Will a Halloween Wedding Suit You?
Most weddings are still fairly traditional. The couple are dressed in some sort of formal attire, as are the wedding party. Usually the bride is in white, the guests are dressed up, and the wedding cake looks like… well, a wedding cake.
Some couples, though, like to take things in a different direction – and if you’re reading this post, you’re one of them. Halloween is probably your favorite holiday, and it makes sense to plan your big day around it. Whether you are planning to have your wedding on Halloween or near it, you’re looking for fun and creative ideas to make your wedding unforgettable. The option of having a Halloween wedding will certainly suit you if you are looking for something different!
Challenges of Planning a Wedding
Planning any wedding is a challenge. Whether you are having a large wedding with hundreds of guests or a small one with only a few, it’s natural to want every detail to be right. Planning a wedding on or near a holiday has special challenges. Your guests may be accustomed to having other plans on that day, and if you want them to be part of things you need to give them plenty of notice. Theme weddings often require – or at least request – a certain amount of participation from guests too, and it’s important to let them in on what you expect early on in the planning process so they can be prepared.
Participation from your guests will be vital if you want to make your Halloween wedding a successful one. You need to let your guests know about your theme early.
Even though you’re planning a Halloween wedding, you will still have to figure out many of the same elements of your wedding that a couple going a more traditional route would have to – and that’s where this post comes in.
Overview of Topics to be covered
We will walk you through all of the major steps to planning your Halloween wedding. Section 1 will start by talking about picking a date, sending out save the date cards, and choosing a Halloween-themed invitation that will set the tone for your special day.
Section 2 is all about picking the right venue for your wedding. Some of the suggestions will be traditional, while others will take the idea of Halloween and might inspire you to hold your wedding in a unique, and unexpected location.
Section 3 is about apparel. Your wedding could be anywhere along the spectrum from Halloween-inspired to full-on fright fest. We’ll talk about what you can wear, what to think about for your wedding party, and whether or not to ask guests to come in costume.
Section 4 is about picking a wedding theme. You may want to go with a general Halloween theme, but some couples like the idea of getting a little more specific. Whatever your preference, picking the right theme is important and will carry over into every other aspect of your wedding.
Sections 5 and 6 are all about refreshments. Because there are so many creative things you can do with food and drink, we are dedicating a full section to each, with plenty of fun ideas for you to try.
Section 7 is packed full of suggestions for entertainment. We’ll talk about music, games and other party activities that can make your wedding truly unique.
Section 8 is about wedding favors. Having a Halloween wedding means you can go way beyond the traditional Jordan almonds and give your guests something quirky and special that they’ll always remember.
Planning a wicked Halloween wedding can be a challenge, but it can also be fun – and a terrific way to really make your wedding reflect your personality. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Before you actually read this post, you may want to take a look at this youtube video so that you can have more idea about the preparation and atmosphere of a Halloween wedding.
1.0 Wedding Date
The first decision you will need to make when planning your wedding is the date it will happen. Everything else – the venue you choose, your invitation, and the catering – will all be dependent on knowing when your wedding will happen. When you are planning a holiday wedding, this becomes even more important. Demand will be higher, and you’ll be competing with other couples for the best venues and services.
1.1 How to Pick the Best Date for Your Wedding
When you’re planning a Halloween wedding, you will obviously be looking at dates toward the end of October. If Halloween falls in the middle of the week, you will most probably choose to have your wedding the weekend before or the weekend after the actual holiday. However, even if Halloween falls on a weekend, there are compelling reasons to think about having it on another day.
31 October is not the only choice of your wedding date. You can choose a day near the actual Halloween date.
If your heart is set on having your Halloween wedding on the actual day of Halloween, you can certainly do that. However, you should keep a few things in mind:
- Many people have their own plans on Halloween and may not be happy about the idea of having a social obligation like a wedding on that day.
- People with children may be unable to attend because they will already be committed to taking their children out trick-or-treating.
- Some of the more creative venues you might want to consider, such as haunted houses, might not be available on Halloween.
If you’re planning a small wedding with an all-adult guest list, it might be fine to have the wedding on Halloween day – or night. Just make sure to think about the kind of wedding you want to have, and who you want to be there, before you pick a date.
1.2 The Importance of Save the Date Cards for Holiday Weddings
Save the date cards are becoming increasingly common, as more people are having weddings over three-day weekends, or choosing destination weddings. The same thing goes for a holiday wedding. When you plan a Halloween wedding, you are asking people to spend a holiday with you, so it’s important to give them plenty of advance notice.
A good rule of thumb is to send out save the date cards six to eight months before the big day – so for a Halloween wedding, you need to send them by April at the latest. Sending them then will give your guests plenty of time to plan. You should send save the date cards only to people who you really want to attend, and only once you have the venue secured.
Nowadays, there are couples who consider sending the save the date cards online. It is possible for you to do so. You can make use of some free online services to let your guests know about your event. It is possible to adapt the Halloween Party e-cards and use them as the save the date e-cards.
Save the date card is important. Yet, it is possible to send them online. Here is an example of an online Halloween Wedding Save the Date E-card.
E-card is only one of the options if you are planning to do your save the date online. You can even create a Halloween save the date video. In order to share your video, you can upload it on Youtube.com. Then you can share the video easily via email or facebook.
