Thursday, May 22, 2014

Planning a Vintage Wedding

Note: This article was written for Vintage Finds Magazine. I appreciate the opportunity to write another article for this magazine. I invite anyone in the Orlando area planning a vintage wedding to check out Adjectives Market and Adjectives Unhinged. ~ Kitty

Photo courtesy of Beyond the Still Image of Nashville, Tn.

Everyone loves a wedding and wedding planning is especially fun. Personalized weddings became popular in the 1960's with outdoor venues and continue to evolve due to the influence of social media and Pinterest. It's just easier today to find inspiration when it's a click away. Add vintage shopping to the mix and you'll have a wedding like no other.

Photo courtesy of Beyond the Still Image in Nashville, Tn

All weddings are personal but vintage weddings are especially so. The possibilities are wide-ranging and one of the first things the bride needs to consider is the general time period of the wedding the couple is going for. Although hard to believe at first, a generic time period vintage wedding is harder to plan. It's best to select a time period and deviate from the plan as needed. Otherwise planning becomes overwhelming when you go shopping.

I speak from experience. I had a vintage wedding 20 years ago and more recently, helped plan my niece's vintage wedding. Because she didn't have a specific time period, her wedding theme involved a music theme with vintage sheet music as a backdrop for arrangements at the tables.

Photo courtesy of Beyond the Still Image in Nashville, Tn

Luckily for most brides, vintage weddings don't call for especially elaborate decorations but they do call for flexibility. For my niece's wedding I used wire baskets, ribbon and special order tulle recycled from the groom's sister's recent wedding to decorate the pews. During the 6 weeks between the first time I saw the church and the wedding, the pews were repainted and the nails for the pew bows were removed. I was told the nails couldn't be replaced and the closest place to buy pew bow hangers was an hour's drive away. I improvised and used tulle and ribbon to support the baskets.

I made 6 baskets for the pub tables that morphed into thank-you
  gifts for the church ladies who helped serve at my niece's wedding*
Plenty of crafting and re-purposing opportunities present themselves during wedding planning. Chalkboards, signs, and rustic elements can be purchased from vintage markets or made from vintage bits and pieces. Many vendors love weddings too and will be happy to keep an eye out for that extra something to create a vintage atmosphere. My wedding was pretty small and I hand wrote all of the invitations for a special touch.

In my case, my fiance and I chose a 1930's era wedding. Weddings during this time were on the austere side as the depression was in full force. We were able to rent vintage outfits from jewelery to shoes for the entire wedding party along with many props from a now defunct theatre company at a very reasonable cost. In a nod to the booming economy of the 1920's, I dug out my grandmother's fox stoles and got several wedding guests to get photos wearing them. [Unexpected glitch: I had no idea some were anti-fur and found the idea of wearing dead animals complete with preserved paws abhorrent.]

Unless you plan to do your own flowers, finding the right florist will make your life much easier. In my case I happened upon a florist who saved me more money than I thought possible. She suggested I carry 5 long stemmed white roses with greenery tied up with a ribbon. My attendant [only one, this was the depression] carried a smaller version. Flowers from the ceremony were designed to go to the reception serving a dual purpose.

Let me suggest seriously considering a florist unless you have several floral design classes under your belt. By judiciously choosing flowers in season you can save enough money to get the look you want at a reasonable cost. Plus you won't be stressing out over how the boutonnieres look. Do not ask me how I know this.

A few tips to keep in mind

Hair and makeup- find a vintage hairstyle that works and have a practice session before the day of the ceremony. Ditto with makeup checking how your specific makeup reacts to flash photography.

Transportation- vintage weddings offer a multitude of memorable options. Vintage cars and horse drawn carriages come to mind. I remember a service where the officiant rode up on a horse.

Photography- choose your photographer carefully. I had a fashion photographer who took most of the photos of a particularly stunning guest who knew how to work the camera. Big mistake. Be sure to draw up a list of shots you'd like to have and discuss your editing options.

Consider showcasing vintage family wedding photos at the reception

Shopping suggestions- there is a plethora of shopping options for shopping. Planning your wedding is a great time to get acquainted with your local options. Vintage weddings are hot, hot, hot. Plus you're going to need some furniture for your dream house. You'll know where to look when you're ready. For me shopping in the best part…

My final words of advice are to have fun. Don't try to live up to any one's expectations. It's your special day. Enjoy every minute of it from the planning through the honeymoon.

*A tutorial for the centerpieces can be found on my blog.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. You are right...Vintage weddings are hot hot hot! I think think going vintage can save a ton of money too! Wonder how long the trend will last!


    1. I think more personalized weddings are here to stay. Whether it's vintage or costly, we'll be seeing a lot more couples put on the personal touch. Surely there will always be vintage girls!

  3. Vintage weddings are always special and unique and each part of this is attractive.

  4. Yeah vintage wedding were very special and unique, even it don't have an luxurious things but still its very memorable. Actually what I believe now a days wedding ideas matters a lot to make the wedding successful.