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Vibe Check: Glam Up Your Retro Wedding Style

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are a lot of moments for creative expression. For some, this can feel overwhelming (and for others, an exciting opportunity to show off your eye for style!) Whichever side of the fence you’re on, we’re confident that visuals and new ideas can help you get started. Embrace it: This is your chance to entertain, delight and celebrate your love — and what better way than with a fun and unforgettable party.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. We have put together some trend stories to inspire couples to think outside the box. Hot tip: If you sign up to work with Brideside, you can get the full wedding style guide for free. Or, keep reading for a deep dive into one of our favorite trends for the retro glam bride, which we are calling ‘Luxe Nouveau.’ Let’s get inspired together!

Classy Vintage Wedding Ideas to Set the Scene

The ‘Luxe Nouveau’ trend pulls from the cinematic glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood.   With rich fabrics, dramatic silhouettes and a touch of sparkle, this trend proves that oldies truly can be goodies. If you love watching old movies and you live for the fashion of decades past, this trend might be for you. Transport yourself to Jay Gatsby’s extravagant mansion or raid Bette Davis’ closet for fashion inspiration. The world is your oyster (and it’s at pearl!) Read on to discover how retro gems can radiate on your wedding day.

1. Kick It Old-School

Your wedding venue is the best place to start when looking for weddings with vintage appeal. You’ll want to check out ballrooms, old theaters, speakeasies and mansions for a reception that makes a statement. Anything that is art deco or art nouveau style will definitely set the scene. Be sure to ask about the history of the building, as that can definitely inspire decor and design choices down the line, as well as your creative planning.  

Also pay close attention to the lighting fixtures (extra points for dramatic chandeliers), geometric details and gold finishes. It’s easier (and cheaper) to work with the existing style of a location rather than trying to cover it up.

 retro wedding venue idea
Draped curtains and accent walls are elegant in any era and double as great photo backdrops! Photo Credit: (Left: Love is Rad, Right: Farrow and Ball)

2. Acquaint Yourself with Old Photographs

Black-and-white and vintage-style photography can inspire you in more ways than one! Imitate the style in your own pictures with posed portraits and high-contrast shots. Get some timeless prints and be sure to get some edited in black and white. These photos can be a lovely addition to your thank you notes!

On the day of, use old photos as a decorative element. Frame vintage pictures of family weddings from years past and place them on gift tables or even as part of the centerpieces. It’s a sweet personal touch that reminds us all that love is eternal. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could even use photos of you with your guests as their place cards. It’s an intimate touch that brings back wonderful memories. 

 old wedding photo inspiration
(Left: Photo from Snippet and Ink by Rhys Parker, Right: Photography By Vanessa

3. Spring for Ultra Luxe Decor 

Decorative touches are a lovely way to keep the theme going! If your venue is bare bones, you might have to spruce it up with furniture and lighting. Look for vintage wedding rentals that can help bring your luxurious vision to life. A slinky chandelier, antique vases or even gold-lined linens could be a special element that is elegant, memorable and evocative of years past.

Don’t worry about being super literal; you don’t even have to commit to an exact time frame. It’s more about the mood and the feeling. Sometimes it’s easier to think about it in terms of a design style or even a color palette and metallic accent. (Copper and gold and great for vintage-inspired weddings). Need more help? Work with a stylist at Brideside to create a mood board!

vintage glam wedding decor ideas from Brideside
 Living for this art deco chandelier and vintage bar cart. Photo Credit: (Left) Live Auctioneers, (Right) Chellise Michael Photography.

4. Shine on with Specialty Fabrics

Now is your chance to really go for that luxurious vibe! Choose beaded, shiny and silky fabrics that speak to your sophisticated sense of style. Go for a totally elegant mix and match with velvet and satin bridesmaid dresses. By keeping the color palette similar, the focus is on the textures. Look for styles with dramatic draping or fitted silhouettes — your bridesmaids will look just as chic as Old Hollywood starlets! 

Our recipe:

dark green bridesmaid dresses from Brideside
dCheck out these gorgeous dark green bridesmaid dresses at Brideside!

