A Wedding To Go Down In History - Top Ten Tips

03 Aug 2011

A Wedding To Go Down In History - Top Ten Tips

Everyone wants their wedding to reflect their tastes and interests, but what if your interests lie in the past? It’s tempting to go all out if you’ve always had a love for the Medieval or the Regency, but without careful thought, there’s a real danger you can end up turning your special day into a fancy dress party.

As a historian of the Georgian era, here’s my advice on how to give your wedding a flourish of the historical without going overboard:

1. If you’re considering an historical theme, you probably already have a time period in mind. Art books and museums are ideal places from which to get inspiration about design motifs.

2. For the dress, there are a number of dress makers who specialise in historically accurate clothing used by costumed interpreters at heritage sites. They’re often more affordable than ordinary wedding dresses and will have a better sense of the clothing of your era.

3. An appropriate reception venue is important for setting the scene. English Heritage and the National Trust hire out the majority of their venues for weddings. Some are licensed to perform the marriage ceremony. If their price range is out of your budget, many local councils or professional bodies also own historic properties and usually hire them out for less.

4. Music can be used to evoke your era as much as other elements will. A 1920s or 30s theme can be complimented by a jazz band or a Medieval or Renaissance theme by a solo lute player.

5. Don’t forget the food. English Heritage have a created a series of period cookery books which detail recipes and ingredients specific to various eras.

6. You can have fun with your wedding cake as well. You can carry through design features from historic periods, such as fleur d’lys, Tudor roses, or emblems.

7. Table decorations offer a lot of room for creative historical expression. Opt for simple arrangements of classic flowers; roses, swags of ivy, and wild flowers which were used to ornament rooms throughout history. Small, potted topiary are evocative of the clipped Renaissance garden, while herbs and tulips provide a sense of the seventeenth century. Fruit such as pomegranates and figs can give a table an ancient Roman look.

8. Elements of the season is a tasteful way of bringing the old world touch into your celebration. E.g. tiny green leaves in the hair for spring, large knobbly pumpkins for centre pieces in the autumn. Hand-tied bunches of wild flowers look beautiful in the summer, while pine cones are timeless winter decorations.

9. If you decide you want to push the boat out and have your guests come in period appropriate costumes, it’s best to provide the names of fancy dress stockists with your invitation. Or, if you dont want your guests to go through too much bother, why not ask them to come masked like a Masquerade.

10. If you don’t want to overwhelm your wedding with period detail, less is always more. Choose a handful of things you want to reflect your theme and then tone down the rest with simple or seasonal themed additions

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