Weddings are easily recognized for their bright flowers, pastel decorations, and white curtains and tablecloths. But then, this points to the disappointing fact that all weddings look more or less alike. Shouldn’t there be something more interesting to do for your big day?
The answer is a resounding yes!
If you’re not sure the tired cliche of a white-everywhere wedding is right for you, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to discuss some alternative options for the most adventurous couples: weddings in spooky, haunted spaces.
Wedding Plans and Themes
Most people choose bright, innocent themes for their weddings, such as Christmas or springtime. Taking the polar opposite approach is bound to attract attention.
When it comes to planning your own spooky wedding, you could simply go for a Halloween theme with creepy decorations. But why not go the whole way? Your options include choosing a haunted wedding venue near your area, or even traveling to a (very real) town called Hell, Michigan, for your wedding.
The average online shopper may have an attention span of just 8 seconds, but you’ll want to spend a bit longer than that coming up with your perfect wedding idea. To help you out with that, next, we’ll share some of the spookiest wedding venues out there.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
This hotel has a dark and spooky backstory, and it would be perfect for a Halloween wedding. It’s said that the ghost of the hotel’s original owner, F. O. Stanley, continues to hang around, and can be heard playing the piano in the music room. The ghost of his wife, Flora, is said to frequently visit the lobby and billiard room. And inside room 408, guests at the hotel have claimed to hear the voices of children outside their door. Stephen King stayed at the hotel with his wife in 1974, and his experience inspired his horror novel The Shining.
For a smaller gathering, try out the hotel’s music room, which features arched Palladian windows and French doors. If you’re expecting more than 80 guests, The MacGregor Ballroom boasts dark wood decor and a picture window overlooking a mountaintop view.
The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, MO
The gazebo outside the Lemp Mansion is perfect for a warm-weather outdoor wedding, after which guests can enjoy a fine sit-down dinner indoors. Featuring incredible hand-painted ceilings and Italian marble fixtures, the Lemp Mansion was built in the early 1860s. It’s thought to be haunted by the original Lemp family, who was once famous for brewing beer. A series of tragedies for the family started in 1901 when Frederick Lemp died from mysterious circumstances, after which several suicides took place within the mansion. If that’s not enough to scare you away, maybe it’s the perfect place to book your wedding.
Hotel Provincial, New Orleans, LA
Located deep within New Orleans’ French Quarter, this old hotel is perfect if you’re a Civil War enthusiast. The luxurious building was once used as a confederate hospital, and both doctors and their soldiering patients are said to haunt the place today.
If you’re brave enough to set foot there, its iconic New Orleans-style courtyard would be the perfect place for a wedding ceremony. Host a reception or cocktail hour in the beautiful European-style Latrobe Room, which accommodates around 60 guests. With exposed brick walls, Southern antiques and artifacts, and a perfect view of the Mississippi River, it’s also the perfect place for your guests to stay overnight.
Sturdivant Hall Mansion, Selma, AL
With a picturesque front porch overlooking the grounds, this Greek Revival mansion is a charming Southern property. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, but what’s really interesting is the ghost stories. Staff and visitors alike have claimed to see objects move, seemingly of their own accord. Reports of mysterious footsteps being heard and doors closing on their own.
Possibly spookier than these reports is the mansion’s backstory. Its original owner, John Parkman, was a corrupt banker who was jailed for his misdeeds. However, when he tried to escape, he was killed. If he’s the one haunting the mansion, we’re sure he wouldn’t mind if you hosted your haunted wedding there.
That’s right: there really is a town called Hell, Michigan, and the residents seem quite proud of it. Using names fit for a small-town tourist trap, local businesses have embraced their town’s unusual name in a wide variety of controversial ways.
One prominent attraction is Hell’s Chapel of Love, where they claim to have hosted hundreds of weddings. Complete with a fire-red roof and a question mark atop the steeple, the tiny chapel can host up to 12 people inside, but if you’re expecting a crowd, your wedding can be hosted out in front.
To get married in Hell, all you need is to reserve the venue for the hours you want to host the wedding. You will also need to make arrangements yourself for any rentals you need, however, they recommend a local catering service on Hell’s website. You will also need to purchase a marriage license in advance. If you don’t have someone in mind to officiate your wedding already, they will even have one of their own Ministers of Hell perform the wedding.
88% of Americans say they marry for love, but not many of them can say they tied the knot in Hell. As they say on their website, “a marriage that begins in Hell has no place to go but up!”
Remembering Your Haunted Wedding
Whether you get married in Hell or a famous haunted venue, you and your guests will most likely want keepsakes to remember the unique occasion with. There are around two billion T-shirts sold annually around the world, and it’s easy to have custom shirts made to commemorate a special event. Many venues have their own gift shops as well where you can get location-specific keepsake items.
From the Stanley Hotel to Hell and back, these are our top picks for a haunted wedding.