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Motifs: Pirate

Attire - Women
Think lush fabrics like velvet or brocade, particularly in deep jewel tones. Frothy lace at the sleeves and collar. Look for Restoration-era womens' dresses for ideas, or put together a unique "pirate queen" ensemble, dripping with silk, satin, and sexy leather boots.

Attire - Men
Dozens of movies (not to mention romance novel covers) offer costume suggestions, but your basics would be: A loose linen shirt with a laced front, either slim trousers (velvet or leather) or loose pantaloons, and tall boots.

Locale
Pirates seem most at home in the Caribbean, or somewhere on the high seas. A beach wedding, tropical island theme, or even a rented boat would all be appropriate.

Decor
Turn your reception hall into a desert island with potted palms and lush foliage, or decorate it to look like the captain's quarters.

Use crushed velvet in jewel tones (ruby red, emerald green) as table cloths, with gold or silver accents.

A treasure chest would be perfect for holding cards. Fake one using milk crates and cloth, add some white lights for sparkle and strew around gold chocolate coins and fake jewels.

Cover the walls with treasure maps and navigation charts.

Light the tables with lanterns or antique candle holders and taper candles.

Miscellaneous
Send invitations in corked plastic bottles. You can get these from most craft suppliers, or make your own by saving up plastic beer bottles.

Make your guest book look as old-fashioned as possible, and provide a quill pen (with a ball-point tip) to sign it.

For favors, give out bags of gold chocolate coins or nautical-themed items like anchor-shaped guest soap.

Inspiration
Films:

  • Cutthroat Island
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Restoration
  • The Man in the Iron Mask

Books:

  • Invitation to a Funeral (Molly Brown)
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys
  • Under the Black Flag (David Cordingly)
  • The Pirates' Own Book (Charles Ellms/Marine Research Society)
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