Do you love vintage weddings? Here are 10 great ideas to plan yours

By on December 22, 2015

vintage wedding

This generation has a penchant for everything vintage. Our obsession with history makes it impossible to separate our lives from nostalgia. There is an endearing charm and unparalleled appeal attached to anything vintage, as the very term denotes high quality, and represents the best of its time. So, this interest in all things of a bygone age is acceptable.

This is why vintage style weddings never go out of fashion. Vintage weddings are high on style, and are the perfect choice for a couple to have a meaningful wedding with elements that reflect their personality. Another attractive factor about vintage weddings is that it allows you to mix and match various styles, ideas and create a signature of your own. It is no wonder that couples find it thrilling when they work with history to bring the old world charm into their modern day weddings.

Before we look at some good ideas for your vintage wedding, let us first help you decide whether you are indeed the couple who would love this theme. To find out, ask yourselves these questions.

  • Are you drawn to items that belong to bygone eras?
  • Does your idea of a perfect holiday include visits to antique shops and historical sites?
  • Do you think that the best fashion belongs to decades in the past, and nothing today competes with the style and grace of weddings of the last century?
  • Is your personal decorating style timeless and classic?
  • Are you drawn to elegant neutral and pastel palettes and do you love metallic items with beautiful details that are definitely not modern?

If you answer yes to some or most of these questions, you are most likely going to enjoy putting together a vintage wedding.

Now, many brides are scared of planning a vintage wedding, as they think it is hard work or they can screw up the details. To put your fears to rest, let us bust some of the common vintage wedding planning myths.

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#Myth 1

All your wedding details should fit into one era, or your wedding will look wrong

Your wedding is not a history exam. It is about what you love. There are no rules that say every detail should be right, or that you cannot mix ‘n’ match all the ideas you borrowed from the past, when planning your wedding. You can work around a specific theme, but it isn’t always necessary. The idea is to be inspired by the past and plan your own unique style by borrowing what you love, not copy it entirely.

#Myth 2

For a wedding to be vintage, you should stick to very specific color palettes

Your wedding is all about you, and trust us, it is possible to have glamorous dark colors in your wedding and it will still be vintage-style. It is all about experimenting and finding what you like most. Remember that it is not a single element, but the harmony of various elements in your wedding that brings out the style. So, do not limit yourself to pastels and muted neutrals for a vintage wedding. Instead, work around your choice of colors and find the ones that work for you.

#Myth 3

You must love a vintage era, or you will be lost when planning your wedding

Absolutely not! If you just chanced upon the vintage wedding style when you started researching wedding styles, you can still have a vintage wedding. All the details and inspiration you want are here on the internet, and you do not need to look any further to plan the perfectly vintage wedding.

Now that we have all these doubts out of the way, let us look at the most popular vintage wedding styles and find the one that you like most.

Rustic Vintage or Classic Vintage

Rustic vintage refers to a style that is personal, where the couple interweave and bring together all that conjures up nostalgia, to create their own signature style. It is entirely different from a classic white ballroom wedding, and can be quirky, casual, relaxed, joyous and fun. The couple usually choose to have a relaxed ambiance that is warm and welcoming. There is immense scope for personalization and this wedding style has been continuously evolving over the years. This article on the Special Events blog suggests that present day rustic vintage weddings are moving towards mixing classic elements like lace and gold-rimmed china tea cups in place of the older favorites like burlap and Mason jars.

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Classic Vintage is rather defined and specific to a particular era. This is popular among brides who are die-hard fans of a specific decade in history, and wish to recreate the same scene at their weddings. Popular eras include the 1920’s and 50’s. Brides choose wedding dresses that were the fashion at that time, and also stick to various details like the exact getaway car, style of dress and hairstyle that were trademarks of that decade. One word of caution when planning a classic vintage wedding: be inspired by the era, and don’t try to entirely copy the look. Or you will end up having a fancy dress or costume party ambiance for your wedding. A few authentic details from the era are all it takes to recreate the effect, so do it in moderation.

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As you may have guessed by now, rustic vintage is the more popular style today, as it offers plenty of scope for personalization and is still nostalgic.

Next, let us look at some ideas that are great for a vintage wedding.

1.Wedding venue

Have a style in mind, and find a venue that matches it. It is a bonus if the venue you choose has vintage furniture that is relevant to the theme you have in mind. It will allow you to reduce the number of things to bring in, to build the look. A barn is a perfect location for a rustic wedding, while a Gatsby inspired classic vintage wedding would work better in a historical house or ballroom.

2.Invitations and wedding stationery

Have a specific theme in mind? Let your invitations give a sneak peek into it. So, choose designs with a retro charm for classic vintage weddings. For your rustic wedding, highlight the main colors of your wedding by adding them to your stationery suite and matching them to the tone of the event. This is the perfect way to create that first impression, so plan your paper suite around it.

3.Add family history

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If you have a vintage heirloom like a birdcage veil or earrings that will add to your attire, it is the perfect way to go. You can borrow lace from your mother’s wedding gown and add it to your bouquet, or even find a talented dressmaker who can rework your mother’s wedding gown and make it yours. Displaying family details through photographs or using generations old antique décor items at your wedding can add a special sentimental touch to your special day.

