BIGBAND WEDDING THEME Swing was in and the "cool cat" sounds of Benny Goodman, Bing Cosby and the Andrew Sisters were being heard in ballrooms and nightclubs everywhere. This was the time of the big bands. If you love the jumpin' and jivin' sounds of the 30's and 40's, why not plan your wedding theme around this fascinating era? Here are some ideas to get you started. ** Bride's Attire ** - Slim fitting suit or a drop shoulder slim fitting satin dress with full length gloves and a hat with a netted face veil, seamed nylons and spiked healed shoes. ** Groom's Attire ** - Pin striped suit or army uniform. **Bridal Party ** -Should be along the same lines as the bride and groom in the colors of your wedding theme. ** Invitations ** 1) Decorate with pictures of either big band instruments or a wine bottle draped with a string of pearls. 2) Use either a black and white photo or a colored photo that has been made to look "antique" featuring you and your fiancée. Surround the picture in a border set to look like it's in an antique frame. ** Decorations ** 1) Fill balloons with helium and float them above the dance floor. 2) Create several balloon bouquets and place around the room. 3) Secure a mirrored, slow-turning "disco" ball over the dance floor. 4) Add strings of small lights over doorways. 5) Buy cheap children's musical instruments and place them throughout the room. 6) Have a fountain that produces bubbles. 7) Use posters of famous people during the 1930's and 1940's. Hang on the walls. 8) Find pictures of cars, bi-planes, etc. that relate to that period. Hang on the walls. Wedding receptions ** Favors ** 1) Give an actual antique photo of yourselves in an antique looking frame. 2) Create a music sheet with your favorite song, roll up and secure with ribbon. 3) Give small bottles of wine or champagne decorated with some ribbon and a string of fake pearls. 4) Another idea is to buy cheap champagne glasses and fill with rose petals or mints. ** Centerpieces ** 1) You could use wine bottles draped with pearls or army dog-tags or lay long, white gloves in the center of the table and scatter rose petals over them. 2) Buy a large champagne glass for each table and fill with glass beads; place a candle in the middle of each and drape fake pearls along its stem. 3) Buy children's toy musical instruments (saxophone, trombone, trumpet, etc.). Buy or make a small "music stand" and place an antiqued sheet of music with your songs on each stand. Place the stand on the table and prop an instrument next to it. ** Pewmarkers ** Buy the small, plastic horns, drums, etc. available at craft stores (usually I've seen them in the Christmas section). Create small music song sheets and secure the instrument to the sheet with a ribbon. Hang as pew markers. ** Wedding Programs ** Make your wedding programs look like a music book, with a dark "leather-look" cover with your initials or names on it. On the inside, use a music score sheet for your backgrounds (faded, watermark type background) with your program information written within. ** Music ** Any of the big band music. Jazz. Blues. You could hire an actual band or find a D.J. that enjoys this type of music and knows what to play. Search for music by the following artists: Andrews Sisters Louis Armstrong Fred Astaire Gene Autrey Cab Calloway Nat King Cole Count Basie Bing Cosby Dorris Day Tommy Dorsey Duke Ellington Gracie Fields Ella Fitzgerald Benny Goodman Fletcher Henderson Woody Herman Ink Spots Spike Jones Sammy Kaye Franky Laine Guy Lombardo Jeanette MacDonald Glenn Miller Mills Brothers Cole Porter Artie Shaw Frank Sinatra Mel Torme Fats Waller ** Wedding Cake ** 1) Get a regular wedding cake (2 or 3 tiers) and place small, plastic musical instruments along the edges. For the topper, have two figures standing in front of a music stand. 2) Have the cake shaped into a musical instrument such as a saxophone, trumpet, drums, piano, tuba, guitars, etc. Brass instruments were very popular then.