- No comments
Using the macabre holiday as a wedding theme can actually result in a stylish wedding
Think of a Halloween-themed wedding, and bone-chilling images of candy corn, plastic pumpkins, and Addams Family clones instantly come to mind. But we’re saying, “Boo!” to all that, because even if your wedding is on or near October 31, you can certainly embrace the holiday—as long as you omit any obvious references to it.
I’d do a formal wedding inspired by the autumn season and famous European masquerade balls, for a touch of mystery. The ambiance would be elegant, sophisticated, and glamorous, with just a touch of spookiness. The ‘Halloween’ feeling would not be overt, but rather more of a suggestion. Instead of fighting the sudden appearance of Jack-o-lanterns, masks, and bite-sized candy bars, embrace the season and host a Halloween wedding that no one would ever mistake for a kitschy costume party, and don’t sacrifice sophistication.
A historic yet glamorous rumored-to-be-haunted space would be ideal for this wedding. The venue should exude a feeling of mystery. I would recommend an old cathedral-like space, an historic building with lofty ceilings and pre-war architecture, or a stone castle. A Halloween wedding would be ideal for a destination wedding at a castle in Lanzarote—I love the idea of a space with drafty stone corridors but lavish banquet romos.
Historic buildings can provide the perfect backdrop for a Halloween wedding, especially when they’re rumored to be haunted.
The Color Palette
The use of black, white, and silver will create a glamorous vibe. To achieve a more rustic, autumnal feel, use various shades of burnt orange paired with matte antique brushed gold vases and flatware.
As guests arrive, they’d be greeted by waiters clad in all black with white gloves holding trays of Venetian masquerade masks—the kind attached to a stick that you can hold up to your face—and glasses of champagne. The bar would be serving Black Cherry Martinis (black vodka mixed with cherry juice, raspberries, and blueberries) and Pumpkin Divine Martinis (vodka and pear puree mixed with pumpkin butter, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg).
To create a dramatic, slightly gothic atmosphere, hang rented antique crystal chandeliers from the ceiling. “Place large arrangements of natural branches—no leaves—in mercury glass vessels on the floor throughout the space. Use an eclectic mix of crystal goblets, white china, black chargers, and black napkins with silver napkin holders. I’d also fill mercury glass or brushed gold candelabras and candlesticks with white candles dripping wax. Arrangements of white blossoms—like hydrangeas and garden roses—of different heights and sizes would be interspersed throughout the tablescape.” If the space has a fireplace, light it to cast a magical—as in, Victorian séance—glow, or fill it with pillar candles of various heights.
At the ceremony, surround the altar with clusters of pillar candles and overflowing arrangements of blood-red blooms, or hang a black crystal chandelier at the end of the aisle. For the reception, set each guest’s place with matte gold flatware and black wine glasses, and use feathers calligraphed in gold ink as place cards. Top an ornate black lace runner with vintage vessels full of black forest calla lilies, dahlias, and garden roses, surrounded by white pumpkins, persimmons, and figs, and light as many candles as you can.
For a slightly spooky twist, take inspiration from Dia de los Muertos: Add elegant and ornate skull designs and adopt “Until Death Do Us Part” as your style mantra—it’s equally romantic and macabre.
Even if the decor is leaning toward the macabre, it doesn’t mean the food has to (so just table that idea of serving punch from a bubbling cauldron). It’s okay to keep the fare seasonal and festive—fall’s rich, spicy flavors automatically lend themselves to a sumptuous Halloween-time wedding. During the cocktail hour, serve passed butternut squash soup shooters. For dinner, serve foods that incorporate the warm, hearty flavors of autumn, like pumpkin, apples, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Dessert would be apple cinnamon flambé with Calvados and butter pecan ice cream, as well as slices of wedding cake—a four-tiered confection covered with dark chocolate fondant and decorated with black magic roses.
Fill a dessert table with dressed-up versions of seasonal sweets, like chocolate-peanut butter cupcakes, caramel apple tarts, and gourmet popcorn balls, then send everyone home with bags of your favorite candies.
Your wedding dress isn’t a costume, so skip the Bride of Frankenstein look in favor of something dramatic, but still true to your bridal vision. Vintage lace and long sleeves harken back to brides of the past, while an ethereal tulle design has a ghostly feel that’s still modern and romantic. If you’re in the market for a dress that’s dark and edgy, black wedding dresses are still making their way down the runway. When it comes to bridesmaids’ dresses, deep jewel tones—or all black!—will have your friends looking spookily chic.