Raise a Glass to the Roaring Twenties: a 1920’s Wedding Theme

Whether you long for Great Gatsby or gangster glamour, a roaring twenties wedding theme can put an unforgettable spin on any wedding. So if you’re tempted to tie the knot amid the trappings of vaudeville, theater and jazz, here are some inspirations to start you out.

The 1920’s had a style all its own. And with a twenties wedding theme, the planning will be a blast. Start by transforming your wedding party into a “speakeasy,” with costumes invoking Eliot Ness, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Malone and John Dillinger. As for you and your intended, how about spending the day as the undisputed king and queen of gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde?


Audacious Attire

Have a seamstress design the bride’s gown with an “intermission hemline” (shorter in front and longer in the back). Dropped waistlines and pleated skirts were favored in the twenties, and make for a gorgeous wedding dress reminiscent of today’s asymmetrical styles.

For a headdress, try a Juliet cap, coronet or a simple band of silk flowers worn low on the forehead. Also key: stockings with prominent seams in the back, a stylish and alluring look for ’20’s women.


As for bridesmaids, try gorgeously beaded flapper dresses with long, dangling necklaces, feather boas and those sexy seamed stockings. Don’t forget the bright red lipstick!

Zoot suits and English driving caps, suspenders and wing tip shoes: these took center stage in 1920’s-era fashion for grooms and groomsmen. Many formal wear shops carry appropriate selections, or know of a shop that does.

Setting the Stage

For a roaring 1920’s wedding theme, think bright lights, rough men and romance.

Wedding Chicks

Although known for high crime, the twenties also established itself as the Jazz Age, when heels flew to the Charleston, and flappers glittered on the dance floor. Music hit an upbeat note, hemlines shrank, and the economy and general mood were euphoric.

Theme your invitations from the start — they’ll set expectations before your guests even walk through the door. Here’s a cute idea: include passwords on the invitation; then have two friends pose as bouncers at the door, and ask guests to produce it. Be original! Use different passwords for different guests, using your high school nickname for an old friend, and a childhood pet name for your grandmother.

Also, let your guests know on the invitation that dress up isn’t required, but it’s definitely encouraged … and it’s sure to add to their fun.

Now name your reception tables according to your theme. Set up an Al Capone table, a Lucky Luciano table, and a Bonnie and Clyde head table. Long cigarette holders, so popular during that era, make one-of-a-kind place cards when you attach a personalized tag.

Another great idea for your theme: plan contests. Have the disk jockey organize a few between blistering sets of jazz and swing. Hand out prizes for the best dancers and costumes. You’ll also score huge points setting up a photo booth (decked out with some great period props) so your guests can snap a few souvenir photos and record all the fun and finery.

With a roaring twenties wedding theme, your guests will talk over your big night for months to come — and you’ll have a lock on one-of-a-kind memories and fabulous photos of you and your ‘Clyde’.

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