Wedding themes are ‘very personal’Written by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Two years after their Halloween-themed wedding, friends and family still say to Shelly and Digger Pierce, “We had so much fun at your wedding.”
This compliment usually comes when the Oregon couple are guests at a traditional wedding. The Pierces’ big day was anything but traditional.
They lit a jack-o’-lantern instead of a unity candle. The groom and ushers wore Grim Reaper gowns, while the bride sported black and white tights under her gown. The bridal party even danced down the aisle to “The Addams Family” theme song.
The reception took the theme even further. Every guest received a trick-or-treat bag with one of six haunted stories about Northwest Ohio. The cake was ominous-looking with chocolate ganache dripping from white fondant. And a face painter was hired to “Halloween-up” guests, while guests 15 and younger were encouraged to wear costumes to the wedding, on Halloween.
“Both me and my husband have always been into Halloween.We usually have a big Halloween party at our house, so we thought what better way to get married?” Shelly said.
Her friend, Kelly Heuss, co-owner of Puttin’ On the Glitz in Perryburg, said the brides she works with want their day to be unique; they don’t want what everyone else has had.
“Weddings have gotten away from ‘This is what you have to do at your wedding,’” she said. “It has become a very personal thing.”
Heuss’ specialty is creating invitations. Some of the most-requested themes are Broadway, “The Great Gatsby” and, of course, Halloween, a growing trend, she said.
Pierce started her Halloween theme with the save-the-date cards, which read, “Save the date, something old, something new, a Halloween party with a wedding skew.”
The theme carried into the centerpieces, which were antique glass vases with dead branches inside. The bottom of the vases were adorned with glittery skulls.
Even the keepsake for the bride and groom were themed. Instead of a guest book, people signed zombie portraits of them.
“In all honesty, I was a little bit nervous because I have a pretty religious family and I was scared about the intake of it,” Pierce said.
But guests loved it, and most importantly, she and her hubby loved it.
“My perspective of the whole entire night was that everyone had a fun time,” she said.
Heuss said being unique is much more acceptable these days. Brides are leaning toward themes that are inspired by Art Nouveau’s early 1900s ornate look and Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained glass. Mason jars and the rustic look are popular as well.
“It isn’t always outrageous things, people are going classy,” Heuss said.
Justin Chuba, formerly of Toledo, and his fiancee, Bridget Long, are going with a wine theme for their wedding. The couple met when they were both working at Penn State University.
“Our thing is sort of wine,” Long said. “We go to wineries, and when he proposed, we had went on a wine-tasting tour in California and then he proposed at a vineyard.”
Their June 2014 wedding will be at a winery on Put-in-Bay. After their vows are exchanged at a Catholic church on the island, the reception will be hosted at the Doller House winery.
The decorative theme will revolve around wine with the use of deep purple colors and vines. The couple, now living in North Carolina, has an extensive collection of free wine glasses from wineries and those, along with their extensive collection of corks, will be used for centerpieces.
“My big thing is bubbly, so there will be some bubbly,” Long said.
Chuba said their invitations will, appropriately, have wine stains on them. For those guests who don’t like wine, there will be beer.
Newly engaged Shannon Rogacki of Toledo is just starting to plan her wedding, but she is already developing a theme of a barbecue backyard hoedown.
She is envisioning a big tent with sparkly lights, candles galore, pig on a spit, baked beans, corn on the cob and ribs.
“We want to do something that is very relaxed and fun for all ages. We are also planning a bonfire with a s’mores-making section,” Rogacki said via Facebook.
Heuss said anything goes these days, and no theme surprises her anymore.
“It is no longer the stereotypical wedding,” she said.