First comes love, then comes marriage… and then there’s that darn reception. Where you suffer through a slideshow that shows you in your pre-Loli days. Where your drunk uncle falls over while dancing the Y.M.C.A. But if La Carmina were planning your banquet, it might look something like this:

These snapshots are from shock-rocker Marilyn Manson’s 2005 wedding to burlesque artist Dita von Teese. Most of us can’t afford custom-made Wedgwood porcelain flowers, let alone count Ozzy Osbourne and David Lynch among our guests. We can, however, be inspired by the couple’s phantasmagoric vision:

“In the double-height Great Hall [of the Irish castle], a baronial table covered with Swarovski ruby-colored crystals bears some of the 4,000 black and crimson roses […] arranged in great volcanic eruptions. Black and gold skull-shaped candles gutter, and a roaring log fire crackles in the hearth. In the dining room, the newly-weds will sit together between two long banqueting tables, lit by the candlelight from towering candelabras spilling with the garnet fronds of love-lies-bleeding, roses, and clusters of dark-burgundy grapes. […] The napkins are monogrammed black on black with the couple’s elaborate Victorian initials. This motif also decorates the Wedgwood side plates and is woven into the black lace curtains that hang at the high windows.”
+ Vogue Magazine, March 2006

You too can hold your wedding reception under the Gothic arches of a castle. A similar atmosphere can be achieved on a budget; candles and grapes are inexpensive, and dried red roses make for a striking centerpiece.

As for music, take a cue from Manson and von Teese, who hired German warbler Max Raabe and his 12-piece orchestra to perform 1930s classics such as “Cheek to Cheek.” Quite the refreshing alternative to a Mike Myers-esque wedding singer!

The couple splurged on Angus beef, lobster, and prawns – but I’d treat my guests to eerie-yet-cute finger foods. Above are dessert examples from the Gothic & Lolita Bible. Anything involving dark chocolate, raspberries, strawberries, and vanilla icing is certain to please.

Last but not least, there’s the wedding cake. How about a dark chocolate layer cake with black and red icing roses… shaped like a coffin?