Plan A Colonial Themed Wedding

Williamsburg, Virginia is one of our country’s most unique cities. Taking a walk down many of the streets will transport you back to the late 1700’s & early 1800’s of Colonial America. It is for this reason that themed weddings are increasing in popularity in Williamsburg.

As you begin planning your Williamsburg wedding, you may want to research colonial era traditions and customs. What did they wear? What did they eat? What part of the ceremony and reception looked different than today’s weddings? We’ll help answer some of those questions as we dive into how to plan a Colonial themed wedding in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Colonial Weddings - Traditions, Attire, and Food

During Colonial America, a wedding celebration was an impressive event. The majority of the community was invited with the ceremony and reception held typically at the bride’s home. The ceremony and party that followed thereafter often lasted two or three days, in which guests were served plentiful amounts of local food fare, beer, and wine.

Wedding Announcements

Weddings in Colonial times were much more of a community affair than they are now. Couples often married in towns in which one, or both, of them grew up. Because of this, wedding announcements were posted as an important part of the upcoming event, as a means to let family, friends, and neighbors know about the happy news.

In fact, the most common way to announce your wedding was in the weekly church bulletin. It would run for three consecutive weeks, and if there was no objections, a wedding contract was drafted for the happy couple.

wedding invite

How You Can Incorporate Colonial Wedding Announcements

Modern examples of wedding announcements, outside of traditional wedding invitations, include posting in the local¬† paper. However, if you want to add a Colonial flair to your Colonial Themed Wedding in Williamsburg, consider posting to the bulletin board at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. This church has been around since 1764, and there’s no more authentic colonial era place to post your announcement!

Colonial Attire and Decor for Your Wedding

Let’s be honest for a second; there’s a reason we no longer wear colonial attire for our day-to-day clothing, let alone for a wedding. Traditional colonial attire consisted of long-length loose linen shirts, with breeches fastened at the knee. Socks were woolen. Women wore heavy woolen dresses with long sleeve jackets and a bonnet. In the present day, with many wedding in Spring and Summer, you can imagine how uncomfortable that attire might be for your wedding party and guests.

However, since you’re having a Williamsburg Wedding, you can still incorporate traditional colonial attire and decor into your ceremony and reception.

traditional colonial attire

Colonial Attire

Since you are in Williamsburg, there is no shortage of Colonial recreationists that are available for hire. You can have your catering staff, band, and more dress as if they had just stepped out of a carriage on Main Street in 1777. This will add an excellent historical feel to your colonial wedding and is sure to make for some amazing picture opportunities for you and your guests!

colonial wedding band williamsburg virginia

Traditional Colonial Decor and Touches

Its easy to plan a Colonial Themed wedding in Williamsburg with just a few added touches that reference the time period. For example, you can arrive at your ceremony in an antique, horse-drawn carriage, complete with driver dressed in colonial attire. Find bands that play music from the period at your ceremony or during your reception. Adorn your receptions tables with geometrics orbs and arrangements of artichokes, greenery, and blooms. Give out copper mugs to guests as wedding favors. You can even hire a historical figure re-enactor as entertainment!

Traditional Colonial Wedding Cake

The elaborate, multi-tiered, decorated wedding cakes of today did not become popular until the Victorian Era. In Colonial weddings, the wedding cake would have been a simple one tiered wedding cake, with minor decorations. This was most often a spiced fruit cake with alcohol in order to preserve the cake. Traditionally, two cakes were served; one of the bride and one for the groom. The bride’s cake was then preserved in alcohol for a year for the couple to enjoy on their first anniversary.

single tier wedding cake for a colonial wedding

How You Can Incorporate Colonial Wedding Cake

Modern iterations of this traditional Colonial wedding cake can be a simple naked single tier cake. Additionally, you can serve

individual cupcakes for guests so they can have their “own” individual cake. These simplistic cakes add a sweet simplicity that is wholesome and sweet.

Plan Your Colonial Williamsburg Wedding Today

Ready to start planning your Colonial Themed Williamsburg wedding? The Maine of Williamsburg can host your wedding or event. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to see how we can assist you in creating the perfect event for you and your guests.