Gatsby Themed Wedding Reception

Gatsby Themed Wedding  Reception  art deco cake

A wedding reception inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a bold, elegant choice for your special day. Use this opportunity to show off your love of great literature, as well as your fondness for '20s fashion and Art Deco style.

Gatsby Quotes to Add to Your Wedding Reception

Adding quotes from The Great Gatsby to your wedding stationery and signage is a simple way to play up your theme. Options to consider include:

  • “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
  • “There I was, way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care.”
  • “Their eyes met and they stared together at each other, alone in space.”
  • “People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.”
  • "It takes two to make an accident."

Many people also choose to incorporate quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald's other works into their wedding reception. If you want to take this approach, Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald is full of romantic wisdom.

Framed Art Deco Wedding Invitation

Color Schemes for Your Wedding Reception Decor

Black and gold will likely be prominently featured in your Gatsby inspired wedding reception, but that's not your only option. Here are two alternative approaches:

  • Gray, white, green, red, yellow, and blue are featured in the novel as symbolic colors representing different elements of the ‘20s lifestyle.
  • Art Deco style is characterized by sand, gray, beige, linen, and champagne neutrals with silver or gold undertones and exotic pastel accent colors like mauve, rose, and coral.

More Gatsby Theme Ideas

Other ways to highlight your theme throughout your wedding reception include:

  • General Decor: Add flair to your reception area by decorating with vintage typewriters, suitcases, old cameras, and globes. Use lace, feathers, glitter, and metallic ribbons liberally to highlight the glamorous aspect of your event.
  • Place Settings: Add a black feather with the tip dipped in gold to the top of each place setting. Use gold glitter craft paper to accent your place cards and create table numbers on empty wine bottles that have been spray painted gold.  If you're using menus for your wedding reception, choose an Art Deco inspired design. The Printable Wedding has several Art Deco stationery sets to that include reception menus, as well as templates for PowerPoint presentations.
  • Signage: Use black paper and gold metallic paint or glitter to create sparkling signs for your wedding area. Direct guests to the restrooms, instruct them where to drop off their gifts, or create special “Mr. and Mrs.” signs for the head table.
  • Centerpieces: Make easy centerpieces by filling large bowls with faux pearls and adding candles in the middle. Scatter a few crystals on the table for extra sparkle. If you'd prefer real flowers, cymbidium, dendrobium, and phalaenopsis orchids are the perfect choice since these were the flowers used in the 2013 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
  • Cake: Have your baker create a cake using edible gold glitter and Art Deco style trim.
  • Gatsby Themed Wedding  Reception  art deco cake
  • Bar: Set up your bar area to serve alcohol out of vintage decanters. Let guests choose from themed cocktails such as champagne juleps, gin rickeys, and sidecars. Another '20's theme wedding idea that's very popular is the champagne tower. To avoid having your tower tip and spill champagne everyone, however, make sure you build it from identical coupes. Flutes are not sturdy enough to handle this type of DIY project.
  • Photo Booth: Many couples invite guests to dress up in 1920's style attire for their Gatsby themed wedding reception. However, if you opt not to take this approach, you can still encourage them to get in on the fun with a photo booth that includes pearls, rhinestone headpieces, fur stoles, feather boas, fedora hats, round frame glasses, bow ties, and other fashionable accessories. Add a few large ornate gold frames for the perfect finishing touch.
  • Entertainment: Have your band or DJ play a selection of ‘20s jazz or songs from the 2013 Gatsby film soundtrack. If your wedding reception will be held outdoors or you'll have easy access to an outdoor area, let guests play badminton, croquet, horseshoes, or lawn darts as an alternative to dancing. Lawn games were a popular form of entertainment during the Roaring Twenties and this would also be a great way to keep children busy at your wedding reception—especially if you provide a responsible older teen to supervise.
  • Favors: Pass out tiny bottles of champagne, mini flask key rings, or candies in boxes with gold foil monograms and Art Deco graphics.

Reliving the Glamour of the '20s

In Chapter 6, Nick tells Gatsby, "You can't repeat the past." He replies, "Why of course you can." If you've been dreaming of a Gatsby themed wedding, incorporating details reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties into your reception is the perfect way to relive this glamorous time in our nation's history.


Written by: The Printable Wedding Team