gone are the days of having to have white and boring wedding invites and stationery. Bespoke wedding invites and stationery including Save the Date to match your style, colour scheme or ceremony theme are available.
Are you having a guest book for your guests to sign?
What style/size will it be?
Do you want a personalised book designed and made?
Red, black, silver or gold pens for your guests to write messages with?
Are you providing a box for guests to leave their cards in? If so, what kind of box?
CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA EVENT
Create an event on social media for guests to respond to online invites and share their images too.
Add your wedding list to the event if you have one, (Don’t shy away for asking for money. It isn’t rude as you can use it for your honeymoon or purchase an item for the home).
Add directions to your venue, Sat Nav, What Three Words, instructions to follow signs or things to look out for to reach and access it.
Add images of car parking places or entrances if these are clearly marked.
Add links to hotels, B&B’s, taxi firms (Uber isn’t in all areas) and rail information.
Ask for any allergies or food requirements.
State any dress code or wedding theme
Arriving in a hearse maybe your ideal choice and if so, there are a few companies online where hearses can be hired for goth weddings and events. Check this service is available in your area.
FLOWERS AND ROOM DÉCOR
Are you having a bouquet?
One each or just for one partner?
Are boutonnieres (buttonhole flowers) for you or do you prefer an alternative?
Do you want artificial or real flowers?
What is your colour scheme?
Do you want your ceremony room decorated with flowers or other items?
Candles and centrepieces?
A matching ceremony arch or canopy?
Petals to sprinkle by a Flower Person
Image by: https://www.vickyduboisphoto.co.uk
Are you carrying any accessories such as a walking cane or a bag?
Are you wearing any accessories such as a belt or a harness?
Are you giving wedding favours to your guests?
What are you giving if so?
Sweets, candles, photo frames, cosmetics, floral gifts are some suggestions.
Are you having a cake?
What kind of cake do you want?
Sweet or savoury?
A huge elaborate sculptured cake which will feed lots of people or a smaller simpler one?
Sponge, fruit, or a cheese wheel cake?
What flavours do you want?
How many tiers?
Vegan, gluten free?
Catering for vegans, vegetarians and food intolerance and allergies must be considered.
What kind of food are you going to serve?
Street food from vendors who will arrive at your venue, a sit down meal or both.
Buffet style with curries and chill too?
Free bar or just a toast?
Make sure there are vegan, gluten free and no alcohol drinks available?
Will you have to pay a corkage fee if you want to use mead during your ceremony?
Do you need to provide shot glasses or glasses for use during your ceremony?
MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT
Goth music is very diverse so decide on a DJ who you like and who will play different kinds of music. There’s only so many Sisters of Mercy tracks to hear. Look for a DJ who is open to playing ‘requests from your guests’ as the booze starts to flow, even hard core Goths dance to some 80’s cheese.
A band, magician, burlesque or alternative performers, and dark cabaret acts may fit in better with your entertainment requirements rather than a photobooth with colourful props.
MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR YOUR FURRY FAMILY MEMBER
Your wedding day is going to be busy, and you will be away from your home for a long time, Remember to make arrangements for your furry animal members if you dog or other animal friend isn’t attended your ceremony.
If they are attending, who will look after them during the ceremony and take them home when required to do so?
They will need feeding and walking if they are to stay at home. Who can do this for you?
TAKE A WEDDING DAY KIT WITH YOU
It is a good idea to make up and take with you a wedding kit if needed. It should contain items for personal use which you may need during the day/evening.
Things to include:
Any medication you need
Inhalers if you use them
Safety pins for clothing mishaps
Plasters for new shoes feet
Sanitary products for the unexpected
Rescue Remedy if you have anxiety
Hairspray so your do stays up
Make up for touch ups
Body spray for freshen ups
Contact lenses items if you wear lenses and get blurred vision from happy tears
Phone charger (the one day you should ignore your phone, but you may need this)
FINALLY, ADVICE FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY
Remember to take in every single moment of your wedding day as ‘time flies when you are having fun’.
Make sure you remember to eat before your ceremony and avoid any alcohol until after it.
Drink water during the day as you can become dehydrated faster than usual if you are excited, wearing heavy clothing or a corset, or if you are drinking a lot of alcohol.
Limit your alcohol intake as many will offer to buy you drinks and you want to remember and enjoy your day, rather than spending some of it in the bathroom of your venue from too many drinks.
IT IS YOUR WEDDING
Planning a wedding can be stressful if you let it. Families and friends will be full of suggestions and perhaps expectations. Remember this is your day, all about the two of you. The only people you need to please are yourselves. Plan your day together and do what you both want to do.
SOMETHINGS DO NOT MATTER
Will you guests notice if the red bags containing chocolate hearts on their tables are poppy red not cherry red? Potentially not no and on the day, neither will you so do not stress over small details.
If you require a goth or Pagan wedding celebrant, please contact me.