Your wedding is the latest link forged on a chain of tradition stretching for countless generations. Choosing a vintage wedding theme pays homage to that tradition while looking fresh and current with elements of modern style, blending with the vintage touches.
1. Something Old: Invitations
Your wedding invitations are like a book’s prologue. They create the first impression, describing who the main characters are and giving a sense of the author’s style. Show off your retro style with vintage wedding invitations that set the stage for the event itself. Go with stylized Art Nouveau imagery for a Belle Epoque theme or choose invitations with dots or starbursts that recall the best of mid-century modern design.
2. Something New: Bridesmaid Gifts
Not every bridesmaid will happen to have the perfect accessories to go with your vintage theme. While you’re selecting the dresses, keep a few accessories in mind that will complement the theme and give them as part of the bridesmaid gifts. For a late 1940s theme with “Dior look” dresses, give your bridal party matching gloves or slim heels. A Victorian wedding ensemble would look beautiful with new jewelry designed to look like vintage pieces.
3. Something Borrowed: Pictures
Great photographer directors know exactly how to frame a shot to give it an iconic appeal. Borrow some of that Hollywood style from a favorite film of the era you’re using as inspiration and stage images from the movie for your engagement announcement or for a collage at your reception. Stage a reenactment of the famously ecstatic V-J Day kiss between a sailor and a nurse celebrating in Times Square. These photos will never look dated because they’re already classics.
4. Something Blue: Color Palette
Depending on the era you’re using for inspiration, the colors you choose can really set the tone. Think turquoise and shell pink for a retro 1950s feel; by the late 1960s, those shades evolved into lime green and hot pink. The earth tones of the 1970s and the rich reds of the late Victorian era help identify those periods almost as effectively as the clothing styles themselves, so use color to your advantage when creating a vintage wedding style.
5. Something Uniquely You: Décor
The beauty of a vintage theme is that everything doesn’t have to match exactly as long as it’s in the same era. That frees you to top every table with a different vase or vintage picture frame and still have a unified look to your reception. Finds from thrift stores are as appropriate as cherished antiques if they contribute to your theme. Use the same simple floral arrangements in different vases to tie the look together.