Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.

So you’ve been asked to officiate a Halloween or Samhain wedding...

Published Friday, Sep. 4th, 2020

Illustration of a gothic bride and groom wearing animal masks for a Halloween or Samhain pagan wedding celebration
Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Learn how to officiate a sweet and spooky Samahain or Halloween wedding with these top officiant tips



As we move into fall, there’s one day calling like a whisper in the woods, beckoning the spiritual and spookier-minded among us… October 31st. Also known as Halloween, or in pagan traditions, Samhain.


On one hand, it’s a day that’s drenched in sticky fake blood and body paint, draped in vintage lace, velvet capes, and spider webs. All across the country, in rickety, shadow-filled bell towers (and cozy suburban living rooms), superheroes, ghosts, zombies and other creatures  get ready for sinister tricks and treats, or settle in for midnight movie marathons.


But for many others, this day holds a deep spiritual significance. It’s a night when the boundary between this world and the next is at its thinnest, offering the living a chance to connect with the souls of their ancestors, honor their deceased loved ones, and celebrate new life -- making it a popular choice for Pagan weddings and vow renewals.


So if this aesthetic appeals to you, or a couple that’s asked you to officiate, how do you know which style of wedding to choose and how to prepare? 



First, you'll need to get ordained online to legally perform the ceremony. Ordination with AMM is free and only takes a minute.


Then, follow the suggestions below, meet with your couple, and start working on a wedding ceremony script.



Read on for tips on officiating the perfect Halloween or Samhain wedding! 



Need a simple & sweet Halloween wedding officiant script? 


A Witchy Halloween Wedding Ceremony Script with Handfasting

Pumpkins, candles, and an animal skull in a darkly lit outdoor display for a Halloween wedding




Ask Questions


This is alway good advice! As you know, every couple’s love story is unique. And that’s what you want the ceremony's introduction (also called the invocation) to capture… a story! Asking your couple the right questions will get you there.



If you are writing the ceremony, ask about the day’s significance and whether it holds a religious or spiritual meaning for the couple. But don’t stop there… ask how they usually celebrate the day and what aspect of that personal connection they want to communicate to family and guests. Ask them to describe a memorable moment from a past season, and how they hope memories of this day will support them as they start their new chapter.


Let their answers lead you to the love story!




Illustration of a skull filled with colorful flowers for a cheerful Halloween wedding or Samhain pagan holiday wedding



Understanding Samhain -- the Celtic Pagan Harvest Festival


For modern Pagan and Wiccan couples honoring Samhain (pronounced ‘sow’inn’), the night marks the Feast of the Dead and the old Celtic New Year. Because modern Pagans accept death as a natural and necessary part of the life cycle, as welcome as birth, it can be a festive and joyful celebration.


Ancient Samhain festivals involved large bonfires, asking the spirits of dead loved ones to join in a bountiful harvest feast, honoring the end of a phase in life, looking toward the future, and welcoming children born during the year into the community.



Related: Honoring the Memory of Loved Ones in Your Wedding Ceremony



Take the couple’s lead, asking more questions as they come up, and do your research. A brief rehearsal to run through each step ahead of time is important for when it comes to ceremonies and rituals that are unfamiliar.


Interestingly, ancient Celts often wore costumes on Samhain, including animal heads and skins, which inspired our modern concept of Halloween.


(See an example of a Celtic-inspired Halloween wedding on AMM's Wedding Wall.)





Modern Halloween Wedding Themes


Other couples choose the day because they met at a Halloween party, or want to give a nerdy nod to a shared love of horror classics and noir sensibilities. In this case, you might want to stream some vintage Nosferatu or Night of the Living Dead to get in the mood…


(See an example of a Zombie weddings /"The Walking Dead" themed wedding on AMM's Wedding Wall.)


Most couples will still want their holiday wedding to feel like a wedding, regardless of the calendar date. Start with a classic wedding ceremony script and then get creative, or use this sweet and simple Halloween wedding script. 


Writing a heartfelt ceremony that also embraces the whimsy of the day is easiest when you start with a strong foundation and then customize it to suit the couple.


The couple might bring you meaningful quotes or pop-culture references, suggest a campier tone, or write their own personal vows that pull inspiration from classic monster flicks.


Weaving these colorful pieces into an existing script will be a lot less stressful than starting from scratch!


Illustration of a flashlight and Halloween candy




Prepare for Unusual Wedding Venues and Locations... like graveyards and cemeteries! 


Some Halloween and Samhain weddings take place in conventional wedding venues, but with new venue restrictions resulting from the pandemic, and the nature of the holiday, couples may ask you to help them get… creative.


Whether the ceremony’s set in a graveyard or cemetery, an old barn, dark forest, covered bridge, or historic ghost town, you’ll need to plan ahead.


First, your couple will need to make sure you have permission to use the space. Plan for parking or hiking in, and for staying overnight if needed, and be sure to find alternate routes for arriving and returning.


As the season changes, many outdoor ceremonies will need to accommodate unexpected weather. Bring extra layers of clothing and a change of shoes. And don’t forget a flashlight!




Try this unique Autumn inspired wedding script :

Fall Wedding Ceremony Script with Reading From "Harvest Moon"

Newlyweds embrace on the wedding day in a forest filled with orange and red colored fall leaves


Updated October 2022



You might also like: 




Couple holds colorful jackolanterns with orange smoke, image by @kirstymackenziephotography


Cover image by @kirstymackenziephotography (Cropped - see article for the full photo!)

From the article Ghoulish Glam : Halloween Wedding Ideas We Love



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

How To Officiate By State

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!