The Offbeat Bride: Brink, Secretary
Her offbeat partner: John, Customer Service Representative
Date and location of wedding: Nicholson Lodge No. 438, Nicholson, PA and Lake Winola Cottager's Association Pavilion, Lake Winola, PA — October 31, 2015
Our Halloween costume wedding at a glance:
My husband had wanted to get married on Halloween since he first saw the movie The Crow over twenty years ago, so our wedding was truly a dream come true for him. We chose a horror movie theme which permeated every aspect of the day. We wanted to create a memorable experience for our guests and wanted the whole day to feel like a gigantic Halloween party rather than a wedding.
We had started batting around ideas months before we got engaged and it was awesome to see some of those initial ideas, like our bloody hand print table runners, become reality. I made as much of the decor as possible including 130 tombstone escort cards, 150 caution tape chair bows, and many centerpiece items.
We wanted potential guests to know what they were getting into right away and used our invitations to set the tone. They had a photo of us as bride and groom zombies and included a “Costumes Required” section. We had a basket of masks available at the ceremony in case people didn't take the invitation seriously but our guests outdid themselves. Every single person got behind our theme and showed up in an amazing costume. Despite the instructions to our guests many thought we were going to wear “normal” bride and groom attire. We proved them wrong and got married in our dream Halloween costumes. Anne Boleyn weds Freddy Krueger? Why not?!
Tell us about the ceremony:
My husband and I both perform in community theater and our ceremony was the performance of our lifetimes. We wrote the script ourselves and our goal was to create a ceremony that was thoroughly entertaining. We incorporated readings from Monty Python films, some nods to Beetlejuice, and many other movie references.
Our processional music included The Freddy Nursery Rhyme for my husband, the theme from The Exorcist for our bridal party, and Greensleeves for me. My father walked me down the aisle dressed as Dumbledore from Harry Potter which was very meaningful because he would always take me to get the books on the release date. Our officiant is a friend of ours who built us the Beetlejuice archway and kicked off the ceremony with the “Mawwiage” speech from The Princess Bride.
My husband and I did a joint reading of “A Lovely Love Story” but changed some words to match our own relationship. We did a spoof unity candle ceremony in which a clip from Young Frankenstein instructed us to “Put … the candle … back” before we got the center one lit!
As homage to our shared Irish ancestry we had a handfasting ceremony with six binding cords that I had made. Our rings were carried in on disembodied fingers and mine was slid onto me off of the Freddy Krueger blades which was terrifying! By the time we got to the kiss my husband was crying uncontrollably from laughter. The whole thing was light, silly, fun, and a great representation of our whole relationship.
Tell us about your reception:
We spent the day before our wedding with family and friends transforming our reception space into a horror movie paradise. Each of our seventeen tables was themed after a different movie, so our centerpieces were framed movie posters and collections of objects that represented each film.
We placed a quiz about us at each place setting and the winner from each table received the poster as a prize. Our sweetheart table boasted a skull flanked by bride and groom skeletons. A mix of Halloween-themed music played during cocktail hour and we skipped taking posed photos so that we could mingle with our guests. After our entrance my husband grabbed the microphone and in his best Freddy Krueger voice said, “I'm your husband now, Brinky!” and I screamed “NOOOOO!!” which got a laugh.
We cut our cake with his glove which was slightly difficult and messy but a ton of fun. Our menu consisted of party food with a burger bar, mac ‘n' cheese, and chicken wings as entrees. As a surprise, I had given our DJ albums my husband's college band recorded and we had a “second dance” to one of their songs. The look on his face when he heard his own voice singing and realized what I'd done made my night. Instead of a bouquet/garter toss, we did a joint “mystery toss” with helium balloons that were not catchable.
What was your most important lesson learned?
The biggest challenge we faced in planning our wedding was sticking to our vision in the face of traditional expectations. We received push back about a number of items like the event being child-free, having an unplugged ceremony, my choice to not wear makeup, and even using Solo cups instead of real glasses.
In his speech, our best man mentioned the importance of communication and said that he sees us do that very well. Through planning our wedding, we improved our communication skills and learned that we work really well as a team. Our best advice to future couples is “To thine own selves be true.” The wedding industry has some long reaching tentacles and it's easy to get sucked into the vortex of what a wedding “should” be. The reality is that a wedding should simply be whatever the couple wants but it can be hard to remember that in the face of societal traditions and familial expectations.
* Ceremony Venue: Nicholson Lodge No. 438
* Reception Venue: Lake Winola Cottager's Association Pavilion
* Photographer: Johanna Lindsey Photography
* Videographer: Longfooter Productions
* Catering: Gin's Tavern
* Cake: Brick's Market
* Groom's Glove: Nightmare Gloves
* Groom's Sweater: Margaret Olschewski
* Bride's Dress / FOB Costume: Carla Walsh
* Groom's Wedding Band: Litman Jewelers
* Bride's Wedding Band: Hawaii Titanium Rings