1.3 Ideas for Invitations
Save the date cards and invitations are your first opportunity to get creative and introduce your theme. Save the date cards can be more informal than invitations – you can even make them yourself. For example, many craft and art supply shops sell cute, Halloween-themed paper. You can buy some, and simply print the information on the paper and mail them out. Here’s an example of some Halloween stationery that would work well.
In terms of invitations, you can have formal ones printed. Most printers will have invitations for multiple events and you can find one that suits your theme. You can find one that is specific to Halloween, or go a more subtle route and simply use some Halloween colors on your invitation. Besides having printers to print the invitations, there are also possibilities of printing the invitations yourself. There are a lot of free Halloween wedding invitation templates on the web.
Another options is to get a little more creative and send a little gift with your invitation. Because most people associate Halloween with candy, you might try sending a miniature trick-or-treat pumpkin filled with treats:
Alternatively, you could include playful touches like Halloween confetti or a little voodoo doll or zombie, or put a Tarot card in with your invitations. Have fun with it!
If you are not going to invite a lot of guests, it will be an excellent idea to send a voodoo doll together with the invitation card so as to make the invitation more playful.
2.0 Spooky Settings
Once you have decided on a date for your wedding, the next thing you will need to do is find a great venue. Because you are planning a Halloween wedding, there are some options open to you as venues that wouldn’t be considered typical locations for weddings. You have an opportunity to get very creative and look for fun and unexpected places to have your wedding.
2.1 How to Choose the Best Location for Your Halloween Wedding
Let’s talk about some of the things to take into consideration when you are searching for the perfect venue for your wedding. You know you want a Halloween wedding, but there are a wide range of options that could fit into the general theme. You might want an elegant and upscale wedding that has touches of Halloween, or you might want a full-scale zombie wedding with costumed guests and creepy food. Understanding where your wedding is on that scale will help you decide on a venue.
If you are planning on a relatively low-key Halloween wedding, you might want to think about a more traditional venue, such as a hotel ballroom or a country club. You can make the decorations do the work in terms of transforming your venue into a Halloween-y delight. For example, you can use Halloween or autumn-themed décor like this elegant but spooky centerpiece:
Using candles is another option of having elegant centerpiece for your wicked wedding. You don’t need to have a spooky setting when you can set the tone with leaves and candles:
2.2 Traditional Locations with a Twist
The next option you have is to find a traditional location with a bit of a twist. Examples might include a hotel that is famously haunted, such as the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. The hotel is beautiful and elegant, so it doesn’t necessarily look spooky – but it has a spooky history, and when you combine that with Halloween decorations and food, you could end up with something truly special.
Other suggestions might be to look for:
- A haunted country club
- A hotel or other venue located near a cemetery
- A backyard with plenty of big trees
You can host your wicked wedding in a backyard with a lot of tree. Yet, you will have to spend some time to decorate it so that create a spooky atmosphere.
2.3 Offbeat Locations
If you are really a Halloween aficionado, you might have your heart set on a wedding that really pulls out all the stops in terms of Halloween fun. If that’s the case, you can cast your net a bit wider. Instead of settling on a hotel, country club, or backyard that you can make look spooky, why not try to find something that will really let you sink your teeth into the spirit of Halloween.
One idea is to find a creepy abandoned house, or a haunted house, and have your wedding there. Obviously you will not want to host your wedding in a dilapidated place without working electricity, but there are plenty of places you might be able to consider.
Having your Halloween wedding in an abandoned haunted house would be interesting. It will even be more perfect if there is an open space in front for the house. You can make use of both the indoor and outdoor space. However, you may have to think about some practical issues such as the availability of electricity.
You might look around your area for houses that have certain features, such as a mansard roof like the one above. Having your wedding in a place that looks like it might house the Addams Family could be fun!
Another way to go would be to have your Halloween wedding outside in a cemetery. Depending on where you live, you may want to think carefully about having an outdoor wedding in late October. However, if you think your wedding party won’t be freezing or buried in snow, you could have a unique wedding that none of your guests will forget someplace like the following one.
Are you brave enough to choose a cemetery as your wedding venue?
The idea is to let your imagination run wild. Let’s say you want to do a ghost-themed party, something we’ll talk more about later. You might want to consider finding a castle (you could even do a Halloween destination wedding) and having your wedding there:
You can try searching for a (haunted) castle and choose it as your wedding venue.
You get the idea. Some other places to consider might be:
- Old movie theaters or theaters
- A gothic building like the New York Public Library
- A theme park or carnival
- A pumpkin patch
2.4 Spooky Halloween Wedding Decorations
Image courtesy of kinwart
Usually, a Halloween wedding will be a less formal one. You do not need formal elements to decorate your venue. It will be natural for you to use a lot of pumpkins and orange colors to do the decorations. There are tons of options you can consider. If you really want to have a spooky atmosphere, you will need to pay special attention to the entrance of venue. You can hang a skeleton at the entrance so as to express this spooky atmosphere.
Image courtesy of Andrew Malone
If you are going to have a small candy bar, make sure that you will also decorate it well. Assuming that you are having candy which matches your Halloween theme, you can use a skull and some pumpkins to decoration the table. Again, the tablecloth can be black in color.
