57 Vintage Wedding Ideas for a Timeless Look That'll Forever Be In Style

Bring the roaring ‘20s, glamorous ‘50s, and hippie ‘60s back to life.

<p>Bride and Groom Kiss</p>

Photo by Polina Vinogradova

We love the clean lines and simplicity of a contemporary wedding, but there’s something about a vintage wedding that really makes us swoon. Maybe it’s that there are so many different styles—i.e. decades!—to take inspiration from?!

Consider looking back to your favorite time period—the sparkle and dazzle of the roaring ‘20s, the Hollywood glamour of the ‘50s, or the hippie, boho vibes of the ‘60s. You could also draw inspiration from centuries past—the romance of the Victorian era, the colors of the Impressionist period, or the grandeur of the Renaissance.

Drawing from the past, a vintage wedding can be described as elegant, classic, and timeless. It's a theme that will never go out of style.

No matter which historic moment you choose, there are so many ways to bring it to life in a vintage wedding. Look to your venue’s architecture when picking a ceremony backdrop, incorporate antique furniture into your reception area, or play up a distressed look or old-school drawings in your paper goods. You can even give your wedding look a vintage touch with a gown or hairstyle influenced by your favored era.

If you can’t decide when to step back in time, these vintage wedding ideas will inspire you.

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Go for Gold

<p>invitation suite</p>

Photo by Carmen Santorelli; Design & Planning by All Who Wander Events; Stationery by Hello Tenfold, Ink + Nibs, Shin Hae Lee

An invitation suite with botanical drawings in a dusty gold hue brings to mind an elegant wallpaper design, while a deckled edge softens the look. Just take this couple's romantic invite as your vintage inspiration.

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Use Calligraphy

<p>green and white invitations</p>

Photo by Sarah Falugo; Design & Planning by LVL Weddings and Events; Stationery by The Printery, Kelly House

Beautiful calligraphy goes a long way in evoking a vintage flair. Stamp all your paper goods, invitation suite included, with some scrawling script. For this timeless wedding in Napa Valley, this invitation set the tone for an event inspired by the South of France. 

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Mix Old and New

<p>wedding shoes</p>

Photo by Sasithon Photography; Wedding Dress by Costarellos; Shoes by Loeffler Randall

This fashion designer's guipure lace gown takes cues from the Victorian era with long sleeves and a high neck, while a sheath silhouette has a more modern touch. So too do strappy sandals—the combination is the perfect mix of old and new.

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Borrow a Vintage Car

<p>Bride in car with bouquet</p>

Photo by Emilie White; Design and Planning by Pocketful of Dreams; Floral Design by Figa and Co

Make your something borrowed a vintage car! This bride—who looked beyond chic in Oscar de la Renta—rolled up to her church wedding in a 1971 Rolls Royce.

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Channel Victorian Vibes

Bride wearing veil and holding flowers

Photo by Joey Willis; Wedding Dress  Stone Cold Fox x Brock Collection; Floral Design by Holly Hipwell

This bride was inspired by Bridgit Bardot and the Victorian era, opting for a classy style that flaunted her curves. An ivory corset and peplum waist, corded lace, and blush silk ribbon straps in the back accomplished just that. She paired the look with a vintage Victorian silk lace veil and vintage Chanel earrings.

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Showcase Heirloom Jewelry

<p><p><p>Engagement Ring</p></p></p>

Photo by Ryan Ray Photography

Whether your engagement ring is an antique or you're borrowing precious jewels as your "something old" or "something borrowed," make sure to capture the special stones on camera. You're choosing to wear each piece for a reason, which means it is part of your wedding story.

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Wear a Juliet Veil

<p>Bride and groom recessional</p>

Photo by Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay; Wedding Dress by Marchesa; Veil by The Veiled Beauty

The hallmark of a Juliet veil is its cloche style cap followed by trailing tulle. Pair it with a silver-embroidered gown of pearl accents and cap sleeves for a glam 1920s look.

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Accessorize With Brooches

bouquet

Photo by Kate Headley; Design & Planning by Victoria Stachlewitz of Events by Honeybee; Floral Design by Susan McLeary

Brooches make for the perfect "something borrowed" in a vintage wedding. Adorn your bouquet with two—one brooch from your side of the family, and one from your spouse’s.