4.Decor

The options are endless, but our genuine suggestion is to limit the details so your guests do not feel overwhelmed. Remember it is a wedding and not a museum tour, so stick to few but striking elements that are vintage and build your theme around it. Here are some ideas to consider

  • Stacks of old books, birdcages and mercury glass votives make interesting centerpiece and décor elements
  • Embellished and gold-rimmed china cups to either serve afternoon tea or as display pieces for your tables
  • Freshly painted vintage bicycles dressed with flower baskets as display elements
  • Typewriters, leather suitcases, trunks and record players as décor elements

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  • For shabby chic décor, include burlap, twine and frayed ribbon on your tables and in the decorations
  • Folding wooden chairs for functionality and to contribute to the overall look
  • Old picture frames and black-and-white photo walls or backdrops to bring back old memories
  • Working ice cream bike complete with chalkboard display to serve ice creams and lollies for dessert
  • Dessert buffet with traditional sweets in classic-style tall glass jars and antique silver and white platters
  • Decorative doilies for the dessert and dinner tables

5.Wedding dress

You have two options here: either get hold of a vintage wedding dress and restyle it to match and fit you, or buy a brand new dress that has elements that are vintage-inspired. This wedding dress from Best for Bride, for example, will easily fit the vintage theme.

If your mother or grandmother has handed down their wedding dress, consider seeking the services of a talented dress maker who can rework it to fit your size and your taste. If you are confused about what to look for, so your wedding dress is vintage, here are some features to suit your need.

  • Lace is a definite vintage style, and the more the merrier.
  • Scoop necklines, jewel necklines and Queen Anne necklines
  • Butterfly sleeves, T-shirt sleeves and three-fourth or full sleeves
  • For the 50’s look, consider tea-length frocks with plenty of pouf to them
  • Maxi dresses with sheath silhouettes and a natural drape that falls freely

You can also read more on the evolution of wedding dresses here and get an idea of what was in vogue in each era of the past.

6.Accessories

Each vintage era had its signature jewelry designs. The ones that were most popular include

  • Georgian jewelry featuring white sapphires and red rubies
  • Victorian jewelry with floral designs. Also used sapphires and garnets
  • Art deco jewelry with large, flashy chains and chandelier pendants
  • Late 20th century featured pearls
  • Blue sapphire earrings and bracelets

The trademark accessories also included birdcage veils and rhinestone studded elaborate hair-combs.

For the groom, replace the standard boutonniere with a photo brooch.

7.Flowers

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Toss out the round bouquets and go with loosely bundled bouquets of wildflowers, baby’s breath, and blushing roses. You can also go with a single statement flower like hydrangea for your entire bouquet, to hone the vintage style. Add a lace handkerchief to your bouquet for an interesting twist.

8.Entertainment

A live band is a must-have, to nail the vintage feel. For fun at the wedding, consider adding games like ‘hook-a-duck’ or a photo booth with vintage props and Polaroid film photos. You can also have entertainers at your wedding that remind you of popular icons from the past. This couple chose to have a chimney sweep. Brilliant, I must say!  If you decide to go with a DJ, make sure that your playlist includes songs from the era that you have focused on. Music sets the mood of the event, so make sure that the background music is chosen with care, so you can rekindle nostalgia, right from the beginning of the event.

9.Wedding cake

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Choose traditional flavors like fruit cake, sponge and chocolate for a truly old-age style. Nude cakes decorated with fresh fruit and cream are very welcoming. You can also have it dusted with soft glitter for added bling. Other interesting designs include cakes embellished with lace prints and with pillars between the tiers.

10.Wedding favors

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Edible favors are the best. You could also consider photo mint tins or old-style photograph frames. Use brown paper bags with stamps or vintage prints for an authentic touch. Tie it up with lace, or if you are a big fan of burlap, go with it instead.

Weddings mark a beginning to a lifetime of happiness. And is there a better way to do it, than remember the best from the past, through history itself, as you step into a new future? What do you say? We hope that we have given you enough ideas and inspiration to put together your vintage wedding today.

Come visit us on Best for Bride today to choose the wedding dress that is perfect for your big celebration. Browse through our extensive bridal gallery and you are bound to find a wedding dress that is perfect for your wedding, whether it is rustic vintage or classic vintage. Also choose your bridesmaids dresses and find everything you need for your décor, flower needs, cakes and more, all at Best for Bride.

About Olga Pomeransky

Olga is manager at Best for Bride since 2005. Currently Best for Bride operates 4 bridal stores in Canada (Toronto, Etobicoke, Hamilton and Barrie). Best for Bride sells wedding, bridesmaids, mob dresses and more. http://www.BestForBride.com

5 Comments

  1. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Jennifer Levy

    January 10, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    Vintage is awesome, however, sometimes finding the decor that works is a lot harder to do than if you went with something more modern.

  2. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Gail Turner

    January 10, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    I feel that vintage is very specific and if you are not into that type of thing, you might not feel comfortable at a wedding like that.

    • sobby14@yahoo.com'

      Roberta Velazquez

      March 13, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      I thought the same thing, but EVERYONE loved it. I am so glad that I went down that path!

  3. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Teresa Cummings

    January 10, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Not really. However, the tips that you have here are very good for that sort of wedding.

  4. sobby14@yahoo.com'

    Dorothy White

    March 13, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    I like the idea of making my own centerpieces. That way you can bring in the style you want to go with the theme. The vintage theme is always nice.

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