Image courtesy of Phil Whitehouse
Reception Table Decorations
For the reception tablecloths, you can go for colors such as orange or black. Alternatively, you may also use fake blood to decorate the table. You will probably go for white color tablecloths if you are going for this option. You have to pay attention to the details of your Halloween wedding reception table decorations. For example, you can also put some miniature of skulls beside the place card so as to create a spooky feeling.
Put a skull beside the place card to decorate the reception table.
If you would like to stick to the orange color themed of a Halloween party, there are still a lot of options. As mentioned, you can use combination of black and orange color tablecloths. The tableware also plays a vital role in the reception table decorations. Black color plates with orange color napkin on black color tablecloth will work very well.
Besides tableware, the wedding favor box is also a part of the reception table decorations. This means that the boxes should also match the Halloween theme. Again, using orange color boxes can help to bring out the notion of a Halloween wedding.
2.5 Flowers and Bouquet
Flowers are essential for wedding invitations. With your Halloween theme, flowers and bouquet choices can be more creative. Again, they should be related to your theme. One of the ways to arrange your wedding flowers is to add some Halloween flavors to them. For example, you can add a skeleton doll to the flowers.
Some of you may want to use silk flowers instead of using fresh flowers. Such an option is very popular for weddings. It is not a must to use fresh flowers. If you take a look at the above picture carefully, you can see that they are also silk flowers. In fact, there is additional advantage when you use silk flowers in your spooky wedding. You can use silk flowers of various colors that cannot be easily found for fresh flowers. If you think skeleton doll is too much, you can just add small miniatures of skulls to the flowers.
Although this is not a wedding flower, you can get inspiration from this Mexican example. Use of colorful silk flowers with decorated skulls.
Image courtesy of Loren Javier
Usually, brides and grooms will use a lot of flowers for decorations. You do not have to do it for a wicked wedding. We have mentioned the possibility of using skeletons or skulls to add a spooky atmosphere to the flowers. It is also possible to use flowers to decorate a skull. One example will be making two flowers the eyes of a skull. This decoration will be something very interesting.
As per the bridal bouquet, there are of course a number of options. Using a pumpkin to hold the flowers will create a low profile atmosphere of Halloween. Since you will have to take the bouquet with you on your wedding day. The bouquet should not be too heavy. So, you may not want to use a real pumpkin to hold the flowers. Try to find some plastic pieces and this will make the bouquet a lot lighter. If you still think that this option is too heavy for you to take it for the whole day, you can consider using pumpkins as “vases” so that to make it become either a part of floral arrangement or the centerpiece.
Even if you do not want to go for the above idea of pumpkin wedding bouquet, there are still options for your Halloween wedding bouquet. Yes! It is to consider the color of bouquet. Orange is the color you will able to think of naturally. You can also go for the idea of having a totally black color bouquet.
Apart from decorations, do you know that flowers can also be used for other purposes in your Halloween wedding? You can actually use flowers as a part of your wedding costume. Flower hat matching your costume and makeup style will be a good idea!
2.6 Halloween Wedding Centerpieces
The centerpieces will certainly give a soul to your reception table and Halloween wedding. There are tons of options. It will not be surprising to use pumpkins or jack’o laterns to create the centerpieces. You can also use solely a skull as the centerpiece. This will certainly create a scary feeling. Using miniatures of gravestones and candles is another option you must consider. If you would like to use candle, you can use candles which looks like they are blooding. The candle stand can also be related to your wicked wedding. It can be in the shape of a skull.
Examples of Halloween Wedding Centerpieces
Image courtesy of Kendall
Besides all the ideas above, it is also possible to find other ideas on the web. Youtube and pinterest are your best friends!! Here is a youtube video which can give you more ideas and inspirations about the decorations.
Let your imagination run wild!
3.0 Appalling Apparel
Choosing what to wear at your wedding is often one of the most difficult – and stressful – things about planning a wedding. You can look through bridal magazines, go to department stores and bridal boutiques to look at and try on dresses or suits, and ask friends and family for advice. When you are planning a Halloween wedding, you have even more potential choices, because in addition to traditional wedding garb you can choose to dress in accordance with a specific theme, or even wear a costume.
3.1 Ideas for Bridal Gowns and Attire for the Wedding Party
Having a Halloween wedding doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to dress as a zombie. You have a huge array of choices. Let’s look at some.
Traditional with a Twist
Your first option is to make your Halloween theme a subtle addition, and wear traditional wedding attire with a Halloween twist. For example, you might choose to go very traditional (white gown, tuxedo) but add little touches of Halloween to your outfit. For example, the groom might choose to wear a Halloween bowtie, or the bride might wear a white gown with an orange sash. Using accessories such as jewelry and flowers is a good way to add a Halloween flavor to your wedding without going over the top. A pretty boutonniere in orange color can be an excellent example here.
A Halloween themed bowtie for the groom and an orange sash for the bride can be good if you would like to dress in a more subtle way.
Boutonniere in orange color can help to add a Halloween flavor to your wedding attire.
The orange color of the flowers adds something really unique and distinctly reminiscent of Halloween without being over the top.
Another option to consider is going with traditional attire in Halloween colors. Some Halloween brides choose to wear black or orange gowns. There is no rule saying you must wear white, and if you want to push the envelope a little farther you can do it by adding color (and accessories) to give your wedding a real Halloween flair.
