Through the course of art history, art movements have emerged in response to cultural, social, and political issues that defined their times. Each movement has maintained its own unique style: the soft pastel hues of Impressionism, the elegant, golden exuberance of Art Deco, the vibrant and expressive use of color in Fauvism, or the playful style of Pop art. With their defined color palettes, artists, and motifs, these art movements offer today’s creative couples the perfect inspiration to create a cohesive, visually stunning wedding day theme.
To help create the day of your dreams, we’ve gathered wedding decoration ideas inspired by some of the most iconic art movements in history.
Art Deco Wedding Ideas
Art Deco is perhaps one of the most iconic art movements that couples are drawn to for artistic wedding inspiration. This style, which permeated the realm of visual art, architecture, and design, originated in Paris in 1925, and gained popularity in the United States and western Europe throughout the 1930s. Much of the artwork developed during this time was characterized by symmetrical, geometric shapes that reflected a more optimistic, celebratory mindset that emerged after World War I. As a movement that reigned in the 1920s, Art Deco was defined by exuberance and luxury, and its glamorous aspects have made it a popular wedding theme.
Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka is one of the most admired and recognizable artists working during the heyday of the Art Deco movement. She lived a free-spirited, bohemian lifestyle, painting portraits of prominent figures with a unique approach that included bright, decorative colors and angular styles. To evoke the same allure of de Lempicka and other Art Deco artists through your wedding decor, start with a black and gold palette, adding accents of bright white and greenery. Add sparkling accents to tabletops, mantles, and other decorative areas of the ceremony. For attire, find an Art Deco wedding dress and complete the look with a vintage headpiece, pearls, and 1920s-inspired glam.
Pop Art Wedding Ideas
Pop art emerged in the United Kingdom in the 1950s, but quickly spread to the United States soon after. As one of the more bold, expressive art movements, Pop art represented an attempt to return to a more objective form of art, deviating from the subjective, emotional Abstract Expressionism that preceded it. Pop artists incorporate iconic images taken from television, comic books, magazines, advertisements, and fuse other mundane, everyday objects into their works.
To create a Pop art-inspired wedding, look to artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, whose unique visual style is instantly recognizable. Utilize bold paint hues, incorporating blues, reds, and yellows as much as possible. To further recreate the movement, borrow imagery from pop culture and lightly weave the aesthetic into your venue’s furniture, walls, table settings, and even party favors for your guests.
Art Nouveau Wedding Ideas
Art Nouveau was a popular movement from 1890 to about 1910. Meaning “new art,” this style began in Europe and took on many different iterations and characteristics depending on the artist’s interpretation. For example, art from this period drew inspiration from the natural world, such as trees, greenery, and the deep sea, depicting these illustrations through flowing, sinuous lines and the movement’s signature “whiplash” curves. Artists employed flat, decorative patterns that could be used in all forms of art.
When planning an Art Nouveau-inspired wedding, look to artists like Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, and other iconic Art Nouveau artists to mimic their curving lines and linear shapes. Play with muted, soft colors like greens, grays and mustard yellows, utilize decorative, ornamental objects, and look for venues that have stained glass windows.
A van Gogh-Inspired Wedding
One of the most influential artists of all time, Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh offers remarkable inspiration for your upcoming nuptials. The artist once said, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” Post-Impressionism was a term coined by an English art critic Roger Fry, given to artists like van Gogh who abandoned the style of Impressionism in favor of more expressive, free-form techniques. Van Gogh drew inspiration from painters whose matching of colors, brisk brushstrokes, and liberal use of paint piqued his interest. His art is defined by bold, dramatic brush strokes and emotional response to his surroundings.
Perhaps one of his most notable works, The Starry Night is great inspiration for newly engaged, van Gogh enthusiasts. To emulate this moving piece, call upon a moody color palette of dark blues and yellows with swirling patterns throughout your decor as you say your vows under a dimly lit, starry night of your own.
A Colorful Fauvism Wedding
Though short-lived, Fauvism as a movement had an enormous impact on the role of color in painting. The genre began with a group of early 20th-century artists called “les Fauves.” This French group was the first to break away from the realistic tendencies of Impressionism and instead focused on spontaneous, subjective characteristics. Fauvist artists played with vibrant, unnatural colors. The Fauvist movement was led by none other than Henri Matisse, whose famous painting Le Bonheur de Vivre embodied all the movement set out to accomplish.
To recreate the vibrancy of Fauvism at your wedding celebration, look for eye-popping designs and brilliant patterns. Play with an unrestrained use of color in your bouquet, centerpieces, and other decor.
An Exuberant Rococo Wedding
The Rococo movement originated in early 18th-century Paris as a deviation from King Louis XV’s grand Baroque style. It was characterized by softer colors, curvier lines, and depictions of love, nature, and playful imagery. The word “Rococo” is derived from the French word for rubble or rock, used as a description for the serpentine patterns and curves created throughout this type of art. Jean-Antoine Watteau is credited with the birth of Rococo painting, his most notable being Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera.
A Rococo-inspired wedding is one with much elegance and detail. Play with more graceful, modest decor that doesn’t distract from the overall feel of your event space. Use soft, muted colors like azure blue, soft peach, and ivory in your flower arrangements, attire, and centerpieces.
It’s easy to draw inspiration from art movements that have defined centuries past. While some offer bold, vibrant characteristics, others are a bit more modest and subdued. There is truly an artistic style for every bride or groom. Utilize key pieces and characteristics from your favorite genre to adorn your wedding decor, attire, and all the subtle intricacies that make your special day as unique as the paintings and architecture that inspired it.