Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guest post: 10 Ways to Set the Stage for Your 1920s Wedding

I've been pretty busy lately, which is why I haven't yet finished my vintage bridal showers series, so I was grateful to get an offer for a guest post. While I work on the next post in the series, I hope you'll enjoy this guest post, with some great basic information for planning a 1920s wedding.

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All weddings are special, but a vintage themed wedding can be magical. Inviting family members and guests to celebrate your special day by stepping back in time makes for an experience long remembered. To that end here are 10 surefire ways to prepare and pull off the perfect vintage wedding.

1. Pick your era: When planning a vintage wedding it’s important to do some research to choose the desired era and then stick to that time frame as closely as possible. Once the era is established—say the 1920s—let the theme serve as a reference to make your wedding as authentic as time and budget constraints allow.

2. Pick your setting: Of all the elements that should be brought together to make your 1920s era wedding successful, the selection of the correct period setting is crucial. Fortunately, in many towns and cities across the country, historical sites have been restored, preserved and set aside for weddings and other special events. Once you find a suitable site that is authentic to your chosen era, a good 90% of the work has been done.

3. Costumes: Of course your wedding is all about THE DRESS! But for a vintage wedding, the clothes become costumes. The colors, styles and types of fabric you choose now have a place in history. With the click of a mouse it’s fun and easy to find out how the men and women of the 1920s dressed for the bride’s big day. Did the men wear cuff links, bow ties, tails, wingtips and hats? Were the women adorned in full length dresses? Tea length? Full or straight skirts? Lace or satin? And don’t forget the accents such as headpieces, hats, bows, shoes, stockings, and jewelry. Armed with this information, even mothers and grandmothers can dress in the appropriate style.

4. The Cake: To have your guests spouting such vintage phrases as, “this wedding takes the cake”, remember that the cake is a center of attention all its own. Although more and more bakeries are offering custom period cakes, it’s critical to know exactly what you want before placing your order. The best source of reference is a vintage photograph from the family archives or some other accurate source that shows a 1920s era cake, right down to the icing and fancy flourishes that were popular in the decade of Prohibition.

5. Photos: Speaking of photos, vintage photographs in old frames, prominently displayed around the room can work wonders in adding to the vintage atmosphere and authenticating the time frame. A pre-wedding photo session with bride and groom in period style dress with the pictures printed in antique sepia tones and displayed on an ornate easel for guests to view upon arrival would be a very nice touch as well.

6. Music: Few things can do more to transport you and your guests back to the 1920s than hearing music from that era. And what better device to play that music on than a reproduction gramophone? Capable of playing CDs, records or cassettes, these authentically reproduced devices are reasonable and readily available on the internet. To really do it up right, hire a harpist who can play 1920s era tunes to add an extra touch of elegance and realism to the occasion.

7. Lighting: Whether you are in a garden, at a church, or walking down the aisle at a historic Bed and Breakfast, lighting becomes an essential part in establishing the proper mood and theme of your event. Depending on the site, you might consider candles, candelabras, chandeliers, hanging garden lights, lanterns or even reproduction antique street lights with round globes.

8. Transportation: Another way to add an authentic touch to your 1920s wedding, is to consider hiring a horse and buggy team to transport you and the groom to and from the wedding site. By contacting antique car clubs in your area you can arrange to be chauffeured in a 20s era automobile or, at the very least, have a few parked on the grounds. Should you desire a traditional modern-day limousine, have it parked out of sight within walking distance, as nothing will kill the illusion quicker than the sight of a stretch Hummer pulling up in front of a Victorian house.

9. Flowers: Floral arrangements are one of the easiest ways to set the mood at a church, garden, or reception site. Be sure to use era accurate colors, types, and groupings of flowers, as well as period vases. Ribbons, lace and netting can also add important accents.

10. It’s all about the details: A pivotal moment in the movie “Somewhere in Time” comes in the scene where Christopher Reeve, immersed with the love of his life in a turn of the century hotel, pulls out a modern penny and is promptly flung back to the present. In choosing a vintage themed wedding, your goal should be to create and sustain for your guests, the illusion that they have been somehow transported into the past. To save on costs you’ll find that a great deal of the important period details can be rented economically. Although you don’t have to sweat every detail down to the penny, keep in mind that the more accurate you are the more magical and unforgettable your wedding day will be.

About the Author: Cameron Harris is a freelance writer for is a family owned, fifth generation couture retail Jewelry business, established in downtown Brooklyn, New York in the year 1910. They provide consumers with a variety of jewelry such as diamond engagement rings.