Britain conjures in many minds a vibrant spectrum of red, white and blue, Tower Bridge, and the winding River Thames. Other people imagine a quaint vintage tea party complete with buttered scones and cucumber sandwiches cut into those cute little triangles. If you need some inspiration, here’s Confetti.co.uk’s guide on how to throw a perfect British wedding! Oh, Britannia!
Firstly, you need to decide which direction you want to take your British wedding—there are so many options available, including themed weddings—and then you’ll want to build your wedding around that! It works almost like a sub-theme, and it makes for a much more impressive wedding when your decor, favours, and dress all appear as a cohesive whole. The alternative is something that comes across as quite random and ramshackle. What sounds better: a wedding styled around the Union Jack from tasty nibbles to your bridesmaid dresses, or a wedding powdered with red buses and Black Cabs, scattered with Victorian crockery, laced with motifs of Big Ben, and plastered with the Queen’s face? Most people would say the former, though, if you styled it right, the latter could also work.
We’ve pulled together four sub-themes as inspiration for your British wedding!
1) Urban Britain
A classic British theme often means you see red, white, and blue everywhere you look and the Union Jack waves happily from all corners. The conventional red London buses, post boxes, and phone booths frequently make an appearance, as do motifs of the crown jewels and traditional British stamps. Such bright and bold colours results in a very retro wedding theme.
When styling your classic British wedding, accessories in vibrant colours are your friend; ribbon, flowers, candle holders, vases, etc. Your wedding stationery can be colourful too; your invitations will make a statement when your guests receive them, and your place cards will liven up any table setting. A classic British wedding opens up dozens of wedding favour opportunities too. Consider biscuits baked in the shape of the crown jewels together with a teacup and saucer to give your wedding guests a taste of tea and biscuits. Use your imagination and have fun!
When choosing a wedding venue, a historic building and a city scene is particularly desirable to complete the feel of your classic British wedding. Most couples might yearn for a London wedding for all of the famous tourist sights: Tower Bridge, the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Tower of London, etc. No doubt, they offer many and varied photo opportunities, however, a London wedding isn’t suitable for all budgets and you may find another city that’s a bit more affordable. There are plenty of them, too! Just to name one, Manchester, Confetti.co.uk’s own base of operations, is also a beautiful city. Home to the Industrial Revolution, it has its own historic roots that make it an ideal location for your wedding.
2) Vintage Britain
To have a British wedding, you don’t necessarily need to swathe your ceremony and reception in the Union Jack. Some people turn to historic influences like the vintage style of Victorian England—all lace, flowers, and antique accessories. Vintage, being one of the most popular wedding themes, is one of the most stunning, and the obvious choice in tying it with your British wedding is to aim for a vintage tea party. Who doesn’t at some point make a crack about the British being notorious tea-drinkers?
Flowers, flowers, flowers! Vintage is something of a delicate wedding theme with all of the china and crockery and fine appliqué details, but it can be an equally busy wedding theme when you pile on the flowers. We advise you do this, too, because flowers come in such a vast array of shapes and colours that the result will be breathtaking. They add texture, detail, and they can also smell really, really nice. Arranged in clear vases or glasses, or even across silver trays and on the backs of chairs, no vintage wedding is complete without at least a handful of flowers—real or artificial. Roses and baby’s breath are only two of the many favourites!
A vintage wedding can be held anywhere, but for your British vintage wedding a historic venue may suit you more than others; perhaps famous homes of historic royals—like Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn—or country mansions with enormous manicured gardens. Some of your possible British venues will be Grade I or Grade II listed, too, thereby showing their importance to British culture.
3) Provençal Britain
A provençal British wedding, also called a rustic wedding or a country wedding, is often set in a rural venue such as a cottage, barn, or country house. Greenery and countryside usually stretches all around, and colour palettes of brown, green and yellow are stunning finishes. Plentiful flowers and plants are recommended, like wildflowers and sheaths of dried wheat. A naked wedding cake decorated with berries or more flowers is a stunning sight too—you might even want to be a little different and opt for a cheese cake.
Complete your rustic British wedding with creative details and accessories like edible wedding favours presented in authentic boxes, refreshment of cold, homemade lemonade, and pretty jars and containers in modest, homely colours like ivory. Complete the theme with different textures; patterned fabrics like checked tablecloths or napkins, wood and wicker decorations, and even dashes of lace reminiscent of a vintage wedding.
4) Casual Britain
A casual British wedding is where everything has a calm and laid back atmosphere. The best examples of this include pretty summer garden weddings or picnic-style weddings—anything outdoors. Imagine sun, flowers, and cool refreshments as you sit on a blanket in the shade of some trees, perhaps on the grassy bank of a lake or a river. Perfect venues are those that have acres of beautiful land, and those licensed to perform outdoor ceremonies.
Colours work wonderfully for outdoor weddings, whether you’re partial to bright, block shades or lighter pastels. Fresh fruit and picnic baskets, hand fans and parasols, self-serve drinks dispensers and food buffets—they’re all really cute ideas for a casual wedding. Incorporate traditional British motifs and colours if you wish, as seen in our first, classic British wedding theme, but a wedding in one of Britain’s magnificent National Parks may be all you need.
Also, Britain is famed for our rainy days and tempestuous weather patterns, so you’ll never go wrong by being prepared for sun and rain on your wedding day!