3.2 A Costume Wedding
For couples who want to really go all-out in terms of Halloween, the least traditional option is to dress in costume. You can choose a theme and have the entire wedding party dress accordingly. Here are some ideas:
- For a horror-movie inspired wedding, you might choose a gown splattered with fake blood.
- You might choose an overall theme for your wedding, and have the entire wedding party dress as zombies, vampires or ghosts.
- If you want the fun of dressing in costumes but prefer something that’s not spooky or scary, you can choose a different costume theme. Examples might include a roaring 20s, Great Gatsby theme, or Gone with the Wind.
Idea of Roaring 20s costume.
- The bride and groom can dress as famous couples from a story or film, such as Morticia and Gomez Addams, or Dracula and his bride. A beautiful and dramatic Bride of Dracula ensemble will work well for a Halloween bride.
Dracula’s bride; Image courtesy of James Barker, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- A slightly less elaborate but appropriate option might be choosing traditional attire, with or without a twist, and having the wedding party wear some kind of mask. One popular theme is Day of the Dead, and if you choose something like that you might have the wedding party wear skeleton masks or makeup.
3.3 Pros and Cons of Having a Costume Wedding
Before you commit to the idea of having a costume wedding, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of doing it. Here are the pros:
- You will have a wedding that is unique – different from most other weddings.
- Your wedding photos can have a fun and playful air that can bring you a lot of enjoyment as you look back on them.
- Dressing in costume can make the event seem more like a casual party, and help people to loosen up.
There are some downsides to having a costume wedding, as well:
- You may not want the only pictures of from your wedding day to be ones where you and your spouse are dressed like vampires.
- Coordinating costumes for a large group of people can be difficult and expensive.
- You can let guests know that you’re having a costume wedding, but they may or may not come dressed in costume.
3.4 Theme Costumes
We already talked a bit about this, but one option you have is to make the entire wedding revolve around a particular theme – something we’ll talk more about in the next section – and ask guests to come in costume. If you would like guests to adhere to a theme, you must include information about the theme in the invitations. As mentioned, participation from your guests will be extremely important in order to make your Halloween costume wedding a successful event. However, you cannot force guests to come dressed up as vampires or whatever you’ve decided on, so remember that you can suggest it but not order it. However people are dressed on the day of your wedding, they’re there to celebrate you – that’s the most important thing.
4.0 Thrilling Themes
If you’re planning a Halloween wedding, you may be thinking that Halloween is the theme, and wondering why there’s a whole chapter dedicated to choosing a thrilling theme for your wedding. Certainly it is possible to just say that your wedding is Halloween-themed and leave it at that, but as any true Halloween aficionado knows, Halloween means different things to different people.
4.1 Advantages of Picking a Specific Halloween-Inspired Theme
Choosing a specific Halloween-inspired theme can help to give you inspiration for ways to make your wedding truly unique. If you are only thinking about Halloween in a big-picture sort of way, you might have a black and orange color scheme and candy and things of that nature, but picking a theme allows you to have a little more control over the look and feel of your wedding.
For example, if you want your guests to come in costume but don’t set a theme, you might end up with everything from Spongebob Squarepants to gory zombies at your wedding. If that’s what you want, then great – but if you want your wedding to have a particular look and feel then picking a specific theme can help to give it that look. You can never have complete control over what your guests wear, of course, but most people who attend will want to please you. If you tell them that you’re doing a Great Gatsby costume theme, they’re going to put in the effort to find costumes that will match your theme.
Another benefit of picking a cohesive theme is that it can actually make the planning of your wedding easier. It can provide you with a focus that will help you make decisions about all of the other parts of your wedding, including invitations, apparel, venue, food, drinks, entertainment, and favors. After all, chances are good that if you choose a theme inspired by, say, Tim Burton’s movies, your décor and cake would be different than they would if you’d chosen a different theme.
Bride’s style inspired by Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride
4.2 Ideas for Creative Themes
The themes suggested here are meant to give you an idea about the kinds of things you might choose. The best way to choose a theme is to think about the things you like about Halloween, and pick something that really speaks to you. For each theme idea here, I’ll make some suggestions in terms of how the theme might inspire other elements of the wedding.
A. Day of the Dead
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated at the beginning of November. The decorations for Day of the Dead tend to include bright colors and skulls.
If you chose a Day of the Dead theme, you might think about using skeleton masks like the ones in the previous section. You could also go with skeleton make-up for the wedding party as an alternative. The skulls used in Day of the Dead celebrations are frequently painted with flowers and bright colors. You might choose a wedding gown in bright colors, and use some traditional Mexican music, such as mariachi music, for part or all of the reception.
Image courtesy of Gemma E.Ferrie
Traditional Day of the Dead foods include things like tamales, Pan de Muertos (a sweet bread,) Mole Negro, and sugar skulls. The sugar skulls are brightly colored and could make fun favors.
In terms of décor, you might consider a Day of the Dead centerpiece like this one:
B. Classic Horror Movies
If you and your partner are fans of classic horror films such as Frankenstein, Dracula or The Creature from the Black Lagoon, you might choose to plan your wedding around that theme. Some of the ways this theme might inspire elements of your wedding include:
- Venue – You might choose to hold your wedding in an old movie theater or cinema, the kind with velvet curtains and sconces on the wall. You could play classic horror films on the screen during the reception.
