Regency Weddings

Today I’m on the road, traveling back home from a family wedding this weekend. So, because I’m thinking about weddings, I’ve adapted a blog I wrote a couple of years ago for Harlequin Romance authors who had a blog promoting their series, The Wedding Planners. I was their guest blogger, talking about Regency Weddings.

I was married a brazillion years ago, long before I started writing or reading Regency romance. It wasn’t too long ago I realized I actually had a Regency Wedding!

Here I am with my bridesmaids. Notice that our dresses are all empire-waisted. Notice the leg-o-mutton sleeves on my dress and the puffed sleeves on the bridesmaids dresses.

Now compare these dresses to two Regency Fashion Prints from the fashion magazines of 1815.

See the similarities?

I had a Regency Wedding!

And you can have a Regency Wedding, too. There are many sites on the internet offering custom made Regency wedding dresses. Here are two of them:

Regency Reproductions

Fashions in Time

Or if you are handy you could make your Regency gown:

McCall’s Pattern M6030

In fact, if you so desire, you can have a Regency wedding in one of the historic sites in the UK.

This is St. George’s, the church on Havover Square in Mayfair, London, where many Regency lords and ladies held their weddings. You can, too.

You can also have your wedding in the Prince Regent’s summer home, the Brighton Pavilion in Brighton Hove.

In a room like this:

If that is too fussy for you, or if you must marry in a hurry, like many couples in Regency Romances, you can elope to Gretna Green over the border in Scotland. Here I am standing at the historic anvil. Regency couples were married “over the anvil” in Gretna Green.
No, this isn’t another wedding photo. It is me with the tour guide at Gretna Green when I visited in 2005. I’m holding a copy of The Wagering Widow which began with a Gretna Green wedding.

How about it? Have I convinced you to have a Regency Wedding?

Ask me any questions you like about Regency Weddings, but I won’t be home until after 7 pm. I’ll let you know then how this wedding was. What do you think? Do you think the bride will have worn: a) Leg o’ mutton sleeves b) empire waist dress c) stapless dress?

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Susan in AZ
12 years ago

Darling wedding picture, Diane!

I went through enough weddings, both my own and my relatives, that if I had to do it again, I would vote for Las Vegas (but NO Elvis).

Strapless wedding gowns are fripperies that will not look good in the photos 20 years from now. Most young brides are too thin (or too plump) to carry off the look very well. They seem to represent a generation-wide “dream” of being a princess in a Fairy Tale. Oh, well. My gown from 27 years ago was not much better.

Susan in AZ

12 years ago

Lol – my daughter got married 2 years ago and she had the strapless, corset type top with a puffed out bottom and train but she weighs under 110 and really could pull it off. A brazillion years ago I had the empire style with long sleeves but not puffy with a long, long train and a long, long veil – what was I thinking lol. My question is – did they do they honeymoon thing during the regency era?

12 years ago

For my sister’s wedding, my bride’s maid dress was empire waist and leg-o-mutton sleeves. If I ever married, definitely eloping, preferably over the anvil (the farther away the safer). Worked great in Wagering Widow! Hmmm… I may have to pull out an old favorite… of course, I’d have to read MMM first…

I’d always wanted a fairy tale dress, until I finally actually tried one on… I looked horrible in it!

Elena Greene
12 years ago

I wish I’d thought to have a Regency wedding!

Since I got married in the late 80s, I must be content that my hair was only moderately big and my dress did not have shoulder pads. 🙂

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

What a cute bride, O Divine One!

I would have happily settled for an empire waist bridesmaid gown in any of the weddings in which I was a bridesmaid. Unfortunately I got loud colors, drop waists (which do NOT look good on someone barely 5 feet tall!) and HUGE hats! I looked like a disco Scarlett O’Hara in most of my bridesmaid dresses.

So many of today’s brides look like women in the oldest profession going to the senior prom. (Shudder!)

I have that McCall pattern and every year I say I am going to make my dress for the Beau Monde Soiree. Maybe this year. SIGH!

Diane Gaston
12 years ago

I’m home!
The wedding was lovely and remarkable in that there were 18 bridesmaids and groomsmen (9 each) and 5 flower girls and two ring bearers. The bridesmaids had lovely dresses. They were all color coordinated, a golden beige or a deep plum. They also were in about 5 different styles. It worked beautifully. The mother of the bride (my husband’s half sister) wore a long sleeved deep plum long dress and the mother of the groom wore a golden beige suit.

Now the bride. Her wedding dress was empire waist AND strapless, with a skirt of tiny pleats. She had a perfect figure for it and was absolutely beautiful.

Louisa Cornell
12 years ago

Sounds like a gorgeous wedding!

12 years ago

I guess my wedding was a bit Regency. I had an empire waisted dress. I made the attendants dresses and even though they were different styles, the all had empire waists. I didn’t specifically look for that style. I was trying dresses on and it was perfect. I had planned on making my dress, but this one was perfect.

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