You can even elevate your own look with a wedding dress that has unique beading. Not only will it feel super glam, but you’ll love how it references 1920’s fashion. The subtle sparkle of a beaded dress adds just the perfect touch. Look for geometric and floral patterns; they add symmetry and gorgeous detail to your look. Be sure to get tons of close ups of your intricate gown. Add a bold red lip and you are ready to party like it’s [insert decade here]!

Ellera Florence, a beaded wedding dress by Brideside Bride
Ask your bridal stylist about Ellera Florence.

5. Get Transported in Style

It’s easy to forget about the logistics of your big day. You’ve got to get to and from your getting ready place, photo spots, ceremony, reception and more. Take your transportation to the next level by renting a vintage car! Not only are they an amazing photo op, but you also get your dream getaway car moment. Keep it old-school by attaching a “Just Married” sign to the back of the car. We promise we’ll honk!

vintage car for wedding day
Even if the car doesn’t run, you can always do some cute poses with it! Photo Credit: (left) This is Glamorous (right) Crystal Cofie Photography

6. Have Your Moment in a Vintage-Inspired Wedding Dress

What is more Old Hollywood glam than a vintage-inspired wedding dress? It can be difficult (and expensive) to find a truly vintage piece, but you can definitely find inspired looks at bridal shops like Brideside! First, look for sexy fit-and-flare, trumpet and sheath silhouettes. These figure-flattering shapes will help you feel like a movie star on the red carpet. Next, focus on fabrics! Faille, satin and crepe are great options for anyone looking for a crisp, clean look. Or, take it another direction with an all-over lace style.

Thankfully, there’s tons of design options to choose from that reference vintage fashion. Your stylist can definitely help if you have a specific era in mind. Whatever you chose, just make sure you feel amazing — attitude is everything for a retro-glam bride!

vintage-inspired wedding dresses at brideside bride
Ask your stylist about Jenny Yoo Arden or Ellera Marilyn today!

Go for Total Sophistication in Hunter Green Bridesmaid Dresses 

When it comes to wedding planning and vintage style, classic black and white are easy color choices. Go for a luxe alternative by introducing a rich hue like hunter green. Dark green tones are the perfect blend of old and new. Hunter reaches the peak of elegance, especially in luxe fabrics like velvet and satin. Add accents to your table linens, invites, flowers and even your desserts! 

Consider doing hunter green bridesmaid dresses to instill a glam retro vibe. The color is also universally flattering, which your ‘maids will appreciate! You can also introduce dark greens into your floral arrangements and decor. When mixed with gold, blush, black or white, it’s easy to get a classy old-school vibe that still feels fresh. 

hunter green wedding dresses for a beautiful wedding
Photo Credit: Double Windsor Photo

8. Pile on the bling with vintage-inspired accessories

Luxe nouveau is all about the sparkle and the glam! Keep it classy with accessories that evoke a sense of romance in decades past. These timeless pieces bring some personality to your look, but are still very bridal. Need some inspiration? Think about delicate hair pieces with gold and pearl accents like Untamed Petals Villa (available for order at Brideside!). You can fasten it into the crown of your head with a soft updo to add some beautiful detail. Or, go for an Old Hollywood style and clip it into the side of your head opposite your part.

Earrings are also key to this look! You’ve got a lot of options here. Play it simple with an understated pearl stud or drop earring. If you’ve got a wild side, play with a more unexpected take on the trend. We love the Untamed Petals Kari earrings for a retro-glam wedding. These geometric studs have floral pearl and crystal details that are both elegant and striking. Talk to a stylist about bridal accessories to go with your vintage wedding vibe! They can definitely help you pick the perfect additions to your stunning wedding dress. 

Glam vintage wedding jewelry ideas
Sign up to shop bridal accessories like Untamed Petals Willa (left) and Untamed Petals Kari (right!)

Celebrate Divine Love with ‘Luxe Nouveau’

Love all of the ideas in this article? Get more inspiration by signing up to work with us! You’ll get a free style guide and additional help from a Brideside stylist.

Ready to get started now? Book an appointment today to talk to a stylist .

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