As 2014 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the top wedding trends of the year. This has been the year for many firsts- it’s been the year of the wedding hashtag, naked cakes, macaron favors, wooden crates, and birdcage decorations. But the most popular trend for the year has by far been the vintage theme. Here’s a few tips to help you have the perfect vintage wedding.
Start Planning Early-
I know this seems obvious. You probably started planning your wedding as soon as you got engaged (or since you were 8, like most girls), but vintage weddings take a little more preparation than most other weddings. You can take a vintage theme in a number of different directions. How much do you want to DIY? Do you want to rent or buy your own decor? Do you want actual vintage items or new items with a vintage flair?
Photo Credit: Sonya Khegay
If you’re going with real vintage items, start checking your local vintage fairs, antique stores, and thrift stores. You can find out about vintage fairs by perusing your local vintage or antique stores for brochures. Just from traveling around in my area, I’ve found a few fairs I have or want to attend. Palm Springs has an open air vintage market every first Sunday of the month, and Fallbrook (north of San Diego) has a Vintage Market at the Oaks every quarter. Start looking for your wedding items as soon as you can because you never know what’s going to be there- or not be there. You may have to go to a few fairs and many stores before you find everything you need.
Know What you Want-
When you first arrive at vintage fairs or antiques stores, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There’s so much to see! That’s why you need a game plan even before you arrive. Know what you want your wedding to look like and what you need to shop for. Use wedding magazines and Pinterest to inspire your wedding decor and then shop to your heart’s content.
Photo Credit: Kayla Adams & Co.
Books are one of the easiest vintage decorations you can find for your wedding. I’ve started collecting books from various thrift stores like Savers, St. Vincent’s, and Goodwill. I look for ones with classic or clever titles (A Chicken Every Sunday is one of my favorite ones), good bindings, and coordinating colors. Because you’ll need at least two or three books per table, don’t pay much per book- I pay $3 at most.
Photo Credit: Kayla Adams & Co.
Suitcases or luggage sets make great vintage wedding props. Whether you use it for a cardbox, a cake stand, or something else, you can buy a suitcase at an antique store for around $30. If you compare that to what you’d pay for a regular modern cake stand or cardbox, it’s about the same price but adds additional vintage flair to your wedding.
Photo Credit: Kayla Adams & Co.
Vintage picture frames have an elegant feel to them and can be found at almost any vintage market or antique store. They can match, like these used for the escort table, or mixed and matched for a shabby chic vibe.
All of the last three pictures are from a vintage vineyard wedding at Smith Vineyard in Grass Valley, California. See the entire wedding on Wedding Chicks here.
Decide what to DIY-
Doing part of your vintage wedding yourself can save you some serious cash. This practical trend lets you express your creativity and adds your own special touch to your wedding decor. When deciding what to DIY, consider a few important questions. What details are important to you? What should you leave to a professional? Is it too close to your wedding to stress over DIYing something?
Photo Credit: Fresh Ivey Photography
Here’s a gorgeous way to add some DIY to your lighting. How amazing would these look over your dance floor? Make them yourself by gluing lace doilies and string to large balloons and then popping the balloons when the glue is dry. Put a light inside and hang them in a place that needs a little glamor.
You’ve already planned out your menu from start to finish, now how are you going to tell your guests? DIY your own chalkboard menu sign like this one with a large chalkboard and some chalk or chalk paint. Whether you use a frame or not is totally up to you and you can make it more ornate with printable templates that you can find online.
Photo Credit: Rachel Hayton
Have you seen the price tag on those cute wedding signs with arrows or cute sayings? Ouch! Make you own with some reclaimed wood, paint, a few nails, and some imagination.
Much of your wedding’s decor can be done yourself for much less than you would pay for it in a store. Even if crafting isn’t your cup of tea, enlist your bridal party, friends, or family to help you design and make your own wedding decor.
Make Your Favors Vintage-
DIY your own guest favors with candles inside vintage tea cups. You could light the candles at each place setting or leave them unlit for your guests to take home and light. These would also be adorable with a succulent in each cup instead of a candle.
Photo Credit: Sarah Becker Photography
What’s a cuter favor than a vintage handkerchief? You’ll find dozens of these at any vintage fair or market for cheap. Don’t just limit these to the ladies either- men can get a little teary eyed at weddings. See the rest of this DIY Barn Wedding here.
Use Furniture For Your Theme-
One of my favorite elements of any wedding is the furniture. From the seating for the ceremony to the lounging around at the after party, make your furniture memorable for your guests.
Photo Credit: Pat Furey Photography
Mismatched ceremony seating sure makes a statement! It takes a brave couple to pull this off, but if you love it, go for it!
This beautiful reception features long tables with clear chairs. With bulb lights, flowers, and muted tones for the tablecloths, this wedding is vintage glamorous.
Photo Credit: Ozzy Garcia Photography
Furniture, especially couches, make any environment feel a little more like home. A few pieces of plush furniture give your wedding a comfortable, luxurious feel. You can buy your own furniture or rent them from your local event rental company. You’ll be surprised at the extent of amazing products they offer!
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Unique Things-
Because a vintage theme allows you more range for creativity than a modern or other themed wedding, your guests will learn to expect the unexpected. Show this by thinking outside the box for many traditional details.
A bundt cake laced with icing makes a great substitute for a traditional cake. Stack them for a whimsical look. This table features not just the cake for the bride and groom, but matching cakes for the guests to enjoy as well. This was a wedding I worked at the Retro Ranch in Temecula with cake table designed by Kevin of Pure Lavish Events.
Your guest book should be something memorable and that you can display around your house. You can read some of my previous posts about unique guest books like this one, a globe, and this one, a customizable wooden tree for guests to sign.
Photo Credit: Sarah & Ben
Does any girl wear those uncomfortable heels on the dance floor? I don’t think so! A cute cabinet with the doors taken off make this shoe valet an unexpected alternative to ditching those heels underneath a chair or table. See the rest of this DIY wedding here.
It’s your wedding day! You’ve heard so much advice to relax and stay calm on your big day, but this advice also rings true for every day leading up to you wedding, from your engagement to the moment you step into your car after the reception. Planning your wedding shouldn’t have to be stressful. Make vintage hunting fun by bringing a few of your best friends along. Involve your husband-to-be in your DIY projects that might require a few more power tools than you can handle. Have your sister’s friends be on the look out for chairs, couches, and whatever else vintage that tickles your fancy. Get your family and friends involved. Have a plan, but don’t be afraid to vary a little off course.
But most of all, take your time and have fun. Don’t just shop to buy decor for your wedding, spend time finding those little details that will make your day that much more meaningful for your family, friends, and most importantly, your self and your groom.