The soft colours and the incredible wedding gown set the stage for this Les Miserables inspirational wedding photo shoot. From the use of tulle with the dress to the emphasis on candles and their meaning, you may just want to start with this theme as your own!
Details for a Les Miserables Wedding
Jean Valjean, the lead character of Les Miserables, is symbolic of hope. After having gone through so much injustice and experiencing human cruelty, Valjean learns to love in spite of seeing such negativity in life.
A wedding themed around Les Miserables also conveys these ideals, particularly hope and love.
For the wedding itself, brides will want to utilise antiques, grey colours, candelabras, and a dress featuring tulle. The colour palette should feature not only grey but also black and red (the colours of the two factions in the novel). Why not choose paper lanterns as part of the ceremonial or reception decor!
What to Look for in a Venue for a Les Miserables Wedding
A Les Miserables themed wedding would be suited to either an outdoor venue (especially a garden setting) or an indoor venue.
The indoor venue itself can make a big difference in pulling off the Les Miserables themed wedding. Look for chandeliers and intricate molding on the ceiling and floors. Speaking of floors, this is important as well! Whether the flooring is wood or it is another material, eye-catching patterns are a must.
An outdoor venue should offer a well-kept garden which you can adorn with market lights. The garden should be considered manicured, offering geometric patterns and stone walkways as well as hedges that are perfectly trimmed.
Colour Palette for a Les Miserables Wedding
If you’ve seen the Hugh Jackman version of Les Miserables, you’ll likely remember the Red and Black song. Looking at the lyrics of the song, we see mentions of wine, blood, and the anger that stirs men like Jean Valjean to action. There is also the mention of red at the dawn of day, which could also symbolise a new beginning.
Black is another colour mentioned in Les Miserables (and the song, of course). Black represents disappointment, the dark of ages past, and the end of a situation. Black can make a great accent colour for a Les Miserables wedding. You may also want to mix in gray with black and red; white is also a colour prevalent in the Hugh Jackman version of the musical.
Food for a Les Miserables Wedding
Because the book and the corresponding musical is set in France, you’ll never go wrong utilising some French dishes – particularly pastries – at a Les Miserables wedding.
Macarons are a delicious treat, and they are perfect for a pastry table. A crepe station is also a great idea, original, and a perfect sweet treat. Baguette bread is also associated with French fare. Cheese is another French favourite, but cheese should be arranged in a tasteful display with grapes and nuts or crackers.
You can also serve the French 75 cocktail, which combines gin, champagne, and lemon juice. Serve with a lavender garnish for a real Parisian touch.
Wedding Dresses and Accessories for a Les Miserables Wedding
Brides aren’t often able to find a dress that is designed with a particular theme in mind, but, the Tuileries gown designed by Monique Lhuillier gets its name from a famous French garden near the Louvre. This long, flowing dress is adorned with a floral pattern with off-the-shoulder bouffant puffy sleeves.
Tulle dresses are also appropriate for a Les Miserables themed wedding dress. Some brides are sporting these dresses in an off-white or a champagne colour. No Les Miserables themed wedding accessories would be complete without a Watteau train. This train is attached to the back of the dress, and it flows down and outward from the gown.
Groom Style for a Les Miserables Wedding
While the groom may opt for a traditional tuxedo or a suit, there are some neat and unique ideas for a groom’s style for a Les Miserables themed wedding.
Grooms won’t have to search high and low for neat outfits. For instance, simply begin looking at cosplay stores for a Lewis Javert jacket such as the uniform worn by Russel Crowe’s character. These jackets can be found in navy or royal blue, and the tail of the coat adds an air of regal debonair to the nuptials. An alternative to this is the red jacket worn by Enjolras.
Other options for grooms include a tuxedo jacket with a long tail and a top hat. Bow ties should be worn, and a vest completes the look that is a throwback to 1800s France.
Wedding Cake Ideas for a Les Miserables Wedding
To really emphasise the Les Miserables and French traditions of the theme, forgo the traditional tiered wedding cake and opt for a Croquembouche wedding cake instead!
A Croquembouche is a French dessert made from puff pastries (choux in particular). This pastry is filled with creme patisserie. The individual pastries are then stacked in a cone shape, so it does look much like a tiered cake. For a wedding, some decorators will drizzle caramel over the stack, while others will add fondant or buttercream icing. One can then add sugar flowers for added decor.
It’s important to remember that the Croquembouche can’t be left to sit out for a great amount of time; it will need to be served when guests are ready to eat.
Wedding Invitations for a Les Miserables Wedding
The Les Miserables wedding invitations should evoke an Old World style of romance. This may mean deckled edges and handwritten calligraphy as well as watercolour illustrations on the front of the invitation. You may want to offer a watercolour of Jean Valjean or of young Cosette as this watercolour.
Consider the artwork from the Hugh Jackman version of the musical, the depiction of a young peasant girl on a black background with red and black flags. Or opt to somehow add a subtle illustration of the wedding venue’s exterior on the invitation.
Favours and Gifts for a Les Miserables Wedding
When thinking of Les Miserables wedding favours and gifts, think about the major characters of the movie.
While you may offer macarons at the reception, you can send the members of the wedding party a box of macarons the night before. These sweet treats make a great snack. Vintage books are also highly symbolic of the Les Miserables wedding theme. Check out vintage stores and flea markets for books that look aged but are otherwise in good shape.
Because candles and candlesticks are highly important for showing the light in the world in the musical, candles might be an appropriate gift for the members of your bridal party.
Reception Decor for a Les Miserables Wedding
First, a sit-down dinner is highly appropriate for Les Miserables themed wedding reception decor! In fact, round tables with bistro chairs, white linens, and small floral centrepieces are perfect for this wedding theme.
String market lights above the dining area so that one feels as if they are sitting outdoors in Paris. A unique touch, however, would be to use lanterns (centrepieces) with depictions of the images from the Hugh Jackman version of the musical.
The dinner service also contributes to the reception decor. Look for patina – solid gold or silver that is slightly tarnished. Add gilded dishes and champagne glasses to complete the look.
So normally when you’re picturing your dream wedding, Les Miserables isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Bear with me though! Despite the somewhat bleak happenings in this fantastic novel by Victor Hugo (and is anyone else going to be first in line with me to see this movie in December?) the overall mood of early 1800s France is a total winner. And there are a couple of sweet love stories wrapped into this tome, one of which actually ends happily.
To achieve this shabby chic Parisian look for your wedding, incorporate a lot of antiques, vintage books, and grey colours. Candlelight and candelabras play an important role as a motif for compassion in the book so use them in your wedding. Be sure to let the candles burn a bit first to get them looking right.
Bonus points if you get married in Paris.
And I know you’re wondering about that amazing tulle dress. Isn’t it lovely? It was handmade for an inspiration shoot by Alea Lovely (the photographer) and later sold on Etsy. Honestly, it has to be the most gorgeous handmade dress I’ve ever seen. A true one-of-a-kind.
Loving this wedding inspiration board? You’ll also adore: Anna Karenina and The Remains of the Day
Credits: photo credits: vintage books, garden statue, crinkle fans from BHLDN, men’s attire (source unknown – anyone?) window shutters Etsy, antique angel, vintage bottles, tulle wedding dress < from Ruffled, candle and succulents.