Wedding Planning

5 Retro Wedding Ideas

5 Retro Wedding Ideas




Full of cheer, retro weddings are vintage’s sassy cousin with plenty of color, pep, and personality!  Here are 5 ideas for your own retro-themed bash!



Cool Wheels


A splashy getaway car (like a cherry-red Mustang or Fiat) is a signature detail of retro weddings. However, we love the fun of a VW van or cute, sherbet-colored camper a little more. You can use these to exit your wedding, as your food carts, or even just a delightful backdrop for your wedding photos.


There are plenty of places you can rent these vehicles, and some local catering companies even have food carts like the trailer below that will do the trick!  Many cities also have vintage RV resorts, so if you really want one of these delightful gems in your photos, see if one is in your area and grab your photographer!








Era-Appropriate Beverages


From an ice-cold bottle of Coca-Cola to a devilishly good martini, the 1950s and 60s had the coolest beverages ever (take that, Red Bull).  Put Coca-Cola on display in vintage crates and in coolers for the mocktail set.






Look at a bar book from this era and you’ll soon realize people liked their cocktails with a side of tropical and complicated. These sweet, peppy drinks will go down easily, so also make sure to have plenty of water available.  We love this modern take on the classic old-fashioned (below, left–in a fantastically retro glass) or a fruit-laden mai tai (below, right) for a festive celebration.







Beyond Solids


Throw a strict color palette out the window if you’re choosing a retro theme, because it is all about prints and patterns!  With a wide range of traditionally retro prints up for grab, there’s no reason you need to choose only one!  Layer florals and gingham or starbursts and polka dots–whatever you love. Keep it to a general color scheme and watch things like scale (generally you want to closely pair a small scale pattern with a large scale pattern) to balance the overall look.






The sweet tablescape above used tons of floral and polka dots for their details in shades of pink, aqua, and orange.  Below, a more mod style was embraced with large and small scale ‘burst’ patterns and graphic leaves.





Look for subtle places to add prints, like these Kraft paper escort cards (below). Adding these patterns throughout your decor details will give them a definite retro vibe!





These fabric wrapped napkins (below) are the perfect touch to a backyard reception with a retro theme!





Starting in the early 1950s, it was even popular to feature a print on your wedding dress, such as with this polka dotted bodice overlay (below).







Go Tea Length


If you want an instant retro look for your wedding day, that means a tea-length gown.  Thankfully, this length and silhouette is generally very flattering (petite brides, make sure to hem your dress a wee bit shorter than a mid-calf length).  As an added bonus, a dress like this will make it easy to show off your adorable peep toed kitten heels!







Although lace is generally the most signature fabric with retro wedding dresses, you can also use other details like illusion necklines, columns of tiny buttons, and scalloped edges to add extra style.





Although dresses of this era were often available in muted tones of nude, blue, and blush, brides who want extra color can add brightly colored crinolines underneath their voluminous a-lines!






Glam Makeup


Completing your retro attire is all about dramatic, bold makeup. For brides wanting a classic pin-up look, go for perfectly arched eyebrows, winged liner, and a red lip.






Wear a birdcage veil to make your makeup look even more dramatic!





Those brides that want to embody 1960s glam, need to break out thick falsies, nude lips, and tons o’ highlighter for dewy skin. Wear your hair big and high!








Credits:  David Long   |   Enjoy Cupcakes   |   Catch My Party   |   Modern Tiki   |   David Long   |   Christina Karst Photography   |   Nessa K Photography   |   Carla Ten Eyck   |   Stefan Hellberg   |   Colin Cowie Weddings   |   Cutting Edge Brides   |   Rebecca Wedding Photography   |   Love That Smile Photography   |   Idda van Munster   |   Natascia Fileppi   |   Mon Cheri