Halloween is such a major celebration in the fall season that some couples actually choose it as a theme for their wedding! You’ve seen those settings, for sure. They range from outright ghoulish and ghostly to playful and whimsical. But we thought, wouldn’t it be great to style a Halloween-inspired wedding reception that manages to balance eeriness with elegance! So, our talented styling team whipped out their witch’s hats and brewed up a magical mix of table elements that does just that.
Set the Scene with Colors and Candle Light
Immediate visual impact, that’s what you’re aiming for with a themed set like this one. So start by choosing a venue that will allow you to create that air of mystery. A hotel function room or a clubhouse that is enclosed would be ideal, so that you can decorate as creepily as you wish. But of course, if your home is large enough and your guest list is small enough, an at-home reception would work, too, as all factors would be under your (or your stylist’s) control.
Key to the eerie ambiance are color choice and lighting. Notice how we intentionally avoided the traditional Halloween palette of black and orange, and chose a sophisticated black and silver pairing highlighted with greens, ranging from chartreuse to lime to sea glass green. We even used sleek Pantone chairs in pure black in keeping with the modern look. Then, we dimmed the lights and cast the entire scene in the glow of candles, candles, and more candles!
Incorporate Decorative Hints of Horror
You don’t need skulls, black cats, or jack-o-lanterns to say Halloween. Oftentimes, it’s the subtle rather than the obvious touches that are most effective. That’s the approach we took with this themed table setting. Some examples:
- Black table linens set a decidedly sombre mood.
- Paper doilies appear as seemingly dainty place mats, but we spray painted them a matte (not glittery) silver for a sophisticated yet slightly sinister air.
- Faux spiders appear to have just dropped or crawled onto each guest’s place card. See the tutorial.
- Petite arrangements of green button mums are swathed in cotton cobwebs.
- Floating candles in green-tinted water cast a ghostly aura, while votives reflect off mirrored surfaces, glass ware, and metallic elements.
Add More Chilling Details to Your Centerpieces
Keep up the chill factor throughout the rest of the accent pieces on the table. For our table number, we crafted a witch’s broomstick out of dried twigs and stood it upright in an old wine cork. We then tucked black ceramic and wooden balls in amidst the centerpieces, for no reason other than that they add a dark note.
Notice, too, how we allowed the green taper candles to melt and drip wax down their sides in true horror movie style! And of course, we kept those creepy cobwebs coming—stretching from one table element to another.
Craft Sinister Wall Decorations
To complete the ambiance of your Halloween reception, create a themed backdrop against one wall, suspend it from overhead beams, or frame it in a doorway.
For our set, we assembled a scary-looking but super-simple installation in a lighted alcove overlooking the reception tables (see left photo above). All it is are hurricane glass-style vases holding spindly bare branches with dried leaves, bunches of dried flowers and corn husks, and twisted twigs tucked in here and there. Note the trio of bats cut from black card stock seeming to hover overhead and, again, the lighting that adds to the spine-tingling effect.
Looking for more eerie inspiration? Check out the related posts from our Halloween styled shoot that include a diy guestbook cauldron, broomstick table number, spooky table accents, sweets table, welcome sign, and menu card: