After five years of performing weddings, I was finally asked to dress up for a theme wedding this past October. Matthew and I met with Dave and Alexi, who were happy to have found a Humanist Officiant who reflected their values, and we had a great talk about Humanism and what it meant to have a Humanist wedding.
It was almost in passing that they mentioned that they were having a theme wedding and that if I wanted, I could dress for the theme as well. Their theme was Victorian/Goth. They were definitely wearing outfits that fit the theme, and they thought some of their guests might dress up as well. And we left it at that.
At first, I wondered how little I would need to keep up with the spirit of their theme and thought that I could at least wear a hat or fascinator that looked like it was from the time period. I worried about how weird that might look, wearing a modern day business suit with a hat or headpiece full of feathers.
But as we got closer to the date, the thought of a full costume appealed to me more and more, and I started looking at costume patterns. I found a Butterick pattern that looked very smart but wouldn’t overdo it.
Then I went on the hunt for fabrics. I found some lovely grey suiting fabric at my local sewing store, Oakville Sewing Centre, and some dark blue faux fur for the trim that was on sale at Fabricland. I realized pretty quickly that I wouldn’t be able to sew my own costume with the little time I had left, so I searched for a seamstress who specialized in period clothing.
The search was a short one, because the first place I found was Way Back When on Locke Street in Hamilton, who specialize in historic and vintage bridal fashion. It was a perfect fit (pun intended) for what I needed. Owner Christine knew instinctively what I wanted and we actually had quite a bit in common so measurements and fittings went on for a while because we couldn’t stop chatting!
Meanwhile, I let Alexi and Dave know that I was going to wear a costume for their wedding. They were excited and approved of my choice in outfit.
After that, I went to work on my hat. I bought a cheap grey trilby (hipster hat) that was on sale at Winners. I ripped off the sequin band and replaced it with some leftover faux fur fabric from my costume.
While we were away for a weekend in NYC in early October, we visited a bunch of stores in the garment district, buying feathers and netting. In particular we visited The Feather Place, where I was overwhelmed with the choice in feathers. But I ended up purchasing a large grey ostrich feather and some peacock feathers. I found some silk flowers at Michaels that matched the faux fur trim. With a glue gun, I added the feathers, netting, and flowers. I also put a bird on it. Now, I’m no millner, but I think it turned out all right.
I had a couple of fittings at Way Back When in the meantime. It turns out that Butterick makes their patterns about 4x bigger than they need to be. So Christine had to take in all the seams by inches. But she did a fine job of altering the pattern so that it actually fit. Here was the whole ensemble:
I knew I was going to want some photos of the event itself, so I asked Alexi and Dave if Matthew could come to the wedding too to take photos, and we offered to dress him up as well. They were thrilled that Matthew wanted to come too. So it was time to figure out what to do with Matt’s look. He decided he wanted an ascot, top hat and a walking stick. Fortunately for us it was very close to Halloween, so we were able to find a top hat at a costume store. We couldn’t find an appropriate walking stick, so we used half of an Ikea black curtain rod and finial and put a cane tip on the end.
Here’s how we looked:
Not all couples want something different in their wedding ceremony. But at Your Occasions, we believe that the ceremony is the couple’s, not ours. And we do whatever we can to make sure the ceremony is right, for every one of our clients.
Have you got a special request for your wedding? Contact us and we’ll discuss how we can make your wedding special too!