As Halloween approaches, witches, ghosts and zombies are starting to appear in front yards. For an entirely different approach to decorations, one that is elegant but eerie, consider the Haunted Wedding. The materials are inexpensive, but it will take some time and creativity. At night, the clothes and accessories will be visible, but the wire frames will be harder to see, creating the illusions of a ghost bride, groom and bridesmaids.
You’ll need two kinds of chicken wire, a lighter and a heavier weight, some PVC, tent stakes, pull ties, cotton balls, fishing wire, masking tape and formal clothing, including long gloves, which you can usually find at very low cost at thrift stores. Buy cheap plastic flowers from a craft store to make a bouquet. You’ll also want to gather some accessories. More on that later.
For the female figures, start with the heavier weight chicken wire. Form a tube about 36 inches tall. The top part will be about the size of a waist, and the bottom will be a little wider, to help the figure balance. Use the lighter weight chicken wire to form the upper torso, arms and head. You’ll need to do a little snipping and shaping. Use pull ties or small pieces of wire to attach parts to each other. Attach some of the lighter chicken wire around the bottom of the frame, flaring out to provide some structure under the skirt.
Hands can be a little tricky. Use stick-thin wire to shape the “skeleton” of the hand and attach cotton (from cotton balls) with masking tape around the wire to give it some “flesh.” Stick soft ear plugs on the end of the wire fingers for fingertips. Slip the hands into long gloves and attach to the wrists of the arms.
Dress the figures in full-length gowns. Most important: Accessorize. Hats, earrings and purses all look lovely. Attach the figures to the ground with tent stakes.
The groom is constructed a little bit differently. Form his upper body with PVC pipes, with one PVC pipe going all the way down to the ground. Use chicken wire to create the rest of his body and his head. Dress him in a tuxedo and put a hat on his head. Drill a hole in the heel of one dress shoe, drive a tent stake through the hole and slide the long PVC pipe over the tent stake.
Suspend a bouquet from fishing wire hung between two trees. Now just wait until it gets dark and join the ghost wedding party.
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Photos courtesy of Jody Mace. All rights reserved.