a Gothic fairytale
We hope you’re ready for some seriously romantic wedding inspiration! This Gothic fairytale wedding beautifully merges nature, mythology, and fantasy into a uniquely personalised celebration.
Holly and Conor, who first met during outdoor theatre rehearsals as pirates in Treasure Island, envisioned their wedding as a mythical retelling of their story, featuring their creative community and friends. It was exactly this and more, so we are excited to be able to share their story with you.
You can really feel the love through these photos and through the couple’s retelling of their day. Enjoy!
Photos by Maddie Farris Photography & Video by Red Seats
There are few things we love more than a personalised wedding ceremony that completely represents the couple. Holly and Conor’s handfasting ceremony was a beautiful example of this. Here’s what they told us about it:
“We opted for an outdoor handfasting ceremony in Calderstones Park, Liverpool because we felt most at home saying our vows among the trees. We wrote the script from scratch so we could make sure everything rang true for us. We took inspiration from historical Celtic traditions in honour of Conor’s Irish heritage, and used the ancient vows straight out of Outlander – one of our favourite TV shows.”
The couple continued:
“Our handfasting was beautifully conducted by our fellow thespian turned celebrant-for-the-day Julie, who witnessed the start of our relationship first-hand so she was able to regale the guests with some uniquely authentic tales.
We walked down the aisle to live music performed by our friends Aimée & Taran. We chose songs from the folk musical Hadestown, which we always listen to on road trips. Another friend of ours, Charlie Staunton who also goes by ‘The Wedding Poet’ wrote and performed a personalised epic romantic and very funny poem that our guests couldn’t stop talking about afterward.
Finally, Holly’s archery friends and historical re-enactors brought their armour along to be knights in our honour guard – and made sure Holly had at least one picture with a sword in her hand!”
Holly and Conor found a brilliant way to combine all of their interests with a ‘dark-meets-light’ aesthetic:
“We’re a couple of goths at heart so we took inspiration from the darker side of fairy tales, mythology and historical fantasy. The general theme of our day was ‘stories’ so we could sneak in as many references to our favourite books, plays, movies and mythology as we wanted, from Braveheart, Outlander and Poldark to Shakespeare, Arthurian legends and Grimm’s fairy tales.
Holly designed all of the stationery and signage to have an antique storybook feel with some calligraphy handwritten on the place cards by her mum.
For our wedding décor, we needed to harmonise the springtime woodland feel of the venue with the darker aspects we wanted like skulls, poison bottles and medieval banquet tables. One of our inspirations to help it all hang together was Hades and Persephone in Greek mythology. That was how we established the dark-meets-light colour palette and where our venue stylist Foxglove & Black came in to make our dreams come true!”
18th Century Groomswear
Conor: “My coat was custom-made by a seamstress who specialises in historical fashion, based on a mash-up of Holly’s favourite aspects of 18th century coats.
That coat had so much personality it almost gave my speech for me! It was the heaviest thing I’ve ever worn and quite the workout but worth it for the twirl. I took it off once the band/dancing started and didn’t see it again until later in the night. Everyone wanted to take it for a spin!”
The Perfect ‘Twirling’ Dress
Holly: “I’ve always had a soft spot in my dark heart for a princess ball gown that would lend some swoon-worthy drama to a Cinderella waltz. I choreographed our first dance to the Outlander theme, taking inspiration from all my favourite fairytale movies.
The colour was more difficult. I’m one of probably very few people who didn’t expect my wedding day to be the last time I wear a fantasy ball gown, so in the end, I opted for white because that does feel like a brides-only thing. I’ve had alternative-inclined friends say similar things to me about being ‘the one time’ as a goth that you get to wear white. It really does the job of surprising people if they expect the unexpected from you! The ultimate double bluff.”
Holly: “I made my own circlet and got some victorian-meets-WWE boots on Etsy – Conor loves wrestling so they felt both appropriate and practical for the park! I sewed a sixpence and a blue heart pendant that my friend Heather gave me into one of my boots, and attached my great-grandma’s antique brooch to my bouquet.”
Holly and Conor were living the ‘Our Wedding, Our Way’ ethos, making sure every element of the day was in line with their beliefs and interests:
“We axed any gendered traditions we didn’t vibe with, slept in our own bed the night before the wedding and walked down the aisle together. Our best man was a ‘best mate’ and both of us gave speeches. We axed the bouquet toss and wedding cake in favour of Conor’s favourite locally made jam doughnuts. Also, we served ice-cream flavoured IPA from one of our favourite microbreweries in Liverpool, and toasted the speeches with mead for a nod to the medieval ‘honeymoon’.
We had a barbecue buffet and a ceilidh band alternating with a DJ. The ceilidh was so much fun! Seeing people from different friendship groups and families dancing together was so wholesome and also gave the rest of the guests a bit of comic relief to watch it all unfold and descend into chaos as the night went on.”
A Beautifully Personalised Wedding
What a beautiful celebration! We love seeing how this incredible couple made their day their own. A big thanks to Red Seats for sending this into us, and of course to Holly and Conor for sharing the details of their Gothic fairytale wedding day with us.
Loving this Gothic fairytale wedding? You might also love: ‘Alternative Fairytale Wedding atThe Lost Village Of Dode’
gothic fairytale wedding:
Videographer – Red Seats
Photographer – Maddie Farris Photography
Hair – Wedding Hair & Makeup
MUA – Blush Makeup & Beauty
Venue Styling – Foxglove & Black
Conor’s Coat – Sew Not History Costumes
Venue – The Reader at Calderstones
Ice-cream IPA – Top Rope Brewing
Audio Guestbook – Calleo UK
Poet – The Wedding Poet
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