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Carry a Wildflower Bouquet

<p>bride's bouquet</p>

Photo by Morgane Lay and Jonny Cocherane of M & J Photography; Floral Design by Gaztelur

A bouquet of wildflowers comes alive in a flurry of purples, yellows, and pinks. It creates a laid back, bohemian bunch for some 1960s vibes.

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Have a Handkerchief on Hand

handkerchief

Photo by Heather Waraksa

Keep your *feelings* in check with a hanky on hand. Bonus points for a scalloped trim and embroidered message, which can either be sweet or funny. P.S. This pretty linen is from Etsy!

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Carry Lily of the Valley

lily of the valley bouquet

Photo by Rodeo & Co. Photography; Planning & Floral Design by Ruby McDermott Designs

Lily of the valley is forever timeless, as this bride proved at her summer wedding in Maine.

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Add a Subtle Note

Bouquet ribbon detail

Photo by Kaylea Moreno; Calligraphy by M.B. Calligraphy; FLORAL & EVENT DESIGN Ines & Marie; Planning by Katie Gregg Events & Co.

Incorporate special quotes throughout the day-of details, as this couple did at their wedding in Detroit. Here, the bride's bouquet was wrapped in a light-peach ribbon calligraphed with the words “I will always choose you.”

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Pick Classic Boutonnieres

<p>Boutonnieres</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography; planning & floral design by Tara Guérard Soirée.

Classic white roses are both vintage and timeless, dating back centuries as the perfect final touch. Use them as boutonnieres and pair them with calligraphy name cards to complete the vintage flair.

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Use Books as Props

burgundy boutonnieres

Photo by Lance Nicoll; Planning by Clark & Kelly; Floral Design by Pistil & Stamen

Even if you're not a book worm, you can add a touch of vintage vibes by incorporating worn books as photo props. Bonus points if they are the same palette as your florals.

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Dress Your Party in White

<p>bride with nieces</p>

Photo by Emmy Lowe Photography; Design and Planning by Megan Proby of The 12th Table

This adorable wedding party complements the bride’s lace Claire Pettibone gown with white BHLDN dresses that have a hint of vintage, whether it’s lace, chiffon, or a ruched neckline. Olive-branch flower crowns top off the look.

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Provide Lace Parasols

fans

Photo by Jules Bower; Design and Planning by The Extraordinaire; Floral Design by Stiatti Fiori

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, lace parasols not only make an ode to the 1800s but provide guests with a way to shade themselves from the sun. Place them in baskets at the entrance to the ceremony for guests to grab before sitting.

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Write Your Vows on Paper

<p>The Couple's Vows</p>

Photo by Forged in the North; Planning by Wanderlust Wedding; Paper Goods & Calligraphy by Kelsey Malie Calligraphy

Write your vows on paper for a memento for years to come. After exchanging them at the wedding, display them in your home as a reminder of the promises you made.

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Frame a Vintage Door

<p>ceremony entrance</p>

Photo by James x Schulze; Planning & Design by Calluna Events; Floral Design by Bare Root Flora; Rentals by Event Rentals

Whether you're marrying indoors or al fresco, a doorframe can help set the scene for a ceremony or reception. So, make like this Boulder couple, and mark the aisle with a vintage doorframe for your grand entrance and exit.

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Make a Grand Entrance

bride

Photo by KT Merry; Design and Planning by Lisa Vorce; Floral Design by Tuscany Flowers ; Venue by Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco

A medieval gate adorned with lush flowers gives off old-world romance vibes that make. The result is a grand, fairytale entrance that every princess bride—even Kate Upton, as shown here—dreams of.

20 of 57

Arrange Mismatched Chairs

garden wedding ceremony

Photo by Scott Clark PhotoAE&Co.; Floral Design by Isa Floral; Rentals by RENTALS: Daylight EventsTown and Country Event Rentals

For an unexpected take on ceremony seating, consider mixing chairs of different styles and colors. Combined with a lush setting, these mismatched chairs make for a dreamy and elegant look.

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Accentuate Your Setting

Altar

Photo by Lisa Poggi; Design and Planning by Exclusive Italy Weddings; Floral Design by Stiatti Fiori; Venue by Villa Corsini a Mezzomonte

A destination villa is guaranteed to boast rich historic architecture for a dreamy wedding backdrop. Two renaissance sculptures flank an organic arch of eucalyptus and oak leaves stuffed with white roses and hydrangeas for a European-style altar.

