Emma & Ben’s Spooktacular, Zombie Themed Halloween Wedding
Seaham Hall is not one of Halo Photography’s usual haunts. Emma & Ben found us after family members met us at a charity function. They loved our personalities and recommend us. We got excited from the moment Emma & Ben visited and told us all of their scary ideas. A light sprinkling of Halloween details for the day time and then a full-on flesh-eating zombie apocalypse for the night of 31st October.
Checking out Seaham Hall
This was going to be our first visit to Seaham Hall so I did a full recce the weekend before. It’s a beautiful Hall, hotel & popular spa resort. Located right on the North East coast it’s within walking distance of the beach. If it was any other wedding couple we’d have definitely encouraged our wedding couple to use it as a photo location. But we already had so much to pack into one afternoon and it wouldn’t have fit in with the Halloween theme.
Seaham Hall seems a dream venue to photograph. Light spacious indoor areas with different vantage points and beautiful tiered gardens and water features. My only worry was whether this beautiful white building would look spooky enough at night.
Wubba Lubba Dub Dub
We got to the hall bright & early. Lisa & I split off to visit our wedding parties. The boys had already started getting ready without me, with Ben making sure his two young sons were ready first. Bonding over Rick & Morty it dawned on me that the boys looked strangely familiar. On the day I just couldn’t place where I knew them from. It wasn’t until a few days later that I realised they had recently moved in, with their mum, right across the street from my home!
Girl Zombies Only!
Lisa was made wonderfully welcome in the girl’s’ room. Emma will admit that she isn’t a girlie girl. A wedding dress just isn’t her style and you could see she was looking forward to getting dressed up for the Halloween party far more. Emma was joined by her mum and grandmother who were gushing with pride.
Emma’s mum & dad are real characters. There aren’t many parents that would be keen if their daughters big day was hijacked by a hoard of zombies & ghouls. But they, and the whole family, seemed to be behind them 100%. This wasn’t going to be some half-hearted affair where no one joined in. In the bar, where all of the wedding guests were gathering, the party was the main topic of conversion.
Emma & Ben knew that they couldn’t make the day time wedding service too gothic. But everything had subtle little spooky touches. Lisa also started a trend of doing scary expressions after every smiley setup. If Emma wanted she could have had the option of a full album with scary faces.
The Lads about Seaham Hall
As the lads were ready with loads of time to spare, I dragged them away from Seaham Halls bar for some groomsmen photos. Ben’s sons were going to play a big part of the day. Emma really wanted the boys to be involved.
Zombies Don’t Cry!
Say I Do or the Bride will Eat your Brains
Emma & Ben had planned a small twist to the wedding service with the whole bridal party walking down the aisle to enter the wedding service. They gave out treats & favours as they went.
The space that Seaham Hall used for the service was great from our perspective. A huge skylight above the area, flooding it with light. Its also surrounded by corridors all the way around and above. So Lisa stayed on the balcony above where she could wander without distracting from the service. I focussed on the ground floor facing Emma & Ben but still got to venture around once they had made their official vows.
As you may have guessed, family is important to Emma & Ben. We only had a short time before the wedding breakfast so we focussed on family groups for a while.
Would you like Gravy with your Guts?
We seriously couldn’t list all the wonderful things Emma, Ben & their family had filled their wedding breakfast with. Naming but a few… spooky artwork, courtesy of Emma’s dad. They had zombie survival kits as wedding favours. Every table had ghoulish table centres and every guest was given a hologram that transformed from a normal portrait to a zombie image.
Lisa & I felt so welcome. Emma & Ben insisted we join the band for the wedding breakfast and Emma’s dad had even drawn caricatures of us as the bride of Frankenstein & Igor. The room was headed by their gorgeous wedding cake that hid a gloriously gross secret. We were starting to worry about what we were going to get served at the wedding breakfast.
While Ben’s son had stolen the show with his speech and we had a great meal, I kept an eye on the weather which was teetering on rain. We had a great laugh with Pek & Wanley, Emma & Ben’s band. After desserts, the rain held off and we stole some more images of this wonderful couple around the grounds of Seaham Hall. We made the most of the last little bit of light before our bride & groom had to race off to meet their special effects artist ready for zombification!
Let take the Zombie Bride for a Stroll
We caught up with our Zombie Bride & Groom as Emma’s makeup was complete & Ben jumped in the chair to get his prosthetics applied. Emma stayed in her wedding dress a little longer so we took our Zombie bride for a little photo-shoot of her own. Emma seemed so much more relaxed with blood oozing from fresh wounds.
Tricked & Treated
When we orginally met with Emma & Ben we reluctantly agreed that we would dress up too. It’s tough working in a costume, but we felt that we might be the odd ones out when Emma & Ben told us that even the Seaham Hall staff were getting dressed up.
As we struggled to find somewhere to change into our very last-minute Halloween costumes, we asked the Seaham Hall staff when they were getting ready. They all looked us as if we were nuts and then the penny dropped. We had been duped! My Chucky outfit made me look like an Umpa Lumpa and Lisa still doesn’t know what her witch/Skeleton ensemble was meant to be. If only Halloween was in January, we’d have time to plan these things.
As we were kept busy documenting guests fabulous costumes, a mystery group we’re rehearsing in the function room. Emma & Ben had arranged for a local amateur dramatics group to help get everyone in the spooky mood and to help them with their first thriller of a first dance.
We try to keep these blogs to about 100 photos so we can’t show everyone’s amazing costumes but everyone did a great job and put Lisa & me to shame.
The party kicked off with a hilarious projected video of Emma reading news reports of a Zombie Outbreak with various family members in cameo roles. This then led into their first dance with supporting characters.
As Pek & Wanley kicked off their set, we set up outside of Seaham Hall with some off-camera flash. Picture the scene with me running around in the dark setting up gear as Chucky on Halloween night. We scared the smelly stuff out of some of the Halls other guests. It was hilarious watching Lisa try to direct Emma & Ben to act like zombies. But they were naturals.
Seaham Hall has a spooky tunnel that leads from the main Hotel to the Spa. It’s this cool wooden bridge with its own stream. A natural spot for some final images. After this Emma changed into her full zombie gown so she could dance the night away.
Emma & Ben’s Halloween Wedding is one we won’t forget. In 2020 were looking forward to a “Lord of the Rings” themed wedding for Halloween but, sadly, this year’s fun has been postponed. Thankfully, we still have these great memories to look back on. We had a fantastic day and we wish both of them the very best in life and hope they both stay Zombie x