Image courtesy of AndreasS
- Costumes – If there’s a specific movie you love, you and your partner could dress as characters from it. For example, you could have fun dressed as Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein.
- Food – A wedding inspired by Dracula might include a custom cocktail that looks like blood, and you might have a cake that features figurines of you and your partner as vampires.
- Music – Some of your music might include soundtracks from classic horror films.
- Misc. – In addition to more traditional food, you could offer movie-style popcorn and candy to your guests.
There are thousands of horror films out there, so the possible themes inspired by them are truly endless. And of course, if you prefer you could plan a wedding based on more modern films, such as the films of Tim Burton.
Zombie movies never seem to go out of style. Whether you prefer classic films like Night of the Living Dead, or modern television shows like The Walking Dead, there are plenty of options to choose from.
If you want to have a zombie wedding, you and your partner could dress as zombies, and have the wedding party do so as well. You might encourage guests to dress as zombies. Your costumes could range from the subtle (an artfully tattered dress and subtle makeup) to the extreme (movie-quality zombie makeup that makes it look as if your face is going to fall off.) If you and your partner like to dance, it might be fun to learn the dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video to do at the reception – or at the very least, add the song to your playlist.
Thriller dance during reception is something you may consider for your zombie themed wedding.
In traditional zombie stories, zombies eat brains… so you might make or order some food in the shape of brains, like these cookies:
Your zombie theme can also inspire fun decorative touches, like this doorway:
D. Haunted Wedding
If you really love haunted houses, you might want to consider having your wedding in one. You can either look for a location that claims to be haunted to hold your wedding, or else rent a more traditional venue and do the decorations as a haunted house.
Decorate the venue carefully so that it looks like a haunted house and express a spooky atmosphere.
There are quite a few hotels and other venues around the country that claim to be haunted, so holding your wedding at one of them might be a happy medium between trying to track down a haunted house and having a more traditional venue. Trip Advisor has a list of the Top 10 Haunted Hotels in the United States that you can check out.
In terms of other elements of your wedding that might be inspired by a Haunted House theme, you could have the wedding party dress as ghosts. Flowers might be white and ethereal looking – swathing them in white gauze would give them a ghostly appearance. You could set up a section of the reception area as a haunted house, and have fun making your guests go through and encounter classics like the bowl full of eyeballs (peeled grapes) or worms (cold spaghetti.)
Though this is a movie, we do not group it under the Horror movie theme. It is firstly because GhostBusters is not really a horror movie, it can be classified as a comedy about ghost. You can make your wedding like a cosplay party. Your bridesmaids and groomsmen can dress like this.
Image courtesy of greyloch
If you have watched the movie before, you should know that the GhostBusters have a vehicle when they go out to catch the ghosts. You can also think about your wedding transport. You can consider getting a wedding car which is that same as the one you can see in the movie.
Image courtesy of relux.
The choice of wedding food can be very flexible for your Ghost Buster themed wedding. You can consider any kind of food you want. Yet, you can get a wedding cake which is in line with the main theme. A cake featuring Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is one of your best choices.
Image courtesy of poppet with a camera
F. Asian Ghosts
Here, Asian ghosts mainly refer to Japanese and Chinese ghosts. One of the most interesting part of such a Halloween wedding theme will be the costume. For example, the groom can dress like a Chinese zombie. This will make your wicked wedding standout from the other.
Besides the costume, the decorations of an Asian ghosts theme may be different from other types of Halloween events. You do not use pumpkins, skulls or skeletons to decorate. If you want something look like more Japanese, you can use Noh or Namahage to decorate the venue.
Alternatively, you may want to have a Chinese touch. It is very common to see double happiness character in a Chinese wedding. However, you will have to change the red color of the character to something black and white. You may even add candles to the graphic. This will certainly make everyone understand it is a Chinese Halloween themed wedding. You can use such a graphic element for venue decoration. It can also be the main graphic element of your invitation!
You can even borrow the haunted house idea to your Asian themed Halloween wedding. In this case, you will decorate the house / venue in a way that it looks like a house in ghost village in Japan.
Image courtesy of IMAGEPixel
These are just a few potential themes. These should give you an idea of the different ways in which a well-chosen theme can carry over into every other part of your wedding. If you are planning a small wedding, you could consider asking guests to bring food that adheres to the theme – pot-luck weddings can be a lot of fun. You can provide some core elements that are within your theme to get things started. Of course, an experienced caterer will be able to provide any kind of food you request.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a theme is the sensibilities of your guests. It is your day, but your traditional grandmother may not appreciate gory costumes or things of that nature. Give at least a little bit of thought to how your choices will affect the enjoyment of your guests, and go from there.
5.0 Frightening Food
The next thing to think about in terms of your wedding is the food. Most weddings involve some kind of refreshments. The most common options in terms of how to serve food, and what kind to serve, include:
- Passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails
- A buffet dinner
- A served dinner
Depending on what time of day you are having your reception, you may start with hors d’oeuvres and move on to a formal meal later in the day.
5.1 Traditional vs. Theme Food
One of the biggest questions you will need to ask is if you want to carry your theme over into the food you are serving. If the answer is yes, then the follow-up to it is asking how far you want to carry it.
