If you’re planning an evening wedding and looking for something to make it glamorous and memorable, try a super-sophisticated black tie Art Deco ceremony and reception. Here’s a start at hosting the event of your dreams while leaving your guests feeling like they’ve stepped out of the pages of “The Great Gatsby” or a Noel Coward play.
It’s All in the Details
An Art Deco wedding is all about building a total image with small details and paying attention to historical accuracy. Start with the invitations. Use Art Deco design and a 1920s font to create an authentic look to your invitations.
The invitation is a perfect place to specify that your wedding will be a black tie event, so friends and family can dress to the nines. Invite them to join in the theme by wearing their own 1920s-style gowns and tuxedos. Your photographs will be that much more amazing if all your guests look the part. And speaking of photographs, make sure to have your photographer make some black-and-white or sepia prints for that old-fashioned look to your wedding portraits.
Have Fun with Style
If you’ve been less than wowed by traditional bridal gowns, this is your chance to break free of limitations. Of course, you can always wear a vintage white gown, but there’s no reason you can’t wear an evening gown in silver, gold or pale pastels—a classic Deco look. Also, a new trend with many brides is electing to wear a more colorful and less restrictive bridesmaid dress instead of a wedding gown. Go to sites that specialize in special-event dresses for more ideas about the different stylistic options.
The benefits of going with an alternative dress are many:
- saves money
- gives you more variety in cut and color
- offers more comfort
- lends itself to more creativity with accessories
- provides a wider selection of 1920s-themed gowns
- makes it possible to shop at department stores and boutiques, as well as bridal shops
With a 1920s theme you can go with any number of elegant hairstyles, including a flapper bob under a feathered headband, pin curls or a beaded cap. Drop earrings, vintage shoes and 1920s makeup (powdered face, smoldering eyes and dark, bowed lips) will give you a beautiful old-time image.
The groom and his party should be in black tie, with pocket squares and pinstriped silk vests for a matching look. A high shine on the shoes, pearl cuff links and slicked-back hair complete the picture.
Give the Venue Historical Charm
It may be tricky to deck out your venue in authentic Deco style. Even if you’re doing the rest of your wedding on your own, consider hiring an event planner for this part of the set-up. They can help you find set pieces, linens, china and glassware that looks historically accurate. You’ll want strong geometric lines in the architecture softened by elaborate centerpieces using flowers, beads and crystals in your theme colors. Black with gold or white was extremely popular in that era, as was glittery silver.
Don’t Forget Themed Food and Drink
Go for fun with your food and drink. If you’re on a budget, consider throwing a cocktail party reception instead of a seated dinner. Have waiters pass trays of oysters Rockefeller (all the rage back then) and build a tower of champagne glasses. Don’t forget about a Deco-style cake, too. You can even send your guest home with themed favors to keep them talking about your fabulous black tie event as you and your new hubby zoom off in a 1920’s roadster.