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Stylish Art Deco weddings at Historic Hilton Hotels

“Downton Abbey,” the hugely popular British television drama series on PBS’s “Masterpiece,” has captivated audiences and prompted a renewed interest in vintage Art Deco wedding-themed parties. Paired with an authentic setting at a historic Hilton hotel, couples can opt for the real thing with a 1920s wedding theme. These locations transport the rarified atmosphere of a Northumberland castle, called Downton Abbey, to downtown Americana.


Art Deco Architecture

In Paris in 1925, the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs served as a showcase for the refreshing new inspiration of Art Deco. The fanciful architectural movement was exceptionally well expressed in soaring silvery spires, like Manhattan’s Chrysler Building, and articulated in public spaces and grand hotels with chevrons, ziggurats and sunbursts. Americans embraced the romantic, soaring style in full-swing Roaring Twenties mode.

Fortunately, several gorgeous Art Deco examples can be appreciated in the 21st century at well-preserved Hilton hotels, such as Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza and Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

Boston’s Batterymarch Landmark

American history and Boston go hand in hand. Built in 1928 as Boston’s first Art Deco skyscraper, the 15-story Hilton Boston Downtown Faneuil Hall hotel began its days as the Batterymarch Building that transformed the Boston Harbor skyline in 1928.The attractive entrance features brick archways with gilded images that express America’s Industrial Age progress and the hotel’s renowned Art Deco flavor, recognized by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1995.

Cincinnati’s Mirrored Setting

The city’s crown jewel, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza is an Art Deco masterpiece with a strong French accent. More than 4,000 miles west of Paris, guests can reflect upon the hotel’s Hall of Mirrors, modeled after the Palace of Versailles, the centerpiece of King Louis XIV’s beloved 17th century chateau. Floor-to-ceiling windows, sparkling chandeliers and hand-painted ceiling frescoes complement blushing brides at this grande dame property.

Amazing Milwaukee Ballrooms

Old World elegance and pure 1920s grandeur ooze from Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Designed by Holabird and Roche, the hotel instantly became a grand example of the distinctive Art Deco design, especially its ballrooms. Both the regal Empire Ballroom and the ornate Crystal Ballroom offer legendary venues in the city. Enormous chandeliers inspired the name of the larger ballroom, where tall mirrors, 22-foot ceilings and plush velvet curtains contribute to an authentic vintage space that holds 500-600 guests.

Creating Art Deco Weddings

Love at first glance takes on a new meaning when it comes to a 1920s wedding theme inspired by these ballrooms. For a space that’s as special as the wedding day, the gleaming Art Deco architecture of these historic Hilton hotels delivers.

Accessorized with a stunning vintage gown and a gentleman’s boutonniere recalling Fred Astaire’s debonair style, a contemporary wedding can look anything but.

Hilton hotel social and catering staff have helped wedding couples create imaginative Art Deco wedding themes, turning historic ballrooms into places for a black-and-white ball, a Scottish occasion with bagpipes, a semi-formal dinner à la Orient Express — and yes, even a murder mystery wedding, which took guests by complete surprise.

Today, wedding parties can personally evoke a vintage theme. Drawing on authentic period interiors, it’s fun to pluck a prominent peacock motif from art deco doors to inspire feathered bouquets, fascinators and centerpieces. Revisit a ballroom’s past to recreate a 30s speakeasy with handcrafted cocktails. A historic Hilton hotel with dazzling ballroom Art Deco architecture is ready for the newlywed’s first dance.