Christine Horning and Kurtis Kolb love Halloween and horror movies. When the Indiana couple got engaged this year, they looked at the calendar and saw that there was a Friday the 13th in October, they decided it was a sign: They had to have a “Hallowedding.” Although some friends and guests were skeptical about the idea, it turned out to be a huge hit — and more beautiful than one might assume for its spooky theme.
“There were a few people who, after we told them we were having a Halloween wedding, they were brutal,” Horning tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They were like, ‘We don’t really agree with that. We don’t like Halloween. Why don’t you want to bring God into your wedding?’ As if because we were having a Halloween wedding we were Satanists.”
Luckily, there were far more friends and family members who were on board with this plan, including a carpenter friend, who surprised them with the gift of a homemade coffin to use as a photo booth prop.
The decor of the place was key, of course. There were cobwebs everywhere, a skull on each table, a black-and-white runner for the aisle. During the ceremony, the couple mixed a “Love Potion No. 9” cocktail (blue curaçao, pineapple juice, vodka, and cranberry) into a skull glass filled with dry ice, in lieu of lighting a unity candle.
“They had gone to the college that had just closed in that town and bought in an auction all of the marching band uniforms and came [dressed as a] zombie marching band,” Horning said. “It was a huge surprise. It was awesome.”
The guests, too, came in costume. Even Kolb’s grandmother, who had objected to the Halloween idea, arrived dressed as a witch.
“She said she had a great time,” Horning said. “She stayed for the entire thing, which has never happened.”
Horning and Kolb didn’t dress in costumes for their ceremony, though that was one element that almost fell apart. Two weeks before the wedding, Horning got the gown she’d had custom-made for her and hated it. Her mother, who happens to be a wedding planner, swooped in to help.
“We walked into a Macy’s and it was hidden in a back rack somewhere,” Horning recalled. “It was the only one, and it was in my size. For a Friday the 13th wedding, we had a lot of good luck!”
One other resource that Horning turned to time and again throughout her planning was Reddit’s wedding planning boards (a.k.a. “Weddit”). “Everybody on those subreddits, they’re not yes men,” she said. “They are giving constructive criticism instead of being mean, which they totally could do because they’re on the internet.”
Those strangers on the internet were often much more helpful than the ones in real life, who gave her the side-eye for her Halloween choices. Anyone else who wants to plan their own unconventional wedding can use Horning’s script for unsolicited critics: “Any time we got negative [feedback] about our wedding, we just had to say, ‘That’s great, and when you have a wedding, you don’t have to do this.’ ”
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