1920s Bridal Headpiece

How To Choose A Vintage Wedding Theme

Morning everyone! This is one of the best guest articles I’ve ever published on English Wedding Blog – down-to-earth advice about choosing a vintage wedding theme which will genuinely and comfortably fit your personalities. Thanks once again to Queens & Bowl for heartfelt and realistic advice. Enjoy!

1920s Bridal Headpiece

1920s Bridal Headpiece by Stephanie Browne

One of the first – and most common – questions a bride planning her big day will be asked by friends, family and colleagues is ‘what’s your theme?’ For some women this is the cue to go off on a 15-minute monologue detailing everything from table decorations to the type of fabric that’ll be on the chairs at the reception, but for others it can be a slightly embarrassing experience.

Picking a wedding theme is just one of the many tasks facing couples planning their wedding and it can be difficult to settle on one overriding theme for the day – after all, it’s not really for just one day as photographs will immortalise the theme forever. What may have seemed like a good idea at the time may be quite cringeworthy in 20 years time!

Vintage weddings are one of the most popular wedding theme trends at the moment, if you can really define it as a single trend. The vintage wedding theme covers so many different types of wedding that simply settling on a ‘vintage wedding’ often isn’t enough!

So how do you decide on the perfect vintage theme for your wedding?

Find An Era That Speaks To You

The most obvious way is to find an era or style that speaks you to. You may already have a few ideas; if there’s a particular retro celebrity whose style you adore or a song you enjoy from a certain era, then you’re halfway there already! Alternatively, you can do a bit of research and look at fashions of the time – you’re bound to find something you love eventually.

Be Practical

Practicality shouldn’t be the foremost consideration when choosing a theme – you can’t help what you fall in love with – but it’s worth thinking about when considering the merits of a theme. Think about how easy it’s going to be to source dresses, vintage wedding accessories and decorations from that era. An ‘American 20s’ wedding would be a piece of cake to shop for with plenty of 20s-style accessories such as birdcage veils readily available from designers, but if you wanted to have a more obscure theme then be prepared to put some serious planning hours!

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix and Match

Picking a single theme for a wedding is a great way to create a common tie between every aspect of your wedding but it’s important not to get bogged down trying to make absolutely every minute detail conform with your theme.

Okay, so having an iPad slapbang in the middle of 30s themed wedding is going to look a little odd but when it comes to aspects such as wedding jewellery, don’t be afraid to mix and match slightly. No-one’s going to pick you up on the fact you’re wearing a necklace more suited to the 50s at a 30s-themed wedding unless they are particularly well-versed in style history!

Be Yourself

Something that’s often forgotten in the pursuit of shopping for the latest wedding trends is the importance of just being yourself. Your wedding should be a true reflection of you, your partner and your relationship so if a theme doesn’t fit in with that, don’t go for it.

Even if you have your heart set on a certain theme, then make sure to add your own personal touch to the proceedings. It would be easy to recreate one of the sets from ‘Downton Abbey’ and have a truly authentic vintage wedding, but would that really be a true reflection of your personality? Probably not.

The key to a good vintage wedding theme is matching the best of a particular era with aspects of your own personality!

Most importantly of all, don’t get too hung up on a picking a completely unique wedding theme or what’s on trend. Pick something you love and that you feel comfortable with and you’re bound to have the happiest day of your life!

Kate x



  • Nathan
    8 years ago

    Well said Claire, I think being yourselves is the single most important piece of advice to keep in mind when planning. The photos will hopefully be something you can look back fondly on for many years to come and the best chance of not cringing when you see them is to be true to yourselves.

  • Good advice here, particularly about being yourself, and thinking through the practicalities of sourcing the various items you want – you don’t want to end up stressed out because you couldn’t find that elusive, must have item! Some of the most beautiful weddings I have photographed recently are where the couples have stayed true to themselves, have not been afraid to mix and match a bit, and most importantly, have remembered that, at the end of the day, it’s about enjoying the day with each other and their family and friends.

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