There's something idyllic about gothic castles and fog rolling across an overgrown cemetery.
It's why we're drawn to the dark romanticism of writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Nathanial Hawthorne. It's why we're enamored by Heathcliff and Catherine. And it's why every year, as Halloween approaches, we dust off our old copies of Sleepy Hollow and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The appeal of Halloween has, in many cases, commercialized our fascination with the macabre into tacky decorations and an excuse for college kids to act lascivious without judgement.
But what if we could take back the night with a bewitching Halloween wedding?
There are so many classic touches you can add to your nuptials to capture all of the spooky and all of the gothic chic with none of the boring cliché!
Black Wedding Gown
Everyone gets their cue from the bride. So to do a Halloween wedding right, don't be afraid to embrace your cold, dark heart.
Black is typically seen as eerie, mysterious, ethereal. It is also elegant and classy. (And slimming!)
Ditch the traditional white for something a little grittier. We love this lace and tulle look!
Danny Elfman is the Halloween music GOD (…excuse us, "pumpkin king"…). We could swoon over his melodies all afternoon. And the instrumentals are perfect for a processional.
Ice Dance from Edward Scissorhands.
The Piano Duet from Corpse Bride.
Introduction from Sleepy Hollow.
(If you just do your whole wedding in a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp theme, we clearly wouldn't mind.)
Better Homes & Gardens gives detailed directions on how to create their DIY "Ghost Guestbook."
In addition to the quill, we would add a raven to keep a wary eye peeled on the wandering souls who this way come.
Table Names and Place Cards
Make each reception table and guest card a thrill of its own by naming them after frightful locales. Pick a theme that matches your personality or mix it up…
Fantasy: Malfoy Manor, Azkaban, Beyond the Wall, Mordor, Pan's Labyrinth, Bon Temps.
The Classics: Count Dracula's Castle, Frankenstein's Lab, Bates Motel, Thornfield Hall, Hill House, Thrushcross Grange.
Historical Haunts: Lizzie Borden House, Salem Witch Trials, Roanoke Colony, The Murder Hotel, Blackwell's Island, Danvers State Hospital.
On the place cards, assign each guest a character to go along with their table name. If you're feeling especially daring, write the story of the person and place on the back of the cards!
If your venue allows an open flame, turn down the lamps and light up. (Though you can also find battery-operated candles like these.)
Candlelight lends an enchanting air to the room. Play up the Halloween angle by designing your own wine bottle candle holders. Some clear bottles; some painted with gold or black or silver glitter.
Complete the look with dark flowers, a black fabric table cover, and maybe even a decorative skull.
First, alcoholic Halloween punch. Always. Always. (Prime opportunity to mix it up and go with "Polyjuice Potion" or "Pensieve Punch" for all those Harry Potter nerds on the guest list.)
Add a blackberry to the champagne glasses. Or feature a specialty drink, like the mesmerizing Black Magic Shimmering Cocktail.
Need we say more?
We'd start with some classic movie theme songs while guests feast on human flesh… or whatever you're serving for dinner. Try instrumentals of Phantom of the Opera, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Children of the Corn, and Halloween.
Obviously, no Halloween party can begin without "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.
Here are a few other eclectic options…
I Put a Spell on You by Annie Lennox
Black Magic Woman by Santana
Disturbia by Rihanna
Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me by Susan Sarandon
Time Warp by Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett
Ghostbuster by Ray Parker Jr.
Bad Things by Jace Everett (True Blood)
Monster by Lady Gaga
The Monster by Eminem
This Is Halloween by Marilyn Manson
Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Highway to Hell by AC/DC
Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
The Final Goodbye
What can be more fitting for a Halloween wedding than running off into the deep night? With your guests wearing masquerade masks (wedding favors!), wielding sparklers and feathers, and a fog machine billowing clouds along your path, you and your eternal escape the light and venture off to your unknown.
Writer Fawn believes in the power of a well-crafted story, the promise of an adventurous future, and the perfection of a Nutella-covered strawberry.