As the summer sun sets for the last time I am eager for the fall wedding season to begin! The colors of the outdoor venues, the gorgeous tents, the warm foods, and the darker side of whimsy often sneaks into the edges of the event planning. With the impending arrival of All Hallows’ Eve, we have resisted the temptations of pumpkins (with the exception of pie) and spider webs opting for a more mature haunted mansion type scene. With this being our favorite time of year, we couldn’t resist gathering a few tips and trends for planning an elegant fall wedding with a touch of dark magic.
Setting the scene couldn’t be more fun. Industrial ruins are a budding new trend across downtown and rural venues, savory catering highlighted with traditional harvest foods are a must, historic décor brings out all the feels, and the perfect vintage style dress are all areas for a dark twist of whimsy to create an evening that will be with you Till Death Do You Part!
Abandoned stone house

The Venue: A Life Begins in Ruins

Tucked away in the nearly forgotten corners are buildings left in ruins. Though their original purpose may have expired, their reclaimed shells, when properly reinforced, can be the most amazing setting for a wedding or event venue. The building pictured above can be found in the heart of Portland’s Forest Park! Just amazing… who knew such a space was within minutes of the hustle and bustle of downtown living. With lighting, floral design, and friends, it is just the right amount of dark magic for a night you nor your guests will ever forget!
For another venue with Ruins in Hood River, OR:
luxury restrooms outside a fall event

Off the Beaten Path: Bring Your Own Necessities!

With all the incredible venues popping up everywhere between wineries, vineyards, breweries, industrial ruins, or even classics such as historic buildings, parks, and cathedrals, often times they are lacking in sufficient amenities of the plumbing variety. Not willing to miss out on the location of a lifetime, Luxury Restroom Trailers by Privy Chambers has solved the restroom issue with top of the line, custom built luxury restrooms to complete the party package for you and your guests to celebrate all night! Restrooms with heating, air conditioning, sound systems, vessel sinks, back lit mirrors, are an extension of the event space and even a conversation piece for your guests. The new necessity!
Check out more options available in the Northwest:
spooky Halloween decor

Spooky Décor: Just Add Elegant Twist

The décor is by far one of my favorite parts of any event. It tells the story of the couple, whether minimalist or over the top, the elements a couple choose to share with their family and friends is a reflection of their passion, their personality, and creativity. My husband and I planned an outdoor fall wedding with influence from Halloween but we skipped the pumpkins (except in pie form) and spider webs. Instead, we went for the outdoor “anthropologist’s library” look with chandeliers hanging from the trees, historic books on every table along with aged scrolls under glass domes. We completed the look with replica fossil displays and an amazing backdrop for our head table. With multiple thick dark window curtain strung behind our table, we achieved a sort of vintage linen wallpaper look in the middle of the woods! To continue the outdoor theme, we had moss, ferns, and other greenery creeping in on all the tables and displays. Just amazing looking back at the look we achieved with so few materials.
For the most incredible wedding fit for witches and wizards:
Halloween dessert feast

The Food: A Feast of Desserts!

A fall or winter wedding are one of the top excuses to have a buffet of desserts. When planning my wedding, we were looking out for vegan diets, gluten diets, and eat-everything diets, so we had something for everyone! Cheese cakes (which are technically more pies than cakes), pumpkin pies, apple pies, berry pies, and pecan pies were all present and accounted for. With all the options displayed on over-sized books, surrounded by ivy and lanterns, the display had just the right amount of dark whimsy such a delectable spread in the woods!
For more dark whimsy inspiration:

spooky Halloween coupleThat Dress, Though!

Planning a Halloween theme wedding leaves the door wide open as far as the dress, hair and make-up goes. If you want to keep it classic and romantic but still fit the theme, a vintage lace design is a flawless choice. I had cap sleeves added to my dress to include a modernized twist to a look of yesteryear and the perfect addition for a dress that could have come from the year 1890 or 2090 (unless, by then we are wearing only metallic and spandex). If you want to go full costume, there is no better time! A full Victorian costume, a bride of living dead, or full ensemble costumes such as the cast of Star Wars or Fern Gully would be amazing. And if you really want to get the whole gang involved, encourage your guests to dress up! For those not showing up in costume, a selection of masquerade masks are a perfect last minute costume.
For more wedding costume inspirations:
Planning a Halloween Themed wedding can run the spectrum of a dark whimsy vintage lace all the way to full on costumes and stage makeup. It’s a time to let your imagination run away with you and plan a wedding of your dreams! Venture off the beaten path to find the venues near you that hold the magic you have been seeking, let your passions guide you in terms of décor and ambiance, and be sure to bring in the necessary amenities for a flawless evening full of spirits and memories!