This story is part of a series, Past/Present, highlighting images and articles from Vogue that have personal significance to our editors.
The bride said I do–in purple?! Back in 2006, rocker Marilyn Manson married burlesque queen Dita Von Teese in an unconventional ceremony, all of which was captured in the pages of Vogue’s March issue. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite shoots to ever appear in the magazine. With its lavish fashions and grand settings, both complete with loads of gothic charm, this offbeat—and very unholy!—wedding makes traditional ceremonies look like a snore.
Of course, the couple—who split not long after they said their I do’s—were never your typical bride and groom. With his freaky eye makeup and agro-rock music, Manson has long been deemed by many parents as Satan reincarnate. Known for her elegant strip teases and obsession with retro fashions Von Teese was hardly your cookie cutter bride, either. “We just like things about each other that other people would hate,” Manson said at the time.
Before their wedding took place photographer Steven Klein and Vogue sittings editor Phyllis Posnick collaborated on iconic portraits of the couple for the issue. Who can forget the image of Manson carrying Von Teese, dressed in the purple wedding gown by Vivienne Westwood that she would later wear on her big day? I, for one, had this exact image pinned onto my wall: the mix of glamour and absurdity was my idea of a wacky wedding garb done right.
Vogue’s Hamish Bowles was on hand to capture it all as the wedding events unfolded. The shindig was held over several days, and in two different locations. First, the couple held a civil ceremony at Von Teese’s house in Los Angeles—a decision based on the fact that many churches were, well, apprehensive, about Manson setting foot inside. For the backyard affair, Von Teese wore a shockingly simple white Moschino suit, designed by the label’s then-creative director, Rosella Jardini. (She had told Jardini that wanted to look like “a forties bride going to the courthouse to get hitched before going off to the war.”) Manson wore a Dior Homme jacket, a Galliano shirt, and Moschino creepers.
Then, for the rehearsal dinner and the formal ceremony, the couple invited 60-something guests to travel to Ireland, where all of the action was photographed by Robert Fairer. Their rehearsal dinner was held at the Kilshane House, a historical home in the middle of a private parkland. Von Teese wore a striking Kelly-green Moschino satin gown for the affair, complete with vintage rubies. But it was their formal wedding ceremony that has long been seared into my brain. Manson and Von Teese held it at a gothic-style mansion in Tipperary, owned by the Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein. Bowles took in all of the unlikely details of the bride’s dressing room, including the custom corsets designed to give her a 17-inch waist, and the seven pairs of vertiginous heels that Christian Louboutin created for her.
The affair was filled with loads of delicious non-traditional elements, too. Their wedding banquet table, for instance, was lined with giant centerpieces of black and crimson roses. Gold skull-shaped candles lined the tables. The waitstaff were dressed in Moschino tailcoats and pipers even serenaded wedding guests. The director Alejandro Jodorowsky even officiated!
While the romance ultimately didn’t last, these quirky details and images continue to live on in my brain. In fact, I plan on channeling the spirit of the offbeat ceremony on my own big wedding day. Whenever the hell that will be.
“The Bride Wore Purple,” by Hamish Bowles, photographed by Steven Klein, was published in the March 2006 issue of the magazine. Fashion Editor: Phyllis Posnick. Hair, Danilo Dixon for Pantene at The Wall Group; makeup, Kathy Jeung for Margaretmaldonado.com; set design, Mary Howard Studio.
Originally Appeared on Vogue