Your Dreamy Downton Abbey Wedding
You may not live in an English manor home, but you can still have a Dreamy Downton Abbey Wedding. With the right resources and some imagination you can capture the look and feel of those romantic unions when you design your own special day.
Set the Tone
Focus on the basics because when it comes to a flawless setting, the details make all the difference. Set the tone from the start by using period-style invitations. These were generally simple and elegant, featuring a flower design and a briefly worded announcement. Keep the theme by hand-writing the envelopes and mailing them. The wedding’s start time is important because the Edwardians considered an afternoon wedding the height of fashion.
Set the Stage
Will you hold your Downton Abbey Wedding at a home or in a rented venue? Either way, be sure it has wide windows or a balcony overlooking a beautiful countryside. This is the perfect backdrop to your manor. Before you begin decorating, decide which Downton Abbey Wedding style most appeals to you. Is it the elegance of the main house? This Edwardian style featured deep jewel colors and clean lines. Round up some Chippendale-style chairs, Oriental rugs and silver candleholders. Layer throws and pillows in rich textures over dark, carved furniture. Paintings of ancestors, hunting scenes and landscapes are musts for wall decoration.
Maybe you’re charmed by Isobel and Violet’s lovely, feminine houses. To achieve this look you’ll use pale flower shades of rose, lavender and daffodil. Look for white or light wood furniture with delicate curves and fluffy cushions in pastel colors.
Accessorize with lace doilies, needlework pillows and flower accents. Whichever option you choose, keep everything luxurious. Wealthy Edwardians used their fine crystal, silver and linens daily. Furniture should gleam with polish and be comfortable. Hang light, loose curtains over the windows to let air and light in. Use natural sunlight and candles instead of harsh overhead lights.
Set the Table
For a dinner that is perfectly in period, turn to a specialized guide that will help you recreate the aristocrats’ decadent meals. Edwardian women were proud of their gardens and there’s no doubt Mrs. Patmore had a cottage garden of her own. Use traditional English cottage flowers for your floral arrangements and your bouquet: roses, foxgloves, sweet pea, sweet William and hollyhocks.
Ready, Set, Go
Your biggest challenge, and the one that can make you feel overwhelmed, is picking the wedding dress. Relax, almost every bride in the Downton era wore a long, lacey white dress and new designers have updated those styles with stunning effect. And don’t worry that you have to adopt the stick-thin flapper look; the right plus-size dress will make you look and feel like a vision of Edwardian beauty.
A wedding should be a time of happiness, not stress. You’re planning the union of two souls. Focus on that when things get hectic, and remember Matthew’s words to Mary: “I would never be happy with anyone else, so long as you walked the earth.”