Royalty and romance: aren’t these at the heart of every union? It’s no wonder that the fairytale wedding — also known as “Happily Ever After” or “Dreams Do Come True,” to name just two — never goes out of fashion.
Spotlight on the Princess Bride
Walking down the aisle to a fantasy wedding theme means that as this type of bride, you can go all out. That might mean a voluminous ballgown from Lazaro or Mary’s Bridal Princess Collection, complete with petticoat … or a design modeled after a particularly beloved princess from Kirstie Kelly for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings.
But even when the gown is an A-line with a sleeker silhouette, fairytale brides usually go for a substantial veil, floor-length or longer.
The hair’s often a half or full updo, but formally styled, dripping with romantic ringlets. And the shoes? Never an afterthought, they’re something deliciously feminine, strappy and sparkly (though you can even walk down the aisle in clear ‘glass’ slippers).
And if you want the full-out princess look, straight from the pages of an oversized storybook? Add opera-length gloves, a tiara and a sparkly rhinestone choker.
Dressing The Royal Retinue
Bridesmaids, as often as not, are wearing something with at least at a touch of pink! A string of pearls makes a treasured gift for each of your girls. But what about the men? American grooms find it hard to look past the black tux, which fortunately looks stunning next to a princess bride. But a white tuxedo has a bit more fairytale flavor, and it’s worth considering.
Sure, no man one wants to look like a fashion victim fresh from prom, but Calvin Klein and Jean Yves Formalwear offer some elegant choices that just might put to rest any Prince Charming’s qualms about style faux pas.
Just because you’re having a fairytale wedding doesn’t mean your invites need to sport castles, but they should be something special. Just choose an elegant, timeless font and style (letterpress is always a gorgeous option). Or go custom: you can never go wrong with beautiful ribbon to wrap up a made-just-for-you pocketfold design, with a few quality rhinestones placed by hand.
Setting the Scene
Like other fantasy weddings, the fairytale wedding starts with draping, and lots of it: draped walls, head tables, cake tables, sweetheart tables, you name it. Luxurious linens are the name of the game.
In addition, this theme pretty much determines where you’ll hold the reception: a ballroom. (Unless, that is, you’re lucky enough to be able to book an actual castle, or live near one of America’s castle-style buildings.)
Fortunately, a good ballroom will do some of the decorating work for you: look for regal curtains, dramatic molding and sparkly chandeliers.A fairytale wedding is not the place for humble, easy-to-talk across centerpieces. Here, you need the drama that only height and heft provide. Go for towering eiffel vases filled with dramatic fantasy foral arrangements, leggy topiaries, or tall clear cylinders wrapped in satin ribbon and filled with floating candles.
Other ingredients in your toolbox: lots of silver (candelabras, silver cake plateaus), plenty of pinks, classical symbols (swan or double-swan ice sculptures are perfect here), and pearl or rhinestone accents as brooches or bouquet ornaments.
Also: sparkling monogrammed cake toppers, whimsical “I DO” letters for the cake table, and buckets and buckets of rose petals. Plus, every princess bride needs a really cute card box, whether it be a magic pumpkin or a sassy hot-pink hat box. A giant Storybook guest book would be a cute touch, too.
Roses for a Rose
Flowers for fairytale weddings tend to the traditional side. Occasionally you’ll see exotic orchids, but mostly what fairytale brides prefer (in bouquets, especially) are classical choices like roses, peonies and stephanotis. If carrying a hand-tied bouquet, she might have crystal bouquet picks, or choose the larger cascading style.
Plenty of flowers are key for pulling off the fairytale look, but don’t overlook the important of candles for setting the mood. Keep them simple, but group large masses together for maximum effect. Floating candles in clear cylinders offer more of a visual punch than regular votives.
Drama’s essential to a fantasy wedding, so plot out your high points. Find a way to make a grand entrance at the ceremony or reception: a spiral staircase and spotlighting, page boys, or a trumpeter. Take the time to learn a romantic waltz with your Prince Charming and throw in a few stylistic surprises, so all eyes stay glued to you through your first dance.
Outfit your guests with beautiful paper cones they can use to shower you with rose petals as you leave the church (another popular choice is sparklers). Travel from church to reception venue via horse-drawn carriage … or even pumpkin carriage, available in several metro areas.
A Royal Repast
Fortunately for your guests, Cinderella food means elegant ‘comfort food’: cream sauces, poached mushrooms and wine. Consider Oysters Rockefeller, and a roast beef carving station. For a touch of the country squire, serve crispy roast duck or Cornish game hens, and plenty of champagne.
The Sweet Strains of Love
A bit of intimate floor music will really set the mood, so see about booking a harpist or string quartet, at least during the ceremony or dinner. Later on, ask the DJ to queue up a few songs from Disney’s Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast soundtrack albums. Other soundtracks with tunes worth a spin: The Princess Bride, Shrek, Anna & The King, and Ever After: A Cinderella Story.