DIY Dark Romance

DIY Witchy Wedding

Lily and Joe’s witchy wedding at the Vandiver Inn in Havre De Grace, Maryland, was a photographer’s dream come true.  I’m warning you, I’m about to gush.  Lily and Joe are good friends.  She was one of the first people I met when I moved to Philly, and we’ve done many modeling shoots with her over the years.  I’ve always adored her artistic aesthetic and love of everything dark and creepy.  Her cemetery engagement shoot (complete with smoke bombs and a one eyed cat) was one of my favorite shoots ever.  

When she hit a stumbling block during wedding planning, she worked a little magic as only Lily can, got her flowers from Fifty Flowers and actually won first place in their “Win Your Wedding” contest!  (Scroll to DIY Fall Decor to read the story!) Lily did ALL of the decor throughout the venue herself. As the owner and artist behind Witch’s Way Craft, her eye for dark romance shone through all of the details throughout the day.  She used her personal collection of animal skulls as centerpieces and ceremony aisle decoration.  

If you love brides in truly unique gowns, a DIY flower story that’ll inspire and amaze you, and a sweet love story, please scroll through to see the highlights of the day, or click to jump to a specific section!

Vandiver Inn

BWR: Tell us about your venue, and why you chose it?

Lily: Our venue was the Vandiver and it is a beautiful victorian B&B located in Havre De Grace MD, only about 90 minutes from Philly. We picked this venue because we really loved the staff, it was fairly priced especially compared to other venues, and it was mostly an all inclusive space. We could have both the ceremony and reception there, the owner is actually the head chef for all the catering, they have an outdoor and indoor option, the cake was included in our contract, AND they have 24 rooms on the property for guests to stay in the night of. Having all of these characteristics made planning SO much easier and also the day of less stressful.

Getting Ready

She found her midnight blue celestial gown at  Tadashi Shishoji  in the KOP mall while shopping for a gown to wear at her sister’s wedding. Her only alterations were having a bustle created by Toile, in Fishtown. Her custom made jewelry from Brass Dragon completed her look.  

Lily: Jenn Haines of Gloss Philly is an amazing hair and make up artist. She made everyone look so stunning and did some magic on my hair!

BWR: What was your inspiration for the wedding?

Lily:  Our inspiration was to stay true to ourselves, we wanted our guests to leave saying they had a great time but we also wanted them to say “That was so Lily & Joe”.  We had pictures from our engagement shoot framed and hung on the walls and mantles, we made sure to have elements of the cats around since they couldn’t be with us on the day of.  I did all of our decor & flowers, I have some prior experience with floral arrangements and I went to college for Design & Merchandising. I was able to source from some wholesalers as well as local farms to get all the different types of stems I wanted. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with how our arrangements came out.

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Bride and Groom Portraits

BWR: How did you and Joe meet? How did he propose?

Lily: Joe and I met in the sixth grade, we had a few mutual friends and would always sit at the same lunch table. We went to separate high schools. I moved to Philadelphia and he joined the Army after graduation. We ended up reconnecting about 6 years ago. Joe proposed on Halloween in our very first apartment together! It was a private thing but, he made sure our two kitties trouble Mr.Bones) were there as witnesses.


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Family Photos

The Inn has so many beautiful rooms for photos.  Family and friends gathered before the ceremony, so Lily and Joe could enjoy their cocktail hour.

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DIY Fall Decor

Lily:  We had booked a florist over a year in advance for our wedding. It turns out she was a scam artist and we were left high and dry less than 3 months before our date. At that point, many florists had already been booked or we would’ve had to pay 3+ times what we had initially budgeted, so I started doing some DIY research…click to read more of Lily’s flower story and the florals she used 

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The couple added Pagan elements into their wedding as well. They were married in a circle of flower petals, had a custom candle with adorned with glittery sigils, and jumped over a traditional pagan besom.

BWR: What was the best memory/moment from your wedding day?

Lily: I really like the very end of ceremony, walking out together after just having been officially married. It was so exciting and such a happy moment, plus we knew an awesome party was about to happen!

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BWR:  What advice can you give to couples planning a wedding?

Lily: Have fun with it and don’t lose yourself in the process! Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed and also don’t be afraid to do what you want, it’s your day.

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Night Portraits


Vendor List

BWR: What was your experience like working with your vendors?

Lily:  My vendors were fantastic! We had Black White & Raw do our engagement shoot and our wedding, you guys did such a fantastic job on both. I feel as though I have very particular visions in my head of what I wanted things to look like and not only did you guys capture it perfectly but you helped us create it.

Venue:  Vandiver Inn
Hair/Mua: Jenn Haines of Gloss Philly is an amazing hair and make up artist. She made everyone look so stunning and did some magic on my hair!
Alterations: Toile
Jewelry:  Brass Dragon
Food and Cake: Vandiver Inn
Flower Arrangements by: Lily Cheshire of Witch’s Way Craft
Flower Wholesaler: Fifty Flowers