The Rustic theme has been popular for several years now. It is characterised by a mix of countryside, vintage décor, plus many accoutrements and used in a sophisticated way within the notable traditions of weddings. Sacking around jars of wildflowers on the guests tables, rings from trees cut for the wedding cake/cup-cake stands, rustic presentation and content of food and drink being served, all generally set within a barn on a farm, in a garden or choosing a vintage style venue. Hops decorating the walls to give an odour of the countryside as well as aesthetically. Signs and seating arrangements presented on small wooden plaques and local produce used throughout the menu. Brides, Bridesmaids, Grooms and main guests can all dress to the theme, choosing simple dresses, vintage dresses; tweeds and twill for the men, waistcoats, whatever is their choice, elegant, simple or modern. Rustic themes can be woven into all wedding arrangements and venues according to the vision the participants have of their special day.
Bridgerton Inspired Theme:
Increasingly there has been a trend to use a “Bridgerton” theme, the televised series set in the Regency era. E-bay have said that there has been a 205% increase in searches for the puffed sleeved wedding dress. Reproducing the style of dresses from the Regency era, like the empire line waist gives elegant simplicity that was popular during that era. There is a vast choice of Bridal gowns and Bridesmaids dresses where the Regency era just needs a few tweaks to bring the dresses into 2022 without losing the romantic feel of the Regency couture. An added elegance, which seemed to be lost since the 1950’s, is the wearing of gloves, which add a luxurious touch to the overall sophistication of the wedding.
Of course, the classic touches from Bridgerton must be the use Horse and Carriage to the Church/venue and the venue itself. How wonderful to choose a venue that is from the Regency period, or even the setting for Bridgerton. Places that meet this requirement are dotted all over the UK. Places like Bath, where a lot of the filming took place, to Windsor, Greenwich, Hampton Court and places in Yorkshire – many options available and becoming increasingly popular. These venues offering the ideal setting with banqueting tables which can be astonishing when dressed by caterers to resemble huge, modern day grazing boards – a buffet with a big difference.
Balancing that extravagance (and the Regency period was all about extravagance) afternoon tea fits the bill with vintage china used in so many ways. Large serving platters, beautiful and dainty cups, saucers and plates, elegant cake stands – the list is endless. There is so much to choose from this era that can be adapted so easily into the current day trends and traditions, décor can be utilised with masses of flowers of the blue hue so evident of that time and not forgetting the gentle background music from string quartets which plays behind the bubble of polite conversation around the banqueting tables.
Which brings us to the Wedding cake, which in those times was quite like current trends (see picture of one from this year, courtesy of the International award-winning cake maker, Katie Walker, based in Derbyshire). Such simple, elegant extravagance to round the whole wonderful experience off.
A Festival Themed wedding has no boundaries – you can use every bit of your personality and dreams that you want. Think Glastonbury, think up-market Glastonbury, think cheap Glastonbury or homemade Glastonbury – the options are endless, just pray it doesn’t rain but be prepared for it anyway.
A real festival wedding should ideally be set in the countryside – field or woodland or a large, landscaped garden, depending on your yearnings. Add to the venue at least one big tent – a large marquee or one of the fancier varieties, or a Yurt – many choices out there.
Not just a big tent and not just one day – it could be a weekend of celebration with people bringing their own versions for camping, Bongo, VW campervan, two-man tent, whatever the parties attending view as ideal to their needs.
Giving attention to clothing first, and the potential for wet weather, think Wellies – oh, there are some beauties out there in all kinds of styles and colours. Imagine bridesmaids in flowing gowns, flower adorned and wearing wellies! Wet weather hooded ponchos in light plastic can be obtained for as little as £12 for ten and affords shower protection. The internet is a wonderful thing at times like this.
Of course, if it is dry then on your feet, fitting the theme, would be flip-flops that can be supplied cheaply in bulk. Flowers will form a large part of not just the décor but also as coronets, sprays, bangles, and choosing flowers with perfume adds to the ambience.
In terms of seating for the ceremony this too needs to be thought out and would cross over with the ideas for a rustic theme. Bales of straw with bohemian throws over them and scatter cushions in bright colours, or rustic wooden planks set on logs, reminiscent of church pew type seating. Talking of churches, the ceremony could just as easily happen in a country church, there are some very beautiful and ancient churches set in the countryside.
The venue, tent, marquee whatever it is can be dressed in true festival style. Homemade bunting (buying bunting currently is quite expensive) so search out cheap throws/sheets/curtains in charity shops and run up your own. Use coloured lights and fairy lights to bring a celebratory feel to the environment and spread the flowers around the tables generously. If you are not using an established wedding venue for the festival theme then remember you may need things like power – if no source of electricity then a generator needs to be available, as do portable toilets which no longer come with washbasins, so a few small utility tents with wash basin/wipes, mirrors and nice smelly stuff would be a good addition.
Entertainment is, naturally, to the choice of the happy couple and geared toward the invited guests. There is a wealth of talent out there and once again the internet is the place to google to reach out to a group, duo, quartet or what takes your fancy – but do it well in time as they do get booked well in advance.
1920’s Art Deco Theme:
What does the 1920’s conjure up for you? Words like ‘Flappers’ and ‘Jazz’ and ‘prohibition’ (although not in Great Britain), Al Capone, and ‘gangsters’ and his nemesis, Eliot Ness, Special Agent. Glamorous fringed dresses and sophisticated skull hugging headdresses, tight fitting, full length lacy dresses and feather boas; all so alluring.
How does this fit a Wedding Theme??
Think Poirot – the trapezoid framing in the programme’s introduction; think Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her marriage as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon to the then Duke of York, later to become the King and the glamour of the dresses, the style and elegance.
The 1920’s was an era of extravagance and gay abandon. (What an old fashioned term that is now!). The signature colours were paired – black with gold, red with gold and pastel shades to ring the changes. All these to be incorporated into the décor and accoutrements like invites, table settings, decoration with a feather theme – the bigger the better – think Ostrich. Think Art Deco.
Rhombuses (diamonds just like the suit of cards with that name) and trapezoids (think the shape of the houses we drew as young children), in black/pink/gold can all be added to the wedding cake to make it luxurious, alternatively you can follow the Great Gatsby and have a pyramid of champagne glasses and make the waterfall of champagne a big part of the reception, much like cutting the cake would be. Extravagance, extravagance, extravagance. This also blends into where you choose for your reception – it needs style and a shiny finish – elegance with a vintage polish.
Other glamorous touches can be in the vehicles chosen for the journey to and from church and/or venue. Chrysler, General Motors and Ford were the main manufacturers of the 1920s. The models of that time are the epitome of extravagance. Take the 1929 vintage car – a Triumph Selby Tourer, one of which, named ‘Florence’, is for hire from Fab Food For You.