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Make a Giant Scroll Backdrop

<p>Wedding sign</p>

Photo by Les Amis Photo; Design and Planning by The Wedding Care; Stationery by Mondo Mombo

Love letters come to life in this flowing ceremony backdrop. An oversized scroll featuring script in Italian evokes the elegance and romance of centuries past.

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Decorate an Arbor

arbor

Photo by Sarah Falugo; Planning & Design by Sara Landon Events; Floral Design by L’Atelier Rouge

With a vision for a fairytale wedding, this couple decorated their ceremony site with a gazebo decorated in baby's breath by L’Atelier Rouge. How romantic is that?!

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Use Antique Furniture

<p>Outdoor Altar for Atlanta wedding</p>

Photo by Kelly Anne Berry; Design and Planning by Pollyanna Richter; Floral Design by Lindsay Coletta Designs

A weathered wooden mantle, candles in modern hurricanes, Persian rugs, and mid-century furniture recreate a living room outdoors. Top off the mantle with a eucalyptus garland of burgundy and blush dahlias, ranunculus, hellebores, and roses.

25 of 57

Give Guests Flower Petals

<p>Appetizers</p>

Photo by Les Amis Photo; Design and Planning by The Wedding Care; Floral Design by Nina e I Fiori

Paper cones filled with magenta flower petals give guests something to throw as you exit your ceremony. It also adds a touch of romance and makes for beautiful wedding photographs.

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Make a Grand Exit

Rice toss

Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Mark your exit as a married duo with an epic photo-op moment. Want to add a special touch? Have guests toss flower petals or rice (an eco-friendly option!) as you recess.

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Have a Guest Book

guest book made with scrabble tiles

Photo by Valorie Darling; Planning by Leslie Kaplan of Encore Event Design; Floral Design by Gavita Flora

In lieu of a traditional guest book, this California couple asked their guests to sign the backs of oversized Scrabble tiles. We love how elevated vintage accents (goblet, signage, tray) are coupled with a nod to the couple's favorite game

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Incorporate Old Trunks

<p>Suitcase decor</p>

Photo by Lacie Hansen; WEDDING & FLORAL DESIGN by Jenn Sanchez Designs

Solidify your theme (in a retro-chic way) by adding a few vintage suitcases as side tables, as designer Jenn Sanchez did at this California wedding. With this idea, the trick is to lean more chic than kitschy so stick to your wedding color palette.

29 of 57

Set Up a Grazing Table

<p>charcuterie</p>

Photo by Erich McVey; Planning & Design by Alise Taggart; Catering by Epting Events; Floral Design by Forage Botanical

Entertain guests at cocktail hour by presenting them with a table of treats. Here, an antique table is wrapped in vines and topped with an array of cheeses for a station that's both beautiful and practical.

30 of 57

Go for a Vintage Dress

<p>bride and groom holding eachother engagement ring close-up</p>

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography; Dress by Happy Isles Salon

While you can always go vintage, we love the idea of switching up your look with a true vintage dress for the reception. Why not bring on the intricate beading and timeless silhouette with a fun party dress?! Talk about a dreamy vintage look.

31 of 57

Set Up a Bar Cart

<p>bar cart</p>

Photo by  Logan Cole; Design and Planning by Hello Gem

No vintage wedding is complete without an old-fashioned bar cart. At this wedding, the groom curated it with his favorite whiskey selections, but we think any drink will do. A nice cocktail with a historic background—like the post-World War I sidecar or gimlet of the Roaring Twenties—would make a nice touch.

32 of 57

Opt for Bistro Chairs

<p>reception seating round tables</p>

Photo by Morgane Lay and Jonny Cocherane of M & J Photography; Design and Planning by Agence Fizzy; Floral Design by Gaztelur

Vintage ice cream parlor chairs with a twisted heart design take us back to the 1930s summers. Place them around circular tables in simple white linens for an outdoor bistro vibe.

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Decorate a Fountain

<p>Floral arrangements on fountains</p>

Photo by Clark Brewer Photography; Planning & Floral Design by Big Events Inc.

Set the scene for cocktails by enhancing an aged fountain with garden roses and strands of orchids spilled from each tier. Even better: Add a jazz trio and strings of café lights, as this North Carolina couple did.

