8 Ways to Pull Off A Glamorous Wedding

Whether you're more black-tie ballroom, barefoot on the beach or somewhere in between, read our guide for pulling off a gorgeous wedding.
  1. Your Style

    Photo by Michael Norwood Photography / The Knot

    If you think that less is less and more is really more, you're a glamour girl at heart. So why should your wedding day be any less dramatic?

  2. The Setting

    Photo by Gerber + Scarpelli / The Knot

    Look for a venue that's both glamorous and bold. Opulence is key. Try an ornate ballroom with built-in decor that makes you feel as if you've stepped into the gold-gilded Palace of Versailles. Other options include a historic mansion, the atrium of an exquisite art museum or the dining room of a grand estate.

  3. Wedding Wear

    Photo by Ira Lippke Studios / The Knot

    Make your entrance a Cinderella moment with a dress that sparkles. Think: a ball gown covered in a beaded bodice with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals or a dramatic layered skirt and long sweeping train. Or go sexy in a slinky, backless, fully beaded sheath.

  4. Color Combos

    Photo by Jared Wilson / The Knot

    Colors that are kept monochromatic (all-white or various shades of white), as well as combinations that range from sexy jewel tones to boisterous hot hues, will all have a bold impact.

  5. Best Blooms

    Photo by Gruber Photographers / The Knot

    When it comes to flowers, it's always about quality, but when it comes to glamour, it's also about quantity. While you can never go wrong with roses, you don't have to limit yourself to one choice of bloom -- arrangements that feature a variety of roses but that also include green amaranths, grapes, leaves, seeded eucalyptus, berries and hydrangeas evoke drama. When you run out of flowers, add texture with various vines and branches.

  6. The Decor

    Surround centerpieces (calla lilies and ostrich feathers play up this theme well) with tapered candles in antique glass bottles and strings of pearls cascading from silver bowls; then, use cut-crystal stemware alongside ornate flatware. If you're looking for a more masculine touch to your table setting, add decorative accents like cathedral radios and cigar boxes (hello, bonus favors). Cover tables in heavy, textured fabrics (think: velvet and raw silk) and top with baroque candelabras, antique silver goblets, embossed charger plates and colored glassware. When it comes to your centerpieces, think in extremes: Either go for height with manzanita branches and curly willow (for an elegant nod to the forest feel), or opt for low and full with black calla lilies and red roses. Transform your venue into a lounge-like environment by clustering intimate, four-top tables around the dance floor or stage, and hire a local jazz band -- complete with trumpets, a piano and a killer trap set -- to entertain your guests. If you're having trouble finding one in the area, look to local college ensembles that are used to performing regularly.

  7. The Menu

    Photo by Camilla Pucholt / The Knot

    Serve a signature drink for your cocktail hour -- vodka and lemonade or chocolate martinis -- on shiny silver trays. Your tuxedo-dressed waiters should offer appetizers on trays -- consider sushi, tapas or other easy-to-eat foods such as duck with caramelized onions, tuna wrapped with roasted red pepper, and prosciutto with melon. A seated multicourse meal served on fine china is a must. Start with a regional or seasonal soup that's poured at each place setting. For the main course, fish, lobster or filet mignon are top choices. You may wish to consider serving different fine wines or champagnes with every course. Your cake should be a showpiece, so go big with a multitiered wedding cake, surrounded by a variety of other decadent options like white-chocolate-covered strawberries, creme brulee, and individual chocolate and pecan tarts.

  8. The Music

    Photo by Jared Wilson / The Knot

    Start the evening with a string orchestra playing smooth tunes during dinner. You'll want to hire an 8- to 15-piece band that will usher in an evening of dancing and play your timeless favorites, from jazzy artists like Nat King Cole and Charlie Parker to smooth soulful singers like Marvin Gaye and James Brown. For additional live (but clean) entertainment, you can hire belly dancers or an a cappella singing group for a predinner delight.

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