Picture this: headphones are completely wireless, Amazon has opened a no-checkout supermarket, plans to colonise Mars are coming to fruition and robots are speaking at UN conferences. No, this isn’t a dystopian fiction novel: it’s 2018 – and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the first two decades of the 21st century, you’ll have noticed that things are becoming scarily futuristic as of late.
Fortunately, human beings are still human beings – and that means love is still alive and well. If you’ve found your one and only and you’re engaged to tie the knot, a timeless vintage theme can offer a chance to step back to a time when life seemed so much simpler. So, if the idea of a wedding inspired by the past fills your heart with joy, today’s post is for you, as we’re giving you our guide to bringing your dream of a vintage wedding to life.
Invitations: send them the old-school way
After the initial announcement has been made, the first time things feel truly official for guests is when they receive their wedding invitations – which makes them the perfect starting point for your theme. Of course, e-invitations are increasingly popular for brides-to-be – and there’s nothing stopping you sending these out as well – but to truly embrace an authentic vintage theme, handwritten paper letters are second to none.
Whether you enlist the help of a family member to help you write them out, or you go the extra mile to write them all yourself, a handwritten and signed wedding invitation will take your theme to the next level. We love the idea of using a wax seal if you have access to a stamp, or glam gold glitter if you’re channeling the roaring twenties – so consider how you might get creative when it comes to sending out the all-important invites.
This may be more costly than simply emailing them out, so consider designing a themed e-invitation to send out instead if this puts you over your budget.
Clothing: understand that vintage doesn’t have to mean outdated
One of the most commonly asked questions that comes up when soon-to-be-weds decide on a vintage theme is ‘what do I wear?!’. The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all option that must be worn if the theme is vintage – as, like all weddings, there are various factors to take into consideration when deciding on the dress. What you feel comfortable in, the weather, the budget and the exact theme will all play a role in what’s worn on the day.
For example, a warm summer wedding inspired by the Gatsby era cries out for a fringed white flapper dress with a string of pearls, or, for a more classic vintage theme, an intricately laced mermaid dress might be just the right fit. Whatever you choose, it’s important that it allows you to radiate confidence – so don’t compromise on design for the sake of a rigid theme.
There are a number of specialist vintage dress suppliers you can look to if you want the real thing – or in standard bridal shops, you’ll probably also find a number of contemporary dresses that draw inspiration from the past. Alternatively, you might find that local auction houses in the UK regularly see second-hand vintage wedding dresses pass through their doors, which offers an inexpensive way to get your hands on the real thing at a fraction of the price.
Food and drinks: keep them traditional or go for the opposite
When it comes to what’s on the menu, there’s boundless scope for creativity. Depending on who’s doing the catering, you can take your vintage theme to new heights – serving delicious food and drink while staying true to your theme throughout. A sweet country-influenced theme might see you plan out a quintessentially British menu, covering iconic dishes like strawberries and cream or Eton mess – or maybe even a traditional Sunday roast!
For drinks, we love the idea of creating your own cocktail menu based on the era you’re honouring – and if you’re not a master mixologist, there’s plenty of inspiration out there for you online. Alternatively, browse the Wedding Guide UK’s directory to find a supplier suitable for your needs. What’s great about many cocktails is that their recipes are easily tweaked to create alcohol-free ‘mocktails’ – ideal for those guests who are under 18 or prefer a soft drink.
Flowers: stun with stylish bouquets
With all of the most important boxes well and truly ticked, final flourishes like flowers can really bring a vintage theme together. The most popular of these are roses, which bring an authentically bygone feel to any bouquet if you choose the right type and colour. English/David Austin and amnesia roses are our picks for a flawless vintage theme, but there are a huge range of rose types out there – so be sure to find the one that blends in best with the other aspects of your wedding.
With our guide above, we hope you’ll plan a timeless vintage wedding to remember.
Author bio: Alex Jones is a content creator at Featonby’s, a specialist antiques and collectibles auctioneers based in North Tyneside, England.