If your wedding is more traditional with only touches of Halloween colors and décor, then you will probably want to stick with more traditional food with Halloween touches. You might consider serving certain food inside pumpkins, like this colorful risotto dish:
Note that the pumpkin here is a muted green, not orange, yet the theme is still autumnal. The bright orange of the inside of the pumpkin speaks to the Halloween theme (and complements the décor) without being over the top.
If you are having a costume wedding or something a bit more elaborate, you will probably want to push the envelope a bit in terms of what you serve. That’s fine, of course – it’s your day – but here again, it is a good idea to think about your guests. Most caterers will do a special meal for a particular guest. If your grandparents are in attendance and you think they won’t appreciate the brain-shaped food, ask the caterers to make up special plates for them so they can enjoy their meal.
5.2 Ideas for Using Food to Express Your Theme
Every element of your wedding can be used in some way to carry out the theme you’ve chosen. Your place settings on the reception table can set the tone, like this elegant orange and black table setting:
A place setting like that one is versatile enough to work with a wide range of Halloween themes.
In terms of food, if your event is catered you can work with your caterer to come up with ideas. Passed appetizers at the beginning of the reception can help to set the tone, and give guests a taste of what’s to come. Look at these festive Halloween cheese balls, for example:
Other examples of appetizers that could bring a Halloween wedding to life include deviled eggs with olive “eyes” or bone-shaped crackers.
If you are having a buffet dinner, you could choose to serve more traditional foods and let the decoration of the buffet convey the theme. Obviously, anything made with pumpkin or served in a pumpkin is a natural for a Halloween wedding. Some examples might include pumpkin risotto, or individual game hens served with a side of dressing in a mini-pumpkin.
Another option in terms of picking theme food is to have more traditional food, but then embellish it with garnishes and accessories inspired by your theme. For example, serving pumpkin soup in a black bowl garnished with some fennel “moss” and a skull-shaped crouton would be a way of making your food fun and unique without having to do too much in terms of special preparation.
For many couples, choosing the dessert for the wedding is one of the things that is the most fun. It is becoming more common to have a dessert bar in addition to the traditional wedding cake. If you choose to do that, you could do bite-sized desserts that reflect your theme. These cute spider web cupcakes are an example.
The following Halloween themed muffins are another example.
You might also think about doing something a little creepier, such as cookies in the shape of fingers (as shown previously) – or the brain cookies from the last section. Zombie cupcakes are also excellent when it comes to the notion of creating a creepy atmosphere.
Cupcakes are something common when it comes to dessert in weddings. If you want something more playful, you can consider serving your guests poached pears. Of course you will not serve “normal” poached pears. You can cover the pears with white chocolates and decorate them. These poached pear will look like ghosts that will become the dessert of your reception.
You can also serve other types of fruits which are related to a Halloween themed. You can decorate bananas and oranges such that they look like cute ghosts. Your guests will WOW when you server these fruits.
5.3 Halloween Themed Wedding Cake
The wedding cake is an important part of any wedding. An experienced baker will be able to create almost anything you can dream up. There are elaborate examples in this web page. You should be able to get inspiration from them. Here are also some examples that you will find inspiring.
Wedding Cake Example 1
Wedding Cake Example 2
Image courtesy of Angie Chapman
Wedding Cake Example 3
Image courtesy of danielle_blue
Wedding Cake Example 4
Image courtesy of Matt Fox
Wedding Cake Example 5
Image courtesy of Lumière Foto
Alternatively, you could go with a simpler, homier option like this ghost cake:
Halloween Wedding Cake Toppers
Besides the wedding cake itself, make sure that you consider Halloween wedding cake toppers which bear a Halloween theme. A topper featuring skeleton of bride and groom is an example you can think about.
Image courtesy of Kim
Without any surprise, the above is only one example. Vampire or zombie couples toppers are other choices you can consider. The advantage of such options featuring a couple is that the cake toppers express both the notions of Halloween and wedding. If you do not want to go for this idea of couples, how about using a gravestone cake topper to signify the idea of your Halloween wedding. Cake toppers in pumpkin shape can also be excellent. To express a more spooky atmosphere, you can go for a topper which is in the shape of a jack o’lantern.
Image courtesy of diffuse
Image courtesy of Beth Olson
You can also consider a gravestone cake topper design for your wedding cake.
Of course, no wedding reception would be complete without cocktails and beverages, and that’s what we’ll talk about next.
6.0 Disturbing Drinks
Most weddings have some kind of drink service. You may want to have an open bar or a cash bar. You may want to serve a limited array of options, or have a fully stocked bar that will let guests choose whatever beverage they want. You may pair drinks with your food, or allow guests to pick their own drinks. And of course, you will want to provide enough options that guests who have special requirements will be able to find something to enjoy.
6.1 Fun and Spooky Drinks to Serve at Your Wedding
Just as you did with your food, you can use the selection of drinks you provide to add something unique and special to your wedding. There are an array of different options. For example, you might choose to offer traditional drinks that have a hint of Halloween to them, such as:
- Bloody Marys. The name itself is obviously a little spooky, but if you wanted to play that aspect up you might think about garnishing them with olive eyeballs or something of that nature.
- Mimosas. The orange color is a subtle touch of Halloween.
