Vintage Wedding Ideas for Your Special Day

by AlexandriaIngham

Would you like a wedding day to remember? Try out these vintage wedding ideas and get your guests talking.

Do you want your wedding day to have a vintage theme? Many people do, but then they’re stuck for vintage wedding ideas. The good news is that you have come to the right place. There are some great ideas out there, and I will go through some for all different time periods possible. Now it all depends on the period you are interested in? Get ready for some Tudor-inspired themes, War Time options and even ideas with an 80s vibe.

Opt for a Rustic Style

Think Middle Ages and bring the outdoors inside.

Do the wedding of the lower class in the Middle Ages. Everything was handmade and it would have had a very rustic style. The good news is that you don’t have to do everything outside, you can have the dress of your dreams, and it is possible to have someone do the hard work if you really want them to.

Get a rustic feel to your wedding
Get a rustic feel to your wedding

A rustic theme is one of the easiest, simplest and elegant vintage wedding ideas around. It can start with a wedding outside, even in the forest, and then evolve to having decorations that are in neutral browns and greens. You don’t have to bring the outdoors inside if you really don’t want. Make beautiful flowers out of fabric or have dried leaves and petals on the table tops.

You could even create centerpieces with fake leaves and floral arrangements, and opt for keeping wooden tables bare to give the minimalist feel. When it comes to name places, have a small piece of card that is tied to the wine glass or placed simply on the top of the plate.

Get an Artist for the Evening

Why not go for something vintage instead of a traditional wedding photographer?

While you can stick to the modern day photos for the easy ways to remember your day, consider getting an artist in for the evening. There are different types of artists available, depending on your budget and any time limit you have. One of the best vintage wedding ideas for those wanting a renaissance style is to have an artist throughout the sit-down meal. This gives him at least 90 minutes to get the top table finished.

If you want something quicker, why not have a caricature artist for the evening event. This could be in place of the popular photobooths that are popping up now for guest entertainment. Hire an artist who will give the work to the individuals after completion, instead of asking people to pay extra for it.

Have a Jazz and Jive Night

Get up and jive all night with a wedding suitable for the 1950s.

If you love the 1940s or 1950s, a jazz and jive night could be perfect. There are plenty of jazz bands around, and many would love the chance to play at a vintage wedding. Many of the bands will even play modern day tracks with a jazz style, and even play the favorites from the movies. Ask beforehand if they can do this.

Get a jazz band for your vintage wedding
Get a jazz band for your vintage wedding

You could even hire a dance troop that follows the styles from this time period. For the times that your band is not playing, organize the music to be in the style of the 1940s and 1950s, so your guests can get up and boogie.

Make your first dance a jive. You will need some lessons, but it will be so worth it when you impress your guests with your new moves. Depending on the style of wedding dress—chances are it’s a long one—you will likely need to get changed. Arrange to have costumes made for the two of you so you look like you belong in that time period.

Your grandparents and older family members will adore this theme. It will take them back to a time that many actually fondly remember, despite the war and rations.

A World War I or II Event

Bring the good parts of wartime to your own wedding day.

Why not give your wedding a full wartime feel? This is one of the vintage wedding ideas that will likely cost more to create from scratch, but there are ways to keep that cost to a minimum. If you don’t have the budget right now for it, consider holding off getting married until you do and really make the most of this idea. I love this idea for those who already have one partner in the military, but it also works for history fanatics.

You can make the venue look like a hall for the wartime dances and events. That usually includes bunting around the room, instead of flashy banners. The color scheme should be patriotic, and that should cover decorations, desserts, wedding party colors and the favors. You could even opt for costumes for the wedding party, so everyone is dressed as they would have done in the time period. This all depends on how serious you want to get with your theme.

Remember that wartime would have been scaled back when it comes to food, treats and entertainment. Consider individual cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake, or you could even have a savory option for your guests. Why not have tea and biscuits for the dessert instead of something heavy?

Then you just have to think about the entertainment. There are many bands out there for either of the time periods. Do a search for the bands in your area, and don’t be afraid to ask them if they can delivery just how you need it to be.

Go for a 1920s prohibition night
Go for a 1920s prohibition night

Hold a Prohibition Night

What about a night with the underground drinking establishments?

The late 1910s and early 1920s was the time of the prohibition. It was a time when alcohol was outlawed, but it certainly didn’t stop people from having their underground establishments. Create a wedding around this time period, and really have fun with your guests. Make sure that everything “upstairs” and outside are alcohol free, and focus the fun and festivities in the “underground” dens. Of course, you can create your upstairs and underground parts for your night.

Think about the style of the time period to help you with your decorations, wedding invitations and dresses for the bridesmaids. You could have fun getting the wedding party to dress up as the people from the time, even with a gangster style to it. If you include this on your wedding invitations, you may even find that some of your guests come dressed up for some fun.

It’s Time for Disco

Right now it's time to jump back to 1970s and get those flares!

It is getting to the point where the 1970s and 1980s are considered as vintage, and you can use them for your own vintage wedding ideas. Why not have a fun-filled disco night? It’s time to pull out your parents’(or even your own!) old clothes and use them for your wedding decorations—provided  your parents agree to this of course!

A lot of the music requested during weddings is from the 1960s-1980s, for some reason. It’s music that people can dance around to, and not worry how they look. You can also use it for your first dance. Get some disco lessons and impress your guests with your new moves. You could even get a modern day slant to the disco, inspired from shows like Dancing With the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.

Hopefully these vintage wedding ideas will help you create a day of your dreams. It all depends on the time period that you want to focus on for your wedding day. Think about the type of parties they would have had, the music involved and the meals they would have eaten to mimic something for your day.

Updated: 03/18/2014, AlexandriaIngham
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AlexandriaIngham on 03/19/2014

Thanks Valeed.

Mira, you're right that guests would have to do some research. Of course, some guests would decided not to dress up.

Tehreem on 03/19/2014

You have great vintage ideas all incorporated in a single article :)

Mira on 03/19/2014

I like the idea of a vintage wedding, and you gave some great suggestions here :). Of course the guests will have to do some research, too, in order to find great clothes for the evening :)

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