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There is almost nothing more romantic than old movies. The aged black and white scenes filled with Hollywood stars looking doe-eyed in the soft lighting. The fashions that have long been replaced, and the customs that have long been ignored, feel timeless in their allure.

It is no wonder, then, that wedding trends for 2011 are calling for  vintage, do-it-yourself, minimalistic affairs. True love is timeless, and so too should be your big day. The best thing about throwing a vintage wedding? It’s easy to do. All you need are signature touches from the decade of your choice.

1920The 1920s

The 1920s were full of life. It was the Jazz Age, an era marked by prohibition, flappers and the Charleston. Mobsters were kings and Harlem was going through its Renaissance. Women’s fashion had begun to mimic that of Parisian prostitutes, and art deco was most certainly the cat’s meow.

BRIDE
The Dress
This decade is perfect for the laid back bride, or the bride that’s not afraid to spice things up. Dress styles in the 20s focused on natural waistlines and more comfortably draped dresses, unlike the tight corsets their mother’s wore. Dress style varied but generally stayed in two categories. The Sheba, or more bohemian bride wore a slightly fuller skirt that tapered at the ankle with a crossed bodice and short sleeved or sleeveless dress. The dame, or flapper bride, wore a shorter skirted Chemise dress. The Chemise is a loose, straight-hanging one piece dress that was worn under a sheer overdress. The overdress was usually decorated with lace, crystals, seeds, or embroidery.

For more style inspiration, be sure to check out the movie It, who’s leading lady, Clara Bow, had so much sex appeal she won the nickname of the ‘it’ girl.

The Veil
The very long cap style veil was the standard during the 20s. A bandeau, or narrow band, kept the veil in place right above the eyebrows.

Finishing Touches

Creme colored tights, white pumps and perhaps a small prayer book all make for great accessories to complete your 1920s bride look.

1920BRIDESMAIDS
Bridesmaids wore long or short chemise dresses with cloche hats or fitted caps. The same style for the bridal gown applies, with cream or white tights and white pumps.

Color Palette
For the 1920s think muted colors, with beiges and roses.

FLOWERS
The bride’s flowers were an elaborate focal point in a 1920s wedding. The trend used little green filler, while the flowers were arranged in a shower bouquet. Extra flowers were hung from the bouquet with ribbon streamers. Bridesmaids should carry loose arm bouquets tied with a big, loose bow.

GROOM
Men’s suit styles for the 1920s consisted of squarish jackets and straight slacks.

1920Informal
If you are having an informal day time wedding, think about accessorizing your grooms suit with a Fedora, boater, Homburg, or bowler hat. His hair should be parted on the side and slicked back. The shirt should be white with a turned down collar and simple black tie, or an ascot tucked into the double-breasted vest. Black or two-toned wingtip or straight tip dress shoes will complete his stylish ensemble.

Formal
For a more formal evening wedding, men wore black suits with tails and a top hat. The shirts were white with a wing collar and a black or white bow tie. Hair was slicked back and black patent leather dress shoes were worn.

Finishing Touches
The boutonniere was usually a lily of the valley for the groom and a white carnation for the groomsmen. It was placed on the left side of the jacket above the pocket holding a white linen handkerchief. You can also choose to accessorize your groom with button studs or white kid gloves.

1930The 1930s
The 1930’s is defined by the Great Depression, FDR’s new deal and Hollywood musicals. Women’s fashion became very clinging and women like Jean Harlow wowed audiences with her platinum blonde hair.

BRIDE
The Dress
Form-flattering biased cut gowns were all the rage in the 30s. The gowns had a flaring hemline that flowed into a mermaid-like train. Sometimes a fitted jacked with long fitted sleeves, puffed shoulders and dainty line of buttons up the front was worn over the sleeveless wedding gown during the ceremony. Gowns were made of fabrics such as silk, velvet, satin or lace. Satin was by far the most popular fabric choice. Necklines ranged from deep V-shapes to rounded or cowl. Dresses stayed long and slimming.

The Veil

Veils in the 30s stayed just as long as veils in the 20s but were pulled back away from the face and attached to fitted headbands or Juliet caps. Mantilla veils that draped and framed the face were also popular.

veilBRIDESMAIDS

Bridesmaids dresses of the 30s had a princess silhouette with a tulip shaped skirt. Attendants wore small capes or bolero jackets over their sleeveless evening gowns for the ceremony. Sometimes turbans or wide brimmed hats were also worn.

Color Palette

The color palette of the 1930’s involved bright and muted colors such as pink rose, lavender purple, olive green and dandelion yellow.

FLOWERS
Spray bouquets and nosegays were popular with little green filler. Flowers such as calla lilies, roses, orange blossoms, forget-me-nots and freesia were typically used. Bridesmaids carried flowers like snapdragons, pale blue delphinium or lilacs.

