Metal-loving couple exchange Gibson Explorers instead of rings at wedding

Goth wedding
(Image credit: Madi Danger/Instagram)

Traditional weddings tend to be soundtracked by something like Pachelbel’s Canon in D, accompanied by the exchanging of rings as couples make their lifelong commitments. However, some choose to do things a little differently.

In the case of metal-loving goths Madi Danger and Jay Aspen, it’s safe to say they threw out the rulebook altogether.

The high school sweethearts, both 26, tied the knot on December 16 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Idaho Falls, paying tribute to their favorite genre by wearing gothic attire, arriving at the venue in a black hearse, and exchanging black and white Gibson Explorer electric guitars instead of rings [per The Mirror].

They also selected a fitting playlist for the big day, walking down the aisle to Ozzy Osbourne’s Mr Crowley, and finishing the ceremony with The Cure’s Lovesong.

Danger, who wore a white dress with her ‘80s metal-style hair ‘do – so not entirely discarding wedding tradition – revealed that she and her husband were “almost more excited” to receive the Gibson Explorers than to get married (understandable) as they’d been delivered in August and hidden until the big day.

"One day we were talking about what guitars we wanted and we were looking on Gibson's website at the Explorers. I joked about us exchanging those at our wedding then we decided to do that instead.

"I really like Victorian-style rings but they're hard to find and the ones we saw looked really cheap and awful. Jay didn't want to buy me a crappy ring and he doesn't like wearing rings anyway.

"It was really fun because the guitars had been hidden for so long. Like when the groom can't see the bride.”

As Danger also explains, the pair had planned not to have a wedding cake, but when her grandma found a black one decorated with red roses, it was too perfect not to feature in the couple’s big day. Danger adds that she cut the cake with an ornate dagger instead of a knife – because it's more metal, obviously.

"The frosting was so pigmented with black that everyone who ate it got black lips and teeth and tongue,” she adds. “I joked that I turned everyone at my wedding into a goth.”

“There's always a few people who think it's cringy and us just trying to be different but we just wanted to do it. Whether it was on social media or not, that's how our wedding would have been done.

“It went really well because it wasn't stressful. People have said it's the most metal wedding ever and that they love the goth influence.”

We're certain the gifted Gibson Explorers are far from a mere gesture, and both will receive pretty regular use – Danger is a musician herself, playing guitar, piano and clarinet.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.