We’re very excited to post our first installment in our Art History for Brides!! This is a series we’re designing exclusively for Style Unveiled, an amazing source for wedding inspiration and vendors that you MUST make part of your daily reads. With an education in art and art history, I’ve always found that knowledge of design and its history is so important in moving forward with new creative designs. Hence, the Art History for Brides series was born. From Egyptian, Greco Roman, Renaissance, Baroque… all the way up to Art Nouveau, Art Deco & Hollywood Regency, we’ll be covering design of the times and showing you how you can bring some art history into the modern world for your stylish wedding day!

Art History for Brides

When it comes it comes to art and design, whether it be fashion, architecture, decor or painting, the genre from which it came speaks loudly about its origins and the culture in which it was born. It says who the people were, how their civilizations functions, and how their creative expressions told us about their lives at that time in history.

In today’s world there is rarely an element of design that did not derive from one of the great art genres of our history. Bringing in these elements from Egyptian to Roman, Baroque to Victorian and Art Nouveau to Art Deco, and then combing them and reinterpreting them into your own personal translations is what creates truly unique and stunning wedding designs.

In working with many different brides, I love to have them tell me what they love and imagine their dream wedding to be like, but all to often then not, they unfortunately mix up their Baroque from Victorian, their Deco and Art Nouveau and tons of Mid-Century modern with Hollywood Regency. With so many looks and styles to admire, unless they know their Renaissance from their Regency, who’s really to blame?! Enter Art History for Brides. Showing all of the genre-confused brides out there that walking step by step through history can be fun and of course be a tremendous style aide in designing their big day.

Walk (down the aisle) Like an Egyptian….

We will be starting all the way back from the ancient Egyptians, who were known for their bold use of gold, jewels, animals, symbolism, geometric shapes and ornately decorated objects.

Symbolism played a major role in Egyptian art which led to over exaggerated colors and geometric illustrations of their perceived lives. Egyptians were known for worshiping their animals at the highest level and projecting them into gods that were often seen as the head or body of a human. This was seen in the Sphinx with the body of a lion and Horus the falcon headed god. We incorporated symbols such as the eagle god Horus, an ankh, scarabs, lotus and papyrus into our Egyptian style wedding invitation.

Gold was ever present in the times of the ancient Egyptians and considered to be the skin of the gods, a divine and indestructible metal associated with the sun. Egyptians worked with gold, blue lapis from Afghanistan and many precious gemstones such as rubies and emeralds in their jewelry, funeral masks and other precious decorative objects.  For a royal feel in your wedding infuse elements of gold into your china, linens or even goldware instead of flatware as we did..

In addition to their jewelry making skills they were very talented glass and pottery artisans who created beautiful decorative vases, bowls and goblets in blues, greens and amber present in the royal chambers. We brought in a teal ceramic water pitcher onto our table as well as an amber glass goblet we used as a vase.

Colors played a major role in their symbolism and made color jems very important in their meanings.

  • Black – Black granite, silt and paint was widely used and considered the color of the country, the underworld and life and fertility.
  • Turquoise - The green color of turquoise was synonymous with joy and life (A perfect stone for a wedding celebration!)
  • Lapis Lazuli - Blue was the color of the heavens, water, and the primeval flood, and it represented creation and rebirth.
  • Amazonite - Its light blue color symbolized good luck and fertility
  • Jasper - Red symbolized fire and blood of their god Isis and thought to improve fertility.

Lotus flowers were considered a holy flower that represented the sun and a symbol of rebirth since it closes and goes under water at night and rises and reopens at dawn. Water lilies were also very praised because of the same qualities. For our Egyptian style tablescape we infused proteas, pink peonies, black cala lilies and white lily-of-the-nile to bring in an Egyptian flare.

Egyptian furniture was made of hand carved pieces with inlaid gold, beads and tiles. Infuse your wedding with some Egyptian style with ornate Egyptian chairs for the bride and groom, flowing white papyrus inspired fabrics and a relaxing dais with wooden lounges for your cocktail reception.

The Egyptian wedding ceremony was a simple yet poignant and consisted of the bride, wearing a white papyrus sheath with her most treasured jewels and gold, and then moving her belongings into her husbands home. Enough said. Celebrations were held at the couples new home and were full of wine, flowers and food.

Event Design, Invitation Design & Styling by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations

Floral Design by Isari Flower Studio

Photography by Katie Neal

This is only part 1 in our Egyptian series. Check back soon for the invitation and fashion that we’d suggest for your Egyptian inspired wedding.

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One Response to “Art History for Brides: Walk like an Egyptian…”

  1. Helene on January 8th, 2011 8:04 am

    So clever of you thank you! I hear all sorts of theme and don’t have any clue of what they’re talking about! I’m so looking forward to the rest of your series!

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