Heavy misfortunes have befallen us,

but let us only cling closer to what remains, and transfer our love for those whom we have lost to those who yet live. Our circle will be small but bound close by the ties of affection and mutual misfortune. And when time shall have softened your despair, new and dear objects of care will be born to replace those of whom we have been so cruelly deprived ~

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 

There are not many weddings that would open with a quote from Frankenstein, so when Laura and Dan gave me their brief for their ceremony, along with all the book quotes that were to be included, I started to grin and clap my hands together. This was going to a wedding that truly embraced everything Dan and Laura embodied. Diversity… a love of tea (and cake) … 18th century history… and their Goth lifestyle.

Unbeknown to us all (shamefully I have to admit) none of us realised that the 22nd May was actually World Goth Day! Our happy couple knew the date as their 15th anniversary and was their 3rd attempt at getting wed.Once we all realised though, several bats (their friends) braved the sunlight as we celebrated in pretty spectacular style a very special day.


Move over Brief Encounter .The love story to end all love stories, also began at a train station…London Liverpool St, to be precise in April 2007… and so we started… Just as the characters, Mrs. Jesson and Dr. Harvey sat and enjoyed a brew, so too did Laura and Dan. They supped on a mix of Assam and Earl Grey served in Laura’s Great Nanna’s white & gold china teacups, with a slice of cake as the story of how they met and fell in love unfolded.

white and gold china tea cups with a tea bag
Afternoon tea

A deep dive into historic wedding conventions revealed the long-forgotten tradition of cake threading. A quite sweet but messy slice of history, when unmarried guests would thread small pieces of cake through the bride’s wedding ring AFTER the wedding ceremony, before going to sleep with confectionary under their pillow. Sweet dreams of future marriage partners were apparently pretty much guaranteed.


The Victorians adapted this tradition…of cake threading for their own. So that the new bride did not have to remove her wedding band and get it all sticky in the process, her bridesmaids would cut small pieces of cake, the day before the ceremony. No bigger than the size of the brides little finger, the cake was passed through her ring, before being wrapped up in ornamental paper and fastened with ‘some pretty devices’…aka coloured ribbon…essentially making the first wedding favours. They’d only be presented to the single ladies in attendance, and only if they so desired to receive it. Rather than get all messy, and give out A LOT of cake, Laura and Dan decided to gift a slice of cake to their readers as they came up with their poems and quotes.

4 napkins with cake inside, wrapped in black ripon
Anyone for cake?

We were joined by the fabulous Daniel Ackerley who was clicking and thoroughly enjoying the whole spectacle…he was giggling away, as were all their guests because we just had so much fun, storytelling, and finding out just what made Laura and Dan tick as a couple.

Lighting a black candle…

in a nod to the vows from Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride rings and then vows were exchanged, tears flowed freely and the joy was palpable.

With this hand, I will lift your sorrows. Your cup will never empty, for I will be your wine. With this candle, I will light your way in darkness. With this ring, I ask you to be mine.

The rings
The rings

Love letters and a bottle of Absinthe were sealed in a box to be opened on their first anniversary and a final reading brought proceedings to an end.

Wooden box surrounded  by flowers with a bottle of absinthe and letters
Love letters and absinthe


The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman 

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it?  It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. 

There was so much joy, it’s hard to describe. They have battled through adversity…more than their fair share, to get to the gorgeous Apton Hall in Rochford and the celebration of their love.

Laura is a very talented artist and had styled the venue herself, her little touches were stunning…

Card box with anatomical heart embossed on top
Love and Cards

And that’s before we got to their outfits! Wowsers!!

Groom, celebrant and bride all in black
Back to black

I was thrilled to have been a part of their day, and there was more to come!

After a delicious wedding breakfast, speeches and cake cutting…

a 4 tiered wedding cake, red and black with roses and corset detail
The cake!

guests were delighted in the courtyard by Steve, aka the Bloody Bones Sideshow as they gathered to witness the wonders and mysteries of a bygone era,. Amazing pain defying feats…without giving too much away, there was a little bit of sword swallowing!

a man dressed in Victorian smoking jacket swallowing a sword
Sword swallowing

The kids lapped it up as all the adults winced, and the words, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME were repeated several times! He was brilliant and funny, and it was the perfect interlude before the evening celebrations got underway in earnest and I made my way home with a big grin on my face.

the flowers

Thank you my lovelies for allowing me to be a part of such a spectacular day. Thanks also go to all of the other suppliers who made this fabulous day…perfect

Venue & food: Apton Hall (https://www.aptonhall.co.uk)

Celebrant: Michelle Taylor (Your Celebrant in the East | Michelle Taylor Funky Celebrant (mtaylorcelebrant.co.uk))

Photographer: Daniel Ackerley ( https://danielackerleyphotography.co.uk/)

Venue dressing/prop supply: Sea of Curiosities (Bride’s own business) – (https://seaofcuriosities.co.uk/ )

Hair/ make up : Be Bridal (Be-Bridal Hair & Makeup)

Cake: Loxton’s Cakery (Loxtons Cakery | Facebook)

Outfitters/ Clothes supplier supplier:  Rosie Red Corsetry & Couture (Bespoke Bridal wear and Corsets – Rosie Red Corsetry)

Flowers: Out of the Earth, Southend (Out Of The Earth | Facebook)

Entertainment Side Show: Bloody Bones (Bloody Bones | Facebook)

2 thoughts on “TEA, CAKE, METAL & BATS”

  1. Thank you so much, you certainly made the day perfect. So many of our friends wondered how long we’d all known each other because you were so familiar with our story.

    The day would not have been as amazing without you and the other suppliers, so once again thank you.

    For everyone else reading this, if you want a very personalised ceremony with a brilliant, witty, bubbly fun celebrant. You have come to the right place. Michelle is bloody awesome.


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