I know it’s only August, and it’s still full summer, but we’ve been slowly starting to see Halloween decor and costumes arrive in stores and ads popping up online. And, truthfully, all of this has us thinking about Halloween weddings! OooOoo… Spooky!

First things first…are you interested in having a Halloween wedding, or hosting a wedding on Halloween? Because there’s a big difference between the two! If you’re planning on hosting a wedding on October 31st and not embracing the Halloween theme, you might want to think twice, and pick a different day not so imbued with its own lore and meaning.

If you decide to host your wedding on October 31st, chances are high that guests will be expecting the theme to be based around the holiday, and if that’s not your plan, you will have to be explicitly clear what your expectations are for your big day. Also, you may have guests with small children, or those that host their own annual Halloween parties that will be unlikely to attend your reception.

And, we speak from experience. We were once hired for a wedding on October 31st, with a decidedly un-spooky theme. The expectations were communicated to the guests in advance, and the guest list ended up being much smaller than the couple had anticipated! The party unfortunately ended up being a bit of a bust!

Spooky Wedding Celebration Ideas

Now… if you’ve decided to embrace the Halloween gala theme and go all in, what can you do to really rock your reception? Well, we’ve got a few ideas. Keep reading to find out!

Let your venue set the tone

If you want to really embrace the spooky tone of the day, a secluded estate or castle wedding would be perfect! Imagine your guests rolling up to a dramatically lit mansion, with spooky doormen. The mood for the night would be set! 

Here are a couple of venues to consider: 

Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate 

Just imagine the spooky possibilities of hosting one of the most important days of your lives, at America’s grandest castle. You and your guests can savor award-winning cuisine and dance the night away as celebrities, dignitaries, and heads of state once did during the golden age of the Roaring Twenties.

Park Chateau Estate & Gardens

This grand wedding venue will allow your guests to step right into the pages of a classic French Novel. They’ll be bowled away by the impressive Versaille like architecture, and gorgeous fountain and reflecting pool. The Estate is also located in East Brunswick, NJ, making it an ideal midway point for many families and friends in the tristate area.

Use Dramatic lighting effects

When it comes to planning a Halloween wedding, dramatic lighting – think pillars uplifted with red, and dance floor lights with a fire effect – and special effects will be your best friends! Just think, you could have your first dance with spooky fog rolling across the dancefloor. Or, you could make a magical grand entrance surrounded by safe spark fountains. And, since the sun will set by 6pm, you can get the most bang for your decor buck, by having your guests arrive for an evening ceremony, that flows directly into cocktails, dinner and then dancing. 

Hiring actors or over-the-top wedding entertainment

Chances are, if you’re thinking of hosting a Halloween wedding, you likely have a vivid imagination and a flair for the dramatic! But, not every guest will have the same ability! So, hiring actors or spooky impersonators to greet your guests, or mingle with them during cocktail hour might help create an immersive experience for your guests and draw them into the spooky party vibe. Or, maybe you want to hire performers to entertain your guests after dinner… think contortionists, creepy clowns, glow-in-the dark skeleton dancers.