It’s scary how perfectly you and your spouse-to-be were made for each other. In fact, “scary” just may be the word you use to create your wedding theme. If you can both agree that a Halloween wedding is up your (quite dark and foreboding) alley, then you’re well on your way to creating a spectacular, spooky celebration.
If Dracula got one thing right, it was interior design. High-ceilinged mansions, sweeping staircase entrances, glowing candelabras (not to mention all those romantic candles), and swaths of ruby red, richly-draped material all lend a sophisticated atmosphere of timeless elegance to a venue. When it comes to decorating, don’t hold back. Inquire about renting space at the most imposing buildings in your area–museums, restaurants, and even private homes. Even if they’re not usually in demand as wedding venues, they may be receptive to a one-night-only, special event rental.
You don’t have to rent a castle as a wedding venue to get the Halloween look, however. No matter where you hold your wedding celebration, you can create the perfect feeling through decorations. Scour garage sales to find tarnished mirrors, serving trays, and candle holders. Don’t worry if they look a little scuffed; the antique look is part of the spooky ambiance!
Candles are a big part of creating gothic ambiance. However, if your venue doesn’t allow open flame, you still have options. You can stock your candelabras with LED candles that flicker without heat, you can use real candles decoratively without lighting them, or you can skip the candles entirely and go for “cupcake candelabras” that serve up yummy treats instead.
Spooky Little Touches
Great wedding decorating is all about the details. Pumpkins are a holiday classic, so don’t hesitate to carve large ones for use as wedding signage and lighting. Mini pumpkins are also the perfect little touches for Halloween weddings. Use them as ring bearer pillows by placing your rings around the mini pumpkin’s stem. To dress them up a little for the special occasion, paint the pumpkins gold or silver and dust them with glitter.
Speaking of wedding rings, you’ll never forget how much fun you had with your Halloween theme if you inscribe your rings with the line, “Till death do us part.” (Even though it mentions death, it’s not really that spooky–unless you’re worried about getting cold feet, that is!)
Halloween weddings give brides and grooms the perfect excuse to have a little fun with their fashion choices. Break out the black fingernails, the tattered top hats, the heavy eye makeup, and the fishnet stockings–or perhaps striped stockings and pointy heels after your favorite wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz.
Feel like saving money on your floral arrangements? Take a page from Morticia Addams’s decorating book and snip the heads off of your roses. Fans of the famous family will chuckle at the reference, and you may be able to score some wilting blooms from a florist for free. Don’t forget to use ornate vases and tie each one with a lavish black ribbon–it’s a special event, after all!
On the Tables
Once your guests sit down to dinner, you’ll have even more chances to impress them with your spooky wedding theme. Use clusters of wrapped candy as place card holders (don’t forget to mark them with the words, “Trick or treat!”), or slide place cards in between sets of fake vampire teeth (these make great favors too!). Don’t forget to incorporate a few rubber spiders into your otherwise-elegant table centerpieces.
Feel like working a little magic at the bar? Serve a flaming signature cocktail as the “goblet of fire” for your Harry Potter theme. For a less fiery effect, rim cocktail glasses with drippy red strawberry or cherry syrup. Sure, it won’t stay on the rim, but you’ll create a magnificent “dripping red blood” effect.
When it comes to the reception dinner, your wedding cake should be the focal point of your Halloween theme. Buy a zombie cake topper couple that looks like they’re clawing their way out of an icing grave. Fill each layer with blood-red raspberry filling that spills out when you slice it. Line the cake with cotton candy cobwebs. Stock up on sugar skulls and gravestones. Don’t worry what a wedding cake “should” look like–holding a Halloween wedding gives you the perfect excuse to let your imagination run free.
Remember, Halloween isn’t just about carbon-copy skeletons and ghosts. One of the best parts about the holiday is the chance to see how each person interprets it. Halloween parties are full of princesses, angels, super heroes, and even the occasional person dressed as a cat with its head thrust through a slice of bread. In that playful spirit, take what makes your relationship special and run with it–your wedding is your chance to share your love story, however it reads, with the people you love most in your lives.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.