The standard, White dress for weddings, really started in
this time. (white for purity) Before that the bride wore her
favorite color and used it as her best dress after the wedding. It
is also a display of wealth to have a dress you only wear once.
(people then did not have as many changes of clothes as we do now)
Dresses had high collars, but party dresses could show a huge
amount of chest. It became fashionable to copy Queen Victoria's
wedding. This is still done today. Check your local library for a
book about Queen Victoria to see exactly what she did for her
wedding. The Victorian bride favored a long veil down her back
with a small crown of flowers. (often orange blossoms.) But, to
set the mood as Victorian today, consider a hat with veil.
Battenberg lace became very popular at this time.
Hats and Gloves were very important daily wear for everyone
in polite society. I would suggest the guys wear a cutaway
"morning tux". Ralph Lauren has a nice one right now. Top hats
were also the thing to wear. (Also ascots, pocket watches, canes,
cuff links, stiff collars)
Men's shoes had spats and ladies wore high button or lace
Jordan almonds and blue ribbons as favors. Also the silver
wedding cake charms are Victorian. Chocolates shaped like cameos.
For the wedding party:
Tie pins, Sliver Brooches, Cameos, Tea pots or cups, Fans,
Victorian reproduction earrings, feather boas, parasols.
Invitations: The standard wedding invitation for
most of the Victorian era would have looked very much like the
formal engraved invitation that we still use. Christmas cards with
decorations on them were invented during this time. And soon after
that the Valentine's Day cards were marketed. The Victorian love
of ornamentation made them catch on well and we still use them.
Victorian cards are being reproduced right now and that would make
a beautiful wedding invitation.
Think garden tea party when planning the reception.
This is the peak of English tea fetish. This is also the time when
parties with "finger food only" got popular. Wedding cakes at that
time were fruit cakes with rolled fondant icing.
Tussy Mussys, with a small
bunch of flowers would be great for the maids to carry. All the
flowers that gentleman sent ladies had meanings. Load your bouquet
with flowers that have meaning.