There is only one wedding trend you should be concerned with this year – the 1920s vintage wedding. The Roaring Twenties is back with a bang – thanks to hit TV series Downtown Abbey and Boardwalk Empire and the film remake of the classic book, The Great Gatsby, starring Leo DiCaprio (due for release May 2013). It’s easy to see why the Twenties is trending – this was an era which celebrated the unconventional, the unique and the radically different. Here’s how you can have your very own 1920s wedding…
Be a Blushing Bride
The wedding of the year had to be that of Downton Abbey characters Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley. This year, wedding dresses have a decidedly post-Edwardian feel, thanks to the Lady Mary Wedding Dress. To recreate The Wedding Dress of 2013, think lace, silk, sleeves, buttons and a dropped waist. There’s a subtle twist on traditional white – ivory, cream, blush and pink champagne are the couleurs de mode.
Downton Abbey’s’ Lady Mary | Image courtesy of www.100layercake.com
Bin the Bouquet, Get a Garland
In the Roaring Twenties, a wedding simply wasn’t a wedding without beautiful garlands of flowers – use them to decorate the church aisle, the back of the wedding getaway car, as table runners or drape yourself in your wedding flowers, in true flapper girl style.
Bridal garlands – carefree and frivolous | Image courtesy of www.engagedandinspired.com
Wedding décor takes its cue from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby. Set in 1920s New York, it features the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby, who has a penchant for throwing extravagant ‘glamp’ garden parties. You do the same, with a vintage Gatsby-inspired banquet tent, complete with chandeliers.
Glamourous camping, or glamping, makes for a Great Gatsby wedding | Image courtesy of www.elizabethannedesigns.com
Get Bold and Beautiful
The 1920s was a decade which stood on the cusp of change – waving cheerio to Art Nouveau and welcoming in Art Deco, a brave new architectural and design style. Art Deco was characterised by bold colours on one hand – striking black and white with pops of gold or red – and soft pastels, like peach, pale yellow, mint green and teal on the other. Match your 1920s wedding colour palette to suit.
Ebony and Ivory | Image Courtesy of chicvintagebrides.com
Use the Best China and Silverware, Dear
We can’t see Lady Granthamqueuing for her buffet dinner. A Downtown-style wedding means hosting a proper sit-down meal and serving it in style. 1920s menu ideas include Shrimp Cocktail, Medallion of Lamb Chasseur, Asparagus Tips Au Gratin and Venetian Ice Cream.Plate it on lavish, colourful 1920s dinnerware – gold trim on porcelain is obligatory, so haul out the family heirlooms.
Gold plated | Image courtesy of www.lovemydress.net
Mob the Cocktail Bar
Martin Scorsese’s TV drama Boardwalk Empire tells the story of gangsters, molls and Prohibition in 1920s America. Ironically, outlawing alcohol lead to the popularisation of the cocktail. Cocktail parties became fashionable, sneaky ways to host a boozy party –holding a cocktail glass didn’t look nearly as incriminating as a wine glass, fruit juices, honey and other additives masked the poor quality of bootlegged liquor and sweetening it thus made the alcohol easier to knock back in the event of a police raid. Hire a bartender and serve your wedding guests these popular 1920s cocktails – the Martini, Mint Julep, the Sidecar and Hanky Panky – with caviar canapés, of course.
Chilled Champagne cocktails – swanky
Snail Mail, Don’t Email
We may live in the digital age, but if you’re going to host a 1920′s wedding, print wedding invitations are in order. Reference Art-Deco – monochromatic geometric patterns and motifs (zigzags, sunbursts, fans and motion lines), with a splash of spot colour here and there. Typical Art-Deco fonts include Futura, Twentieth Centuryand Goudy.
Image courtesy of www.lizzybloves.com
Jazz Things Up
Hire a wedding musician and let your hair down, flapper-style! 1920s party music was all about falling in love – what better theme for a wedding? Classical musical and dance conventions were being rewritten – folks were swinging to African American-inspired ragtime and jazz and formal ballroom dancing styles gave way to energetic new dance crazes like the Charleston, Foxtrot, the Shimmy, the Heebie-Jeebie and the Brazilian Samba. Songwriters who defined the era include Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Choose Porter’s Let’s Do It for a charming and cheeky first dance song.
Do the Charleston
Have Your Cake and Eat It
Some of the world’s greatest architectural marvels were constructed during the Roaring Twenties – New York’s Empire State and Chrysler buildings spring to mind. Even wedding cakes went Art-Deco skyscraper – four or five-tiered affairs (at least) in a monochrome colour scheme, featuring geometric designs and embellished with perennial décor favourites of the age like ostrich feathers and pearls.
Forget cupcakes, go skyscraper | Image Courtesy of www.lovemydress.net
Party the Night Away
Downtown or Gatsby-inspired weddings should be held in the daytime. As etiquette dictates for a wedding ceremony held before sunset, this calls for the groom to wear a morning suit (note: not morning dress, as is commonly seen at modern weddings) or a black lounge suit. After the wedding reception, entertain your guests with a cocktail party held in a beautiful garden. Strictly speaking, cocktail parties should finish before 6pm and should never be more than a couple of hours in duration – enough time for you to get the wedding photos out of the way. Follow cocktail hour with a dinner-dance. The Roaring Twenties were renowned for hedonism, so feel free to party into the wee hours…
Robert Redford lounges around in the original ‘Great Gatsby’ (1974) | Image Courtesy of www.thegloss.com