Think Phantom of the Opera-level mystique, without the nasty surprise at the unveiling. In fact, those hiding behind the sequined, feathered masks, elaborately embellished gowns and Venetian wigs are all friendly faces – mom, dad and grandma all decked out on the dance floor. Hosting a masquerade wedding is a great way to celebrate your high-profile love, because masquerades are, by nature, endowed with regality. Most recently, actress Salma Hayek and billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault held a pre-hitching masquerade ball. If you want to do it up right too, infusing mystery and provocative allure into your evening, then go the way of the rich and famous, breaking out your pimped-out party masks and pretty, dolled-up self.
from venice with love
Masked balls date back to medieval Venice, where the elite would indulge in lavish incognito for a night of un-courtly behavior. The Venetian Carnival was the most famous ball, marking the start of lent. These days, masquerades still infiltrate party themes on a seasonal basis, the more popular celebrations being Halloween and New Years.
going for it
What masquerade-themed weddings lack in conventionality, they more than make up for in ostentatious theatrics. But don’t get dramatic without the backup – hire a professional wedding planner to conceptualize and re-create the over-the-top carnivale atmosphere.
To shed some insight on creating such a mood, Maddy K Weddings share some of their most inspiring photos with us:
all about the mask
In Venice, mask makers once held a special position in the royal court, actually living beneath their own umbrella of tailor-made laws. The masks themselves were, and still are ridiculously elaborate: made up of sequined beading, lace trimmings, feathers and hand-painted designs. At your gala, have a mask awaiting each guest at their table setting, so they don’t skip a suggestive beat.
feather your fantasy
Not to be confused with those that once shared our cubby spaces with uncooked macaroni and pipe cleaners, “grown-up” feathers are soft, sexy and stylish. Use them unsparingly, spreading the downy love all over your invitations, table settings, floral arrangements, bouquets, hair dos and accessories (like flirty fans and dapper chapeaus.)
Carnivale ballroom ceilings once rained down with crystal chandeliers, like stalagmites in an “after” cave overhauled by the home and garden network. Try and find a reception area that emulates this majesty for that must-have antiquated ballroom
dimming the mood
Don’t compromise mood with bright lights: sultry is always best accompanied by dimmers. Candles work, but we don’t want sensuous bordering on in-the-bedroom, so do add a bit of unnatural lighting. Take on ambiance-enhancing hues like pink and amber, consulting your wedding planner for the array of options available.
Create a seating area at your ballroom’s entrance, using soft drapery and comfy, cozy sofas for the ultimate in mingle-friendly decor. It’ll give your inconspicuous invitees a private place to escape from all the excitement and revel in the inherent intimacy of the event.
maddy k weddings
Montreal’s Maddy K Weddings caters to individual tastes, combining desired results with innovative, insider know-how. Brides determine their ideal amount of control, so if yours is ‘relaxed,’ Maddy will shoulder the stress, leaving you to harbor the fun. (If you are going the way of the masquerade, they’ll take care of the invites, the authentic Venetian masks, and the complete metamorphosis of modern life that will be your enigmatic, medieval wedding.)