Everything Old is New Again – 5 Fun Tips for a Retro Wedding


Magazines and websites are bursting with the latest trends in wedding ideas and themes — and just trying to sift through them can be just as overwhelming as actually planning your wedding. So take a deep breath, relax and consider: some of the most unique wedding ideas can be found with a backward glance at fashions of days gone by.

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If you’re considering going the black-tie route, how about an Art Deco 1930s look? It’s an era reminiscent of elegant Hollywood-style glamour, and you’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish on any budget, large or small. Or for something completely different: what could be more fun than a wedding that evokes the spirit of the groovy 1960s, a time of “peace, love and understanding?” Could there be a better theme for launching your married life?

Whether you’re going for funky or formal, here are some suggestions to help plan your idea of a retro wedding:

Also see Retro & 50s Wedding Favors

Polaroid Instant Photo Guest Books

Capture every moment of your wedding day with Polaroid instant pictures and hand-written sentiments from your guests. Polaroid instant photo guest books are a fun way to buck the digital trend, and they’re all the rage among brides today.

Polaroid cameras and photos are definitely retro, and they’re making a ‘new age’ come back. Why? Because unlike digital or 35mm photos, Polaroids develop instantly (and don’t require lugging around an army of pricey accessories, like a digital photo printer). When combined with notes from all your friends and family, the instant photo guest book becomes an enduring memento.

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Hint: Put a couple of outgoing friends in charge of snapping the photos and helping your guests jot a memory or kind wish in your instant photo guest book. Your friends can circulate during the reception, taking the pictures and getting the notes, or you can set up a table for guests to visit. Be sure to have a back-up camera and plenty of film for “do-overs.”

The Honor of Your Presence is Requested — Retro Wedding Invitations

Display 1930s-eraSet the tone you’re trying to create from the start with invitations that reveal your wedding theme. Custom designs can be easily accomplished with just a few keyboard strokes! sophistication with heavy, cream-colored paper stock and deco-style type fonts — which you can further accent with period clip art.

For 60s-style invitations, start with paper stock in the pastel colors so popular then — or go all out and have tie-dyed invitations. Think about including stylistic signatures like flowers, too. You can print them on the invitation itself — or even tuck some dried wildflowers inside the envelope.

Hint: Don’t forget you can order custom-designed stamps from the Post Office that reflects the mood you’re trying to convey before your guests even open the
envelope! (Some key examples: New York’s Deco Rockefeller Center or Empire State Building, vintage cars, a yellow happy face icon — even a Grateful Dead logo.)

 

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Hint: Don’t forget you can order custom-designed stamps from the Post Office that reflects the mood you’re trying to convey before your guests even open the
envelope! (Some key examples: New York’s Deco Rockefeller Center or Empire State Building, vintage cars, a yellow happy face icon — even a Grateful Dead logo.)

Dressing the Part — Retro Bridal Wear

There’s no need to wear a bandana or headband or go barefoot on your big day. But a lace dress (with a short hemline if you dare!) will evoke the hippie era nicely, as will a floral headpiece and bridesmaid dresses in pastels or bright floral prints.

If you want an early 60s look, consider a cocktail dress or Jackie Kennedy-style sheath with a white pillbox hat and a netted veil. Or for a glamorous Deco wedding, hunt for sleek and satiny 1930s-era dresses in vintage dress shops, or even flea markets or thrift shops (you’ll find them in vintage clothes and used clothing boutiques all over). Easier for many of us in these days of taller women are having these dresses custom-made using new or vintage fabric and old patterns — popular styles from days gone by are often reissued by pattern sellers or easily found on eBay.

Hint: When planning your retro wedding, eBay and other shopping sites are great sources for all sorts of period bridal ware, decorations and inspirational wedding ideas.

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Also see Retro & 50s Wedding Favors

Flour Power — Wedding Day Cup Cakes

Nothing says retro like a tasty, frosting-topped cupcake. You loved them as a kid, and now they’re back in vogue as the height of food fashion. Serve up delicious, colorful cupcakes as the main dessert attraction. Swap them out for the traditional wedding cake, or serve along with. Stack your cupcakes vertically on a pastry tray, or arrange them in a circle to make  a peace sign. It’s child’s play to frost them in day-glo icing for your 1960s look, or glam them up with a silvery Deco finish.

Hint: Make sure you’ve got enough cupcakes so guests can to grab one for the road!

A Few of my Favor-ite Things — Retro Wedding Favors

Since your wedding is the start of your own personal love-in, treat your guests to some retro style wedding favors, like love beads or peace sign jewelry. Or how about putting together a custom-made CD of classic rock tunes?

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For the 1930s wedding theme idea, linen handkerchiefs for both men and women adds a nice vintage touch. Or DVD copies of your favorite old comedy movie are sure to  delight your guests — and the cover can feature you and your groom in place of Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn for a fun reminder of your own classic  romance.

Hint: Making custom CDs as favors? Snap some photos of you and your husband-to-be in vintage attire. Voila, you’ve got your cover art, and a great way to remember the day’s unique concept that “old is new.”

Lesley Mattos, Founder of Adesso Albums, helps people all over the world capture the Now in life’s most important moments. Of all the ways to capture your wedding memories, the Adesso Instant Wedding Photo Guest Book is the only guest book alternative that provides an instant memory of your wedding event in both pictures and words.