Victorian-Themed Wedding

A Victorian themed wedding can be beautiful, sentimental, and nostalgic.  The wedding must be carefully planned, however, because Victorian era clothing and decorations may have to be ordered.  You can use simpler variations on the Victorian theme by including lots of lace, ribbon, ivy, and hearts in your decorations, which will make your job a lot easier.  With careful planning, and early decisions, you can have the wedding of your dreams. 

The color scheme for a Victorian wedding usually includes burgundy, copper, and other jewel tones.  However, you can use any colors that strike your fancy.  Use embossed invitations and decorate them with hearts, cupids, or doves; maybe including a sonnet as they did during the Victorian era.  If you have the time and energy, hand-deliver your invitations to give an historically accurate and personal touch to your wedding. 

Victorian attire is relatively simple to duplicate.  Wedding gowns should have lots of lace, high necklines, a fitted bodice, a cinched waist, and a full skirt made of organdy, tulle, lace, gauze, silk, linen, or cashmere.  You can pick and choose from these specifications as you see fit.  Victorian brides also wore full length or wrist length gloves, cameo chokers, and pearls.  Buttoned ankle boots will complete the look for the bride. 

Victorian bridesmaids usually wore white dresses and had veils attached to coronets of flowers.  However, if you want your bridesmaids to wear color, pale pink or another pastel would look lovely. Your groom should wear a tuxedo with gloves. A top hat could be added for an extra touch, unless you are getting married in a church and feel that a hat is inappropriate.  Your groom should also wear a large boutonnière that complements your bouquet. 

Flowers for a Victorian themed wedding traditionally include lots of ivy, Spanish moss, baby's breath, rosemary, orange blossoms, and roses.  White and ivory flowers were popular for Victorian era weddings, and some of the best for this are calla lilies, orchids, and white roses.  Spice it up a little with some bright colored flowers such as orange blossoms or tiger lilies.  The bride carries a bouquet known as a tussy mussy – which is a cone shaped nosegay, sometimes inserted into a silver cone-shaped vase.  You can have fun designing your bouquet, choosing a small, delicate nosegay, or a large, cascading one.

If you are having your wedding outdoors, you will want to include lots of ferns.  Birdbaths, fountains, and benches can all be adorned with lace, ribbons, hearts, and flowers to form an outstanding background for your ceremony.  An afternoon tea would be a perfect reception for your wedding.  Finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and pastries fit perfectly with the idea of a Victorian wedding, and you can easily decorate tables to accommodate your reception.  Floor length lace table cloths can be stained with tea to give them an aged look, or left alone to provide a lovely white background for your centerpieces.  If you can, try to find vintage silver tea trays to place on each table.  However, if you can't find any or if they are too expensive, modern ones can be rented. 

If you choose to have a dinner reception, plan on traditional foods such as oysters, filet mignon, duck, foie gras, etc.  Classical music and white votive candles will perfectly accent this theme.  Wedding favors are easy to plan, as tea makes a perfect gift for a Victorian themed wedding, but you could also give rosemary nosegays or sachets. 

Adorning your tables with tea cups (no, they don't have to match), candlelight, and lots of crystal and silver will make your reception beautiful, but make sure that you have insurance on all rented items.  If you can find one, an antique chandelier in the reception hall would be lovely.  And, of course, you will want to arrive in a horse drawn carriage if at all possible.  A grand entrance was paramount in the Victorian era, as women had few other opportunities to be the center of attention.

For extra fun, tell your guests about your theme and encourage them to wear Victorian style clothing.  Make sure they know that they can dress as any class, from the highest royalty, to the lowliest peasant.  However, you may want to make sure they don't wear dresses the same color as yours. 

Having an historically themed wedding is always entertaining, and you may want to include games and activities from the Victorian era.  The choice is yours, and your options are endless.  Plan ahead, and enjoy your dream wedding.