In 2020 Halloween falls on a Saturday, the most popular day of the week, in one of the most popular months of the year to have a wedding. As a wedding venue we want all our Saturdays dedicated to hosting a wedding ceremony and reception, and while many venues may find booking Halloween day daunting, we feel confident a fun and adventurous couple will seek out our venue to create the spookiest wedding of the year. I mean look at our property…a large barn full of scary potential awaiting your wedding day vision, two acres of giant, ancient trees and an antebellum mansion quite easily suggestive of lurking spirits in the shadows. We can’t wait to prepare our venue for this unique and exciting wedding!
Writing about a Halloween wedding at Ashford Acres Inn makes me feel nostalgic for holiday festivities in Kentucky. I crave sweaters, boots, scarves, a warm mug of something delicious to keep my hands warm and my tastebuds happy, colorful leaves everywhere I look and crisp air that feels clean and thin. I might just have to sneak away and come to the Inn for next year’s Halloween wedding to satisfy my desire to experience a real fall season again!
Most of the year I reside in Los Angeles, where October is warm, leaves remain very green and flowers are still blooming. Unless you want to drive an hour or longer away, the pumpkin ‘patch’ is a parking lot with dirty hay scattered on the blacktop, a hay bale maze, and so many people squeezed into this city-fied farm attempt that I usually want to leave before my sweaty, booted feet leave my car (because you have to dress the part, regardless of the temperature outside). Our first year in the city friends told us we had to take the kids to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch. You can look it up and find pictures of celebrities pulling their kids around in wagons through tight rows of stacked pumpkins. Seemingly, it has been the ‘it’ pre-Halloween spot if you have young children. It was during our first visit to Mr. Bones that I thought to myself, ‘this is the popular pumpkin patch?’. Eight years later it has become normal – the pumpkin patch on Hayvenhurst Avenue turns into a Christmas tree lot in November, and the big city continues to find profit in each resident’s desires to fill a void (because everyone here is yearning for their hometown Halloween season – no one is actually from LA).
When we lived in Kentucky we visited Bi-Water Farm in Georgetown every year, sometimes multiple times during the Halloween season. The whole family would meet and we’d all pile onto the hay ride, get off at the playground, take pictures on the giant rocking horses, feed the goats and bunnies, watch the kids ride the tricycles around the path and finally choose our pumpkins. Some years it was unseasonably hot. Some years it was chilly. But it was always a real pumpkin patch. In Kentucky, fall is authentic without the work. It’s like the season was born there and slowly grew to cover other parts of the country. It’s effortless, and moves smoothly over your skin and through your lungs providing closure from the summer and temporarily masking the dread of winter. Can you tell I miss it?
Living in this sunny city we follow the lead of the parking lot pumpkin patches. We desperately look for ways to fill little pockets of fall in our daily lives and pretend it doesn’t feel like an oven outside. We believe if we decorate our tables with miniature gourds and pumpkins, hang Halloween garland from the fireplace, spread scary rubber snakes in vases around the house, put a life-size plastic skeleton on the front porch, overheat ourselves in our boots and under our scarves, and perform the annual ritual where we close our eyes, spin in a circle three times and say ‘pumpkin spice latte’ over and over, it will actually feel like fall. It sounds ridiculous. But you have to allow us a little ridiculousness. You have fall. We don’t. So let us pretend.
Disclaimer: All of this being said, Los Angeles is an amazingly fun city to live in and the weather is 90 percent of the reason why. I love this city! Yet, I argue, we are still allowed to miss a fall-filled Halloween season, and we are absolutely allowed to overfill our houses with spooky and autumn-y decor to make us feel like we’re back home.
My daughter, Abby and I decorated our house the first weekend of October. She’s been an LA girl since she was two years old, so a hot-as-heck Halloween is completely normal to her. One day she’ll move to the east coast and complain about the cool, damp weather, slippery leaves all over the ground and gray skies, and she’ll yearn for the Halloween pool parties of her youth.
Back to our decorating day: while I pranced around the house wearing my sweater and knee-high boots repeating “It’s fall y’all! We need to dress the part!” she looked at me with squinty eyes and a sideways head, wearing her shorts and tank top, as if I were wearing poorly clipped-in blonde hair extensions beneath a velvet top-hot, in a sorry attempt to look like Stevie Nicks (that was a different Halloween, but I’ll never forget the look of confusion on her face). After a few eye rolls we were on our way to scare-ifying our Cali abode.
With pumpkins on our table, skulls on our mantle and our vases of snakes overflowing, I close my curtains, fight my urge to turn on the fireplace and stir the pot of chili on the stove. My skeleton, Victor (named by Abby) sits quietly on the front porch, his bony figure allowing him to enjoy the hot temperatures as he keeps an eye on the graveyard on the lawn, draped in cobwebs that we’ve reused for so many years the twigs and dirt only add to the authentic look.
Abby is going to be a black cat for Halloween this year – again. Or a devil. Or an inflatable tube man from the car lot she always sees wildly and frantically waving from the freeway. Whatever she decides, we’ll enjoy every minute of this fun and eery season until it’s time to pack up our decorations and put them in storage until next October. We won’t feel sad about it though, because while we’re shoving the Halloween boxes back into the garage, we’ll be pulling out the CHRISTMAS decorations! I don’t believe in taking a break between these end-of-the-year holidays. Don’t worry, we still fully celebrate Thanksgiving – while listening to Christmas music beneath our multi-colored Christmas lights.
Bringing it back to the Halloween wedding, because really, I’m talking about two different topics here…Hopefully we’ll find a couple looking for their perfect, spooktacular wedding venue for their October 31, 2020 wedding. There isn’t a venue with a better staff to tackle the project! With all the necessary elements already on the property, there is something so exciting about shaking things up a little and getting away from the traditional flowers, candles, tablecloths and napkins for a single wedding experience. The possibilities are endless for a Halloween wedding at Ashford Acres Inn – a candlelight ceremony and reception after dusk, black lace tablecloths covering the tables, burnt orange throw blankets as parting gifts for your guests, fire pits and s’mores kits for a fun reception treat, a hot chocolate stand serving (of course) pumpkin spiced chocolate…the ideas keep coming to me, but this sentence is about to get unbearably long so instead let’s discuss them over a wedding consultation!
Wherever you’re reading this from, we at Ashford Acres Inn wish you a happy fall and happy Halloween!