A Halloween Wedding Ceremony in York Cemetery – Yorkshire Celebrant
The Witching Hour!
Adam and Freya had been guests at a wedding where I had performed the ceremony and so contacted me about creating a unique one for them. After spending some time with Adam, Freya and their quite ‘witchy’ cats, I discovered that their beliefs and fascination with the spirits, souls and those of the Otherworld, were of great significance which was the reason why they had chosen the date of 31st October, known as All Hallows Eve (Halloween) to be married. The meaning of traditional marriage rituals were also fundamental to them and the location of York Cemetery was perfect as it combined all of the elements they wanted for that part of the day. The ceremony was to be performed in the chapel that was home to 17 interred souls whose bodies lay in the crypt which would be underneath the soles of their guests feet on the day! The venue was familiar territory to myself due to me performing many funeral services there, but I had never performed a wedding ceremony at York Cemetery!
Boil, boil, toil and trouble!
Like the three witches, we worked together adding ingredients to the ceremony cauldron in order to blend and concoct our own potion! Freya was a lady of many creative and artistic skills stemming from her beautician skills and being the manager of an alternative cafe known as Malley’s. This meant that turning the Cemetery’s chapel into a wedding ceremony space was no ‘trick’ but a true ‘treat‘ for her! There was no ‘spooking’ around either for friends and family who were all given the task of carving over 30 pumpkins which meant no ‘ghouling’ around either! The ‘spirits’ were indeed high when a party of them all went the day before the wedding to set up all the decorations in the ‘ghostly’ silence! Photographs of the cats were placed on the altar and Autumn coloured petals and leaves were scattered around the floor to make the souls in the crypt beneath feel part of the forthcoming ritual.
Meanwhile, Adam the groom was ensuring that his ‘traditional’ Halloween transportation of an Audio R6 was as ‘white as a ghost‘ so that it blended in with the theme and surroundings. He could at least then say ‘Eerie’ go!!’ as he put his foot down in it after the ceremony! (No more Halloween puns!)
‘Til Death Do Us Part
Honouring the meaning and traditions of Samhain/Halloween were important to Adam and Freya as were indeed the traditional elements of matrimonial rituals. The Halloween theme however needed to be an important part of the wedding. The recognition of their vows were blended in perfectly to create a wonderful vibe of fun, gothic, meaningful and symbolic ingredients that brewed a perfect potion!
Here is a brief summary of some of the ceremonial highlights:- Recognition and respect to the bodies and spirits in the Cemetery – Blessings to the Otherworld – Lighting of Candle to welcome and remember the spirits – A funny and spooky ghost story about two souls battling certain evil forces to be united – Trick or Treating with the Guests – Blood Wine Ritual – Traditional Vows – Ring Exchange with a Laughing Coffin Ring Holder!
Trick or Treat?
We created our own version of Trick or Treating for the ceremony! It was very amusing watching some of the guests battling for lollipops to tide them over until the reception at Hazlewood Castle!
A Very ‘Grave’ Matter
The grounds of York Cemetery are a haunting, intriguing and graceful wilderness of natural foliage and absorbing wonky gravestones, tombs and monuments, some of which are nearly 300 years old. Walking around the greenery and winding paths is incredibly fascinating and reading the history on some of the head stones does indeed make you start churning thoughts about the past lives underneath your feet. For Adam and Freya, this venue felt just right for promising to take their love for each other literally to the grave.
The Monster Mash!
As the dusk began to glow, it was time for the Monster Mash Ball to begin in the bewitching and magical realm of the enchanting Hazlewood Castle! All of the partying Monsters were transported to the venue on the spooky Ghost Bus provided by Ghost Bus Tours which took them on a journey… And let me tell you if I may…..it was to take them on a strange journey for a night out, … it was a night out they were going to remember for a very long time….Mwah ha ha!!!!!!!! (For Rocky Horror Fans!)
Caught in the Crypt!
It was wonderful to work with Alex from Eternal Edits! We have known each other for a good while and I am truly grateful to Alex for capturing the ceremony brilliantly in this short video. Often the ceremony is the part of the day that receives the least footage but Alex caught the atmosphere of this important part of the day absolutely spot on! This is just a short edition of the video so keep your eyes open for the full version in the future!
Wedding Ceremony Testimonial
Louisa conducted our Halloween ceremony last year and she did the best job 🎃💀 We were interested in her services as we wanted something completely unusual and we absolutely got above and beyond what we’d expected. Louisa was incredible and created a service that was so unique, I don’t think anyone could ever forget! Thank you so much Louisa 💀🎃🖤 – Freya & Adam
Where shall we three meet again?
It is always great to work with wedding colleagues that are friends! It was wonderful to work with the always-cheery photographer, Matthew Kitchen and the kind and supportive, Alex of Eternal Edits! As we were all local to the area, it was great to be supporting each other and working together as local businesses. Also, the help and support from Wendy and her team at the Cemetery was, as always faultless!
Wedding Celebrant – Starr Gazing Ceremonies | Wedding Photographer – Matthew Kitchen Photography | Alex Walmsley – Eternal Edits | Ceremony Venue – York Cemetery | Friends of York Cemetery| Wedding Party Transport – York Ghost Bus Tours – Wedding Reception Venue – Hazlewood Castle
Louisa Starr -Independent Yorkshire Celebrant