Our wedding was AWESOME. Being married is truly amazing! Everything went off perfectly and our guests had a marvelous time. And we got married! How cool is that?
We wanted our wedding to be totally us – who doesn’t? – so we booked Spookers, a haunted attraction in part of the old Kingseat Mental Asylum. The Spookers building used to be the nurses quarters. We had the ceremony in a circus tent, the photos on the asylum grounds, and the reception in the Spookers banquet hall. After the wedding festivities and the food, our guests could enter the attractions or dance/hang out in the hall or tent.
We wanted our theme to be “heavy metal” so we mixed elements of all the metal we like – medieval, warriors, horror, fun – and the result? Divine!
The Wedding Day
It was a lovely sunny day which found us at at our hotel eating sausage rolls (a favorite pastime here in New Zealand). The hairdressers came around earlyand sorted us out, then my bridesmaids Belinda, my pregnant baby sister Linley (my best friend of all time, who was Matron of Honour), and Jennifer arrived. We spent a good amount of time dressing…after all, you rarely get a chance to feel such lavish fabrics on your skin, and twirl about like a queen! As I am being laced into my corset, Jennifer called her baby sitter to come over to pick up her son at 4:15 to meet our 5 o’clock deadline and it’s suddenlt 4:45, 4:55 … and babysitter still wasn’t there! Just when I couldn’t be more frantic, the sunny day all but disappears and it starts to BUCKET down with rain! I’d been so excited all day and upon the 5 o’clock mark was full of revengeful thoughts upon the powers that be (those bastards!)
The babysitter showed up just in time, and we hopped in the cars. When we got to Spookers we were a bit early, so did a couple of laps of the parking lot waving at everyone. The sky clouded over, threatening me with further ruin, but no rain came.
Meanwhile, the boys had already lined up. My best friend Shane dutifully lut the lanterns within the circus tent, and the guests quietly shifted in their seats, their quiet chatter drifting outside to where I stood. I was trembling with excitement as we lined up outside.
Our wonderful friend Lee acted as our herald, dressed in his ripped jeans and Slayer t-shirt, of course. Our ceremony started off with his booming address: “For the thousands in attendence, and the millions watching around the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, lets get ready to Maaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrry…..”
My sister’s husband Brendon then started the music – Bittersweet, by Apocalyptica – and it was time to enter!
My dad walked me slowly up to my husband-to-be in the centre of the tent. He had the biggest smile on his face, and he looked like a Warrior. I giggled so much and cried, and he cried, and everyone laughed and snapped pictures.
He drew his sword, placed it on the ground, and said his vows – which he wrote himself:
‘I place my sword, my life, and my heart at your feet. I wov to protect and honour you Through whatever may follow. From this day on. As I link my soul to yours. and take you Steff, as my wife.’
And then I picked up his sword, handed it back to him, and said:
‘I return this sword to you, bound with my heart. I shall be the shield for your back And the healer of your wounds. I shall honour you above all others From this day on As I link my soul to yours. And take you, CDH, as my husband.’
I’d memorized it all, except I got choked up on the second line and forgot everything, so our celebrant had to prompt me.
Then our mothers lit a candle for us, and we used those candles to light our own candle.We chose to exchange rings for our ceremony.
Our rings were designed by my husband himself– it is a simple band with a rope design around each edge. “Twegan Gastus in Annes” is inscribed around the outside in Anglo Saxon – two souls as one, or two ghosts in unison, depending on your translation. Mine has a garnet set in it, and his had an emerald. The gold for the rings and my garnet came from some of his great grandmother’s heirloom jewelery which we had melted down.
The Best Part
No vows are complete without the final kiss. That kiss was one I will never forget, and seemed to last for an eternity. We exited to Manowar’s ‘The Gods Made Heavy Metal’ and all our metal friends cheered. We are married! Yarrrr!
We tried to race through our group photos, but there were so MANY, including a ‘heavy metal’ photo with all our bogan friends throwing the goat.
Our guests went to the bar for drinks and snacks while we did the portraits. I love the way these photos came out – our photographer rocked. We had a lot of fun romping around the asylum grounds.
I loved my beautiful red wedding dress. Can’t you tell?
The venue had gone all out with decorations – blood red walls, cobwebs everywhere, manniquins hanging from the ceiling – we had black roses centrepieces and barbed wire and candles. All the plates are red and were accented by silver medieval goblets. If you think that is cool, the Gothic Wedding Planner has all sorts of ideas for how you can decorate to achieve the greatest impact!
Our dads gave heartwarming speeches, followed by my bridesmaids, and then the best man John Paul got the evening rolling – he missed the stag do so had to work in the phrases ‘these are not the droids you are looking for’ ‘you’re a towel’ and ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ into his speech seamlessly. He did, and got huge applause.
We ate food, which was sooooo good. And I socialised and circulated. A few spooky ‘visitors’ showed up and scared our guests.
Our first dance was to Skalds and Shadows by Blind Guardian, and got everyone up dancing. We got a big group together, got our tickets, and lined up to go through the haunted house. Because it was Halloween, HEAPS of people were there, and man did they all think it was cool that we were getting married. The haunted house actors picked on us cuz we were the bridal party. It was brill. Then we went through the haunted forest – two chainsaw-weilding maniacs (actual chainsaws with no chains – you could SMELL the gasoline) chased us for ages, then we met an actor wearing corpsepaint – turns out he was in a local metal band so we stood around talking to him for ages about local gigs and stuff (he could get in trouble for doing that but he was having too much fun!)
After we escaped the forest we went back to the banquet hall, hung out with more people, and did some more dancing.
The phantom hand – giving his phantom seal of approval…
My metal friends got ahold of the laptop and put on Manowar’s ‘Hail and Kill’ (practically our metal anthem) and about twenty of us had an awesome metal singalong. It was epic – the photographer couldn’t stop laughing.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Our limo arrived and it was time to go. Everything went perfect – no mishaps, just a perfectly fun night. We went to our surprise accommodation courtesy of my awesome Mother in Law – 5 star at the Langham, with free champagne, chocolates, breakfast and the biggest bed in the whole WORLD (two king-sized beds put together).
The next morning we got up and had breakfast with our families, then went off on our surprise 2 day honeymoon to queenstown, which was a whole different kind of awesome!
Many of the details in my wedding were handcrafted ourselves, including the guys’ cloaks and shirts. My husband’s sword and the groomsan’s broaches came from our friend at Wulflund in Czech republic. We had friends and family help with cakes, readings, etc. I created the invitations (scrolls with skull and crossbones seals) and we had no flowers or favours. My dress came in under $500NZ and I wore stockings (black and white striped with skull and crossbones) and shoes I already owned.
That was our Grymm & Epic Heavy Metal Fantasy wedding. I hope you can draw some inspiration from seeing what we did!
If you want more details and HUNDREDS of tips for planning your own wedding, you’ve got to read the Gothic Wedding Planner!