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How To Plan A Vintage Wedding

The most stressful part of getting married isn’t the I Dos – it’s usually planning the wedding. A wedding needs to reflect your personality and relationship; for these reasons, it needs to be as unique and individual as possible. There are so many wedding themes to choose from. You could have a wedding based around your favourite colours, the wedding location, or have no theme at all.

However, you could also base your wedding around your engagement ring – and if it’s a perfect vintage piece, you might want to consider planning a vintage wedding. Vintages weddings are a great way to infuse timeless glamour into a day you’ll never want to forget. Whilst they can be a common theme, they are almost always unique.

Start with the basics

If you decide to have a vintage wedding, you need to start first with the era you want to replicate. Vintage can be a broad term, but no matter the decade you chose, it will always be romantic (and frequently inexpensive).

If you find you want a generally vintage theme without being specific, you can incorporate classic, rustic elements into your wedding. Find pieces from charity shops or online to bring something old to your special day, whether that be with antique wedding rings, chalkboard table numbers, mismatched chairs or old-fashioned cars.

However, if you do want to go for a true vintage wedding, then it’s best to choose an era and run with it.

Art deco glamour

The 1920s have made a steady comeback in recent years, and there doesn’t seem to be any stopping this aesthetic. This is the perfect luxury vintage wedding, and it oozes sophistication. If you want to put a spin on classic black-tie, then this is the theme for you.

Start by thinking of your colour scheme. For Art Deco, we usually think of colours like black, white and gold, but you could add hints of green or smoky grey to make it a little bit different. Invitations and wedding stationery should use iconic 20s fonts and motifs (geometric shapes and clean lines).

For attire, men should be dapper with sharp silhouettes, and women should be draped in luxurious fabrics adorned with fringe, pearls and beading. You could even consider elbow-length gloves, as were all the rage in the 1920s. You can easily find vintage Art Deco rings to exchange at your ceremony.

For décor, think gold bows on vintage chairs, and mixing Art Deco elements with modern for your centrepieces. The 1920s were a decade of extreme modernisation, so anything can go. Your drink of choice should be champagne in coupe glasses or cocktails as they were invented in this era. Little details could include a gold-framed mirror for your seating chart, and a typewriter in place of a guestbook. And don’t forget – an Art Deco wedding isn’t complete without a vintage getaway car.

V-Day Vintage

This is the perfect theme for those of us who would prefer a more laidback wedding; something a little more casual that doesn’t require too much effort. It might seem strange to have a 40s themed wedding, but this era was full of love and romance despite the war. Because of this, a 40s theme can make your wedding really special. The simple beauty of this sapphire solitaire ring, circa 1940, may offer you some inspiration.

Because of the war, there was a lot of ‘make do and mend’ energy toward celebrations, so think of your wedding as your own personal street party and collect what you can to make it unique. Wedding stationery could take the form of telegrams, and you could hand out handkerchiefs as favours for your guests.

Shorter dresses were the norm in this era, and they weren’t always white. So, if this is something that interests you, then choose whatever kind of dress you’d like. Bridesmaids don’t have to match – just make sure they’re in the right style of clothing and you’re good to go.

This theme can work for any location, but it’s particularly effective in a country setting, such as in a barn. Decoration doesn’t have to be complicated at all – the more simplistic, the better. Use bunting, mismatched crockery, and seasonal flowers in jam jars as your centrepieces. You could even use floral bedsheets as tablecloths, and a wedding buffet, as opposed to a sit-down meal, is more authentic.

1950s chic

This is a slightly more elevated and put-together version of a 1940s themed wedding. The 1950s are a classic era to incorporate into your wedding, as it encourages people to dress up without the formality of being black-tie.

To start with, think of incorporating lots of colours, but in pastel tones. Baby blue and pink are particularly effective. On the other hand, you could go less Grease and more rockabilly, by using black, red and white – and don’t forget the polka dots. The best thing to do is choose one of these colour palettes and run with it, allowing the colours to influence your décor choices.

Bridal ballgowns could be tea-length or a full ballgown, but the skirts must be full. You could take inspiration from Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy. With the 1950s, it’s also all about the accessories. The style of this era was hyper-feminine, so choose a birdcage veil and wrist-length gloves if this is your style. If you’ve opted for a rockabilly variation, go all out – wear a cropped leather jacket, and plenty of red lipstick. Also consider glamorous earrings, such as these diamond and ruby ones from 1950, to highlight this look.

A 50s themed wedding wouldn’t be complete without a jukebox in the corner, and a retro photo-booth for your guests to have fun in. You could have a diner-style buffet, and cocktail glasses filled with old fashioned sweets. Top the whole day off with a classic wedding cake in the corresponding colours to your theme.

Swinging sixties

This is probably the most vibrant and fun of the vintage wedding themes. Like the 40s, it’s quite laid back, but slightly more upbeat. The colours are brighter, the skirts get shorter, and the whole thing is kitschier.

There are a variety of styles you could opt for regarding your wedding attire. Men could dress in mod suits and arrive on mopeds. Bridal hairstyles should be big – think bouffants and beehives – with thick hairbands. You could still go for the classic tea-length wedding dress, but if you want to go a bit shorter, you can do this too.

For flowers, consider daisies and sunflowers – the bigger and brighter, the better they will fit in your theme. You could source a lot of your smaller details and decorations – such as boldly coloured plates and vinyl record table numbers – from charity shops. Décor could feature balloons and honeycomb lanterns hanging from the ceiling. And, to top it all off, you should have a band playing 60s hits. Nothing brings a period to life better than the music that represents it.