After the initial excitement of my engagement sunk in, I sat down with some friends to brainstorm ideas for my wedding theme. I wanted to do something suited to my personality and at least somewhat unique, while avoiding having the wedding turn into a costume party. It was to be strictly subtle and tasteful. My friend Mary was adamant that I choose her English tea party idea, but that seemed a bit boring to me. We went through the options: famous couples through history, romantic films, the seashore, 1940s glamour, swanky Swing, and Salsa extravaganza. Then it hit me-a fairy wedding! Nothing could be better balance my nature-girl side with my need to be a princess.
There are different ways to do a Fairy wedding, and the most important thing is to choose your limit. How far are you going to go with your theme? For me, I wanted to keep it subtle, while being sure the guests got a definite ethereal fairy-like feel from the evening.
Choosing your venue:
A fairy wedding should take place outdoors, amid beautiful tall trees and flowers. Perhaps there is a castle or gothic building in the background. We chose the Aldie Mansion, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
It’s all about the decorations:
Fairies are delicate, magical, and earthy. Color palates should be close to nature, with feminine tones. I chose sage and spring greens with lavender, deep purple, and oatmeal accents. Loads of flowers, hanging vines, and little white lights create a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor ceremony just before sunset. (I purchased boxes and boxes of lights at Sears right after Christmas for next to nothing.)
Bridesmaids and flower girls:
These are your fairies, ladies, so the more you have of them, the better. I didn’t go so far over the top as to have anyone wear gossamer wings (though I was heartily tempted.) The maids wore floor length silk gowns with spaghetti straps and asymmetrical hemlines to the floor. They were breathtaking. Their hair was down and wavy, and their heads adorned with beautiful garlands.
As for the flower girls at my wedding, nothing could have been more precious. To achieve maximum fairy-ness without going over the top, have a few little girls, not just one, and adorn them in matching dresses and garlands for their hair. Their gowns should go with your color palate-traditional white is too stark. For flower girl baskets, forget those plain white ones you see at the bridal shop. Go to a specialty basket shop or craft store for little dark brown branch or twig baskets, and fill them with petals to match your palate.
Only you can choose your perfect wedding gown, but for a fairy themed wedding, do not forget that you are the queen of all fairies, and dress accordingly. Wear your hair down and flowing, with a wreath of flowers and a long veil pinned in the back. If you have short hair, extensions may be in order for this special day. I carried a beautiful bouquet of orchids and wildflowers made to look as if I had just picked them in the forest.
Invitations, brochures and place cards:
For an earthy fairy wedding, think about what a real fairy would use to announce her betrothal. Handmade, or recycled paper in natural oatmeal and off-white tones are a must. I made almost everything myself, and I found that the best investment I made in this process was a paper cutter. Perhaps choose a beautiful swirled font, reminiscent of Art Nouveau.
Small fairy figurines can be hung strategically around the ballroom, and vases and vessels should look as if they could have been found half buried in a beautiful overgrown garden. Be sure to stay away from anything Victorian or too proper-remember, fairies are artistic and mischievous. When in doubt, be inspired by fairies you love, such as those from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or from the worlds of artists like Amy Brown or Jessica Galbreth.