Welcome to Halloween week, a tradition which seems to grow in popularity every year in Australia. And where would we be in the wedding industry without traditions, new and old? Whether honouring an old family tradition or adhering to cultural traditions, we all look for ways to add meaning to our lives, and to feel like we are part of something bigger than just ourselves.
Whether or not you are planning or attending a Halloween themed wedding this weekend, there’s more than one way to skin a pumpkin, and a themed wedding doesn’t have to be scary. There are a number of reasons to hold a themed wedding, and cultural, seasonal, literature or film inspirations can all make for a uniquely personal and memorable celebration.
So, how can you theme a wedding in a tasteful way?
1. Themed Wedding Foods
The food is one of the most memorable parts of any wedding and as well as being delicious, it can also be creative. If there is a book or movie that was an important part of your childhood, or means something to you both as a couple then you can bring one or all of the dishes into your wedding menu.
With the power of Google, simply look up ‘foods mentioned in…’ and shape your wedding menu around a theme from ‘Narnia’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘Harry Potter’. Or if you wanted more of a period theme than a fantasy theme, think 1920s inspired by ‘The Great Gatsby’, or even further back to the 1800s to look up what the Bennets were eating in ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
Or you could simply call your everyday menu items by their old world or gothic names. Consider starting with quiches and calling them daryols, or serve up a Fruit Fool which is a cold dessert of pureed fruit with cream or custard.
2. Themed Wedding Dress
There is so much inspiration out there for wedding dress designs and styles, but you can narrow it down with the help of your favourite book or movie. Just be careful of embracing a trend or a fad too heartily, you have to feel beautiful in your dress now, and not cringe at it in the future.
You could go for a strikingly beautiful gown with alternative finishes like the dresses featured in ‘Hunger Games Catching Fire’, or ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. Or choose a stunningly intricate design like that from ‘Star Wars II’ for an elegant interstellar wedding theme.
Who hasn’t taken inspiration from ‘Sex and the City’ at one time or another, and you certainly have your choice of wedding theme. There is Charlotte’s very traditional first wedding, or classically elegant second wedding. Then there’s Miranda’s non-traditional wedding complete with pantsuit.
Carrie gives you two wedding looks to choose from too – the big bang designer wedding versus the vintage inspired ceremony with very personal touches. Of course, if money really is no object then you can use Stanford and Anthony’s wedding as your inspiration and celebrate extravagance in every way.
To take period inspiration for your dress as well, you might like to channel the stunning simplicity of Maria’s dress in ‘Sound of Music’, or demure Southern style from Scarlett in ‘Gone with the Wind’.
Or you could take cultural and movie inspiration at the same time by looking to the traditional Italian gown featured in ‘The Godfather’, or the way the daughter of a Corsican mob boss flouts tradition for a 60s-style embroidered jumpsuit, in the one and only Bond wedding in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.
3. Themed Wedding Styling
Themed wedding styling can go from gorgeous to gaudy very quickly, but there is a way to theme your wedding in a classically elegant way. For example, instead of asking your guests to dress up in the theme of your wedding, why not hire a photobooth, which will come complete with props, wigs, feather boas and more, so everyone can get in the spirit without feeling uncomfortable.
If you do want to plan a classy Halloween themed wedding, why not include a lolly bar for dessert as a nod to trick or treating. And you can theme each table centrepiece around a piece of classic horror literature, from Braum Stocker to Edgar Allan Poe, or any of the unforgettable horror films from Alfred Hitchcock.
Or, since we don’t enjoy a white Christmas season here in Australia, you could theme your winter wedding in a white Christmas style. Instead of decorating in the obvious red and green palette though, look at combinations such as plum and gold, navy and silver, or neutrals such as sage, dove grey and dusty blue.
From wherever you choose to be inspired for your wedding, strike the balance between personal and classic and you and your guests will be reliving the day fondly for many years.
Until next time.
Cindy Westphalen owns and operates award winning Cindy's Classic Gourmet based in South Australia.