Victorian theme wedding
Steeped in romance, tradition and splendor, the Victorian era has been captured in literature, television programs, and movies. Now you would like to transform your wedding dreams into a Victorian fantasy, and there are many ways to bring that bygone era to life for your special day.
A great number of Victorian newlyweds celebrated their vows with garden receptions, so the months of June and September often afforded the Victorian brides perfect weather for such an event. In the early part of the Victorian period, weddings were legally required to be held in the morning, so the most common type of reception would be a breakfast held in the garden of the bride’s home. These ideas to use as the starting point for planning your own Victorian wedding.
If you have a backyard that is large enough for a Summer Wedding theme and its the exact opposite of a Las Vegas Wedding Theme, you might want to continue the tradition of having your reception at home. But don’t let a small backyard discourage you from hosting an outdoor event. Contact historical societies to look into Victorian Inns or botanical gardens in your area that would be ideal venues for your reception. You might even consider a destination wedding to an area with a real Victorian feel, like Cape May, New Jersey. The shore town is the oldest seaside resort in the United States and boasts the largest number of authentic Victorian structures in the United States.
It was not until Queen Victoria wore a white wedding gown that brides in the Victorian era began wearing white. It is for that reason that you could definitely choose a gown of any color for your special day. If you look great in lavender or grey or even navy, dare to be different. If your dream is a white wedding gown, Victorian brides often wore corseted tops with full skirts, high collars and long sleeves. This look can be found replicated by many bridal design houses today, or you could scour family attics or vintage clothing shops to find the genuine article. Many contemporary styles still incorporate some of the Victorian gown touches – like a corseted bodice on a strapless gown – so if you want to keep the Victorian feel in a sexier, modern style gown, you have that option. Orange blossoms were a must have for the Victorian bride, and many chose to incorporate them into a wreath onto which they attached their veil. The significance of the orange blossom is purity, chastity, and fertility. It may not hold the same meaning for you, but there were few Victorian era brides who did not use orange blossoms in their hair or bouquet.
Bridesmaids wore gowns similar in style to what the bride wore, although it wasn’t uncommon for them to be a little more elaborate than the bride. In some weddings, the bridesmaids actually all wore white, adorned with a colored sash or colored trim. Most bridesmaids wore wide brimmed hats, although some brides preferred their maids in short veils.
All of the men in the party wore morning coats or frock coats, and all of them wore gloves. Patent leather boots were also worn by the men in the bridal party.
Floral arrangments for your wedding should be elaborate, and you could even consider decorating with large plants for a lush, garden type atmosphere. In more formal weddings, huge bouquets would be most appropriate, with roses, orchids and stephanotis. But another tradition was the tussie mussie – a small, cone shaped bouquet holder that you could carry with orange blossoms, roses, or freesia.
If you really want to set the mood for your Victorian affair, use fine china, delicate tea cups, yards of lace and doilies. Have a traditional tea, serving finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, jam, and other small pastries. If you want to follow Victorian tradition, choose fruit cake as your wedding cake, decorated all in white, and box it up for guests to take home with them. You might also want to have a groom’s cake, which was started in Victorian times. Another nice tradition is a smaller bride’s cake which contained charms on ribbons. The bridesmaids each choose a ribbon from the cake and the charm dictated their future. But don’t dismay if a Victorian tea is not your style. The wealthiest of Victorian families held very formal 10 course dinners, so if a big sit down meal is your idea of a reception, you can still have one and keep in theme.
The Victorian period is really the most romantic and most traditional, and if you just keep with the most typical American wedding traditions, you are already following in the footsteps of the Victorian bride. Add extra touches of lace where you can, and favor your guests with a collection of teas or some homemade scones and jam, and your Victorian wedding will be fondly remembered by all.
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