What I Did:
Our reception was simply a big Halloween party, so a CD player with Halloween-themed songs did the trick for us. A friend with an extensive CD collection burned us four custom CDs with songs ranging from "Monster Mash" to "Werewolves of London."
The following suggestions are (to my warped little mind, at least) more appropriate for the reception part of a Hallowedding. There are more musical selections in the Ceremony section, which I think are a bit more "solemn," but which you may also consider for your reception.
- If you're playing popular music, include a few Halloween-themed pieces: Just about anything by Danny Elfman (such as the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack), "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo, and other "alternative rock" pieces might be appropriate.
- Gothic Martha Stewart suggests: "Dancing to DJed gothic music would be the perfect cap to a gothic wedding. If not all your guests are fans, you can mix the goth tunes with something a little more mainstream. A mix of gothic and 80s synthpop works well, as does gothic and 90s alternative rock."
- Corey Minion writes: Ah, we went with a pretty straight forward band, tho the guys wore costumes (I play with a 7 piece blues\funk band)....But I still get compliments years later on what a great party this all turned out to be, and how the band made it great.
- Midnight Syndicate specializes in moody, gothic instrumental music with titles such as "Realm of Shadows" and "Born of the Night." Their CDs are often used as soundtracks for Halloween "haunts," but they would also be appropriate as background music for a Hallowedding.
- Specific Suggestions:
- Elvira Presents Haunted Hits (1993) - Includes pop classics like "Monster Mash" and "Ghostbusters."
- There are two CDs of music used in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album and Radio Sunnydale. They include an eclectic mix of songs such as Rasputina's "Transylvanian Concubine" and Dashboard Prophets' "Ballad for Dead Friends." I particularly like Biff Naked's "Lucky," a pretty song that might be appropriate for a couple's first dance.
- New Wave Halloween: Just Can't Get Enough (1998) - Includes 15 tracks by the B-52s, Ministry, Roky Erickson, Sonic Youth, Oingo Boingo. It's danceable and noisy with a few moody pieces thrown in.
- Halloween Hootenanny (1998) - A bit on the loud side, this album has music from Zacherle, Rob Zombie, Satan's Pilgrims and many others of that ilk.
- Music from the Haunted Mansion - A CD of tracks used in Disney's Haunted Mansion. Order from 800-362-4533. Disney delivers in 4-6 weeks.
- Music for a Darkened Theatre--Film and Television Music Vol 2 (Danny Elfman/1996) - An eclectic set of film scores focused around the movies Elfman made with Tim Burton, such as "Edward Scissorhands," "To Die For," and "Batman Returns."
- Interview with a Vampire: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Elliot Goldenthal/1994) - A fitting counterpart to the film's visuals, this has both classical-type arrangements as well as a version of "Sympathy for the Devil" by Guns 'n' Roses. Tracks follow the nuances of the movie and include cuts like, "Lestat's Tarantella," "Madeleine's Lament," "Armand's Seduction," and "Louis' Revenge."
- Dracula (Philip Glass/1999) - The contemporary (and excellent) Kronos Quartet recorded this Philip Glass soundtrack, composed for the reissue of the 1931 Dracula movie directed by Tod Browning. Twenty-six tracks for fans of new music.
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Angelo Badalementi/1992) - This is fitting music for a David Lynch movie--sexy and menacing. Badalementi uses some excellent jazz players on the sultry tracks, and Julee Cruise sings "Questions in a World of Blue."
- Tales of Mystery & Imagination (Alan Parsons Project/1987; original release 1976) - Parsons used the writing of Edgar Allan Poe as a basis for this album, originally done in the '70's but revamped and modernized for its 1987 release. Half the CD is tense, orchestral-style music and the other half is songs. Tracks include "The Raven," "The Telltale Heart," and "The Cask of Amontillado." Orson Welles does some recitation.
- Look for soundtracks from horror movies such as Alien, The Omen, The Shining, etc. Of course, don't forget "Tubular Bells" from The Exorcist, or the main theme from Halloween.
- Dmitri Shostakovich's Jazz Suite Number 2, Movement 6 is a great dark waltz.
- Bela Bartok had a number of "dark" works. See his "Concerto for Orchestra," "Allegro Barbaro," or "Hungarian Dances."