They exchanged severed limbs instead of rings. Half of the groom's face looked eaten away. And the vows were also less than traditional.
"Even after we die and re-animate as flesh-eating ghouls, I will never, ever leave your side," promised the groom to his blood-smeared bride.
Just in time for Halloween -- behold a "zombie wedding"! Horror fans Aaron Allen and Tina Hall gathered their nearest and un-deadest for a zombpocalypse-themed ceremony this weekend.
Their 75 creepily costumed guests didn't even need to worry about changing afterward -- the Canadian couple's surprisingly sweet vows were a sideshow at the sixth annual Hamilton Zombie Walk.
Too freaky: Anything plastic! Say no to the fake Halloween pumpkins, skeleton heads, jewelry and fangs, Digilov says. Also, no masks or hiring actors to wear monster costumes and scare your guests as they make their way to the bathroom. No one wants to be responsible for sending Aunt Barbara to the hospital after a big fright. Also be mindful of children who might be attending as the line between imaginary and real is hard to decipher for a young child (and even some adults after a few cocktails).
Surprising Guests: Instead of providing guests with a program outlining what is happening next and in what order, Digilov says to find a way to reveal what is next to your guests shortly before it happens. By doing this, you are keeping your guests in anticipation mode. For example, instead of advising everyone of a Halloween-themed wedding when sending out the invites, surprise the guests as soon as they arrive by having staff at the entrance hand out small lanterns to each guest/couple to carry in order to "lead the way" into the ceremony room. As guests wait for the wedding to start, provide them with a short piece of paper on their chair that explains that they just walked through a haunted hallway or provide them with a scary story about the venue to get them in the mood. After the ceremony and upon arrival at the reception, have entrance staff provide guests with masquerade masks, instead of encouraging your guests to wear costumes. When the guests walk in, they will see lighting and decorations that hint at Halloween, but won't feel the need to use a tablecloth as a ghost costume.
Fabulous: Robison set the stage with vendors and friends by referring to the event as "masquerade" theme and being clear there would be no "blood, guts or gore" (full disclosure: her bridal party did don masks and her parents did don Dracula teeth as the bride and groom left the ceremony). These details made the day, she says, without going full-throttle Halloween.
Mysterious Venue: Let the venue dictate the ambiance. Do you live in an area with historical buildinge or a place that is rumored to be haunted? These physical structures immediately give your wedding that spooky feel.
Mood Lighting: The lighting should be dim. Sources for lighting should include candles, either placed in candelabras, in the fireplace or safely on the table. If your venue has a working fireplace, building a real fire is also a perfect way to create ambiance and light, not to mention some heat on a cold, fall night. Keep your eye open for antique looking lanterns to use with candles as well. Robison's loved ones danced in a hauntingly dim hall lit by moons, stars and tiny votives that dangled from the chandelier.
Start planning: If your wedding is next year, don't rush to buy up everything Halloween at the craft store now. Since you'll be skipping plastic skulls, there's no need to panic about the season passing while you plan. Elegant ways to infuse Halloween into your wedding, as Digilov suggests here, are available year-round.
Sumptuous Colors: Veer away from bright orange and black paired together. Consider golds, dark purples, black and rich chocolate to convey the feeling of the season, not just pumpkins. While the flower girls in Robison's ceremony donned bright orange dresses and fairy wings, the adults were swathed in black and eggplant, with rhinestone pins to class up the creep-factor.
Signature Cocktail: Pour your theme into bright orange, spicy cocktails crawling with sugar-spider garnish and served next to bowls of eyeball candy. The bar can be a little more outrageous than other areas where guests dine, dance and watch the couple take their vows. Robison chose smoking green and purple beverages and treated guests to a late-night candy bar with spiced pumpkin cakes and cinnamon donuts.