"Masquerade-themed weddings are not for the bashful bride and groom. The couple most likely to make the most of a masquerade theme have an inner theatrical flair, and a love of the dramatic."..
What makes some wedding themes more popular than others? Does it all depend on the season? Or the latest trends?
For the average nearly-weds, the decision mostly comes down to which theme evokes the best atmosphere for their nuptials and can be created with easy-to-find, inexpensive decor.
A wedding with a masquerade theme not only creates the perfect party atmosphere, but the easy availability of accessories makes it a perfect do-it-yourself theme with no party planner required!
photo: Sandy Tam, Toronto
Colour: Masquerade colours are rich and vibrant. They might include jewel tones, dark wines, emerald greens, and royal purples. Black makes a great backdrop for masquerade colours, while gold and silver act as accent colours. Neutrals and earth tones, however, are all excluded from the big, bold masquerade pallette.
Wedding gowns that feature splashes of bold colour go perfectly with masquerade-themed matrimony. Alfred Angelo's Dream in Colour line relishes rich jewel tones such as ruby red, topaz, and jade to accent the bride's wedding dress.
A bridal bouquet of rich, wine-coloured feathers and flowers adds a stunning accent to the masquerade bride's walk down the aisle. The above bouquet is courtesy of Victoria, BC's Foxgloves Flowers.
Imagine getting all of your wedding guests in costume for a masquerade wedding. Sound impossible? It's actually easier than you think!
Inexpensive paper masquerade masks, which can be provided at the reception, are all that's needed to evoke a true masquerade atmosphere, since the dance floor and formal frocks are already provided. You can hand them out to guests as they enter the reception venue, or place them on the reception tables as wedding favours. Masquerade masks, or "half masks" can be purchased in bulk from most party planning stores or craft stores.
A baroque venue with pillars and cathedral ceilings such as an old church, makes the perfect location for the masquerade ceremony.
The reception venue can also mirror this style, such as the one in this photo from Wedding Design Studio.
If the bride and groom are leaning more towards an outdoor location, particularly on a mid-summer's night, outdoor tents can set the stage for an evening of fun and fantasy.
You can rent venue tents, such as this one from Surrey, BC's Milestone Events, to evoke Cirque de Soleil-style theatricality!
Big, bold ostrich feathers are a must-have decoration for a masquerade wedding, because they mirror the feathers used to decorate a masquerade mask.
This centerpiece from Vancouver's All Occasions Chic Décor Rental is a good example of this high drama look!
Chandelier candelabras also make a perfect centerpiece at a masquerade wedding reception. The combination of clear crystal and light silver contrasts nicely against the deep, rich colours associated with the masquerade theme. (Photo: Wedding Design Studio, Vancouver)
As for favours and place card holders, this lac box from Dream Group Boutique doubles as both!
This whimsical "Wishing Tree" from Vancouver's All Occasions Chic Décor Rental can be placed anywhere at the reception venue. It comes with or without dangling crystals, and sets the perfect stage for a theatrical evening to remember.
So maybe fire-eaters aren't in your wedding budget! Luckily, a masquerade-themed wedding lends itself to inexpensive accessories that will easily evoke a powerful party mood. Feathers, masks, glitter, ribbons, beads and balloons all maximize a masquerade atmosphere.
A ballroom full of balloons celebrates the carnival-esque, over-the-top spirit of a masquerade party. The balloon stage featured in this photo was created by Hinton, Alberta's Balloon's 'n Stuff.
Ropes of beads draped from the ceiling will create a mystical masquerade atmosphere, and make your guests feel as though they're stepping into another world...
Bubbles also evoke a fantasy atmosphere, so don't just save them for after the ceremony – encourage guests to blow bubbles at the reception to create a fantastical masquerade mood!
If you decide to use bubbles at your reception and want something different for after the ceremony, why not get guests to toss glitter in the air, to create a sparkly space to celebrate.
Of course, the icing on the cake of any wedding is (no pun intended!).. the cake, and theme weddings are no exception. Flour Confections (GTA) created the colourful cake on the left, adorned with masquerade masks and strands of beads. Another idea comes to us from Vancouver's Mozart Bakery & Café, who created the cake on the right, topped with masquerade feathers and adorned with dangling ornaments.
Story by G. Melanson