Uncommon Unions: The devil (and Tim Burton) made them do it
There’s a rumor in Hollywood that Tim Burton is considering a sequel to the campy classic Beetlejuice. But one Fishtown couple created their own sequel last month in the most unusual way at the Ruba Club. “I’m a huge fan of Halloween and also of Tim Burton,” says Alison Rigby, a 32-year-old musician who tied the knot to drummer Justin Minnick, 31, in the ultimate ode to Burton, horror, and the sometimes-silly side of All Soul’s Day.
Rigby was initially inspired to host the Beetlejuice-themed wedding after seeing the red dress that the character of Lydia (played by Winona Ryder) wore in the original 80s film. “My Lydia dress was custom-made by a friend,” she says. Together, they’ve spent the last few months shopping for fabrics – including a vintage lace pattern that puts even Vera Wang to shame – and doing fittings remotely.
“It’s quite a challenge,” Rigby admits. Justin constructed his own version of the classic burgundy suit, ruffled shirt, and white dress shoes. Staying true to camp, they also forwent the usual gold bands to exchange classic skull rings.
Bands did, however, play a big part in the nuptials – just not how the 200-plus guests, decked out in Goth getups and haute Halloween couture, might have expected.
“It’s a whole performance event, really,” says Rigby, who met her fiancée through Philly’s music scene. As proof, they invited producer and musician Ed Burke, who goes by the name Phonographiq, to play a live set. “I played Ed’s music for Justin on our first date,” she gushes. “And he really dug it.”
New to the local music landscape, Needle Points, a glam band known for their over-the-top antics (and glitter – lots of glitter) for which one of Rigby’s former band mates is a member, also took the stage for some free-spirited boogie even before the couple said “I do.”
There wasn’t a dull moment in the Green Street event hall, decked out with spider webs, giant worms and other hair-raising décor designed by Kort Walsh, a local artist and the decorative mastermind behind the wildly self-expressive PEX (The Philadelphia Experiment). The couple’s friends, Wei-Wei Weintraub and Rachel Lancaster, added to the ambience with soaring aerials and fire dancing performances. And the all-vinyl DJs from the monthly ‘Roomies’ party at the Barbary played throughout the night, while Lovesick, Inc. captured each memorable moment.
As the clock struck midnight, Rigby and Minnick made it official - with Wendy Bananas officiating (dressed as Satan, of course). “We’re not devil worshippers!” cautions Rigby. “We just love Halloween and thought it would be rather ridiculous and hilarious.”
That isn’t to say the devilish twist didn’t ruffle at least a few familial feathers, especially the mother of the bride. “My mom and dad are now okay with it because we are having a regular ceremony, too,” admits Rigby. “But prior to that, they weren’t too thrilled.”
If you’re planning an unusual wedding, please email Natalie Hope McDonald at email@example.com.