How to Plan a 1920s Style Wedding
If you’re looking to the past for inspiration for your wedding, what era says “party” better than the Roaring Twenties?
“I think the ‘20s invoke a sense of romance, of a changing and freewheeling society where people were kicking off their shoes and enjoying themselves in new ways. The music, the colors, the cocktails and the clothes all have a formal yet seductive feel,” says Rebecca George, owner and event planner for Modern Vintage Events in Nashville.
Here are six ideas for planning a vintage 1920’s style wedding that Gatsby himself would be proud of.
1. Play with Patterns
The second decade of the 20th century is often defined by its architecture style: art deco. Pull patterns from buildings of the time, such as the Chrysler Building in New York or hotels along South Beach in Miami, and incorporate them into your wedding design.
“There are so many repeated patterns that are fun to bring in from geometric to fan shapes. You can choose a rounded softer pattern or a more angular pattern that complements the other elements of the wedding,” says George. “Those patterns can be brought in through linens, attire, paper goods and smaller details.”
2. Embrace Dark Tones
For the color palette, don’t be afraid to utilize the deep jewel tones that characterized the era. George recommends using vibrant colors like emerald, sapphire or ruby and then pairing them with lighter hues, such as millennial pink or gold for an opulent look.
3. Add Touches of Glamour
The 1920s were all about excess and indulgence, so your décor should be, too. So think mixed metals, crystal chandeliers, shimmery table runners, embossed stationery and luxe linens.
“One of our favorite design elements is velvet. We love bringing in velvet linens or napkins along with velvet suits, jumpsuits or dresses,” says George. “Pairing an emerald velvet linen with a patterned napkin is a beautiful way to capture the feel of the 20s with a modern touch.”
4. Feel like a Flapper
You can’t talk about the 1920s without mentioning the flapper. Brides can mimic the iconic style with finger waves, or a faux bob hairstyle topped off with a Juliet cap veil. For makeup, consider a modern update on the classic smoky eye or a pop of color with a dark lip.
“Beading, lace, patterns or flowy cap sleeves are really beautiful ways to add a vintage elegance” to bridal or bridesmaids’ attire, according to George.
5. Get Jazzy
They don’t call it the Jazz Age for nothing. Bring the true spirit of the ‘20s to your event by hiring a jazz band instead of a DJ to play at your reception. For an extra bonus, consider bringing in a dance coach to teach your guests how to do classic dances moves from the era, like the Charleston or Lindy Hop.
6. Serve like a Speakeasy
Prohibition may have kicked off in 1920, but that didn’t stop Americans from having a good time. Turn your cocktail hour into a moody speakeasy by adding vintage cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to the menu.
“Incorporate some prohibition-era cocktails like a sidecar, French 75 or Gin Rickey into your bar. Your cocktails can be served in cut glass or vintage glasses for a real turn-of-the-century feel,” says George. “Hors d'oeuvres like deviled eggs, oysters Rockefeller or shrimp cocktail are great for cocktail hour and can also be served in vintage vessels for a nostalgic feel.”