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Ideas for a 1920s Vintage Wedding Theme
Ms Polkadot from Polkadot Bride
The style of yesteryear can be a gorgeous theme for a wedding. A feminine bride will embrace the soft colours and touches and the dapper groom will love the stylish suits and chance to dress up. The ‘Roaring Twenties’ had a romanticism and glamour and sense of outrageous fun, but at the same time a sense of contrasts with the Great War a recent memory and the Great Depression looming on the horizon.
Think soft colours: pastel pinks and soft browns, white and cream. Use neutrals to accent, such as chocolate brown or taupes. For a more dramatic feel use black, cream and white.
Style the wedding with lots of vintage touches. Scour antique stores for items such as glass bottles and jars, hang crystal drops from the ceiling, use birdcages and silk flowers. Venetian mirrors and feathers and candlelight will set the reception shimmering. Imagine silver mint julep cups and silver antique bowls filled to over flowing with flowers; old vintage cards or posters, velvets, fringing, old lace and Art Deco styled crockery. Rose arbours, wisteria covered areas, lawns dotted with daffodils and vintage cars will have your wedding look as pretty as a picture.
Find pearl necklaces, crystal drops, lace handkerchiefs - anything pretty and antique or old looking. Choose leather or silver miniature flasks or snuff boxes or fountain pens for the men. Driving caps, fun Bonnie and Clyde novelty items and humbugs are other great ideas.
Old-fashioned letterpress and engraving are a beautiful choice for vintage style weddings. Go traditional and use black on white or the ‘older’ colours such as old rose or raspberry pink, subtle blue or sage green with an Art Deco style design.
Stick to one shade or one flower for a dramatic yet styled look. Consider antique coloured roses and bouquets of baby breath, or bunches of Violets, ivy tendrils, lilies, hydrangeas, peonies, carnations, sweet peas, maiden hair fern, daffodils, primroses, apple blossom, honeysuckle, poppies or cornflowers.
A gown in a twenties style of a dropped waist and a vintage beaded French lace look will capture the old time romance. Dress a plainer gown with vintage crystal and diamond brooches. For a fun look, consider a shorter gown worn with seamed stockings and ‘flapper’ style shoes to really embrace the era. A birdcage veil will frame your face and let your gown do the talking, or try a simple veil worn low on the forehead and pinned to the sides of your hair. Scour antique stores or ask older relatives for jewellery. Intricate filigree style earrings and long pearl necklaces will be one of a kind and add to your individual look. Hairstyles of finger waves and pinned up-dos will add elegance. Bobbed hair, heavy eye make-up and bright red lipstick are the perfect complements to this style.
For the groom consider a suit with tails and a top hat. Two-tone shoes and waistcoats with a hat or driving cap add a glint of fun – think the Bonnie and Clyde or Great Gatsby look.
Food and beverages
Serve champagne cocktails, canapés and ‘illicit gin’ cocktails (as this was the era of Prohibition and Speakeasies in the USA). Delectable dishes such as ‘Cream of Celery with Toasties, Breast of Chicken a la Rose, Waldorf Salad, Potatoes a la Hollandaise’ (from the Waldorf Astoria Cookbook), will go down a treat. Fruit cocktails, frankfurters and jellies show us a fascinating insight into the 1920s menu – some of which you may like to include. For a truly decadent touch, set aside some space for a cigar lounge for the men.
Think of dark moody clubs or bars, old homes with Art Deco features, and for large weddings, spaces that can be decorated to reflect either the secretive ‘Speakeasy’ or the wild dance and party venues of the day.
This era was the time of jazz, Louis Armstrong, scat singing and Vaudeville. Dances included tap dancing, swing dancing and the Charleston. Have a Charleston competition, complete with appropriate music. Learn swing dancing as a fun take on your ‘bridal waltz’. Songs such as Fred Astaire’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ any Gershwin tune, such as ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Falling in Love Again’ by Marlene Dietrich, ‘Swannee’ by Al Jolson or Ed Cantor’s ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ all encapsulate the mood of the era. Modern singers you could use include Michael Buble, Norah Jones, Katie Melua, Harry Connick Jnr, or jazz groups in your area.
A photographer who uses Polaroid-style effects or tea washed sepia tones in their photos will enhance the vintage look. The shots of the 1920s all seem to have a posed look with people lining up or standing to attention – you could use this technique in some of your shots.
For video, hire a company that uses super 8 film. The mismatched sound and picture will be a perfect way to capture your day.
Pink Frosting's online wedding shop offers a glamorous range of vintage inspired wedding stationery, wedding favours, wedding decorations and accessories to help you bring your vintage style wedding to life.
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