Yesterday I read a really interesting quote by Rudyard Kipling – “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” The words left me reflecting about all the billions of lives that that history has seen, each with their stories, their loves, their revolutionary ideas, and their unique footprints. It also got me thinking about how radically different people’s lives have been across space and time – and how some periods of history get a lot more ‘mainstream’ attention than others, but are no less fascinating. At a time when people are looking far and wide for creative styling inspiration for weddings (which I love!), I thought a little wander through time might reveal some unexpected wonders.
Four million year old prehistory may not seem like it can offer us much by way of visual inspiration, but in a way it embodies all the most natural, minimalist, and raw aspects of being us. Think about our need for shelter, in the form of caves and warm furs; our full exploration and use of our surroundings, in the form of berries, or animal parts like feathers or antlers; and our kinship with nature’s woodlands, mountains, and seas. Think of our journey of discovery, as early humans, through the wonders of the Earth, and what we are able to create within it. To me, this brings up images of stone, wood, fire, and powerful change that rocked the core of history. Perhaps not your standard palette for weddings – but meteorite wedding rings would be pretty awesome, no?
Let’s travel forward to about 3000 BC, to the shores of the Nile in Northeastern Africa. Not only was this part of the world soon to leave a legacy of agriculture, mathematics, religion, and art – I think it’s safe to say that no civilization has used gold decor quite like the Ancient Egyptians! Their monumental ruins (talk about epic) and intricate culture have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries, and I’d love to see more incarnations of this make their way into our modern toolbox of colour, style, and fashion. The paint palette available at the time would have come from minerals, and included red and yellow ochres, blue and teal copper ores, black charcoal, and white limestone. Egyptian clothing on the other hand sparkled with myriad more colours, inspired by nature, and adorned with voluminous jewellery and precious gems. They lived in pursuit of beauty and spirituality – milk bath à la Cleopatra, anyone?
We’re now just on the edge of the 14th century, with the age of the crusades, the Mongol Empire, and chivalry behind us, and the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration ahead of us. Trade routes between the East and West lead to completely unexpected cultural blends, with explorers sending their ships and horses beyond their maps and wildest imaginations. It is a time of silk, spices, and salt; dates, saffron powder, and pistachio nuts; frankincense, aloes, and myrrh; sandalwood, glass, and porcelain. It is a time of new colours and perfumes, new worlds, and new ideas – the timid beginnings of a global community. Letting this period of history inspire a theme would be all too easy for the traveller at heart, and would create an immersive, captivating, exotic ambience that nobody would (want to) forget.
If you want to brainstorm some ideas, or would like some help in styling or planning your wedding, just get in touch ♡