These days, many brides are choosing a vintage wedding theme for their big day. Personifying all that is elegant and classic, a vintage wedding theme automatically invokes the romance of a bygone era. While the term ‘vintage’ can refer to any time between the 1920s and 1980s, I thought I’d focus specifically on the 1920s and 1930s for today’s vintage wedding theme inspiration. Given fashionistas are predicting that new HBO TV series "Boardwalk Empire" will popularise 1920s fashion, just as Mad Men did for the 1950s and 60s, it seems there’s no better time to investigate vintage weddings!
When planning your vintage wedding theme, attention to detail is paramount to ensure your theme flows consistently through every element of the day, from your gown to wedding theme colours, venue and styling. Here are a few vintage wedding theme ideas to get you started.
Finding the right venue for a vintage wedding theme
When planning your wedding, the first item to tick off your to-do list is the reception venue and for a vintage wedding theme, this should reflect the specific era you’re targeting. For a 1920s or 1930s vintage wedding theme, look for grand Art Deco hotels or old homes decorated with chandeliers, antique furniture and candelabras. If you’re planning a large wedding, look for reception centres that can be easily decorated to suit your vintage wedding theme and for a smaller wedding, consider a moody and ambient gallery or bar that will embody a prohibition-era speakeasy!
Bridal gowns for a vintage wedding theme
The style of your bridal gown will be dictated by the venue you’ve booked. A 1920s style beaded French lace gown, for example, is perfect for a vintage wedding theme in an Art Deco setting. Or, if you’re planning a Great Gatsby style vintage wedding theme in a glamorous ‘high society’ venue, consider a classic flapper dress with a long rope of pearls and a fur wrap.
Vintage bridal hair ideas
Like your gown, your hairstyle will be determined by the venue and consequent style you’ve chosen for your vintage wedding theme. For a 1920s theme you may wish to consider finger waves or a pinned up-do, both of which were popular styles during this era. Combine one of these vintage bridal hair styles with accessories such as a feathered fascinator; a classic subtle hair pin or a vintage bridal hair comb.
Styling a vintage wedding theme
Next, consider the wedding theme colours that will best suit your celebrations. Soft colours such as white, cream, pastel pinks and browns are ideal for a feminine and pretty vintage wedding theme while black and white will make a bolder statement. Your wedding theme colours should be used in every element of the day, from your flowers to the table setting and decor. Your stationery, of course, should also reflect your vintage wedding theme. Stick with traditional invitations featuring old-fashioned letterpress and engravings in your wedding theme colours of choice. Your flowers and cake should likewise omit a traditional, classic style. To ensure an old-fashioned ambience for your vintage wedding theme, consider antique coloured roses, violets or lilies for your bouquet and centrepieces, all of which can be incorporated into your cake design either as fresh or handmade (and edible) decorations.
Finally, consider the small details that will make your vintage wedding theme special to guests. Choose old-fashioned and thematic gifts for bomboniere, such as lace handkerchiefs for the ladies and cigars for the men. But when planning each element of the day, remember to keep things simple and elegant to ensure your vintage wedding theme still reflects your personal style.
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