For example, a vintage 1960's wedding might be sparked by the couple's love of "The Sound of Music" and include a chapel train vintage wedding dress like the one Julie Andrews wore. An Art Deco 1930's ceremony might evolve from the bride's love of the film classic "It Happened One Night." Maybe the couple just has an affinity for a certain period or wants to bring their family's heritage and a grandmother's wedding dress into their special day.
What is a vintage wedding dress? The term "vintage" sometimes overlaps with the term "antique", but when it comes to dresses, antique is often defined as those made in 1920 or earlier while vintage clothing is generally defined as that which has been made 25 or more years ago. If you long for a theme from a certain era but do not have a wedding dress available, here are some options.
- Find just the right gown at a vintage clothing or bridal wear shop specializing in vintage.
- Buy a new wedding dress that is inspired by a vintage one.
- Have a dress designed from a family photo or picture from an old magazine and made just for you.
- Find a contemporary wedding dress that almost works and have it altered to fit a vintage style.
- Combine old and new by wearing a new wedding dress with a vintage veil.
Online searches and wedding forums may help you with the above, or you might opt to exchange vows in vintage clothing that is not traditional wedding attire. A few examples:
- Circa 1925: flapper dress made of beaded tulle with a foliate pattern in the skirt that combines gold sequins with silver-lined beads set in magnificent ivory cotton tulle.
- Circa 1930: delicate peach Chantilly lace dress, tea length with graceful cowl neckline and flared skirt of overlapping panels.
- Circa 1940: white crepe cocktail dress, floor length and completely covered with clear crystal beads.
- Circa 1950: glamorous, gold beaded taffeta and velvet ball gown with the traditional tight bodice and full skirt popular in this era.
- Circa 1960: floor length cocktail satin dress fully beaded with white beads and iridescent sequins in diamond shape patterns.
- Circa 1970: hippie, floor length, white dress. Soft, light, crimped gauze fabric lined with rayon, lacey, embroidered bodice.
It is easy to be carried away by the world of vintage, but remember not to compromise your sense of personal style. When considering a vintage wedding dress, keep in mind that age means it will not be perfect. Some problems such as minor lace tears, rusted buttons, and inconspicuous stains are easy to fix, but split or "shattered" silk cannot be overlooked.
Another consideration will be matching shades between a vintage veil and a vintage wedding dress because most vintage veils have aged to a golden cream, off-white or ivory. Once you have found your gown, look for a veil or headpiece that compliments your gown in a shade close to, or slightly lighter than your gown's color.