The Roaring Twenties was a period of decadence, idealism, and excess — in short, the American Dream. Creating the perfect Great Gatsby-themed wedding is easy to do when you have all the glamorous details down pat. The key lies not in replicating the era exactly — this is your wedding, after all, not the History Channel — so use the period to inspire the creative process and create a unity of theme.
Understanding that the final vision is yours, and not some dogma about what is authentic, takes away some of the stress of wedding planning and allows you to focus on what really matters. Admit party guests to the venue after peering at them through a sliding eye hole, dance the Charleston until the sun rises, serve plenty of giggle water, and make whoopie all night long!
Talk Like Gatsby
First of all, if you’re really going to have a Gatsby of a time at your wedding, you’ll need to know the right things to say. You don’t want to be a bluenose or a cancelled stamp at your own wedding. But as long as you’re not spifflicated, you’ll know your onions all right! Check out these slang ph
Broad Strokes of the Roaring Twenties
The Great Gatsby was set during the Art Deco Movement, known for imposing structures like Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building. In order to reconstruct this aesthetic in your wedding theme, you’ll want to think big, using clean lines and boldly-patterned designs.
You’ll also want to consider the setting of the film. You can recreate the vibe of Gatsby’s mansion, set on spacious gardens, through any number of venues, from the South Terrace of Pasadena’s Huntington Library to your local botanical garden or park. Even your backyard is a good choice if the detailing evokes a theme of opulence.
Your Own Speakeasy
Your guests may not want to dip cups directly into your bathtub full of gin, but that doesn’t mean you have to embrace the Prohibition Era when you stage your reception. Few people can say no to a delightfully refreshing mint juleps, cordials and gin rickeys. And champagne — lots of champagne!
Flavors of the ‘20s
One of the big advantages to having a Great Gatsby-themed wedding is you don’t have to worry about the food being too trendy. Create a menu from that classic era with entrees like prime rib, baked ham and pastry pigs, appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms, salmon mousse and toast points and caviar, and desserts like chocolate mousse cake, salted caramels and Florentine cookies.
Think of the setting as a luxurious private club, with billiards and a dance hall. If your reception hall has an outdoor garden or estate, consider setting up games of badminton, croquet or bocce ball — a great way to keep children and those who are ossified entertained. Dancing, of course, is a must, so hire a Big Band to play upbeat music while you and your guests do the Charleston, Foxtrot and Cake Walk.
More Stunning Details
- Invest in great Art Deco wedding invitations so that you can announce your theme in style.
- Hire a vintage car to take you to the reception.
- Use a historic estate for your wedding shoot.
- Combine a muted shade, like mint green or pink, with the dynamic black, chrome, gold, and white colors of the period.
- Accessorize with diamond halo drop earrings and a feathered headband. Don’t forget that long strands of pearls epitomize the era.
- Find a 1920s vintage dress — or order one from a wedding retailer like BHLDN that specializes in recreating Art Deco gowns.
- Create floral arrangements in monochromatic colors — varying shades of white and cream, with just subtle hints of your primary color — to give an opulent effect.
- Consider bobbing your hair just this once for the occasion.
- Silver dragees or geometric fondant cut-outs give your cake that Deco finish.
- Although it may ruffle some feathers, nothing says Art Deco like peacocks. Austin, Texas’s Mayfield Park is available to host weddings and has a real live population of these extravagant birds.
Anyone can get married. But if you’re ready to have a really swell time, then a Great Gatsby-themed wedding is for you.