The Titanic was all about elegance… and excess. The great ship launched during the Edwardian age, and its demise was said to end it. The Edwardian Age was a lot like the Victorian one — but with less Puritanism, and more self-indulgence, especially for the rich. The great thing about holding a Titanic theme wedding is that all your guests get to experience the glories of the Edwardian age as one of the “rich!”
These were heady times all around. Women had recently been allowed into restaurants and other public places. Spirits were high. Upper-class meals became enormous in every sense, stretching over hours and eight or more courses. As for the wines? French all the way, with plenty of options at every meal (not to mention the cordials that came before and after). And when it came to the architectural details of the upper class salons and dining rooms, or even the waiters’ attire, management spared no expense.
Beautiful, fragrant flowers graced every table, and so did the finest crystal. A set of fresh-polished silver sparkled at every plate. Gloved and tuxedo-clad waiters scurried from table to table. Live music continuously flowed in the background — something that went down easy, such as light Mozart or a tripping piece by Bach. (Of course, the best way to recharge your memories with the Titanic’s distinct atmosphere is to pop up some corn and sit down with Cameron’s movie yet again).
As you can see, bringing the theme to your reception involves oodles of elegance. Of course, you’ll choose plated service, not a buffet. You’ll serve a classic array of foods associated with the Titanic’s last meal, such as oysters, salmon in cream sauce, roast duckling, éclairs, and a broad selection of French wines.
How else can you bring a Titanic touch to your wedding reception? Do we have some suggestions? Of course we do.
Start with the Stationary
The Titanic’s colors are gold and black, red and white. Start the theme with your Save-the-Dates — send your guests a specially-designed boarding pass. If you want to be super-cute, send the pass in a tiny box with a pack of Life Savers. You can download some free Titanic graphics to start designing with right here. We’ll be adding more, so check back later.
If you’re having a Titanic-theme wedding, your “something blue” simply has to be a blue Heart of the Ocean necklace, right? What could possibly be cuter than a ring bearer in a small captain’s suit, complete with hat and gold braids?
Vice Makes Nice
At the reception, treat your guests to some cigars and brandy while they wait for the wedding party to arrive. Distribute some packs of classic playing cards on the countertops and tables for a true-to-life touch. Really set the scene by scattering some race results, sports pages or headlines from the era — get real newspapers from eBay (look for ones that are close to the date, not the date itself, to avoid paying a fortune). For special touch, whip up some White Star labels, and create some “official” Cruise line matchboxes for the lounge area.
Make a Big Entrance
You’ll want to let guests know they’re entering another time and place as they pass through the door of your venue. Make it clear as can be creating a red-carpeted gangway at the entrance. Place posts and ropes to either side of the runner, and surround with dramatic footlights. At the top of the doorway, place a sign that reads “First-Class Dining Salon (D Deck)” or “Jacobean Room.”
Details Make a Difference
First, look for the right venue. A Victorian-style one would be peachy keen, but in actuality, things had lightened up a little. The extreme darkness and complexity of Victorian interiors was starting to give way to slightly lighter, airier environments, although ceiling details and moldings were still prized.Props for a Titanic wedding would be expensive to buy, but perhaps you can rent some from a local “prop shop.” Another nice touch would be a large wood and brass nautical steering wheel you could lean against the head table, and twine with a little ivy or a few floral accents.
A large anchor or two would also help set the scene. Consider renting some tall ferns for the corners. Although it was the Edwardian age, people hadn’t lost their mad passion for ferns.
Even reproduction Titanic dishware costs a mint, but study the pattern, and see if you can’t find something similar (Gold-rimmed, for instance). Unlike Titanic-ware, most old porcelain sets go for a song these days. And the Titanic was all about details. For example, if you cut your butter into star shapes like the Titanic staff did, and place it on a butter dish reminiscent of the grand old ship, you’re very close to home.
It’s quite the conversation piece — and if you were to have an ice sculpture of the Titanic at your Titanic-theme wedding, you wouldn’t be the first.
When it’s time for the speeches at your reception, be sure to raise or clap a large Captains Bell. And finally, for a little extra fun, you could set up an elaborate Titanic backdrop (you can find these printed and ready to ship) for photo ops throughout the night.
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