You know it, we know it, every bride worth her 1930s peacock-feather fascinator knows it: Vintage-inspired weddings are all the rage. And we’re as mad about them as anyone else. Those nostalgic touches and historic throwbacks aren’t just romantic and evocative—they also make a wedding feel as if it’s part of the tradition of weddings, rather than simply a traditional wedding. Know what we mean?
Here’s someone who definitely does: Mai Dang. The owner of Houston’s Honeydew Events is an expert in vintage allure (along with cutting-edge contemporary style weddings…but that’s for another post). We picked Dang’s brain for her advice on incorporating vintage-style details into your big day in a truly personal way. So before you start tossing antique doilies and sepia-toned photos into your wedding all willy-nilly, make sure you check out her top tips:
Take inspiration from family heirlooms. “Honeydew Events makes sure to design according to a particular couple’s inspirational pieces and traditions,” Dang says. “If the bride is inspired by a vintage brooch from her great grandmother, we would decorate with faded jewel tones. If inspiration stems from the grandmother’s dress, we would design around cool tones with larger print laces and flowers that share the same patterns.” And, of course, actual heirlooms can be incorporated in countless ways, “such as on the bouquet stems, in the bride’s hair, or on her shoes.”
Appeal to all senses. “For vintage table design and décor, we recommend accenting warm colors with soft candlelight or lanterns. It’s best to stay away from any colored up-lighting in the room, such as blues, plum, and pinks,” Dang says. For floral, “We suggest using warm vases and less color-dyed hybrids of flowers.” And when it comes to furniture, “Look for rich-colored soft leather sofas or armchairs with high backs for the lounge area. Also include antique coffee tables with a lot of hand-carved design. An old, traditional leather-bound scrapbook or vintage novel with ivory pages would work well as a guestbook.”
Don’t forget the little things. “Keep it rich in texture. We suggest using small pieces of material, such as worn thread spools, that have the names of your guests embroidered on them, as place cards. Even personalized smoking pipes or cigars can add a little something extra. As for wedding favors, consider giving your guests dried flowers in a small picture frame or antique hair accessories.”
Do your research. “The Internet is a world of infinite knowledge,” says Dang, noting that brides can find tons of websites that provide details on the specific furnishings, fads and fashions of just about any historic era. She also recommends visiting museums that feature historic photos, paintings and jewelry, as well as “the good, old-fashioned library.” Well, what a vintage notion!