Tricks from a pro on how to plan a holiday-inspired wedding that's a total treat.

Initialed Pumpkin
Credit: Emily Sacco

Planning a holiday-themed wedding is one surefire way to add a little extra magic to an already special event. While it's easy to come up with subtle ways to incorporate elements from holidays Christmas (poinsettias and twinkling lights), New Year's Eve (Champagne and lots of gold details), and even the Fourth of July (a red, white, and blue color palette and plenty of pies), Halloween presents more of a challenge. The traditional color palette and motifs don't always feel elevated and chic on their own, but there's a way to plan a holiday-inspired event that's special instead of spooky.

Looking to plan a Halloween-inspired wedding that doesn't remind your guests of a haunted house? 
Then your goal should be to include subtle nods to the holiday rather than planning an entirely "themed" event, says wedding planner Jessica Sloane. To do that, focus on creating a mood, aesthetic, and vibe that nods to the holiday, then pick and choose the details that work best. Here, five of her best tips for planning the most elevated Halloween wedding.

Get the mood just right.

Sloane says the thing to keep in mind when planning any wedding with a theme is the mood. If you'd like your ceremony and reception to be a nod to Halloween, she says that the "mood" you should aim to achieve might actually be moodiness. "In general, I think adding some moodiness to a design is a way to add a little bit of 'hauntingly' beautiful elements," she says. For example, replacing traditional large floral centerpieces with small sprigs and using long, skinny candles in delicate black candelabras can subtly set the tone.

Don't rely too heavily on props.

In order to successfully evoke an elevated twist on the Halloween mood, skip the props. Sloane says that you don't need bats or skeletons to get the aesthetic you're looking for. Softer nods to darker themes will do the trick. She likes deep, moody color palettes and motifs like bare branches and exposed rock.

Contrasting textures and tones can bring it all together

Use contrasting textures and tones to help set the mood you want. Sloane suggests balancing dark elements with lighter ones, like placing a black plate over a white charger. You can also play around with different textures-place lighter candles inside a clear glass votive, for example, to really play up the flickering light.

Leave the pumpkins in the patch.

If your goal is to plan a non-kitschy Halloween-inspired wedding, you may want to leave traditional orange pumpkins out of your décor plan. That doesn't mean you have to skip the gourds entirely, though. White and pastel varieties are pretty and refined, and they're definitely worthy of a place in your wedding. And if you love the classic varieties, use them! Mini pumpkins are a nice choice for escort cards or scattered around your centerpieces.

Choose an unexpected color palette.

Orange, black, and purple details will ensure guests understand your holiday inspiration, but that doesn't mean you have to include the hues in their most Halloween-worthy forms. Consider variations on the traditional bold, glossy colors instead. Flat black, burnt orange, and deep plum will evoke a similar idea in a more unexpected way.


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