No two people will have the same view of the picture perfect wedding. While a traditional ceremony (complete with a poofy princess gown and an abundance of springtime flowers) might be the type of wedding we see most often in style blogs and magazines, it is by no means the only kind of affair you should be looking at for style inspiration. After all, if we all focused on the same type of wedding for inspiration, pretty soon all of our big day’s would look the same- and where’s the fun in that?
Dark Romanticism- Inspiration from Poetry and the Gothic Period
Edgar Allen Poe is generally not the first name that comes to mind when one begins to think of romantic poets. However, his poem “Annabel Lee,” which is said to have been written about his real life love interest, features equal measures of darkness and hope in regards to romance. The subjects in the poem share a love that is so pure and joyful, that the angels in heaven kill Annabel Lee out of jealousy. Even after her death, the speaker in the poem continues to feel abundant love for Annabel Lee.
"But our love it was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we-- Of many far wiser than we-- And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee" Edgar Allen Poe
The subject may be dark, but is it really any darker than ’till death do we part’? It actually seems more heartfelt: even after death has parted them, the lovers souls cannot be parted. To some, it’s shocking to imagine a gothic wedding- dresses are often not white, flower crowns are often nowhere in sight, and the venues can border on creepy. But clearly, gothic poetry from greats such as Poe prove that the gothic concept has an underlying thread of commitment, even in the face of overwhelming tragedy. That theme does in fact apply to marriage, and can easily be tied into your big day.
So You’re Not Wearing White to Your Wedding
The concept of colored wedding dresses is by no means revolutionary. For years, more and more designers have been featuring wedding dresses that deviate from the traditional white color scheme. Within the last year especially, some of the most popular wedding dresses have been in shades of pink, champagne, mint, and blue. In this modern age, many brides have steered clear of pure white gowns due to the virginal, innocent symbolism they have traditionally been associated with.
Some cultures avoid white wedding dresses altogether. Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese brides have all been known to choose vibrant red dresses. Red is thought to bring good luck and prosperity to their union.
Suffice to say, choosing to wear a colored wedding gown is not necessarily as horrifying a concept as your grandmother may have you believe. In Gothic weddings, we tend to see dresses in shades of black, purple, and red more predominantly than any other color. This can broaden your options, as you can choose from a wide variety of evening gowns instead of just being limited to bridal designers who are willing to incorporate color into their creations.
But What About the Venue?
This is perhaps the most visually appealing aspect of a Gothic wedding. Think old castles, churches, manors, and theaters that are loaded with Victorian charm. As these venues are often old, they tend to be drenched in history- creating an instant conversation piece amongst your guests. These spots are especially stunning in the winter, when the trees are bare and lend an air of quiet mystery to the whole affair.
It may not be for you, and that’s ok! Gothic weddings are still an extremely interesting source of unique wedding inspiration that is ever-evolving.