- Traditional clear drinks with Halloween-shaped ice cubes.
If you have kids at the wedding, you will need to provide some non-alcoholic options – and there may be adults who will prefer these options, as well. One fun idea is to make a non-alcoholic punch (red or orange are good colors) and garnish the bowl with Halloween decorations like plastic spiders or other figurines. You could also take a Halloween mask, put water into it, and freeze it. When it’s frozen, remove it and float it face-up in the punch so it will be “looking” at people when they come to serve themselves.
If you want to have individual servings of punch, try serving it with fun ice cubes like these:
Another option for kids is to use the popular Harry Potter books as inspiration. In the books, the characters drink things like pumpkin juice and butter beer, as well as various potions. You can find a list of recipes for many of the drinks in the Harry Potter books. You might want to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, as many of your adult guests might want to try them too.
6.2 Picking a Signature Cocktail
If you want guests to really remember the drinks from your wedding, you might want to consider having a signature cocktail. You can post the recipe at the bar so guests know what’s in it, and offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. The signature part could be the garnish, as in this martini garnished with gummy worms:
Alternatively, you could get a professional bartender to help you concoct a recipe that will reflect your theme. For example, if you were having a witch-themed wedding, you might want to design a signature cocktail that looks like a witch’s brew, like this one:
Decorations on the bar can really add to the atmosphere too, as can choosing interesting things to serve your drinks in. For example, if you wanted your drinks to seem like they were cooked up in a mad scientist’s laboratory, you could think about serving them in beakers or test tubes. Harry Potter drinks would work well served in tin mugs or something of that kind – or you could find glasses with Halloween decorations already on them, such as spider webs or ghosts.
Serving cocktails in test tubes can match a Frankenstein Halloween theme.
When you are putting together your bar, make sure to include a wide range of mixers and non-alcoholic choices. They’re not as expensive as alcohol, and will allow the guests to order a variety of things even if the liquor choices are limited.
While your food and drink can be very entertaining, it is also important to have some kind of entertainment at your reception, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next chapter.
7.0 Eerie Entertainment
Typically, the entertainment choices for a wedding are fairly limited. Most couples hire a deejay or band to play music – and that’s it. They might make specific song requests, but that is typically the extent of the personalization of the entertainment.
One great thing about having a Halloween wedding is that it provides an opportunity for you to get really creative with the entertainment. You will probably still want to have some kind of music, but there are other options as well.
7.1 Ideas for Halloween-Themed Entertainment
When you think of Halloween, what kind of entertainment do you think about? If you’re like most people, you think about trick-or-treating, costumes, and party games. Anything you traditionally associate with Halloween can be brought into your wedding in some way if you want it to be. Let’s look at some of the options.
A. Halloween Games
Most people have fond memories of Halloween from when they were children. One way to let people reconnect with childhood and loosen up is by having stations where people can play Halloween games. I mentioned before the idea of setting up a haunted house in a corner of your reception area. You might also consider having a place where people can bob for apples.
Other Halloween games include pumpkin golf (hit the golf ball into a pumpkin) or pumpkin bowling (use a pumpkin instead of a bowling ball.) You might also think about getting a Halloween piñata.
Pumpkin bowling is one of the Halloween games you can arrange in your wedding. You can even consider having it between your ceremony and reception.
Image courtesy of Kim Scarborough
B. Costume Contest
If your guests are in costume, think about having prizes for the best costume. You can include information about the costume contest on your invitation so guests know it will be happening. You can either judge the contest yourself, have a ballot box where people can cast votes for their favorites over the course of your reception, or have people who want to enter come to the front of the room and do the judging based on applause.
A costume contest will be fun in your Halloween wedding.
If you are planning on having children at your wedding, you will probably want to consider having a separate contest for kids’ costumes, and plan on having prizes that will work for children as well.
C. Trick or Treat
Another thing to think about if you are having children as guests at your wedding is to do some kind of trick-or-treating. Of course, you can do this with adults too, but if you have children it’s an especially nice touch. You could have trick-or-treat stations at different places around the room, or even put pumpkins full of candy in the center of each table and have the children trick-or-treat the adults at the table to get candy. If you do this, make sure to provide some kind of treat bag for the kids to use to collect their candy – and of course, check with their parents to make sure it’s okay!
D. Do-It-Yourself Cookie Decorating
Another entertainment option that could work for both adults and children is a do-it-yourself cookie bar. You can provide plain sugar cookies (or gingerbread) cut out into Halloween shapes, such as pumpkins, bats, ghosts and witches. Make sure to have several cookies available for each guest. Then provide toppings for the cookies, including:
- Multicolored icing in piping bags
- Halloween candies, such as candy corn and gummy worms, for decorating
- Sprinkles in Halloween colors
- Sugar decorations, like miniature spiders or candy confetti
If cookies don’t appeal to you, you could also do this with cupcakes. Just provide the frosting, and toppings. Whichever option you choose, you should also provide some way for guests to carry their decorated food home, in case they don’t want to eat it while they are at the reception. The cardboard containers used for Chinese takeout are a good option – you can get plain ones at craft stores, and decorate them for Halloween.
E. Fortune Telling
People love to have their fortunes told. Setting up a fortune-telling table at your reception can be a fun way to keep your guests entertained. Hire someone to read palms or tarot cards, or look into a crystal ball.