34 of 57

Fray Escort Cards

Table assignments at wedding

Photo by Les Amis Photo; Design and Planning by The Wedding Care; Floral Design by Nina e I Fiori

Frayed edges and sprawling calligraphy make these escort cards look like they’re made of parchment. Typewriter font completes the old-school look. String them all through ribbon or twine to create a decor display.

35 of 57

Incorporate Vintage Keys

keys

Photo by Jillian Mitchell; Design and Planning by Fallon Carter Weddings; Stationery by Terrapin Stationers

This couple transformed skeleton keys into escort cards by staining pieces of reclaimed wood and screwing teacup hooks into the wood. They then tied each name to a key with a natural string. The result is pure vintage magic.

36 of 57

Appeal to the Senses

escort card display

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography; Design and Planning by Laura Bravi; Stationery by Kelley Bowen Creative; Floral Design by Il Profumo dei Fiori

Tuck escort cards into wooden boxes filled with fragrant lavender for not just a fresh, pretty look but a scented touch. Surround them by taper candles and clusters of fruit and nuts for an autumnal vibe.

37 of 57

Mismatch Vases

<p>escort card table/display</p>

Photo by Sarah Falugo; Design and Planning by LVL Weddings and Events; Floral Design by Revel Floral

 

Mix and match vases for a cohesive, effortless look. Acrylic cylinders and metallic urns brimming with wild green branches create a canopy-like feeling while white blooms speak garden glam.

38 of 57

Repurpose Antique Furniture

<p>escort card table</p>

Photo by Braedon Flynn; Planning by Alison Bryan Destinations; Floral Design by Jenn Sanchez

Want a vintage look that's unexpected? Try repurposing a piece of antique furniture by filling it with an abundance of flowers in your wedding color palette. We love how this couple displayed their escort cards in a flower bar of ranunculus, roses, and sweet peas.

39 of 57

Find a Stately Venue

<p>reception</p>

Photo by Heather Waraksa; Planning by Classic Events NYC; Floral Design by Denise Fasanello

Marrying in a historic venue? Take inspiration for your surroundings, as this couple did at The High Line Hotel in New York City by filling the space with banquet tables and silver candelabras.

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Tent Your Reception

<p>Candles Outside Tent</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography; Design and Planning by Tara Guérard Soirée; Venue by Fenwick Hall

 

 

A vast tent creates an elegant, timeless reception area with a hint of drama and flair. Surround the entrance with scattered votives filled with flickering candles and vines for a glowing ambiance.

41 of 57

Create a Fairytale Tablescape

outdoor wedding reception

Photo by Monica Leggio; Design and Planning by Sposiamovi; Venue by Borgo Stomennano; Floral Design by La Rosa Canina

A moody, romantic table setting is purely enchanting with lush centerpieces, glowing candles, and string lighting twinkling from the trees. This single reception table curves beneath the trees, seating 100 guests in an intimate environment.

42 of 57

Select Vintage Tables

reception table

Photo by Lisa Poggi; Design and Planning by Exclusive Italy Weddings; Venue Castello di Vicarello; Floral Design by La Rosa Canina

Pastel tones make for a dreamy reception dinner. A long vintage wooden table sits underneath a pergola adorned with eucalyptus and romantic gold-rimmed lanterns that accent the tablescape’s white and gold flatware.

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Embrace a Floral Theme

<p>Reception Tablescapes</p>

Photo by PASCAL CHEVALLIER

 

Theme your reception tables around flowers. Floral tablecloths and wildflower centerpieces accented with candles, crystals, and china have a "tea room meets ‘60s vibe."

44 of 57

Create a Cozy Environment

Dinner table

Photo by Joey Willis; Wedding Dress  Stone Cold Fox x Brock Collection; Floral Design by Holly Hipwell

Layering can create the look (and feel!) of a well-loved tablescape, as shown here with linen runners, brass cutlery, vintage bottles filled with flowers, taper candles, and blue-and-white striped napkins from Stone Cold Fox.

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Be Inspired by the Countryside

olive branch garlands

Photo by Paola Colleoni; Design and Planning by The Wedding Care; Venue  Abbazia San Pietro in Valle; Floral Design by  Nina E I Fiori

This U-shaped table setting has a strong Italian countryside feel. A garland of olive and oak branches intertwines among white tapered candles and slim vases housing olive branches, eucalyptus, and white delphinium. 