GROOM
Informal
Grooms in the 30s wore jackets with broad, squared shoulders and a slim waist. Slacks were straight and waistlines were high. A double breasted ‘sack suit’ became popular and were combined with wing collar shirts and patterned bow ties. Oxford grey jackets were also worn with grey striped trousers

Formal
Grooms in the 30s wore the same suits with tails like the 1920s.

Finishing touches
Derby hats were all the rage and carnation boutonnieres and white handkerchiefs were still in style.

1945The 1940s
This decade brought WWII. Women were taking to the factories and drawing lines up the backs of their legs with eyeliner when hose was rationed. For most of the 40s women stuck with A-line silhouettes. That was until the end of the decade when Christian Dior introduced the “new look.” Weddings were more hurried and less formal as men were shipped off to war.

BRIDE
The Dress
Most 40s brides stuck with more casual dresses for their afternoon weddings. Due to strict rationing, dresses were a simple A-line using rayon-satin fabric with no embellishments. While simple, the dresses where not lacking in style. Dresses with sweetheart necklines, princess line seems, puffed shoulders and fitted sleeves were en vogue. The bodices were fitted, with a slightly lower waist compared to the bell shaped “new look” dresses of the late 1940s.

The Veil
Long veils were still in fashion during the 40s but they were not the norm. Most brides had moderate length veils that extended down to either the finger or elbow. This  length is still the most popular today. Brides would attach the veil to a decorative headdress such as a tiara, fresh orange blossoms or the very popular heart-shaped halo.
In the late 40s, hurried weddings meant shorter dresses and no veils. Brides instead wore lace hoods,  either draped or wrapped around the head with flowers or silver stars attached.

Finishing Touches

Some brides wore white gloves and a white hat to complete their look.

BRIDESMAIDS

1940s attendants almost always wore hats, flowers, or snoods in their hair. Snoods resemble a knit hair net of sorts. Dresses were usually an A-line frock with gloves, flowers, or jewelry as accessories. For more formal weddings, bridesmaids would wear A-line blouses and skirt sets.

Color Palette
The color palette of the 40’s was a mixture of richness and pastels. Pinks, greens, yellows, and blues characterized most wedding color choices.

FLOWERS
Medium sized bouquets without streamers were popular during the 40’s. Some women didn’t even carry flowers due to the decade’s lack of extravagance, and would instead wear orchids on their wrist. Typical flowers of the time included roses, ferns, Madonna lilies and orchids.

Attendants of the bride usually carried small bouquets of Delphinium, tiger lilies, or garden flowers.

GROOM
Informal
The WWII groom either wore his service clothes, if he served in a branch of the armed forces,, or wore a fitted jacket with slightly broadened shoulders, and straight slacks with a slightly high waistband. Some grooms wore double breasted business suits with a Fedora or straw hat.

Formal
Formal 40s grooms wore tuxedoes with tails.

Finishing Touches
Dress shoes were worn along with ties with a four-in-hand or Windsor knot.

1950The 1950s
The economy was booming when the 50s rolled in. Women were throwing Tupperware parties, buying new appliances and staying home with their children. The decade was marked by a sense of innocence. Big stars such as Marylin Monroe and Elvis Presley commanded the big screen and the stage.

BRIDE
The Dress
When you think 50s, the iconic bell-shaped dress should immediately pop into your head. Everything about the decade’s wedding dresses was small, except the large billowing skirt that begun at the waist. Tight corsets were worn in order to make the bride appear as if she weighed nothing. Skirts were layered with up to four petticoats in order to maintain a graceful fullness. Small cropped jackets were sometimes worn over a strapless dress and consisted of a peter pan collar and tight-fitted long sleeves.

Chantilly lace was a popular dress fabric of the time. So much so that if the bride was not wearing it, most likely her mother was.

The Veil
Half caps or Juliette caps were all the rage and were attached to short finger length veils. Fifties veils were usually very fluffy and they would attempt to match the fullness of the dress with the veil.

Finishing Touches
Brides of the 50s typically wore sandal-footed silk stockings with white, strappy sandals.

bridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS
Attendants wore hourglass-shaped dresses that came down to mid calf. Usually shorter than the bride’s dress. Most of the dresses were strapless and were either worn with a small, fitted jacket, stole, or bolero jacket. The dresses were meant to double as cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids in the future.

Color Palette
The focus was on pastels, pastels and more pastels. Some richer colors were used, though, such as dark blue.

FLOWERS
The small rounded nosegay bouquet was typical of the decade and consisted of flowers such as roses, tulips or hyacinths. Bridesmaids carried flowers similar to the brides.

GROOM
Informal
Long gone were the days of limited wedding attire for men. Most grooms of the 50s wore comfortable jackets with tapered slacks. Some men wore a business suit with a grey felt hat for an informal day time wedding.

Formal
Grooms in a formal day time wedding would usually don an all white suit or tradition morning coat. More formal evening weddings usually required grooms to wear a dark blue or black tuxedo. Some men chose to wear a white jacket with midnight blue trousers. Jackets with tails were reserved for only very formal events.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 123 - September 9266
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