Victorian wedding themes have become popular again thanks to the re-emergence of period shows and films like Bridgerton and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It’s not hard to think why, though. Victorian-themed weddings have this unique appeal where one can feel like being transported back in time where romance, lavish style, and opulence reign.
If you’re looking for something dreamy and fairytale-like and like to skip the contemporary for your big day, then this theme might be the one for you. Don’t know where to start? Let’s take a deep dive!
What’s a Victorian-themed wedding and its vital elements?
Inspired by the time of Queen Victoria, a Victorian-themed wedding is all about the charm of the old world. Compared to cool and sleek modern weddings, Victorian-inspired weddings boast intricate and stunning decors, extravagant style and fashion, and of course, an abundance of warmth and classic romance. It is a vintage indulgence where one revels in the wonders of the bygone period.
A Victorian-themed wedding has a signature palette of soft and light pinks, greens, and gold. If you’re after something moodier, you can also venture into deeper and richer colors like blue, burgundy, or rust. Some elements that may be crucial to complete a Victorian vintage wedding theme are extravagant furniture, fountains, chandeliers, Persian carpets, fine china, and lots of gold touches like candelabras and silverware. As for the fashion and wardrobe, a Victorian-themed wedding embraces the beauty of lace, ruffles, and sparkly accessories. Flattering dress silhouettes for all the wedding party members are also a must.
What are the modern-day traditions we got from the Victorian era?
The most significant wedding tradition from this era is the bride’s white wedding dress. Contrary to popular belief, brides haven’t always worn white for their wedding day. It used to be just their best frock regardless of the color. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria wore a cream silk dress to her wedding that other brides started emulating. This custom is still popular today, with white being established as the traditional bridal gown color. And just like Queen Victoria, the inclusion of myrtle in wedding bouquets is still done by brides up until today, including modern-day royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
Another Victorian custom that is still practiced today is the presentation of an engagement ring from a man to a potential wife. But instead of diamonds in fancy cuts and settings like what they are today, men back then gave engagement rings designed like a snake (yes, a snake!) to the woman. The snake was meant to symbolize eternity. The inclusion of something old, something blue, and something borrowed during the big day also originated from this period in time.
Other Victorian wedding traditions still practiced today include getting married in June, the bridal march, the bridal veil, and going the newly married couple going on a honeymoon after the wedding ceremony.
Now that we’re done brushing up on Victorian wedding knowledge, let’s get into the more exciting part – the gorgeous and fun ideas you can include in your modern-day Victorian-themed wedding! Here are just some of the elements you shouldn’t miss:
Victorian-inspired Wedding Venue
What’s a period wedding without a fitting venue? The setting you should pick will greatly impact the overall execution of your Victorian wedding theme. Here in the US, there are several locations you can choose from, all majestic and magical.
A venue fit for royalty, Boldt Castle in New York is home to stunning structures and impressive architecture. Surrounded by St. Lawrence’s River, it’s like a floating fairytale castle that comes to life. Say “I do” at the Dovecote overlooking the mighty river and impress your guests with this one-of-a-kind wedding experience. Unfortunately, Boldt Castle doesn’t have the facilities for a wedding reception but you can hold yours at other nearby islands transported from the castle by water taxis.
One of the most gorgeous venues in the country, Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is a jaw-dropping location that could complete your Victorian vintage wedding theme. The 8,000-acre estate has several indoor and outdoor locations you can choose from, depending on the ambiance you want for your big day.
There’s nothing more romantic than a castle by the sea, and that’s what Hammond Castle is. Say your vows and celebrate your happy ever after with the iconic arches of the castle as the backdrop.
Sands Point Preserve
Another fairytale setting in New York is Sands Point Preserve where you can choose from their different venues like the Hampstead House for big and luxurious celebrations, the Castle Gould for something a little more intimate, or the Great Lawn for something closer to nature.
If it’s opulence you’re after for your Victorian-themed wedding, then Rosecliff Mansion should fit the bill. It houses beautiful gardens, impressive architecture, and picturesque backgrounds just right for a dream wedding.
Dazzling Victorian Wedding Dress
It’s just fitting that the bride should wear a Victorian-inspired wedding gown for her vintage-themed big day. That means a whole load of laces, sleeves, and a flattering bodice. Consider corsets, ball or layered skirts, and intricate beading and embellishment. Double down on the dramatics by going for a long veil and whimsical flowy sleeves.
Sparkly Wedding Accessory
Show your inner vintage princess by wearing a tiara on your hair for your Victorian-themed wedding. There’s nothing that says opulence than a sparkly hair accessory. There are several materials to choose from, depending on your style. Rhinestones, pearls, or crystal beads are among the most popular.
Statement Wedding Shoes
Victorian brides were known to wear flat or low-heeled shoes during their time. Put a twist to this by walking down the aisle in Victorian-inspired lace ankle boots with low heels. The pair will surely be a fashion statement and will complete your vintage look.
The Grand Groom
The groom’s wardrobe should also stay on theme. To channel a Victorian price, have him wear a swallowtail coat with vest and tie, matching trousers, a pair of dress shoes, and course, a tophat.
Vintage Wedding Vehicle
There weren’t cars in the Victorian era but you can still make a grand arrival by hopping on a vintage car for your wedding transport. A vintage car is not as campy and dated as a carriage but still has that air of opulence and luxury fit for royalty.
Gorgeous Wedding Guests
Guests’ attire varies depending on the wedding theme but for a Victorian-themed wedding, it is ideal that your guests arrive in the best and most posh outfits. That means black tie for the men and gorgeous long formal dresses for the women.
Dainty Wedding Detail
Add touches of old-world charm to your wedding by going for details that accentuate the period of your wedding theme. For a Victorian-inspired celebration, opt vintage-looking paper and brass holder for the escort and table cards and use romantic cursive letters.
Let Them Eat Cake
A beautiful cake, that is! Victorian wedding cakes are known for their grand and intricate details and design, just like actual works of art. You can stick to a white wedding cake or explore colors in your wedding palette. Elevate and make it an eye candy by “encasing” the cake with a vintage wooden frame.
Old World Wonder
Set the mood of your Victorian-themed wedding venue by scattering it with dreamy details reminiscent of the era like old books, brass and gold decors, loads of candles, soft-colored flowers, light draperies, and other vintage knickknacks.
Dreamy Wedding Decors
It isn’t a Victorian wedding without opulence and grandeur. Shower your wedding venue with big and bold floral centerpieces, prized silverware, and crystal ornaments. Complete the luxurious setting with gold Tiffany chairs and a sparkling statement chandelier.
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