7.2 Halloween Music
Even if you decide to have some non-traditional entertainment at your wedding, chances are you will still want to have music and dancing. One way to bring a touch of Halloween to your reception is to have the deejay or band play some fun Halloween music. You will probably want to mix in other music with the Halloween songs – and allow guests to make requests – but here are a few suggestions of songs that might work well:
- Monster Mash
- One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater
- Love Potion No. 9
- Witch Doctor
- This is Halloween (from The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Those are just a few suggestions. You might also use instrumental music from horror movies while the guests are eating hors d’oeuvres or even during the ceremony. (Chances are a church won’t let you do this, but if you’re having your wedding in the same place as the reception you will have more options in terms of music.)
The final thing you need to think about is what kind of favors to give your guests – that’s what we’ll talk about in the next chapter.
8.0 Freaky Favors
The final decision you need to make about your wedding regards the favors you will give your guests. Favors are small gifts meant to serve as a keepsake of your wedding. The traditional wedding favor is often a small bag of Jordan almonds – almonds coated in sugar, usually in pastel colors.
8.1 Fun and Creative Ideas for Halloween Wedding Favors
Like the other things we have talked about – apparel, food, drinks, and so on – your favors can be dictated by the specific theme you choose for your wedding. For example, if you’ve chosen to do a more elegant wedding with Halloween colors but no costumes, you might think about having pretty packages of candy at each place setting.
The orange boxes and filmy black bows are undeniably Halloween-inspired, but they are also beautiful and memorable. You could also choose to do the traditional Jordan almonds, but get them in Halloween colors.
If you want something more elaborate and yet stick to the idea of candy favors, you can change the orange candy box to a plastic container which is in the shape of a pumpkin. Children will especially love this wedding favor!
Another candy option for a less formal wedding would be to set up a trick-or-treat bar. We talked about trick-or-treating as a form of entertainment, but instead, why not set up a table with traditional Halloween candy (mini chocolate bars, candy corn, gummy worms or vampire teeth, etc.) and let guests pick up a bag or box on the way out and fill it up? You could even put a Unicef donation box on the table and ask people to put change in it, and then make the donation after the fact.
If you’re having a Day of the Dead wedding, you can still adapt the idea of candy as your wedding favors. However, instead of using a pumpkin shape container, the container will look like a skull.
You might give out decorated skulls as favors. Mexican style decorated skulls will be your best bet. These skulls are always beautiful and colorful. No guest will not love them when you use them as your Halloween wedding favors.
For a slightly more formal costume event, you might try to find a collection of pretty or unusual masks. Many craft stores have cardboard masks that you can paint and decorate, or you could even have guests decorate their own.
You might also think about taking Polaroid pictures (or digital pictures, if you have a portable printer) of your guests if they are in costume, and hiring someone to frame them in Halloween-themed frames to give out as favors. Doing this gives people a true memento of your wedding that they can take home with them.
A variation of this is to put disposable cameras on every table and have guests take pictures. Collect the pictures at the end of the evening, and once you have the pictures developed, put together keepsake books and have copies printed up at a copy store like Kinko’s. You can then mail them to guests.
These are just a few ideas for wedding favors. You can really do almost anything you want to. Craft stores can be a great source of inspiration if you’re not sure what to do.
9.0 Final Word
Thank you for reading this post about Wicked Weddings. We hope you have found some inspiration to help you conceptualize and plan your Halloween wedding.
Planning a wedding is a lot of work. If you don’t have a wedding planner and are doing it yourself, it can seem a bit overwhelming. If that is the case, let’s conclude here and talk about some ways to make it a little easier.
Tips for Getting Started
When you are starting to plan your wedding, it’s a good idea to put your initial focus on two things: setting a date, and picking a theme. Remember, holiday weddings require advance notice. Halloween might not be as popular a travel day as holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is still a holiday and if you want people to be able to attend your wedding you need to give them plenty of advance notice. Once you have the date picked, you can send out “save the date” notifications. If you know what your theme is, you can make sure your notifications fit the theme – but don’t worry about that too much if you don’t. Just find some Halloween-themed paper or cards, and use those. The most important thing is to let your guests know the date.
Once you have settled on the date, the next thing to think about is the theme. The theme may dictate many other aspects of your wedding, and if you want to have your wedding at an unusual location it’s important to know what you want before you book the venue. If you plan on having very elaborate food you may need to interview more than one caterer, too, so make sure to leave time for that.
With your theme in place, you can start to conceptualize the rest of your wedding. It might be helpful to write down ideas on index cards or a dry erase board so you can keep track of them. Of course you can also store all the ideas you have in your smartphone or tablet. Give yourself time to play around with different options before you settle on what you’re doing. In terms of the different options, you will certainly want to search for ideas. We especially suggest you to take a look at Pinterest.com. It is really an invaluable resource for conducting research for your big day. There are a lot of interesting and inspiring pins for a Halloween wedding. Here are examples of pins that you will probably be interested in: Pins About Wicked Weddings
Make sure that if you are having a costume wedding, you give your guests plenty of advance notice. You typically want to send out invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding, but if you’re hoping people will come in elaborate costumes you might want to push that back and send the invitations out three months before the wedding. The same is true if you are having a destination wedding.