Bird-themed weddings are surging in popularity this year, from canary cupcakes to feathered footwear. If you’re trying to decide upon a wedding theme, grab the opportunity to embellish your celebration with the most romantic bird of all: the swan. There will be no ugly ducklings at your nuptial proceedings; only beautiful swans will lend their grace to your wedding-day details.
If you admire the beauty and grace of swans, why not borrow some of those qualities for your own wedding fashion statement? Your wedding gown is the perfect place to add your own interpretation of one of the world’s most graceful birds. It doesn’t have to have an anatomically-correct, curve-around neck like Björk’s famous 2001 dress, but your dress can still include some swan-like details.
Incorporate some feathers into your outfit with white feathers around the neckline or hemline of your wedding gown. Feather fans as well as feathered hair ornaments make striking accessories for engagement photos as well as photo opportunities on the big day. Add feathers in unexpected places, like the tips of your shoes or tucked in your wedding garter, as a unique touch that will set you apart from the crowd.
Feeling extra-adventurous? Small, delicate feathers can be worked into false eyelashes. Add a few on the very edges of your eyes for an unstoppable bridal look. Careful, though–with eyelashes, less is more! You don’t want to look like you’re squinting under the weight of a whole bird.
Make an unforgettable entrance, or exit your wedding in style, by renting a swan boat for the occasion. Swan boats are available in many cities as a charming attraction, and are usually available in pedal-powered versions for old-fashioned appeal. If you’re not holding your wedding by the banks of a lake, you can use a swan boat as the location for your engagement photo shoot, instead.
If you’re using a swan boat, plan ahead to make sure you’re not inconvenienced by the small details. A dress with a long train, for example, should be wrapped carefully so it doesn’t accidentally trail through the water. Play it safe by riding with several bridesmaids who can keep your dress off the ground as you disembark.
Grace your reception table with elegant swans by commissioning swan-shaped ice sculptures. These temporary masterpieces will draw all eyes in the room (that is, until you make your big entrance).
If ice sculptures are too impermanent for your liking, but you still love the idea of a clear swan sculpture that can catch and reflect the light, decorate with a pair of crystal swans as a centerpiece. Position them on a mirror for a perfect reflection. Don’t forget the colored uplighting to catch every sparkling facet.
A pair of swans make perfect wedding cake toppers. Position them so their arched necks form a heart. You can also use swan-shaped wedding flutes for your first toast as a married couple. Swans with their bent necks forming a heart are a very popular motif in romantic imagery and you should not have trouble finding a number of wedding-day details with two swans in this pose.
Swans can be more than mere decoration. Use swan-shaped baskets to present candles, favors, potted flowers, or Jordan almonds. These centerpieces are functional as well as beautiful, and can be used in your home after the wedding.
Use edible swans to decorate your wedding cake or cupcakes. Sugar sculptures can be made in the form of graceful birds to add a touch of elegance to any dessert table.
Inventing a few signature drinks goes a long way towards making your theme fully immersive for your guests. While decorations and fashion accessories will evoke swan-like thoughts as people arrive to your reception venue, there is no substitute for a themed drink that guests can hold and imbibe.
Serve a few swan-themed alcoholic drinks as well as non-alcoholic versions so that all of your guests can partake in the fun. If you’re using a professional bartender, choose someone with the personality and panache to mix each drink on the spot with enough flair so your guests will keep coming up for seconds.
A “Flying Swan” combines equal parts coconut rum and sour apple schnapps with twice as much orange juice. Garnish it with colorful fruits like cherries, oranges, mango squares, or wedges of lime.
For a creamy, dreamy beverage, try this take on the “Swan Lake” cocktail: Combine two parts vanilla vodka with one part cream and one part pureed banana. Add a dash or two of chocolate liqueur and Blue Curacao, and a few drops of vanilla extract. Garnish the rim with shaved white chocolate as “feathers.”
For a tart, sweet treat, shake up equal parts Hpnotiq and watermelon vodka. Add Sprite and a squeeze of lemon to taste. Serve it in a glass rimmed with blue sugar with some candied violets as garnishes.
Looking for something warmer? Serve lattes with swan designs drawn in the steamed milk for an energizing boost before guests hit the dance floor.
Planning your wedding festivities around a swan theme lends you nearly limitless possibilities. From venue decorations to edible masterpieces, swans add a touch of romance wherever they alight. Use the curving necks and pure-white feathers of nature’s winged celebrities to embellish your wedding celebration with even more romance.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.