Victorian wedding dresses appeal to many women because of their femininity and their beauty; these dresses tend to be covered in ruffles and lace and accentuate the body very nicely because of the obligatory corset worn underneath them. Victorian wedding dresses are of a traditional, old-fashioned cut. The waist is never high nor low, but always right where it is on a Barbie doll—and just as illusory as Barbie’s, the waist of Victorian wedding dresses is always much smaller than a normal waist. For these dresses, a corset must be worn if you ever hope to get the dress buttoned.
These dresses typically have an ornate shoulder cut in addition to the typical under-sized waist. Some dresses are off-the-shoulder, but regardless of where they fall on the shoulder, something about the shoulders pulls attention. Sometimes it is the cut, and sometimes it is only superficial decoration attached to the shoulders of the fabric. Sleeves are puffed, but not upwards, only around the circumference of the arm. Skirts of Victorian wedding dresses are always very full, with at least one, usually more, full petticoats underneath. Very often the front of the skirt is attached to the waist with a downward pointing diamond front and center.
To go beyond the dress when designing Victorian weddings could include such things as an invitation embossed with a Victorian love poem. Another use for the poem could be to have it be a reading during the ceremony, or to have it be read as a toast during the reception. Yet another idea is to make it some kind of favor, printing it in some sort of decorative manner for each wedding guest to take home with them. It could also be printed on napkins for cocktails or printed on place cards for each guest or on the table name. The possibilities are endless, and the contribution to the overall experience of Victorian weddings is obvious.
Victorian weddings can also include traditional music or food. Some ideas for foods are scones and tea—an original substitution for a cocktail hour if you would like to refrain from mass alcohol consumption at the wedding you are planning, or if you simply like the idea of tea and scones or tea and cookies or tea and tiny sandwiches. Once again, the possibilities are virtually endless with a little research and a touch of creativity.
And don’t forget the flowers. Consult your florist on typical floral arrangements that would follow a more Victorian theme. Think flowing vines and lots of white. A head wreath is also a popular substitute for a tiara or a veiled headpiece. Another headwear option, perhaps not quite as attractive, but certainly authentic to Victorian weddings, is a bonnet of the same color and material as the wedding gown. This bonnet should be just as puffy and full of material as the dress. These bonnets might not be the epitome of style, but they are the most authentic if it’s genuineness you’re looking for in your plans for a Victorian wedding.