How To Plan a Gothic Wedding


With Halloween just around the corner, it’s tempting to let your imagination run wild.

If you were stranded in a zombie apocalypse and could only choose three items for your safe house, what would they be? What if you faced a witch who offered to show you your future—would you say yes or no?

More seriously, what if you met the love of your life and found out they were just as weird as you? And what if you both decided to plan an utterly fantastic Halloween wedding?

For all you non-traditional brides out there, or perhaps for lovers of medieval art and architecture, we’ve come up with six killer elements you need to style a wicked Gothic wedding.


Archaic Venue

The best place for a Gothic wedding would obviously be a Gothic cathedral. According to Wikipedia, this style of architecture arose in France in the 12th–16th centuries and migrated to pre-Renaissance Europe. Castles and cathedrals overseas were often built with flying buttresses, pointed arches, and ribbed vaults. A few Neo-Gothic churches and universities in America have also incorporated these haunting yet beautiful features.

Dark Romance

Another meaning of gothic relates to 19th century literature characterized by desolate or gloomy settings with mysterious, supernatural events. These strange tales often incorporate romantic elements. A few prominent writers in this genre include Ann Radcliffe, Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley, Robert Luis Stevenson, Emily Brontë, and Bram Stoker. You can pay homage to their literary talents with décor such as crows, cages, thick draperies, dark flowers, and quotes. Play up “’till death do us part.”

Horror & Mystery

Some gothic novels dip into the realm of sensationalism and horror. Stephen King and Anne Rice have dazzled brave readers with terrifying characters and plots. Add elements of mystery to your setting with candlelight and medieval table settings. If you’re hosting a macabre Halloween wedding, serve vampire-inspired foods and dark wines. Set up an old-fashioned photo booth and entertain your guests with a murder mystery game!


Film Inspiration

Maybe your vision is inspired by modern Gothic films such as Underworld, Sleepy Hollow, Interview with a Vampire, Dorian Gray, or The Woman in Black. You can plan your wedding around an Underworld theme with elegant tablescapes set for vampires and werewolves. Prefer a rustic wedding? The Legend of Sleepy Hollow evokes a barn celebration with pumpkins. For a classy Victorian affair, make black lace your main fabric and decorate with black or red roses.

Bewitching Bridal Ensemble

To create a soft goth ensemble, play off a black and maroon color scheme, or even choose a black wedding gown! If you’d prefer a ghostly look, get a foldover veil and let it float around you with mysterious allure. Wear a sparkling belt or vintage-inspired headpiece for attention-grabbing style. You can accent your outfit by filling your bouquet with dark colors or autumnal touches. Add ribbons or an antique brooch to complement your theme.

Vintage Dress Code

The most deliberate way to style a Gothic wedding, apart from period-inspired décor, is by asking guests to come dressed accordingly. The word gothic can mean barbarous or uncouth—enter counterculture movements—but typically this means medieval clothing. You can alternatively use a black tie dress code or ask guests to wear dark colors. Take inspiration from your favorite Gothic tale and let your imagination fill in the rest.


How would you create a spooky Gothic wedding? Share your ideas!

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Bel Aire Bridal

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