Monday, May 28, 2012

{Guest Post} Planning a Unique Vintage Wedding

Art Deco Gal’s Guide to Planning Your Unique Vintage Wedding 

Once upon a time, the ‘something old’ in that familiar wedding adage may have meant an inherited brooch sparkling on a shoe teamed up with a brand spanking new, budget-busting, blingtastic dress. More recently, a global trend has taken place with more stylish brides choosing to reject the shiny new and instead rediscover the charms of the past with a full-blown Vintage wedding theme. Vintage, it would seem, has become the new black, evoking the beauty and glamour of days gone by.

Photo by Simon Clubb

For me, styles of yesteryear offer a timeless elegance that some modern weddings would find hard to beat, so I decided to go vintage and opt out of a big fat white wedding.  I also felt hypocritical going traditional with my wedding; the virginal white dress, a veil covered face just weren’t me. Once we meet “the one”, are we suddenly expected to change our personalities and care about a big expensive ring, an even bigger white dress and spend a fortune because it’s our ‘big day’? 

Well, it would seem that we sistas are increasingly doing it for ourselves and turning towards alternatives – vintage weddings, arty, thrifty, personalized affairs,  DIY weddings, or a small service somewhere obscure, all seem to be exploding back into fashion. And going vintage could range anywhere from Rockabilly 50's to the Roaring 20's, Art Nouveau to Art Deco and everything in between!

Photo via One Wed

Whilst researching for my wedding, I did find myself combing through far too many cute, froufrou sites urging brides to spend the equivalent of a mortgage that seemed to dominate the wedding blogosphere. Thankfully, vintage wedding blogs are now appearing in droves, offering women a real alternative to the traditional budget busting white wedding. This can only be a positive move away from the traditional glossy magazine shoots, with the perfect decorations and reception, piling even more pressure on the bride. 

Here are some top tips for organizing your own budget vintage wedding that I discovered while planning my own celebration! Imperfections and all.

Decide on a general theme and colours: Art Deco focuses on bold colours, strong outlines and geometric designs for example. This lends itself well to a striking motif for a wedding. The Fifties/Rockabilly styles call for lovely bright candy cane colours and cherry reds.

I love the Rockabilly boldness, the red pops and the hairstyles ROCK!

Pick your Location: Try to find a building from your time period, as it will act as a perfect backdrop for your wedding/reception. You could start by researching historical cinemas, cafes, restaurants, hotels or bars. It doesn’t have to be an expensive hotel or castle; sometimes there are little gems right under your nose! The right place will most likely still have internal architectural details from the period including designs on the walls and floors.

Union Train Station in Santa Monica, CA 

Photos via Ruffled Blog

Design your Wedding Stationery: The wedding invitation sets the tone for your celebration, so you want it to be overtly linked to your vintage theme to prepare guests for the style of the actual event. You could select a simple invitation portraying signature designs of the era, or a single image of a person or people dressed glamorously in the clothes of the time.

A perfect example of classic an Art Nouveau wedding invitation suite.
Photo via Invitation Crush

Be creative with decor- For my Art Deco wedding, I opted for a few relatively cheap decorations such as peacock feathers, mirrored vases, faux pearls, calla lilies, vintage handheld fans, paper parasols, old photographs of past family weddings in black and white supermarket frames and some retro champagne posters to name the tables, printed and laminated myself. Try vintage postcards or luggage labels as name tags.

Photo via WeddingBee

Make a statement with your wedding cake: Use the cake to reflect your theme in an unmistakeable way. To save money, I would avoid going to an official wedding cake shop and go it alone;  t can be so much fun! You could simply buy or bake some lovely cupcakes and then add a fabulous unique topper.  My husband and I love cheese and opted for a black and white tiered wedding cake made entirely of fine cheeses from Somerset in England. We decorated it with peacock feathers and pearls and it was a real talking point, costing a fraction of the price of other cakes that had we had seen. Also look for period textiles or unique patterns of the times when choosing cake decoration.

An Art Deco Cheese Wedding Cake - classic!
Photo via Art Deco Gal

Dress up! For a 20s style, look for drop waist wedding gowns with vibrant patterns or geometric designs. Designs can be sleeveless, have capped sleeves or long sleeves narrowing to the wrist for a slim fit. For that 30s look, at the end of the art deco period – women’s dresses were a bit more figure hugging, with a narrower waist but wider sleeves.

If your man wants to get into the spirit, he can wear a double-breasted suit with suspenders underneath! Also, a hat of some description is a must. If going for a 1950s style wedding, which is very popular – wear a short wedding dress (much cheaper too ☺) and groovy bright shoes – the possibilities are endless and your unique style can really shine through. Head pieces were very popular in the past, so go with a bird-cage veil, flowers in your hair or peacock feathers- a nice alternative to a princess tiara.  

Itching to get started? Why not create a wedding mood board? They can be a super useful thing to send to florists, photographers, the bridal party and you can make your own online at the Dessy Group website or on Pinterest. This is after all, your wedding, and not a fancy dress party. Make sure to include little touches that only you and your partner hold dear for this is what will make your special day unique. 

When planning our wedding, we decided to make it all about us, incorporating some old and new traditions that fit our Celtic heritage but also embraced my love of Art Deco. I wore a gold satin dress and a peacock feather headpiece. We drank whisky out of a Quaich during the ceremony and had a cake made entirely out of cheese. We served up bacon rolls at the evening Ceilidh dance, where the men looked great in kilts. I did not agree to obey my husband, we didn’t have traditional pretty candy favours – instead we donated money to a cancer charity. No top table; just lots of small, round, sociable tables. A small rebellion, but it was our rebellion nonetheless.

Photo via Art Deco Gal

My final thoughts; when planning your vintage wedding - stay true to your ideals, don’t worry about mixing elements of the past with modern things you love. Just remember your strength as an individual, your love as a couple and your priorities; it is your life and your choice after all.

Happy Planning!
Art Deco Gal

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  1. I loved the two photos via Ruffled Blog. I love the idea of finding a unique location and not to go for the usual. The train station is a great idea, but I suppose it's difficult to find places like this to have your event, right?

  2. That was a great photos, lovely brides. I love the wedding, looking forward for more updates.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the post! We are looking forward to many more great articles from Art Deco Gal!

  4. this is nice post for love affair. wedding is the part of a life which is memorable whole life.
    marriage flower decoration images

  5. Wow!! this is fantastic! Pictures are mindblowing!


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