What's a fairytale wedding?
It's an interesting question, especially given how often you will see mention of it. "Fairytale" seems to be the descriptor people choose when they mean idyllic, the perfect uniting of two destined souls in a beautiful, breathtaking beauty.
When you look at it like that, the fairytale angle seems somewhat vague. It's become a catch-all term for a nice wedding. But what if you want a literal fairytale? A wedding that echoes the centuries-old stories of a happily ever after, with a true nod to the Disney classics and the work that inspired them?
As In - A Theme?
Don't run a mile from the idea of a themed wedding. In reality, all weddings tend to have a theme - some are just more overt about it than others. Sometimes the theme is obvious and general; other times it's just a colour scheme that's unique to the couple. Either way, most weddings are not cookie-cutter generic - and we can all agree they're better for it.
There are ways and means of doing a theme without screaming "this is our themed wedding!". If you want to find a way to hark back to the fairytale age, then here are some suggestions to get you started...
Venue: When A Huge Castle Isn't Feasible
Most fairytale weddings from the classics tend to involve a huge castle, with bride and groom leading the first dance in the great hall. More often than not, they will be surrounded by applauding subjects - because, of course, they're royalty.
If you've scanned your family tree and have yet to find a link to blue blood, don't worry, you just have more room to work in. You can find a venue which suits the day, be it a large wedding specialist like Adlington Hall or something smaller, depending on guest list size. With the right mindset, you can make a registry office a fairytale if you want. That's because...
Decor: Where The Magic Begins
There are a few key decorative touches that should be involved in a wedding that wants a true sprinkle of fairy(tale) dust.
Flowers - Floral arrangements are a standard theme for the majority of weddings, but they're all the more essential for a fairytale theme. Consider rose petals scattered anywhere the venue will let you scatter them; or a winding rose archway under which to exchange your vows. Sugar roses on top of the cake can really enhance this theme, too.
Glitter - You need it. Lots of it. On the floor, on the seats, on the tables at the reception. Given the strong presence of magic in fairytales, glitter is a reality-based way of getting the same effect. Let everything sparkle.
Your Story - Tell your story as a couple, preferably written in suitable fairytale "once upon a time" language. It's relatively inexpensive to write and print scrolls containing your story, which can be handed to guests as they file into the ceremony.
Soft Fabrics - For this kind of wedding, nothing should be too harsh. No sharp corners or bare surfaces; use natural fabrics with a soft satin sheen to make everything soft, tactile and almost dreamlike.
The Bride's Look: Your Inner Princess Steps Into The Spotlight
While you can wear your hair in a more conventional up-do for a fairytale wedding (after all, Cinderella did), there's no doubt that loose hair has the more evocative effect. In fact, "fairytale ends" is a term used to describe long tendrils of hair swirling around your shoulders. If you don't have that kind of length naturally, then extensions are a perfect way to create the same impact.
It's also worth considering braids, especially messy fishtail braids which look both complex and effortless at the same time. A few loose curled strands around your face will soften the whole appearance.
As for the dress - this aspect has an obvious answer, doesn't it? No place for chic shift dresses or modern short styles here; if you really want to hit the fairytale note, then long and flowing is your best bet. Note 'flowing' - your gown doesn't necessary have to be a big puffy affair, more worthy of a toilet roll holder than a modern day wedding. A long train and plenty of volume on the skirt through fabric rather than a hoop will create a timeless, magical look.
Finally: makeup. If you want to layer on thick lashings of mascara and sport a fake tan glow that makes your dress seem even whiter, then this might not be the theme that you need. Try and keep it simple. Soft neutral tones over the eyes will create the same gentle beauty you're aiming for with every other aspect, while a simple classic-red lip will finish the whole look.
Now all you need is a literal fairy godmother to whisk you off on the perfect honeymoon. It's not likely, but a girl can dream can't she?
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