Old Hollywood Wedding | Vintage Hollywood Wedding

by mandeesears

Old Hollywood glamour is the perfect theme for a wedding. You are the stars of the event, after all!

The romance, style, elegance and glamour of an old Hollywood movie premier would make an excellent backdrop for your wedding reception. Finding decor, centerpieces and props to draw your guests into the theme is half the fun.

You can go all the way or just add some vintage Hollywood touches -- the choice is up to you. Let's explore some options to bring this theme to life.

old Hollywood Board
old Hollywood Board
Mandee Sears
Hollywood Themes Board
Hollywood Themes Board
Mandee Sears
Vintage Hollywood Themes
Vintage Hollywood Themes

What Comes to Mind When You Think

Old Hollywood?

A great place to start is by grabbing pen and paper and then sitting down, closing your eyes and letting your mind wander as you think of old Hollywood. What do you see? 

Every bride has an idea of what she is trying to achieve with the atmosphere of her reception. Physically write it down. This will help you stay on track when family, friends, vendors and others make suggestions they think are cool but don't really jive with your vision. 

Here are some of the things I think of when dreaming of a vintage Hollywood event:

  • Dripping, sparkling crystal and rhinestones
  • blusher veils
  • long white gloves and dramatic make-up
  • cocktails in martini glasses
  • ambient lighting and candles
  • polished silver
  • limos
  • paparazzi in trench coats with press passes
  • the red carpet
  • stanchions holding back the crowd
  • old cameras with bright flashes
  • pearls, lilies, orchids and feathers
  • hotel or theatre lobbies with heavy velvet or brocade fabrics
  • elegant hats for both men and women
  • black and white and/or vintage photos and movie posters
  • spotlights in the sky
  • old theatre marquees

What can you add to the list? 

Stanchions & Red Carpet Entrance

Simple, but very Hollywood
Red Rope Stanchion Set

Red Rope Stanchion Set

$84.67  $48.92
Chrome Posts (2-Pack with 1 Red Velvet Rope)

INSTANT QUEUING SYSTEM PROVIDES EXCEPTIONAL VALUE! This Traditional Post is a classic design at a budget-friendly price. Manufactured from solid steel tubing with a mirror ...

Only $164.0
Easy Gardner 302 Plastic Guideline Stanchions, White

40" High, White, Plastic Guideline Stanchion, Fillable Bases, Ball Cap Snaps Chain Into Position.

Only $62.55
Red Carpet Oscar Party Movie Night Aisle Runner

Nothing says "Hollywood" like a red carpet. Add the perfect effect to your next party without hiring a carpet crew. 24inx15ft durable rigid cloth. Peel-and-stick adhesive on ...

Old Hollywood Glamour for Your Wedding

Breaking it Down to Manageable Levels

For the decor, I have found through the years, it is much easier to form a plan of action if you break things down. For the reception, you could break things down something like this:

  1. Entrance Decor
  2. Cocktail Area Decor
  3. Main Reception Room

Then, start thinking of the decor aspects for each section. Your list might look like this:

  1. Entrance
    1. Outside Venue
    2. Foyer
    3. Guest Book Table
  2. Cocktail Area
    1. Hors d'oeuvre Table(s)
    2. Wine and/or Champagne Table
    3. Escort Card Table or Seating Chart
    4. Room Decor
  3. Main Reception
    1. Guest Table Centerpieces
    2. VIP or Head Table Centerpieces
    3. Buffet decor (if applicable)
    4. Room Decor

Now you have some idea of what you want to decorate. Let's look deeper into what you can use to decorate for an old Hollywood theme.

Hollywood Themed Decor

Top Hat High-Quality Ice Bucket

Whether it's on the rocks or keeping your Champagne cold, that ice is going to need a home. Keep the party going with our high-quality Tophat ice bucket.

Only $23.00
Clapboard for Movie Director

Take 2! This Clapboard for Movie Director is great for home videos and actor, celebrity and Movie Director costumes. A clapperboard is a device used in motion picture and ...

$30.00  $4.67
Filmstrip 'Wave' Frame

Plastic picture frame in the shape of a waving filmstrip. Holds three 5" x 3.5" pictures.

Off to the Movies Hollywood Camera Light

The Hollywood Camera Light will make your guests feel like stars in the glow of this 13 5/8 inch high x 7 1/2 inch wide x 7 3/4 inch long plastic and metal spotlight. This ...

Marquee - Old Hollywood for sure!

DIY Hollywood MarqueeIf you are lucky enough to book an old theatre for your old Hollywood wedding or event, make sure you can have them letter a message on their marquee for you! 

If you have a different type of venue without a real marquee, consider a DIY marquee project to hang outside or just inside the foyer. Your names (or name of the event) up in lights is a classic Hollywood must!

Image Credit: Mandee Sears

Hors d'oeuvres -- Buffets -- Stations -- Cake Tables

Don't miss an opportunity

Hollywood BuffetDressing up your food presentation is an opportunity to add decor to the overall event. Think about it... a cake table, dessert buffet, food stations, etc... are all possibilities to continue your theme. find small items like Oscar statues, clapboards, top hats, faux pearls, crystal or silver candelabras, palm trees, silk ivy and more that you can strategically place on your food tables. 

Layer linens in the color scheme you chose -- use different textures, colors and even prints to make an eye pleasing buffetscape or display. 


