Most weddings – even celebrity nuptials – follow a rather strict pattern. The proceedings are all present and correct with a white dress, pretty flowers, tasteful and traditional decorations, and complementary color schemes. However, tattoo artist and reality-TV star Kat von D decided to be a little different when planning her big day with rock-star spouse Rafael Reyes in June 2018 . Their heaven-and-hell wedding celebration was out of this world, and unconventional to say the least. But those without an invite for von D’s exclusive event did not miss out on the spectacular spectacle, as the scarlet woman soon shared several snaps from the wedding album on her Instagram.
Born in Montemorelos, Mexico, in March 1982, Katherine von Drachenberg originally came to fame as Kat von D in 2005, with her starring role in TLC’s tattooing reality TV show Miami Ink. The tattooist quickly proved to be so popular that she got her own spin-off, LA Ink, two years later. The show, set in and around von D’s High Voltage Tattoo parlor in Hollywood, ran until 2011, when she decided to set aside the needle and do other things.
However, by this point, von D’s personal life was certainly enough to keep a reality show going all on its own. The then 21-year-old’s first marriage had come in 2003 to fellow tattoo artist Oliver Peck, but it proved not to be a happily-ever-after affair. Just four years later, the couple divorced, and apparently the split was somewhat explosive. Even years later, Peck was badmouthing his former good lady wife when interviewed by In Touch magazine.
In 2010, von D had started dating reality-TV star Jesse James, and Peck picked some choice words to talk about it. “She’s done nothing but screw over every friend she’s had,” he claimed to In Touch in 2010. “She cheated on me, got messed up and left me.” As for the future of his ex-wife’s new relationship, Peck opined, “I don’t think anything with her will last.”
Indeed, von D’s relationship with James did not last all that long. It was on-off for the next two years – they got engaged, then called it off. They called it on again, but then finally split for good. And after that episode came a kind of rerun. In 2012, von D starting dating Deadmau5 – known to his mother as Joel Zimmerman – and the couple got engaged that same year. However, once again, no marriage ended up taking place.
Nevertheless, as intriguing as the events around von D’s personal life may have been, her career as an alternative entrepreneur was just as interesting. The enterprising tattooist’s stint as a reality-TV star had effectively made her a brand unto herself. Von D had promptly extended this identity into a clothing line and a cosmetics business. The general aesthetic invoked a contemporary gothic chic with badass and burlesque imagery which von D’s fans absolutely adored.
Over the years, her high media profile and successful business ventures made von D the queen of “goth glamor.” Blood-red and black became her signature colors, and her range of make-up presented by Sephora became a sensation. Nevertheless, von D insisted that she wanted anyone who bought one of her products to seek their own individual styles. Speaking at the WWD Beauty Summit in summer 2017, the goth-glam star said, “My biggest nightmare would be if somebody came to Sephora, saw my brand, and said, ‘Oh, I want to look like her, so I’ll buy this makeup.’”
And, as the years have gone by, von D’s products have retained their massive popularity among glamourous goths and some non-goths. Simultaneously, von D has gained more and more notoriety and more and more money. In fact, the now 36-year-old has become a net-worth millionaire ten times over. And, in 2016, von D found someone to share her success with. She started dating Mexican musician Rafael Reyes – otherwise known as Leafar Seyer – of the “cholo goth” band Prayers.
Regardless of all her previous relationship woes, von D finally seemed to have found real love with the 42-year-old Reyes. The vocalist wrote a song for her, “Black Leather,” soon after they met, and she returned the tribute by featuring in the song’s video. Its lyrics included the lines, “I’m counting my blessings/I’m shedding my skin/Let my ashes dance with the wind…” – just the sort of outrageous gothic imagery von D built her brand on.
Suddenly, in February 2018, up popped a surprise for von D’s Instagram followers. Evidently, she and Reyes had quietly gotten married. She posted a picture of their tattooed hands bearing wedding rings. Von D captioned the photo, “Today, I married my soul’s mate, my mind’s twin, my best friend.” She also added another caption in Spanish, “En vida y en muerte” – which means, “In life and in death.”
Not long after that unexpected development came another fresh twist. Three months later, von D posted another picture of the newlyweds to Instagram. But in this snap, she was quite clearly pregnant. This time, the caption read, “It’s a boy.” Her husband gave out a little more information on his own Instagram account. The child, Reyes revealed, would be called Leafar after his stage name.
Some sort of big celebration for those two happy events was clearly in order. And a date was set for June 2, 2018, in LA. Von D and Reyes threw a massive, elaborate wedding party, and it was possibly the most gothic thing that had ever happened in the City of Angels. The black – of course – wedding invites were marked with what now seemed to be the couple’s favorite phrase, “En vida y en muerte.” But that was only the beginning…
Von D was obviously never going to settle for just a simple white dress at her wedding celebration. Instead, the goth-glam queen opted for a dress designed by her old friend Majesty Black, with an incredible blood-red veil by Adolfo Sanchez, a much-vaunted name in the goth fashion world. His creation featured – wait for it – a magical symbol in the shape of a three-headed dragon.
But the crimson wedding gown was no less specular. It boasted ruffles, a short train, pointed sleeves… and horns. Indeed, Black had crowned her creation with a pair of amazing deer-like horns so that von D could top off her badass bridal look. At the event, von D looked every inch the glamorously gothic supervillain queen – which was no doubt exactly what she had been calculating on.
The theme of the wedding celebration was “Heaven and Hell,” and this motif was delivered in almost every way imaginable. An upside-down crucifix covered in white flowers was just one of the outrageous decorations on display. There were also lots of moody candles and – naturally – skulls. Take it as read that the piano was red, the flowers were red, and that there were red lights twinkling absolutely everywhere.
Even the cake was well and truly red, and what an absolutely astounding creation it was. The unapologetically romantic von D and Reyes had designed it themselves, and it featured an hi-tech highlight. “Instead of getting a typical bride+groom topper, our lighting team had the genius idea of projecting video footage of @prayers and i waving and blowing kisses,” von D informed her followers on Instagram. The confection itself was so awesome-looking that it seemed a shame it ended up getting eaten.
Nevertheless,the most important thing of all, of course, was the happy couple. Von D also wrote about her feelings on Instagram. “Taking our vows in front of our closest friends + family was one of the most spiritually bonding experiences I have ever had,” she shared. “The silent moments prior to beginning our vows, where we held hands and stared into each other’s eyes, the entire world dissipated around us – that was just as meaningful to us the vows we made.”
Notwithstanding how meaningful the moments, a few social media users saw red at the sight of von D’s heaven-and-hell wedding theme. Some observers lent heavily towards the latter, considering the imagery downright “satanic,” and cast insults directly at von D. However, the unrepentant star was on hand to defend herself. When somebody dropped a comment saying her wedding was “demonic,” von D retorted, “Your judging ways are not Christ-like at all.”
And another theme of the celebration was something which could never be described as satanic – animal rights. Von D is an extremely devoted vegan, and her make-up lines are described as “cruelty-free.” For their “En vida y en muerte” event, the goth-glam queen and Reyes requested that their guests donated to the charity Animal Equality, rather than giving the couple gifts. In addition, everything that appeared on the menu that day – including the cake – was vegan.
Ultimately, no matter what the internet thinks about the matter, the glittering goth-glam occasion was clearly the public display von D and her husband desired. Judging by the pictures, the happy couple had a devil of a good time, celebrating with their family and friends. And, hopefully, they are not planning to retire the blood-red decorations or their posh gothic apparel too soon. Having announced that hey are expecting, the goth-glam queen and her consort may need to throw a colorful party to welcome their baby boy into the world…