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How to Have a Vintage Wedding

The past can take center stage in a vintage-style wedding. Incorporate your favorite retro touches for instant romance and sophistication -- details that will surely create a memorable event.


  • Step 1: Stage the wedding venue in the appropriate theme. Don't forget the music -- research what tunes were popular during the period and play them during the reception.
  • Step 2: Give your guests a wedding favor that evokes the period. A small potted rose is classically Victorian. A silver photo frame works well for the flapper era while a highball glass alludes to the 1950s. Such details will make your wedding unforgettable.
  • FACT: During and after World War II, one company offered instructions on how to create six outfits -- including a wedding dress -- from surplus silk parachutes.
  • TIP: Keep your theme in mind when selecting a reception locale. Consider a garden in the springtime for your Victorian theme. Historic homes, art museums, and ballrooms may also work well for flapper and mid-century inspirations.
  • Step 3: Send out appropriately-styled wedding invitations that note your vintage inspiration. Ask guests to join in wearing the styles of that period if they so choose.
  • TIP: Thoroughly inspect vintage pieces before before you buy. Check for rips, stains, and holes, preferably in plenty of natural light.
  • Step 4: Check thrift stores for lacy Victorian and dropped-waist flapper dresses. Ask older female relatives if they still have any of their vintage wedding gowns. Accessorize with vintage-inspired headpieces, shoes, and jewelry.
  • TIP: The groom can wear accessories to evoke the era. A top hat and tails may be suitable for a Victorian theme. A classic tuxedo evokes the roaring 20's while a skinny tie alludes to the 50's and 60's.
  • Step 5: Select the era that you wish to emulate. Vintage wedding themes can cover a wide range -- from the Victorian era, to flappers of the 1920s, to the sophisticated and glamorous mid-century look.

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