This is the Land of Fancy,
and we walked to the verdant shore
upon a golden bridge of moonbeams.
– HP Lovecraft, The White Ship
For years, I have wanted to put together an HP Lovecraft inspired wedding shoot for Halloween. Why? Well, I became a fan of Lovecraft’s work as a teenager and his verbal imagery, as well as how he made the reader use their imagination to fill out the picture he was painting with words, captivated me. It may seem strange to create wedding ‘inspiration’ from the works of a horror author whose stories often featured their protagonist going mad with fear, however, I feel that ‘inspiration’ should be about taking what you like from the source material (imagery, mythology, etc.), leaving what you don’t want (Lovecraft was a disturbed human being in many ways), and letting it guide you in a new direction. The many elements of this shoot draw from HP Lovecraft’s writing (both professional and personal) to create a visual wedding story that is both beautiful and eerie. Also, Lovecraft’s work is an excellent metaphor for the unfathomable dread some couples feel when presented with the vast expanse of choices available to them when planning their wedding. ( <<<— Tongue planted firmly in cheek on that comment… )
I mentioned that I have had this idea rolling around in my head for a long time. Why haven’t I done it sooner? Well, finding the appropriate venue in New York City proved challenging. Then, a few months ago, Lovecraft Bar & Restaurant opened in Manhattan and it was a perfect fit. Apothecary bottles, liquid filled tubes and portholes, creepy murals – it set the tone perfectly.
If you are going to have an HP Lovecraft wedding, your RSVP card should probably invoke the “Call of Cthulu”…
HP Lovecraft was a prodigious writer in his short life – and not only when it came to writing stories. He wrote thousands of letters – to family, fans, and other writers. While discussing the shoot with Arobesque Design Studios (the stationer responsible for this amazing invitation suite), we decided that the paper products should look ‘handwritten’ and incorporate actual addresses and names from Lovecraft’s life.
The ‘creative team’ incorporated a lot of metallics (silver and gold) into the color palette for the shoot – in the cake, the flowers, even the makeup! Alchemy was another popular topic in Lovecraft and what is a marriage if not relationship alchemy?
Tentacles. They show up a lot in Lovecraft stories. Most of the monsters he created have them – the most famous of them being Cthulu (who is half humanoid/half dragon with the head of an octopus – yea, pretty creepy). It would have been very easy to go overboard on the tentacles, but I think we had just the right amount, including the ring above and this aaaaaa-mazing cake by Deborah from City Sweets & Confections.
When putting together the flowers for the bouquet, Penny from Blossom & Bee told me, “They’re going to look like blood and brains and tentacles, but pretty!” Perfect!
And what Lovecraft inspired shoot would be complete without a Cthulu hairpin?
And now, back into the depths of Lovecraft Bar & Restaurant. To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, we are going ‘through the porthole”.
Everyone on the shoot loved the tentacle rings from RockLove Jewelry, as are the black rose earrings!
Hats as lamp shades – who would have thought of that? Actually, it is a pretty brilliant idea!
I would like to take a moment to thank the amazing Sharon Becker of SB Beauty for the amazing “Victorian meets Tim Burton” hair and makeup for this shoot!
Okay, now things are getting a little weird…
I think we might have walked in on some sort of Cthulu cult ritual.
Aren’t these Cthulu masks by Eden Bachelder fantastic?!? Okay, it’s getting a little too eerie. Let’s go back and look at the cake again.
The cake is calling to me!!!!
I also created this slideshow from the shoot which you can watch if the rest of the post didn’t freak you out. The discordant music really sets the tone. One friend referred to it as, “What a trailer for American Horror Story: Wedding would look like.”
Many thanks to Dana and Christen from The Broke Ass Bride for featuring some of the photos from the shoot. I tested the waters in the wedding community regarding this shoot several years ago, and it was Dana who encouraged me to go through with it!
If you doubt the relevance Lovecraft’s work has to this day, you should check out this article over on the Wall Street Journal’s site – yes, the Wall Street Journal. Lovecraft was cited by Stephen King as his single greatest influence and has inspired numerous other writers and film makers, including John Carpenter and Guillermo del Toro.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who worked on this shoot. It would not have been possible without all of them. You helped make my vision a reality!
Venue – Lovecraft NYC
Hair & Makeup – SB Beauty
Stationery – Arobesque Design Studio
Cake – City Sweets
Flowers – Blossom & Bee
Dress – Saja Bridal
Veil – Happily Ever Borrowed
Tentacle Rings & Black Rose Earrings – Rock Love Jewelry
Octopus Hair Pin – Elluna Fae Creative
Jacket and Vest – DAS
Masks – Eden Bachelder