Image Credit: Mandee Sears, set-up McDaniel's Catered Elegance

Themed Centerpieces

Movies are a Great Source of Inspiration

For one of the Hollywood themes I have hosted, we used an vintage Academy Awards theme. It was great. From the kids we used as paparazzi when guests arrived, to the cocktail area depicting the Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Sign and vintage movie stars, to the guest table names and themed centerpieces representing past winners of "Best Picture". I had an absolute blast planning this fundraising event and ended up with more than one bride adapting the ideas for their reception. 

Themed centerpieces are fun to design and actually become conversation starters. The list of "Best Picture" winners beginning in 1928, is where I started. I picked out titles that I thought could translate well into centerpieces. Some translations were more literal, while others evoked the feelings or ambiance of the film.

Hollywood-titanic centerpiece


I used the movie "Titanic" (best pic

ture winner of 1997) as a must-include table. I made an iceberg out of paper mache, got

 a model replica of the ship itself and found a replica of the necklace "The Heart of the Ocean" from eBay. I placed a 4" x 6" copy of the movie poster in a clear acrylic frame and placed all this on top of a piece of satin, deep blue fabric that represented the ocean. It was a hit! 

Hollywood - Amadeus CenterpieceAnother themed centerpiece was from the movie "Amadeus" (best picture 1985).

I found a white grand piano figurine, used a beautiful silver candelabra, a small bust of Motzart as well as a small full bodies figurine and, of course, the 4" x 6" movie poster in the clear frame. I scattered votives and a couple more taper candles to addIt was a gorgeous table!

In addition to each table having a replica 4" x 6" of its' movie poster, they each had a director's clapboard.

The clapboard pertinent information was filled out in chalk and rested on a black acrylic plate holder.  

forrest gump clapboardAs you can see in the phot to the left, the Forrest Gump table's clapboard read:

Hollywood Production - Forrest Gump (Movie & Table name)

Director - Non-Profit's name blacked out on purpose (could be bride & groom names)

Camera - I used the type of fundraiser we held (auction) but could read "wedding" or your event type

Date: Pretty obvious

Scene & Take boxes: Whatever you want to write. Could even be a table number to go along with the name.

Image Credits: Mandee Sears

More Hollywood Themed Centerpiece Ideas

If you would rather go with a themed centerpiece idea that doesn't revolve around certain movies, consider an option like one of those below. While flowers are always an option, a Hollywood theme is less likely to have bouquet after bouquet on tables. They just don't represent Tinsel Town.

MegaGold Premiere CenterpieceReel Award Trophy CenterpieceCamera Prop

Life Sized Golden Award Statues

for your Old Hollywood Event

Award Statue DIYWhether you are using a vintage awards theme or not, Oscars® make great decor. You can place them all around the venue -- in dead areas, at the entrance, on either side of a stage or dias, in a photo area, etc... They are very versatile. 

The one pictured to the left has been with me for more than a decade. I have used him (and his friends) over and over through the years. He never fails to be the topic of conversation wherever he goes.

For DIY project instructions, visit DIY - Awards Night Statues

Try adding murals, posters or back drops as focal points or to fill a dead space. Have Paparazzi greet your guests as they enter the venue. Use tourist attractions like the Walk of Fame, Hollywood & Vine street signs, the Hollywood Hills or the old Grahman's Chinese Theatre on the walls or on easels. Cordon off an area and make it resemble a movie set with a backdrop, old movie camera, director's chair and megaphone. 

The possibilities abound! Put that thinking cap on -- draw a floor plan of your venue and get to making your decor plan. 

Image Credit: Mandee Sears

Celebrity Stand Ups a Must!

Who would go to a Hollywood event and not expect to see some movie stars? For a vintage Hollywood wedding or event, try incorporating movie stars and celebrities of the past like Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Tony Curtis, 

Marilyn Monroe, Red Dress Cutout Dean Martin CutoutClarke Gable & Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind CutoutJohn Wayne CutoutHumphrey Bogart Cutout

More Resources for Your Old Hollywood Wedding

Vintage Hollywood Wedding Invitations
A wonderful assortment of old Hollywood style invitations, save the dates and other stationary.

Hollywood Themes | Entrance Decor
It starts at the beginning... make your theme come to life the minute your guests arrive.

Hollywood Themes | Cocktail Area Decor
Cocktails anyone? The cocktail hour area is prime for adding themed old Hollywood decor and continuing the vision.

Hollywood Themes
This article contains a collection of articles to assist in hosting your Hollywood Themes Wedding or Event. There are so many aspects to planning a themed event, wedding or fundraiser, you need to gather and research BEFORE you start purchasing decor.

Old Hollywood Premier

Hollywood Boulevard

Capture that Old Hollywood Glamour

for your special event

Above all, paint a picture of what is in your head. It might include some, all or none of what's in this article. I try to inspire your creativity with these thoughts and suggestions. Make it uniquely your own. Good luck and, as they say, break a leg! 

Updated: 07/13/2013, mandeesears
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Old Hollywood Glamour -- What do you think?

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Dean on 05/15/2013

That's a really complete and informative article on having an Old Hollywood themed party. I think companies will also love having this sort of theme for their Christmas party.

buttonhead on 03/28/2012

Ooh! Old Hollywood is a great wedding theme. There are so many creative options!

ohcaroline on 01/18/2012

Who would have thought that you could have celebrities at your wedding. What a neat idea.

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