Throwing a 1920s-themed party or wedding reception
Planning the reception is possible the most stressful -- but most fun -- part of planning a 1920s-themed wedding. You want your reception or party to be Roaring Twenties enough to impress your guests, but you don't want it to be overkill.
Probably one of my personal favorite ways to make the reception really 1920s was to play music from the era in the background. It permeates the entire mood of the event, and is a perfect reminder of the night's theme.
Another tactic I used was to say on the invitations, "1920s costumes encouraged." I was afraid it wouldn't work, but guess what? Almost everyone dressed up!
Host a Roaring 1920s Twenties Theme Party: Resources and Ideas: This page gives advice for how to properly throw a Roaring Twenties party -- from everything to themes and costuming, to food and music. Many of the ideas will adapt perfectly to a wedding ceremony and reception.
What to Wear to 1920s and 1930s Dance Events: This page is a great resource for anyone who is having problems deciding what to wear. It may give you ideas for your dress or the wedding party's outfits; or you could send your guests the link to give them some help on deciding what to wear.
Set up a speakeasy: This would be a fantastic, creative way to serve your guests drinks. Research the lingo and leave a "translation" card on every table to help your guests know how to order.
Serve soda in vintage-looking bottles: Drinks such as Coca-Cola were immensely popular in the 1920s, so selling retro glass bottles of soda stuffed in big buckets of ice will help to set the mood. Although I couldn't find Coke in retro glass bottles, you can easily find that in other brands. Try natural sodas, sold at newfangled stores such as Cost Plus World Market. IBC also sells their root beer and cream soda in authentic-looking bottles.
Teach the Charleston: Although I decided not to teach the Charleston at our wedding, if your guests are all younger and fairly athletic you might be able to pull this off. The idea is to hire a dance teacher to come and teach everyone the steps. Perhaps you can ask the dance teacher to tone it down a little so that no one hurts themselves. (Also make sure the venue is prepared for lots of people hopping around.)
Decorate with fans and feathers: Fans and feathers were popular with the flappers in the 1920s. Fans can be acquired pretty cheaply from wedding favors websites. Feathered boas, feather bouquets, and similar decorations can also be used to set that 1920s mood.
Labels: 1920s theme