Planning & Inspirations
Marie Antoinette Wedding
Guest feature writer:
A Marie Antoinette wedding theme captures the beauty and drama of the French Baroque era. Opulence and luxury are in favour alongside all things decadent and ornate. There's a vintage romance feel about this theme with its over-the-top use of luxury touches and rich mix of colours and textures and the echo of France.
Think of an unusual mixes of colours - soft peachy pinks and rich muted teals, moody pale blues and raspberry. Accent these colours with off whites, soft blues and greys, sage greens, creams and pinks. Touches of metallic gold and silver will add that extra opulence and drama.
This theme is all about elegance and richness. Use luxurious fabrics with shine to cover tables - thick silks, brocades and taffetas, and even velvets can be included somewhere if it is a winter occasion. Embrace textures - soft coloured feathers, silk flowers, crystals.
Set the scene with some chamber music to welcome your guests. Use dramatic lighting such as candelabras, chandeliers and masses of candles. Gold chivari chairs, a red carpet, fans, tassels, blooms en masse and ornately framed mirrors. Think monogrammed linen and napkins on the tables, as well as birdcages, peacock feathers and sparkling glassware.
Make guests feel like royalty with hand fans, piccolos of champagne, jasmine tea blossoms packaged in pink boxes, sugared almonds or little cakes ("let them eat cake!"). Other ideas to consider include masquerade masks, crystal butterflies or paperweights, mini perfume bottles, dried rose petals and rose or heart shaped candles or candies. Don't forget to add some glamour to your favor boxes - try adorning them with feathers or choosing gold or silver favour boxes laser cut in a filigree pattern.
For the perfect bouquet, choose pink roses in many shades. Pink hydrangeas, pink or cream blown roses and peonies, trailing jasmine, sweet peas, gardenia, and stephanotis are other options to have you saying "ooh la la". Add a bit of glamour to your bouquet with crystals and feathers.
The bride should look to the Victorian era for inspiration - big princess ball gowns using silk chiffons, taffeta, lace and French tulle with corsets. Consider ornate embellishment on the bodice or sleeves of the dress. For extra adornment, try chandelier earrings and dramatic hair, or even ornate pearl earrings or a long necklace held to one side with a diamante vintage brooch. Men will look dapper in formal suits. Tails will add an extra touch of glamour and a fat boy tie or cravat will complete the look.
For bridesmaids, floor length gowns with embellishments or fabric draping will provide a cohesive look. Accessorise with silk hair flowers, dramatic fabrics and frilled lace parasols. Nothing too plain or simple for this look!
Food and beverages
Think colour and opulence! Pink champagne, cocktails (perhaps one created especially for you and your groom), caviar or orange roe on canapés could be on the menu. Consider a lavish multi course meals served on metallic edged or ‘pearl' look china, with luxurious desserts like crème brûlée, chocolate tart or crêpe suzette. For post-dinner, consider petit fours iced in the wedding colours, and rich creamy French cheeses.
A lolly buffet [link to lolly buffet page] filled to the brim with sweet treats like macaroons, meringues and sugared almonds and fairy floss presented on crystal and glass dishes, embraces the soft touches of the era and creates a fun atmosphere for guests.
A tiered cake using traditional piping echoing architecture, ornate wrought iron or a chandelier motif is elegant. A plain square tiered cake embellished with a specially designed monogram or motif is a personal touch.
A Marie Antoinette themed wedding needs an opulent setting - so look for grand hotel ballrooms, old theatres or massive marquees lined with silk. Take inspiration from the fixtures - big chandeliers, moulding and royal boxes, fringing, silk or velvet drapes. Beautiful old mansions with large ornate wrought iron gates, stonework and a castle-like feel should set your heart aflutter, or perhaps find a large garden where guests can stroll or relax under large trees.