Here, Julia King, 48, tells the story in her own words.
S￼queezing my best friend Marianne’s hand, we walked through a dark cemetery as our torch flicked over the old gravestones. With five grown-up kids who’d all left home, I had plenty of time for my passion – the paranormal!
If I wasn’t on a ghost tour or wandering around haunted sites, I could be found watching horror movies or reading tarot cards. Single for 12 years, I dreamed of meeting someone who was just as fascinated in the supernatural as I was. So when I matched with Jason on a dating app, I couldn’t believe it. He was 45 with dark hair and a huge smile, but best of all…Paranormal investigator for 20 years, I read. Starting up a conversation, we instantly hit it off. For our first date, we went for coffee, then we quickly organised a second, third and fourth. While other couples went for fancy dinners, Jason and I went to cemeteries! ‘He’s perfect for me,’ I told Marianne.
Just five months later, Jason and I moved in together. And two months after that, we were at home when he dropped to one knee and held out a sparkling emerald ring. ‘Will you marry me?’ he grinned. ‘Yes!’ I cried, kissing him. Discussing our plans for the big day, we both agreed we wanted something different. ‘I’ve done the white wedding thing,’ I told Jason, remembering my first marriage. ‘I’d love something really unique.’
Searching online, all the venues were decorated with crisp white table clothes and pretty pink flower centre pieces. It’s just not us, I thought. ‘How about we get married in a cemetery?’ I suggested to Jason. ‘That’s perfect!’ he agreed. Emailing five of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in the area, I felt myself getting really excited. But no-one would let us wed next to the tombstones. Instead, we booked a function centre with a lovely garden, then we surprised our guests with a theme.Dress code: Fancy dress Halloween! our skull-covered invitations read. Next, I bought a strapless jet-black gown on eBay for just $270. Then I found some amazing bridesmaid dresses with beautiful orange skirts and black bats on them. ‘They were only $10!’ I told Marianne, who was to be my maid of honour. I even bought some fake spider webs and a life-sized statue of a demon.‘I can’t wait for everyone to see these,’ I laughed to Jason.
To get to the wedding, I booked a black Plymouth Fury. It’s the killer car from Stephen King’s book, Christine – he’s my favourite author. Jason however, was going even less traditional than I was! As he organised his transport, I couldn’t wait to see the guest’s reactions. As 65 of our closest friends and family took their seats, I peeked through the window to watch Jason’s entrance. A motorbike pulled up at the top of the aisle with a wooden coffin in the sidecar. Popping open the lid, two hands shot up from inside the box – just like he was the walking dead. Suddenly, Jason jumped up from the casket as our guests burst into laughter. ‘He’s amazing,’ I chuckled to Marianne, as she straightened my black veil.
When we headed down the aisle, I felt just like Morticia Addams, my idol. I loved seeing all the effort our friends and family had gone to, as well. There were witches, skeletons and even Beetlejuice.‘You look incredible,’ Jason beamed to me. We’d chosen a Pagan handfasting ceremony,
so our celebrant Phillip wrapped ceremonial rope around our hands, symbolising the rest of our lives bound together. Then we kissed each other for the first time as a married couple. ‘How did you find the coffin?’ I asked Jason afterwards. With the lid shut, I knew he hadn’t had any fresh air for the few minute-journey. ‘Hot!’ he said. ‘And I just regulated my breathing to keep myself calm.’
Heading to a local cemetery, Jason and I posed for photos in front of family crypts and mausoleums.At the reception hall, I was in awe as I ducked under
the archway draped in spider webs and a sign that read, enter if you dare. The room was filled with blood red roses and black tablecloths. And our cake had black icing and a skeleton bride and groom topper. Even though we had an alternative wedding, we’re still regular people. People expect us to walk around in witches hats all the time, but we wear jeans like everyone else. We just have a few little quirks. While most people can’t wait for their honeymoon as newlyweds, I’m more excited for Halloween!
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