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Add a Monogram

Pear at wedding place setting

Photo by Ross Harvey; Design and Planning by Matthew Robbins Design; Stationery by Stephanie Fishwick

Love a monogram? Consider personalizing linen dinner napkins with your new initials or guests' individual names. Take this attention to detail to the next level adding an antique silver sterling napkin ring and stunning calligraphed card at each place setting. (At this wedding, the couple even added a fruity punch with pears foraged from the orchards at their venue.)

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Highlight Family Traditions

place setting

Photo by Tim Willoughby; Planning & Design by Elizabeth Orange Events; Floral Design by Stone Blossom

Whether incorporating family heirlooms or favorites recipes, it's important to honor your heritage on such a historic day. For example, at this at-home wedding in Rhode Island, the couple utilized the mother-of-the-brides tableware and gifted guests honey from their family farm as a favor.

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Go for Organic Centerpieces

<p>Floral Centerpiece</p>

Photo by Jenny Fu

Elegance meets organic in an Italian countryside table setting featuring a gray runner, candelabras, and a textured centerpiece of piano roses, peonies, ranunculus, and Silverstone roses.

49 of 57

Let Art Inspire You

chairs

Photo by Jennifer Young Studio; Design and Planning by SposiamoVi; Floral Design by Nicolette Camille Floral

If you're a lover of art, look to your favorite artist, style, or era for inspiration for florals and colors. At this intimate wedding in Italy, the color palette came from the paintings in the Dutch Masters's style, while reception chairs played up the maximalist vibe with a garland of yellow ribbon and purple flowers.

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Get Glam Chandeliers

reception

Photo by KT Merry; Design and Planning by Lisa Vorce; Floral Design by Tuscany Flowers; Venue by Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco

Statement chandeliers hover over long wooden tables set with taper candles and low floral arrangements, exuding the perfect amount of romance with a grand vintage touch.

51 of 57

Incorporate Lace Linens

flowers

Photo by Sarah Falugo; Planning & Design by Sara Landon Events; Floral Design by L’Atelier Rouge

Lace tablecloths add romance to any room, but when paired with cloud-like tall arrangements of pastel-hued baby’s breath, they are pure vintage perfection.

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Set the Tone With Music

<p>bride playing the guitar live band</p>

Photo by Within This Day

It's no secret that music evokes memories of the past so play up the tunes on your big day. No matter your style—whether it's a big brass brand or electric guitar—we say embrace your inner rockstar, and maybe even hop on stage for a set!

53 of 57

Have a Champagne Toast

<p>champagne tower</p>

Photo by Logan Cole; Planning & Floral Design by Hello Gem

OK, we blame Gatsby for this one but there's something about a champagne toast that evokes a celebration from the past. Take this to the next level for your wedding-day toast, as this couple did, but making a tower of coupes—and adding twinkle lights above. Cheers!

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Source a Vintage Cake Topper

Wedding cake

Photo by Joey Willis; Design and Planning by Little Lane Events; Floral Design by Holly Hipwell; Cake by By Gigi

Vintage wedding cakes are iconic for a reason. Those toppers! Those tiers! Play homage with yours by sourcing a vintage topper or family heirloom, as this couple did with a 1920s topper on a pleated fondant cake.

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Serve a Cheesecake

Cheese display with berries and flowers

Photo by Jenny Fu

Now this is a different kind of cheesecake. An indulgent display of various cheeses is just what a French-style wedding ordered. Accent them with berries and florals to soften the display’s look.

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Use Silver Heirlooms

<p>Cake Cutting</p>

Photo by Jenny Fu

Lend your cake display a vintage look by accenting your confection with silver heirloom pieces. Here, the metallic gleam of the candelabra adds a glam feel to a rich single-layer chocolate drip cake.

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Exit in Style

<p>Decorated Getaway Car</p>

Photo by Polina Vinogradova

End the night on a high note by decorating your getaway with sweet, homemade decorations like tin cans tied to ribbon and a handwritten banner. There's nothing more special than a heartfelt (and DIY!) touch.

Want more vintage inspiration? Check out the link below for timeless looks from your favorite ladies of Downton Abbey.

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