For Fort Atkinson’s Jill Bohling and David Liesch, a regular, everyday wedding was never on the table.
Instead, on Nov. 2, the pair will be walking down the aisle at a Halloween- and “Day of the Dead”-themed ceremony complete with costumes and the Monster Mash.
Originally, the wedding was planned for Oct. 31, 2020, but their pastor was uncomfortable with the idea of a Halloween service, so the pair found a friend who’d been ordained as a minister to officiate the earlier wedding date.
“I honestly hate weddings,” Bohling said. “So you know, you go to your everyday wedding, it’s boring. Nothing really memorable other than people getting trashed.”
Liesch said the two of them have always been creative and while the idea was Bohling’s, he was excited to play along.
“I like the idea because it’s different. I’ve always done things differently, like through high school I had mohawks and different color hair,” Liesch said. “Well, we should do something different because I want to stand out and not have a normal, everyday wedding. So we kind of had the same thought process with that. We’re both individualistic because I’m a chef so I have to be creative with food and she’s a hairstylist so she has to be creative with how she styles hair.”
The couple met in 2014 and got engaged a year later, according to Liesch. Since the engagement, Bohling said, she’s been scouring Pinterest for design ideas.
Bohling said she’s always been a huge fan of Halloween and already had a lot of the Day of the Dead sugar skulls around her house, so once she had the idea, she could hit the ground running.
“My brain just flies with stuff. I’ve always been a huge art girl, so like when I think of something, I just go with it,” Bohling said.
The crafts include a Day of the Dead cake topper, Halloween bouquets and a jack-o-lantern with smoke billowing from its mouth. Bohling said she’s cleared the Halloween decorations from the aisles of the local dollar and thrift stores, as well as constantly browsing the internet.
But that’s just the decor. The couple’s attire will be appropriately spooky.
Bohling will be in a black-and-white dress she decked out in spooky-themed rhinestones and a birdcage veil, while Liesch will be in a tophat wearing a skull-covered tie and carrying a skull cane.
“(The dress) is something fun and tasteful. So I got a little white — my mom wanted,” Bohling said. “And then all the kids will be in black-tail tuxes and tophats and little skull bow ties. (David’s) going to be in a black-tail tux with a tophat. And I got him a skull cane and he’s got a special tie.”
In addition to the outfits, the couple — who took their engagement photos in a cemetery — will be wearing traditional Day of the Dead-themed facepaint.
Almost every detail of the wedding from the ceremony to the reception is on theme — including the vehicle in which the newlyweds will be riding.
“We’re also having a hearse,” Bohling said. “Which is going to be awesome.”
The pair will be leaving the reception in the hearse, but during the party, guests will be able to pose for photos in a casket.
The 300 guests will be able to enjoy dancing to Halloween classics such as the “Monster Mash” and the theme from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and eat tacos and nachos while they watch the costume party.
It isn’t required to arrive in costume, but guests in normal wedding attire might feel out of place surrounded by all the ghosts and ghouls.
“I just sent him a whole list of fun stuff we’re going to do,” Bohling said.
But even with the unique theme, the pair has been able to make the wedding affordable, she said.
“We literally have not exceeded what, $12,000, for this whole wedding,” Bohling said. “I mean, everything I’ve gotten super-dirt cheap and made it my own, which was awesome. Instead of blowing boatloads on it, but if I could just stop buying decorations that would be great.”
The wedding is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. at Jansen’s Banquet and Catering in Fort Atkinson.