Though modern trends may take center stage when it comes to weddings, there’s something about a vintage-style celebration that’s timeless, classic, and elegant. So as you begin planning, it’s essential to think about the time period where you’ll draw your inspiration. Whether the grandeur of the Victorian age or glam of the roaring ‘20s, there are many ways you can add a vintage touch to your special day.
However, narrowing down your ideas might seem harrowing, as the options are seemingly endless. Luckily, we asked a handful of industry experts what their top tips were for vintage-loving couples looking to incorporate personal touches into their big day – here’s what they had to say.
Start with what you already have.
It might be tempting to visit an online storefront such as Etsy first, but before you go crazy, take a look around your home and see what might be a good fit for your vintage theme. Jennifer Sulak of Weirdo Weddings suggests, “Using what you have around you is a great way to start. If you already own some amazing pieces, consider using them in your day.”
Chances are, you have a handful of items that not only fit your vision but have a special meaning behind them as well. And by using them, you can save a little extra cash!
Incorporate family heirlooms.
Once you’ve scoured your own home for vintage items, think about your loved ones’ belongings next. Incorporating family heirlooms is an incredible way to bring personal touches to your wedding day!
Laura Maddox from Magnolia Celebrates shares, “I love incorporating family heirlooms or other special pieces that make your wedding more uniquely you! However, be conscious of the fact that anything taken to an event is a risk – toasting flutes can fall off tables and other items can be damaged in moving. If the pieces you’re thinking about are fragile, make sure they are not irreplaceable.”
Keep the meaning of each family piece you choose in mind as you start gathering inspiration for your special day. If it’s fragile or too meaningful to risk any knicks or scratches, it might be better to leave it at home!
Reach out to vintage rental companies.
If you struggle to find high-quality vintage pieces at home, there are plenty of places to continue your search. As Sulak notes, “The next best piece of advice I can give is to reach out to some amazing (and quite frankly stunning) vintage rental companies! There has been a rise in popularity for not only authentic items but remastered items for events and weddings.”
Visit local thrift stores.
Vintage lovers know the treasure trove that lives in their local thrift shop! Scouring the shelves of these vintage stores is an excellent way to find hidden gems for your big day — and there are always new items to see, so consider making it a habit to visit regularly!
“If you’re on a budget, visit local thrift stores, estate sales, or Habitat for Humanity,” says Tajlei Levis of The Wilburton. “You can sometimes find beautiful decorative pieces – vases, platters, throw pillows, even carpets and lighting. You can usually buy these items inexpensively and then donate them back at the end of your wedding!”
Search for a historic venue.
Antique decor will undoubtedly add personal touches to your wedding day, but starting from the ground up will create an unmatched vintage vibe.
Jaclyn Watson of Jaclyn Watson Events elaborates, saying: “One of the best ways we love to incorporate or upcycle for weddings is by searching for historic venues that already set the tone. Within that venue, look for things that can be added to your day, like a vintage bar cart, teacups, or even plates that they might let you use for cocktail hour.”
Don’t be afraid to get creative.
Regardless of the time period you choose, remember that your wedding day should represent and celebrate who you are as a couple. So don’t be afraid to mix things up!
“My main advice would be to really dig into what you want to represent your relationship on your day!” Sulak encourages. “If you want to marry two themes? Go for it! I say get creative with it, hire some amazing professionals, or call up a talented friend with a good eye. The more personalized you get, the more special it feels.”
To truly personalize your vintage wedding day, focus on your relationship and what makes it unique. Of course, pulling from the past will make the process even more fun, but remember that this special day is about your future, too!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.