Art Deco as a wedding theme? Why not! It's actually a popular choice thanks to its bold eclectic style, fitting perfectly to modern view on weddings, where personalization and originality are praised above everything else. So if are thinking about this style, which is roughly interchangeable with so called 'Great Gatsby', here is a bit of background and few ideas to explore it.
Short History Of Art Deco
This artistic style was born on the ruins of Great War, with belief in ability to build a better world, especially with help of new technologies, which gave an ordinary man a chance to enjoy in things, which seem impossible to reach just a decade ago. This was time of increasing mass production, invention of inexpensive and useful materials, time of geometric forms and stylized figures, exotic patterns and simplified lines.
Interwar years were marked by very important changes in society. Women became voters and much more independent than ever before. A woman's figure was always a popular motif in art, but Art Deco used it much more in movement, with more casual or sports clothes then before. It was also time when working class, thanks to new laws about minimum wage, had some free time to enjoy and money to spend on leisure. They were buying phones, cars and kitchen appliances, and designers, influenced by Art Deco were involved everywhere. Because: the form should follow function!
In America it was age of Jazz and jazz music spread all over the world, just like the style of Art Deco, the first truly world-wide design movement, where influences came from just about everywhere, from Egyptian archeological discoveries and African tribes to Futurism and chrome-plating. With the beginning of World War II Art Deco started loosing popularity, but in sixties gain it back at least a bit and nowadays is still very much in demand. We can say it is one of the classic styles.
Being open for so many different color, patterns and materials, it is very much in demand at all the opportunities, where we want to impress the participants and emphasize the importance of the event. A wedding is definitely one of those occasions. If we want to stand out from the crowd, Art Deco wedding theme, sometimes called Great Gatsby theme, is definitely on the list of themes to consider.
Wedding dress is always in the center of attention. When you plan an Art Deco themed wedding, start with appropriate dress and then follow with everything else. Think about symmetrical patterns, distinctive contrasts, geometric elements and vibrant motifs. Every detail counts and everything is possible.
There are many different dresses which can classify in this style, different colors, different materials, some are more elegant, others more glamorous, with glittering embellishments, maybe even with sequins and feathers, never too long (knee-cut was the standard of the time, but you should think about freedom in the first place), always inspiring and eye catching.
Art Deco styled venue is prestigious and breath-taking. It has high ceilings and decorated walls, carefully designated lights and typical motifs as parallel lines or curves or geometric patterns and this is only the beginning.
Among colors there is always gold and in most cases black, which is sometimes presented in large quantities, sometimes just to make a point, often in combination with a third another color. This is is in most cases classic elegant white, but sometimes more distinctive color, like violet. There are of course large chandeliers with a lot of brilliant glass and speaking about lights, we should note how many lamps and chandeliers from the era appear like being turned up side down. The reason is not a simple fad, it's functionality (again) - with rays directed at the ceilings, much better dispersion of light is achieved and everything looks softer and nicer under this kind of light.
Eclecticism of Art Deco is probably best seen at its furniture. It's essentially simple in style, often inspired by ancient Greek designs, with simplified curves, sometimes with carved details, in later years often streamlined (inspired by aeronautics), sometimes upholstered, often with drawers, large functional surfaces, ... Materials? Mahogany, ivory, walnut, rosewood, bamboo in all possible combinations with other kinds of wood, textile (yes, animals skins, too) and metal (chrome being on the top of the list).
If you think about Art Deco themed wedding reception, you can use different pieces for tables and chairs, but they should fit together through something in common (pattern, color, lines) or make interesting contrast. Don't forget coffee tables, which may serve as great place for wedding favors, celebratory drink or something else. And if you want to catch the era of 20s in America, hang few large posters of movie stars or sport heroes on the walls.
Flowers And Music
Think about garlands of flowers, colorful bouquets in huge baskets, huge blossoms in ceramic birds and of course a lot of exotic smells. Think about roses, orchids, orange trees, cymbidium, pansies, anemones, dahlias, ... Don't forget palms, ferns, dieffenbachia,...
When we come to music, jazz first comes in one's mind, and dance of one's choice would possibly be Charleston. Or not. Foxtrot, waltz, swing and tango (American version) were almost equally popular. With few pieces of Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby or Louis Armstrong you could not possibly miss anyway.
As we can see and hear Roaring Twenties still inspire musicians who create more or less authentic pieces in the same original spirit. Slightly rebellious, a bit bragging and always focused to the present moment, without neglecting the past and with great hopes for the future. Wedding stationary inspired by Art Deco Style is easily recognizable.
It's bold, with strong lines and powerful contrasts. Customization is almost a must. Art Deco artists believe art should be part of everyday, accessible to everybody and each consumer (yes, consummerism started about the same time) should be able to find his or her own way through the life. Each one of them is unique, just like the examples below.
Simple black and gold design of the save the date card is just a template where the personal data of the bride and the groom shuld be entered. It's simplicity offers effective way to present all vital information: where, when in who is getting married. With these brave contrasts there is no fear to forget about the big day and this is exactly what save the dates are all about. We actually created a full list of Art Deco inspired save the date cards.
When we mentioned customization, we were dead serious. Each single detail can be personalized to tiniest little detail. A stamp in Art Deco style is definitely the right step in this direction. The main design is already set up, but you still have to decide about the size, orientaion (landscape, portrait) and denomination value. Well, you can still use your own design, if you want!
After STD card a formal invitation with RSV card follow. We are not obligated to continue in the same style, but if we like it, there is no reason to look for something else. After all, with continuation we send a message to our invitees about the type of the party we are going to throw. A picture still tells more than thousan words, right?
If we look for related theme, we can find several of them. So called shabby chic wedding theme starts on similar premises - with international, eclectic and functional mixture of old and new, but in this case with capitalizing on old charm, using an old piece (or even only old looking piece) in new context, while Art Deco always aims to improve old stuff with all possible influences from present and past for additional functionality, easier maintenance and economical accessibility. If shabby cottage style nostalgically looks into the past, Art Deco is optimistically focused on future. So, as we can see, we can find similarities, but there are differences as well.
Art Deco was born as style for new beginnings. A transition from remains of something old to something new. It picked some of the best elements from older styles, added many new ones, is closely connected with equality and discrimination and created something original, never seen before, unique, useful just like your wedding will - a new life for two people who love each other. The right style for such celebration!