For elegant nuptials, try an Art Deco theme

Your guests will immediately recognize a good party when they see your formal invitations in a graphic script, which beckons them to come and enjoy this special day of Art Deco delight, basking in the mood of an extravagant era when gin flowed from bathtubs. (Only you'll have champagnes flowing from fountains!)

While black-and-white weddings have been around for some time, the color scheme can be updated with a luxurious touch for the `90s. Brides may want to choose a stunning color combination of black and silver or white and gold and carry this theme throughout the wedding events.

The best-selling gowns today combine modern and traditional elements. They are simple but striking: ivory and candlelight are most popular. There is a little embellishment — perhaps a flower here or a row of pearls there. Many contemporary designers offer elegant options to traditional wedding designers: Badgley Mischka, Ralph Lauren, Carmen Marc Valvo, Pamela Dennis, Carolina Herrera just to name a few. Look for ultrasophisticated designs at your local bridal salon, too.

One of the year's best Art Deco designs is Alfred Angelo's satin and re-embroidered lace gown. It features a hug-the-shoulder neckline, sleeveless princess-line bodice, rounded Basque waistline and shirred satin skirt adorned with re-embroidered lace.

For the bridesmaids, the Art Deco theme is enlivened with silver beaded sheaths detailed with graphic cutouts in the back, steel-heeled pumps and white long-sleeved gloves. It's a modern-day interpretation of the Gatsby flapper elegance.

With the influence of the Art Deco years turning up in fashion, it should be easy to find beaded scarves and gloves, clutch purses and skip-on pumps to complement your gown and dresses.

With a sleek gown, you may want to stick with a simple, layered flyaway veil on a comb. There are many Art Deco-inspired pieces of jewelry, both new and vintage, to add to your wedding ensemble. Consider a bold rhinestone cuff, antique pave earrings or a crystal-and-jet necklace.

The more minimal the gown, the more you can accessorize.

The flowers are also important. The bride and her attendants may carry white long-stemmed calla lilies and wear beaded hair ornaments (their gift from the bride).

At a formal evening wedding, the groom and attendants are usually outfitted in a classic black tie or tuxedo. White or ivory dinner jackets are another option worn with black pants trimmed with satin ribbon, bow tie, vest or cummerbund.

To achieve the Art Deco look, there are many graphically inspired patterned vests and accessories available at your local formalwear shop.

Coordinate the colors with the bridesmaids' dresses for even more effect.

Later that night, it's time to dance to the sound of a swing band. The locale of the reception is important, since it sets the Old World mood. Think mansions with dark paneled wood, historical house museums of the period or restaurants with elaborate chandeliers. You might even consider a hotel with a giant ballroom.

The music, particularly for the wedding, will also establish the mood, whether it's Cole Porter, George Gershwin or Rodgers and Hart. With tables set in crisp white linens, sparked by silver beaded candle lamps, white china and glistening crystal champagne glasses, this will be an elegant night to remember.

Another interesting touch: Decorative ice sculptures in the shape of crystal vases complete with long-stemmed white lilies. And the ultimate cake? A butter cream layered cake studded with silver pearl dragées.

After it's all over, have guests blow bubbles at the newlyweds as they disappear into the night in a vintage Rolls-Royce.