A Vintage Wedding

The colours used in a vintage wedding may be faded, but the idea certainly isn’t! Some wedding themes come and go, but vintage style receptions are here to stay, and thank goodness! Romance, nostalgia, and a hint of a time when life was simpler all combine to make a wedding of the past very much a part of the present.

So how do you go about throwing a vintage style wedding reception? Well, the key here is mix and match. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Make do and Mend’? It came from a pamphlet issued by the British Ministry of Information in the middle of WWII which showed people how to re-purpose, repair, and reuse, and that is the essence of a vintage wedding reception. The beauty is in its imperfections.

To give you an idea of how this works, here are a few vintage ‘staples’:

Just Your Cup of Tea
Nothing says vintage quite like teacups. But if your guests are more tequila than tea, there are endless other ways to use teacups to showcase your theme. How about using teacups as centrepieces, filling them with fresh flowers instead of using vases? Or pour candle wax into them and give them to your guests as favours? If you can get hold of enough relatively plain ones, you can even sharpie each guest’s name on them for place cards. And the best part of it is, the more mismatched the cups are, the more in keeping with the theme they are. Chipped? Cracked? All part of the charm.

Sweet Dreams are Made of These
Dessert tables are all well and good – not many people can resist a cake after all. But nothing says sweet vintage like a pick and mix buffet! Being handed a stripy paper bag full of goodies is a sure-fire way to introduce the feel-good factor to your reception. Love hearts, pink and white mice, pear drops and giant strawberries – you can feel the endorphins already, can’t you? You could even colour match your sweet selection to your reception: how about rhubarb and custard for a yellow and red colour scheme? Chocolate jazzies to match polka dots? Or cola bottles, coconut mushrooms and milk bottles to complement vintage golds and creams? To carry on the theme, your guests can take home a bag of sweeties or even a mini gumball machine!

Fruit ‘Pastels’
Another way to mix and match while keeping with a theme is to use pastels. You don’t have to stick to one or two colours, in fact – the more colours you use the better, as long as everything is in a soft hue. Pinks, greens, blues, creams, yellows and even golds all complement each other and lend themselves to so many reception decorations. Bunting, chair ribbons, balloons, candles…nothing needs to match and yet somehow, they just do! You could even tie in the sweet idea above by having jars of sugared almonds in mini Kilner jars on the tables.

Kieran Stokes from added, “Our pastel coloured website themes have been a big hit this year so far, particularly pastel blue and yellow. Couples select the themes to match the style of their wedding, which suggests that the soft vintage shades are well and truly in.”

You’ve Been Framed
If you want informal photographs to go with the laid back feel of a vintage wedding, how about setting up a couple of DIY photo booths? All you need are a few large mirror frames, ornate ones are better, and once you have removed the glass (safely) you can paint the frames and distress them to suit the theme. Hang them or place them where your guests can either stand behind them or hold them at face height, and have someone take their photo. If your wedding is more rustic, wooden frames are even easier to come by and can be customised in a matter of minutes with sandpaper and paint.

Oh We Do Love to be Beside the Seaside
If you are planning on having a summer vintage wedding, a cute retro way of providing outdoor seating is to hire deckchairs and have them dotted around outside. You could even go the whole hog and leave a box of retro sunglasses for your guests to wear if the weather is going to be sunny. The stripy deckchairs and vintage sunnies make for fantastic photo opportunities and will entice even the most camera shy guest into striking a pose!

Love Letters
Guest books are lovely to look back on but can be a bit generic. Add to the retro vibe by buying or hiring a vintage typewriter and leaving it on a table with a stack of papers, some envelopes, and a box to put them in. That way you will have lots of lovely notes to open and read together once the dust has settled, and you can then display them in an album or scrapbook.
Linda Firth from, added, “We found an old typewriter in a local charity shop, and not only did it look the part, but also gave us some beautiful keepsakes from the wedding. We love looking back at the old, typed out notes, and they will be something that we treasure for the rest of our lives.”

Fun and Games
In keeping with the simple pleasures of a bygone age, a lot of fun can be had by providing a few games which can be played outdoors (or indoors, if the weather isn’t great and space permits.) Giant Jenga is always fun, as well as garden Connect 4. But if you really want to keep it authentic hire or make a coconut shy and watch the competitiveness come out!
With a vintage wedding, the possibilities are endless. Unrestricted by convention, pretty much anything goes as long as it has fun at the heart of it. Vintage life has endured, and the memories of your wedding will too!

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