Welcome to Joel and Chantal’s vintage Regency-inspired wedding!
This will be a vintage, somewhat themed wedding so we would like to offer suggestions as to how you can actively participate by coordinating your costume/outfit with these helpful tips. While the overall theme will be Regency-inspired, it is not a strictly Regency theme wedding. Guests are welcome to dress in other styles from the 19th-century, up until the Edwardian period (nothing later than that, please).
Edit**Costumes and inspired-outfits are not mandatory…but they are appreciated!
Outfits can be inspired, they do not necessarily have to be historically accurate or costumes.
Joel and Chantal will really appreciate your participation!!
First a bit of history:
The Regency Era
Encompassing the years of 1812 to 1830, the Regency Era signaled the end of Georgian exuberance and the advent of Victorian sensibilities. It is a fairly short period of the 19th century during which the Napoleonic wars were fought between France and England (the battle of Waterloo, etc.) and the era in which Jane Austen’s novels are set.
Other Regency celebrities include Lord Byron, William Blake, John Keats, Beethoven, Franz Schubert and of course, Jane Austen.
Ever wonder why they refer to high waistlines on dresses as “empire waistlines”? Well now you know! It refers to the British Empire during the Regency Era, when England was leading the world in fashion.
Women’s dresses were very flattering during this era, with high waistlines and long, flowing lines. Men wore cropped jackets and tight breeches. Men, don’t worry: we don’t expect you to wear tight pants. Bonus points is you can find high riding boots to wear!
Ideas for Regency-inspired outfits:
Regency Period Films
The Victorian Period
This is the period that comes to most people’s mind when thinking of the 19th century. The Victorian era corresponds with the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1837 to 1901. The period is beloved for its attention to high morals, modesty and proper decorum, as inspired by the Queen and her husband, Prince Albert. In America, the Victorian era is captured in the gun-slinging, trail-blazing culture of the “Wild West”, especially during the gold rush of the late 1840s.
Victorian era dresses are elaborate, extravagant, constricting and absolutely beautiful. There is no end to the possibilities of what one can do with a Victorian costume. Corsets are a must, as the hourglass figure was the idealized shape for the Victorian woman.
Men’s costume was very chic and not a far cry from Regency Era men’s costume. Top hats were very popular, as were moustaches and sideburns. Trousers were generally worn longer (full-length) and coats were knee-length.
Ideas for Victorian-inspired outfits:
Victorian Period Films
Nicholas Nickleby (any adaptation)
The Edwardian Period
The Edwardian era corresponds with the reign of King Edward VII and broadly encompasses the years of 1901 through 1919.
The Edwardian era was a historical moment of tremendous technological and social change. The wonders of the modern world, which had only sprang into being in the 1880s and 1890’s, brought the first rewards of modern industrialization and mass-produced abundance. Americans during the Edwardian age experienced new-found wealth and indulged in cuisine, fashion, entertainment and travel as never before. Perhaps the Edwardian era was best captured in the Titanic, the grand ocean liner which embodied the human progress, opulence, and excesses of the time. The Edwardian era is aptly remembered as the “Gilded Age.”
In terms of fashion, this was the era of the Gibson Girl (we love that an illustrator had this much influence on fashion). Big hair, big hats and lots of beading more or less encapsulates the Edwardian style. Men’s fashion evolved very slightly, with the suit remaining more or less the same as the Victorian suit. Bonus points if you show up with a Gibson Girl hairstyle!
Ideas for Edwardian-inspired outfits
**MEN: Same as Victorian fashion
Edwardian Period Films
Titanic (whatever you may think of it, the costumes are stunning)
Where to buy vintage clothing inspired by these styles
Regency Costume Companion It is helpful for men’s and women’s outfits.
We hope all this helps you in your choice of clothing! It is by no means a complete guide to the three periods, but we hope it gives you ideas.
Chantal is an expert in costuming of these periods so PLEASE, IF YOU NEED HELP contact her!! She would love to help you 🙂