Vintage wedding ideas
If you want your big day to be have a romantic, nostalgic feel, then a retro-inspired vintage wedding is the perfect choice. It’s an effortlessly stylish aesthetic, and as it’s just a little bit alternative and quirky, you can be sure that your celebration will really stand out from the crowd. Plus, many of the things you’ll need to get the look can be bought second hand, so it’s a great option if you’re working with a smaller budget.
With so much vintage wedding inspiration (and dare I say it, competition) out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. We’ve put together some of the best vintage wedding ideas, so that you can have an unforgettable celebration filled with classic retro-inspired touches. Keep reading to learn more.
Aside from the ceremony, the dress is one of the star features of the day, and everyone will be looking forward to a grand reveal as you walk down the aisle. As a result, the pressure to get this right can be quite intense, but the most important thing is just to go for a style and an era which you love.
If you are focusing on a particular decade for your vintage theme, take some time to explore iconic fashions from the time. There is a plethora of inspiration out there: in the 20s the Gatsby flapper style dress was in fashion, while during the 30s it was Old Hollywood-style slimline silk gowns. If you can’t make up your mind, Insider Magazine has a handy timeline covering the last 100 years of wedding dress fashion. If you don’t fancy sticking to just one decade specifically, choose a classic gown that’s ethereal and delicate, then opt for a more general vintage feel with your make up, accessories, jewellery and décor instead.
Retro hairstyles are one of the easiest ways to bring a vintage feel to your look, and a cute pin curl to the side for the bride and a comb over for the groom will instantly give your outfits that authentic vintage feel. When you upload your wedding photography to social media or frame snapshots around the house, the people who didn’t attend should be able to tell you had a vintage-themed wedding from the hair and dress alone.
In true vintage style, you’ll want to go for pre-owned bridal jewellery, as this will give your outfit an authentic look. If you have any pieces that are family heirlooms, then be sure to incorporate these into your bridal attire: not only will this give your outfit an authentic look, but they’ll also bring a sense of history and sentiment, which is exactly what vintage is all about.
A pair of earrings are a must, and if you’ll be wearing a low-neck dress, a necklace will add that extra touch of glamour. Brooches are a classic vintage accessory, and they work especially well when paired with a jacket or bolero: we think they look best when pinned to the lapel of a 1940s-style suit jacket or dress.
The same goes for your wedding rings: rather than paying top prices for a reproduction of a vintage ring, choose a genuine pre-owned piece for a far more affordable price. We have a selection of wedding rings, all of which are pre-loved, professionally cleaned and authenticated. If need a bit of extra help deciding on a style, read our guide to choosing a wedding band to get up to speed.
There’s a multitude of styles, so whatever era and aesthetic you’re going for, you’re sure to find the ideal style. Need some more inspiration? Take a look at the classic styles below:
And, don’t forget about the groom. While a lot of focus is usually given to the bride’s jewellery, a few key pre-owned pieces can really add that extra special vintage touch to a gentleman’s outfit, too. A classic watch is also a wonderful touch, and it makes a great wedding present that will last a lifetime. Take a look at our full range of pre-owned watches to find the perfect timepiece.
Décor is essential: it sets the atmosphere, and when done right it will make a great impression on your guests. Here, we’ve picked out a few stand out vintage wedding decoration ideas and ornaments that will really give your special day that classic, rustic feel.
One of the easiest ways to give your wedding an authentic vintage feel is to use reclaimed furniture. Instead of a guest book, you could prop a typewriter on top of an old vintage chest of drawers for your attendees to leave notes. Continue the theme with distressed chairs and tables — you could even go for mis-matched styles for an eclectic, vintage store feel.
Quirky floral arrangements
When designed floral centrepieces and ornaments, try to think outside the box and work in some unusual accessories: this will look really quirky, and will provide an instant talking point for your guests. For instance, instead of a traditional vases and pots, use old teacups, tea pots and biscuit tins as containers, and fill them with arrangements of wildflowers. You can continue the traditional tea party theme using lace doilies as place mats.
Use old wines bottles as ornaments
Decorate your guest tables with old champagne or wine bottles, perhaps with a lit candle if it suits the ambience of your wedding. For an extra special personal touch, you could create your own custom wine labels with your names and the date of your wedding.
When it comes to floral arrangements and bouquets, you can go for a slightly more eclectic mix of flowers. You can mix and match any colours you like — part of the joy of vintage style is that it can all be a bit out of place.
Vintage party favours
If you’re looking for a vintage way to present your guests with party favours, then why not present them inside reclaimed match boxes or small vintage tins? Lay each one at the place settings for your guests to find when they take their seats.
The lighting at a vintage wedding should be warm and not too bright: a dusky glow will set the scene. Fairy lights, candles and lanterns are all fitting options, and old-fashioned filament bulb-style fairy lights are always a great choice. If you’re really committed to the vintage look, you could dot a few floor lamps with retro-chic tasselled lampshades around your venue.
Whatever décor you decide to go for, remember not to go too over the top. You want to get the balance right, as it’s quite easy to go from classic vintage to cluttered garage sale if you’re not careful. A vintage wedding is about achieving an artfully shabby-chic look and creating a nostalgic feel, so try to balance out the vintage touches with some plain modern accents, too.
At Est.1987, we know how important it is that every little detail of your dream wedding is exactly right. So, if there is a ring you’ve always dreamt of but can’t find, let us know and we’ll look for you.
If you’re currently planning on using some of these vintage wedding ideas for your special day, we would love to see your pictures! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share the details of your celebration with us.