What Makes A Vintage Wedding ‘Vintage’? Have Your Say…

This afternoon, I am delighted to introduce Guest Blogger Rebecca, formerly of Rock My Wedding.  {Hop on over to the 'Any Other Wedding' blog this afternoon to read a personal note from Rebecca}.  Rebecca asks the question, 'what makes a vintage wedding vintage?'.  We'd love to hear your response – have your say by leaving a comment at the end {you might always want to read this discussion post by guest blogger Tiffany Grant Riley}.

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Hello! Long time no see! I was delighted to be asked by Annabel to contribute now I am at somewhat of an, *ahem*, loose end and where better to explore the question of Vintage Weddings, than on the pages of the ultimate in Vintage Wedding Style… Love My Dress. I hope you will get into the spirit of the discussion by leaving her (and me) a comment at the end.

I’m going to be totally upfront and admit it, I love Vintage, – the tulle, the glamour, the homespun touches and family influences, but I don’t really understand it… there will be no rules, regulations or dictionary definitions spouted in this post, just a hefty dose of opinion and I’ve got that in bucket loads 🙂 Apologies if I step on any of the toes of my friends in the industry who will undoubtedly be more learned than I am on the topic. As always, I’m here to represent the Brides who may be a bit vague on the subject and to learn from the vintage loving readers of Love My Dress.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Cotton Candy Weddings
See the full 'A 1930's Wedding Dress and Arriving in Style by Steam Train' wedding…

Vinage wedding shoes

Vintage Inspired…

The term ‘Vintage Inspired’ provokes a love/hate response from some, the purists hating the loose application of the term to Weddings filled with tea cups and floral table cloths that have become so popular over recent years. But that's just it, you can’t deny popularity and whether it’s due to nostalgia for what seemed to be a simpler time or a needs-must approach for the economic downturn, vintage-inspired weddings are going no-where as far as I can see.

It doesn’t just have to be a tea cup to make it vintage inspired though. An ever popular and elegant choice is lace teamed with pearl and paste brooch accents or for something more relaxed and quirky, I’m loving the individuality of flea market tea canisters and retro branding.

 Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Mark Wallis
See the full 'Handmade Yellow Perfection ~ A Vintage Wedding Dress for a Beautiful DIY Wedding in Scotland' wedding…

Vintage wedding dress

Vintage style…

One of the most obvious choices to ‘Vintage up’ your wedding is with your fashion choices. Whether it’s a Vintage inspired frock (there goes that phrase again!) or the real deal via a selection of fabulous Vintage fashion stockists such as The Vintage Wedding Dress Company and Fur Coat No Knickers, you are sure to find something to float your boat.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Eliza Claire
See the full 'An Art Deco, 1920's Inspired London Winter Wedding' wedding…

Vintage wedding

As short wedding dresses are becoming more of an acceptable choice amongst modern brides who want to actually enjoy their wedding day, (and yes, that does mean dancing the night away without a cumbersome floor length skirt in the way,) fifties prom styles make the perfect choice. Pastel tulle (oh yes, it doesn’t even have to be white) and full skirts to sacrifice none of the femininity. But Vintage doesn’t have to be fifties, some of the strongest style statements I have seen on a bride are references further back to even Victorian times, or the near past (and definitely not strictly vintage,) retro takes on eighties body-con style.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Dominique Bader
View the full 'An Intimate London Elopement for a Valentino Bride' wedding…

Short 60s chic wedding dress

Va Va Groom…

Many weddings of course are getting their vintage touches via the grooms sartorial contribution. Bow ties make a retro and unique touch along with slick suits (double breasted of course for real Mad Men style) coiffured cuts and not forgetting the detail – stepping out in style with the smartest shoes.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Emma Case
View the full 'Who's That Girl? Could it be… Anna and The Ring?' wedding…

Anna and the Ring Wedding

Vintage Touches…

The Decor… oh the decor. The devil’s in the detail and the addition of waxed paper stripy straws, retro coke in bottles, endless bunting, mercuried candlesticks and candelabra, suitcases with table plans inside and brown card luggage tags all contribute towards a wedding getting the vintage label.

Sometimes vintage is  actually salvage, with Junk and charity shops, flea markets and car boots being ripe hunting grounds for cheap and cheerful or deliciously unique details from books and trophies to vintage travel memorabilia…

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2010, Emma Case
See the full 'Molly, Liam and a Llama ~ A Fun and Relaxed Wedding at Stoke Place, Buckinghamshire' wedding…

Vintage wedding food and table decor

Vintage Fever…

My favourite types of Vintage wedding? The ones that are authentic. Hands down, my favourite era is the glamorous thirties and forties. Pre-war decadence and excess as hemlines rose and morals slipped 😉 Give me a stunning silk evening gown with embellishment, the full on red-lipped face and perfect pinned waves any day of the week. But the very best ones don’t stop there, with era appropriate blooms, and entertainment that recreates a mood of prohibition recklessness for the perfect party.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Eliza Claire
View the full 'A Stunning, Full Sleeved Original Vintage Wedding Dress for a 1940's Wartime Inspired Bride' wedding…

1940s original vintage wedding dress

Your Kind of Vintage

Of course, when it comes down to it, what really makes any wedding is you. How you make it vintage is completely personal. It might be accidental or a a carefully planned mood.  Some may disagree but if you want to go the whole hog and create an authentically vintage event or add a touch here and there that real speaks to your own sense of style then that's how you should do it. Forget the purists or embrace them and craft your wedding by cherry picking the perfect details, fabulous gowns and stylish decor you see on these very pages.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Beata English
View the full 'Johanna Johnson Bridal Elegance' wedding…

Vintage Weddings

And now it’s your turn, are you planning a full on Vintage day or adding the odd little touch… do share your style with us 🙂

Yours Truly,




Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.