Weird and Wonderful

Till death do us part

Dressed as zombies, this happy couple left a lasting impression on their wedding guests!

Obsessed with The Walking Dead, Annabelle Hayden and her husband, Chris chose a very spooky theme for their big day.

So what do you think about a Walking Dead themed wedding?’ my fiancé Chris asked.

Dressing as a blood-splattered zombie might not be every bride’s dream for their big day but then, they weren’t engaged to Chris!

Chris, 39, was a police officer, and, aged 38, I was a police community support officer. We’d been dating since 2011.

He’d always loved The Walking Dead, the American horror TV series.

It featured survivors of an apocalypse trying to stay alive under constant threat of attacks from zombies, also known as ‘walkers’.

He’d even got me hooked on the show too!

‘I don’t care how we do it,’ I replied. ‘I just want to get married!’

So, after brainstorming, Chris made a teaser ‘Save the date’ video trailer, revealing the gory theme.

But, before sending it to our guests, we played it for my two boys, from a previous marriage.

‘You’re having a Walking Dead wedding? That’s amazing!’ said my eldest son, Kyran, 18.

Cameron, 16, was initially less impressed.

‘Are you two taking this seriously?’ he sighed.

‘Of course we are!’ I laughed.

Me with my groom Chris (Credit: Ernestas Photography)

Luckily, most of our 120 guests were excited about our theme, especially as we told them they could dress either as zombies or as ‘normal’ survivors.

Not all of them were familiar with the show, so some watched a few episodes to see what they were letting themselves in for. Despite that, they still all agreed to come!

Closer to the big day – and after a lot of organisation, mainly on Chris’ part – we sent out 120 wedding invitations, each one finger-painted with red paint to look like blood.

‘God knows what the postman thought,’ I giggled to Chris.

We also laboriously finger-painted 120 white chair covers with fake blood.

‘I wonder what the neighbours think we’ve been up to!’ laughed Chris, as we surveyed the blood-saturated seat covers drying on the washing line.

Ernestas Photography
it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg (Credit: Ernestas Photography)

When the big day arrived, I put on my beautiful off-the-shoulder long white bridal gown.

In view of what was to come, the dress had only cost me $75 online!

Then the bridal party and I went to have our make-up done – but not the normal false lashes and pink lips.

‘Give me a big angry gash on my neck,’ I smiled, while my bridesmaids, Catherine and Charlotte, had their faces done with black make-up to look like the ‘undead’.

But afterwards, my gown looked far too pristine.

Black make-up wouldn’t stick to it, so I crawled along the floor, but that didn’t work either.

Then I had an idea.

‘Excuse me,’ I said, tapping a mechanic on the shoulder at a nearby garage.

Turning, he nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw a zombie bride right there in front of him!

‘Would you please wipe your oily hands all over me?’ I asked.

‘Erm, sure!’ he agreed.

‘That’s better,’ I grinned, surveying my dirty gown afterwards.

I also added bloody handprints to finish it off!

Then, my bridal party and I headed to the gorgeous and apparently haunted Gothic mansion, where the wedding was taking place.

Ernestas Photography
We love looking back at our wedding photos (Credit: Ernestas Photography)

As we entered the chapel, I was thrilled to see that almost everyone had dressed as zombies.

Sitting on the fake blood-stained seat covers we’d prepared earlier, guests turned to look at me as I nervously walked up the aisle towards Chris with my two ‘zombified’ sons by my side.

Chris was waiting for me there, dressed smartly in a blood-stained grey suit with a liquid latex bite mark on his neck.

Next to him stood his best man, Neil, in a matching bloodied suit and with a bandage over one eye.

Then, as I got closer, Chris smiled and brought his right arm out from behind his back to reveal a replica knife attached to it instead of a hand!

‘That’s just perfect!’ I laughed, rolling my eyes.

Despite the theatrical theme, we took our vows very seriously.

‘I do,’ I said, as we both shed a tear.

Ernestas Photography
Our family photos were unconventional (Credit: Ernestas Photography)

After seven years together, it was an emotional moment for both of us.

Then we headed upstairs for our reception.

There, guests couldn’t believe their eyes.

The hall was decorated to look like a set from The Walking Dead.

We had life-like dummies placed at the windows as though people were trying to escape, lanterns and balloons with bloody handprints over them as centrepieces, and fake skulls, filled with lollies!

We also had two big dress-up boxes so that guests could pose in different ‘zombie’ outfits with props such as imitation weapons.

Everyone had a ball taking photos with them!

After the speeches, during which Chris thanked our guests for being such good sports, we cut our three-tier wedding cake.

It was topped with a miniature blood-spattered bride dragging her bandaged, half-dead groom along the ground!

Ernestas Photography
Our guests were such good sports (Credit: Ernestas Photography)

Two years on, our guests still talk about our wedding and we love the photos of our unconventional big day hanging on the wall.

And, as we arranged a lot of the wedding ourselves, it didn’t even cost us an arm and a leg!

We’re still massive fans of the show and don’t regret a thing. Happily, we’re husband and wife now, until death do us part!

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