When West Coast couple Christina Yu and Carl Raether decided to say “I do” on October 30, 2021, the part about “until death do us part” could have been a metaphor for their wedding theme: Halloween meets rock ’n’ roll, with a dash of Star Wars nostalgia. Skeletons and skulls were tastefully woven into the invitations, signage, accessories, and tablescapes to complement the moody florals and elegant black-on-black and metallic gold color palette. Kiawah Island’s River Course venue was the backdrop for the goth-esque nuptials, since Carl had spent many family vacations growing up at his parents’ home on the island.
The DIY fall festivities were planned around Christina’s favorite holiday, though delayed a year due to the pandemic. They even pulled off a horror-themed engagement shoot, complete with Jason Vorhees, the villian from the Friday the 13th movies, lurking in the background. And since both Christina and Carl are hard rock fans (Carl is a bassist who tours internationally and records with various bands), music was an essential component.
Charleston International Music School director Ruben Camacho curated the ceremony music, which included live arrangements from The Nightmare Before Christmas (“Sally’s Song” for Christina’s processional) and the momentous “Throne Room/End Title” song from Star Wars for their grand exit. To kick off the reception, Nine Inch Nail’s “Head Like a Hole” was a fitting entrance song—since the couple met at one of the band’s concerts. Even Christina’s favorite rocker played a role; Christina sourced Gwen Stefani’s nail stylist to do her epic wedding-day nails.
The Star Wars elements came through in other ways too, in the groom’s and groomsmens’ ties and cufflinks. The officiant even donned a Jedi costume. The Force was strong, indeed, at this theatrical affair.
Edgy Inspiration for a Rockin’ Halloween Wedding
• Don’t be afraid of black. The black-on-black linens with gold accents set a formal tone, while Christina’s black and nude Vera Wang gown and cathedral-length veil proved an exceptional, standout look.
• It’s all in the details. Christina and Carl’s wedding suite with gold foil skeletons inspired the Halloween-themed elements woven subtly throughout. Gold and black metallic skulls were tucked into floral displays, in addition to being emblazoned on signage throughout. The bridal party wore gold skeleton-hand hair clips in their up-dos while the groom donned a gold skull lapel pin. Even the bride’s flats sported gold skulls with Swarovski crystals.
• Roll with a rockin’ look. Carl and his groomsmen all wore custom black leather Converse sneakers that he designed. He had the wedding date imprinted in the gold grommets. Since travel restrictions prevented guests from gathering earlier in the year, a joint bachelor and bachelorette party was held the night before the rehearsal dinner. A friend who owns custom print company Design By Dowty surprised them with tailor-made bride and groom “tour t-shirts” and backstage passes for their party bus bar hop around Charleston.
Venue, Catering, Bar: River Course at Kiawah Island
Images: Scott Land Photography
Florals: Tiger Lily Weddings
Stationery: Katie Zimpel (wedding suite), Hello Rayuko (signage)
Entertainment: Charleston International Music School (ceremony), Sol Fusion (reception)
Bridal Attire: Vera Wang (gown, veil), Alexander McQueen (skull shoes & jewelry), Etsy: PopBang Boom (skeleton hair clip)
Beauty: Lashes & Lace (hair, makeup), Carolyn Orellana (nails)
Groom’s Attire: Some Things Dark (custom suit), Macy’s (Star Wars tie & cufflinks), Etsy: MetalClothandWood (lapel)