A wedding is supposed to be a day of joy, where two people join hands in marriage and both friends and family come together to celebrate the beautiful union… in theory, anyway. The reality is that the entire year is spent panicking over what type of flowers to buy for the tables, which canapés are the most cost-effective, deciding whether or not you should marry in your home town or elope to Barbados? In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t really important, but it is important to feel confident and beautiful on your special day.

Traditional weddings have moved over to make way for unique events where people want to inject their personalities into the day itself. People are now writing their own quirky wedding vows and choreographing their own modern moves to replace the traditional ‘last dance.’ In a way, things have become a lot more interesting.

wedding vintage dresses

Vintage Wedding Gowns

But dancing and wedding vow aside, there is one guaranteed way of showing people who you really are and that’s to choose wedding outfits that represent your true style. If you’re a fan of vintage fashion, then why buy a modern-style dress?  It doesn’t make sense at all.

Tailor your wedding to your taste and give your guests something beautiful to remember not just Uncle Roger falling into the DJ booth.

audrey Hepburn

Vintage Hairstyle

Buying a vintage dress can be tricky, as vintage fabrics tend to vary in quality and the sizing can be very different to ‘modern’ sizes. No need to panic though, as there are a few options available: either buy your dress vintage from a specialist company, find a vintage pattern that you like and have someone make the dress for you, or cheat a little and buy a replica vintage dress. It’s okay, no one will know the difference.

Which style will you go for?

The Roaring 20s

The 1920s represented indulgence and decadence, which of course meant showing off. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do a 20s vintage wedding on a budget. You don’t have to be a millionaire to have a Great Gatsby-inspired wedding – forget about hiring a mansion and instead just focus on looking fabulous.

The Roaring 20s wedding dress

Vintage Dress

The decadent 20s saw the boyish silhouette become very vogue and curve-making corsets were put aside in favour of the drop-waisted ‘flapper’ style dresses. The key to this look is to keep your dress simple; there is absolutely no need for over-the-top frills and flowers. Dresses from the 20s were often made from soft-textured fabrics such as lace and silk.

The 1920s bridal look was completed by fascinators, which were worn instead of traditional veils.

vintage fashion wedding

Hair Styles

There was only one hairstyle to have in the 20s and that was the finger-waved bob or short sleek bob with a blunt fringe a look which Vidal Sassoon brought back into fashion not so long ago.

Makeup was strong too. Eyes were dark and sultry and the lips followed suit, with rich burgundy shades remaining the colour of choice. Opt for a Great Gatsby look.

The Art Deco Fashions of the 1920s

Decadent 30s

If you’re planning a 1930s look for your wedding then be prepared for total glamour, as the 30s style had movie-star quality. If you thought the 1920s represented decadence then you ain’t seen anything yet.

Wedding dress 1930 Audrey Hepburn

Vintage Wedding Dress

Despite the Great Depression of 1929, women of the 30s were spending a significant amount of time and effort in order to look fabulous. The inspiration came from screen sirens of the Hollywood golden era and these women still remain iconic to this day.

Jean Harlow, Bette Davies, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and Fay Wray were a few of the leading ladies to inspire.

Hair was softer in the 30s with more volume and oomph. Styles were more feminine and less structured and the white blonde was the colour of choice. If you choose a 1930s hairstyle for your wedding then opt for soft movie star curls with bags of volume and shine. Makeup was much the same as the 1920s with a strong focus on long eyelashes, thin eyebrows, and perfectly-painted blood-red lips.

Like the hairstyles, dresses of the 30s were more feminine and ‘soft’ in style. Long elegant gowns topped with feather capes and diamante exuded silver screen glamour and would make a perfect choice for your wedding.

Fray wray wedding vintage dress

Fay Wray leads the way in choosing what looked great on her.

Wedding 50s

Now here’s a decade you can have a lot of fun with. The typical 50s style was flirty and girly with a huge focus on the feminine shape, particularly the waistline. Dresses hugged the entire female form right down to the knee or stopped at the waist then kicked out in a swooshy circular shape. You can play around quite a bit with vintage clothing from the 50s and the best thing is that this style suits all shapes and sizes.

Will you opt for a classic circular wedding gown or a close-fitting Mad Men wiggle dress.

1950's wedding dress

Vintage Wedding

A veil could possibly work with this type of ensemble although a fascinator would look more authentic or even better. Opt for a cute little pill box hat complete with mini veil.

You can be super experimental with your hair if you’re planning a 50s wedding. Styles popular at the time included victory rolls and big voluminous waves. Bettie Page made the pinup look iconic in this decade by having her fringe cut short and rounded. If you want to make a statement, get those bangs styled this way!

Although wedding makeup is often subtle, 50s makeup isn’t. The only colour on your lips should be pillar box red, your eyebrows should be clearly defined and those bright eyes of yours should be enhanced with a slick of black eyeliner.

1950's wedding dress veils

Funky 60s

So you’ve made the choice to have a groovy wedding baby – just make sure the groom doesn’t look like Austin Powers! The 60s was another fun era when fashion was moving in an entirely new direction. Movies, architecture, and clothing had a futuristic influence and this meant that fashion at the time was very structured with strong shapes and bold graphic prints.

Dare you wear a mini dress on your wedding day? Of course, you don’t have to go mega-short and we understand that not everyone is built like Twiggy, but popular wedding gowns of that time were noticeably shorter in style. Consider breaking the boundaries of fashion normality and opt for something a little different – there’s something very young and carefree about a shorter wedding dress.

Hair in the 60s was big and the only style to consider really is the classic beehive – wear it high with pride! Make it authentic by wearing it with a thick Alice band and veil.

As for your makeup, you’ll want to emphasis those eyelashes too for a true 60s look so make sure you wear false eyelashes and plenty of eyeliner. Finish your look with a soft sweep of matt candy-pink lipstick.

1960's wedding dress mini

To match the decade, the fashion of the 70s was free and easy. The strong structured look of the 60s was replaced with a longer, more flowing, style for both men and women. It didn’t matter if your legs didn’t look like a models’ because you could hide them underneath a long dress or skirt.

Dresses of the 70s were significantly more ‘fussy’ than in the 60s. If you’re considering a classic 70s dress then look out for details such as volume around the shoulders and arms, lace, empire waistlines, and fine details such as buttons and bows. Hair should be worn long and loose, and ideally, you would accessorize your style with a floral headband peace!

Flower power 1970 wedding dress

Makeup should be simple and plain. Keep your lips glossy and neutral, and have your eyes swept with a natural brown.

If you really want to go down the hippy route, you could go barefoot down the aisle too – be at one with nature.