Yes, this is actually a picture from our wedding 10 years ago
This first post may start out as a bit of a rant, but I aim to put into perspective why I have decided to start this blog.
I am a Goth. I always have been. Even before I knew what Goth was, I was one. I’ve never really thought about what that means and never felt any real need to conform, hide what interests me or change myself to fit in. I’m lucky. I know I’m lucky.
I LOVE my work. I share a bespoke dressmaking business with my family. Me and my sister run our little boutique in Blackburn along with our mum. We all predominantly wear black, have variable hair colours and have our tattoos and piercings on show. We are in our own little creative bubble, creating beautiful gowns and accessories for brides drawn to us for our eccentricities. Again, we are lucky. We know we are lucky… to have created this little ecosystem where our appearance actually benefits our ability to attract the quirkier bride.
HOWEVER, the one thing that saddens me, even in 2015, is how we still – on a daily basis – see our brides tame down their ideas for fear of offending someone OR for worry that it will end up tacky or looking like a kids Halloween party.
There are 2 strands to this:
I see it all the time, brides who search us out because we are alternative and we can give them the Gothic dress of their dreams. They are drawn to our darker designs and can see themselves in our dresses. We love to hear and see the excitement when a bride realises the dress they imagined is completely possible. Then somewhere along the way, their ideas change and their choices become more and more, well… ivory.
I like to think that it’s a simple change of mind. A tiny little decision without a million hours of deliberation. And I guess in some cases that’s true, but sadly this is rarely the case.
Time and again we see our brides tone down and often completely abandon their original ideas for more conventional tastes. The more real the wedding becomes and the closer the wedding gets, the stronger those voices saying what a ‘real’ wedding is and the louder the expectations of what a bride should look like. It all starts to make you doubt your choices.
I have personally experienced this from both sides; as a bride planning her own wedding and wanting the ultimate Gothic wedding but for it to be really tasteful and for people not to think it’s cheesy or morbid.
And also as an outsider looking in and seeing ideas squashed; every time we exhibit at a wedding fair and we hear ‘but you wouldn’t wear black though would you?’ and ‘but it’s not a wedding dress is it?’ and ‘what would your grandma think?’
Whose wedding is this? Seriously, whose traditions tell you you have to wear ivory? Where, in the statements you make to declare your love to your partner does it say that your marriage won’t be valid if you deviate too far from the norm? or it’s not a real wedding? Who, in all reality, would think it was appropriate to impose their ideal on someone else?… well it seems everyone!
There is no REAL inspiration available
It sounds funny, with all the various social media channels available and alternative wedding blogs springing up in in every corner that even now Gothic weddings are marginalised. How do you gain confidence in how your wedding will look if blogs only feature Gothic weddings in the week running up to Halloween? How do you get a feel for what will work if you don’t see many examples and if the wedding suppliers who specialise in darker weddings don’t get a voice?
By only sharing weddings with a darker aesthetic during that 1 week window the wedding industry is basically telling you your wedding isn’t valid or relevant or at best can be described as Halloween or fancy dress. Am I the only one that thinks that’s incredibly RUDE!?!
I’m not a kid that looks forward to dressing up and playing trick or treat. This is who I am. This is what makes my soul sing. This is how I dress and feel comfortable and I want to encourage any dark soul brides out there not to feel the pressure to change who they are for their wedding day.