Whether you consider yourself a retro bride or just love the vintage trend, if you nail this theme then you can guarantee your wedding will look beautiful and timelessly chic.
You can weave the past into your special day by incorporating lots of vintage wedding ideas to reinforce this traditional theme. From whimsical teacups to birdcages and bunting, there are so many ways to inject a retro feel into your reception with vintage wedding decor.
‘The vintage theme is so romantic,’ says Hester Lear, owner of Wedding in a Teacup. ‘It’s a look that won’t break the bank so build it up layer on layer – the more eclectic the better!’
‘Mix up treasures from your gran and junk shop finds with groups of modern, vintage-inspired pieces for a degree of harmony. Do this and you'll have a wonderful vintage narrative for your big day.’
Need some inspiration? Check out these 21 easy décor ideas that will fill your reception with whimsy and wonder!
The best way to highlight a vintage theme at your reception is with a timeless table centrepiece such as a candelabra or a large birdcage filled with flowers.
We love this elegant reception set up at Grimscote Manor Hotel – the ivy snaking up the marquee tentpoles completely transforms the room!
Source lots of patterned teacups from online, in vintage shops or anywhere you can find them! They are easy to get hold of and are a must for your vintage wedding décor, especially if you’re throwing an afternoon tea party for your reception.
This ‘bride’ teacup from Jenna and Aaron’s real wedding is very stylish with its gold detailing. Take note and personalise your teacups with your guests names for an extra fancy touch – they could even take them home as amazing wedding favours.
Image Credit: Steve Croll Photography
Who said teacups have to be for drinking out of? Make them part of your vintage wedding décor by putting them in the middle of the tables and adding flowers – this is a great DIY wedding centrepiece idea that really emphasises the vintage theme but won't break the bank.
Image Credit: Susan Renee Photography
Jazz up the chairs at your reception with cute sashes in pastel or floral colours. With a vintage colour scheme, anything goes, so don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colours in your wedding décor.
These pretty paper roses from Wedding in a Teacup would look divine when entwined along the chair backs at your reception. If you want to save even more money, you could even make your own paper flowers for your wedding and create something everlasting.
Use 1920s influences in your décor for a Great Gatsby style party if you’re a glamorous bride! We love these table numbers from Norton Park, written in the font style of this era. Just don’t forget to pop the cards in stylish table number holders that complement the colour scheme.
A birdcage is perennially popular for fans of the vintage theme and they are an easy way to nail the trend. A lot of venues will be able to source these from their suppliers - how you style them is up to you!
Birdcages make great hanging ornaments but are also ideal wedding table decorations. This stunning birdcage centrepiece from Forty Hall has been styled up with candles and a wreath of flowers.
Alternatively, if the budget is limited then you could source lots of little birdcages to fill with candles and scatter around your reception tables.
Image Credit: Wedding in a Teacup
Bunting is not only a cute and colourful way to add some vintage whimsy to your wedding décor, it’s also a pretty inexpensive decoration too. If you’re hosting your wedding at a quirky British wedding venue with a rich history, then you could highlight this with some traditional Great Britain flag bunting.
For a shabby chic feel, you could make your own bunting using swatches of fabric in various prints and textures. If the edges are frayed then don’t worry, this adds to the overall look.
No vintage wedding would be complete without doilies. They would add charm to your reception décor and you can get creative by using them as the guest placeholders or to go underneath centrepieces. We love this set from Wedding in a Teacup which comes with mini doilies in white, silver or gold.
Add sophistication to your vintage wedding décor by draping pearls over the reception tables, as seen here in this top table at the Mercure George Washington Hotel.
Cute table runners in bright patterns will brighten up a plain old table. Co-ordinate with your crockery if you want uniformity or clash the patterns for a fun, Alice in Wonderland tea party vibe.
Lace is a pretty and timeless material that will instantly add a classic twist to any part of your décor. If you’re wearing a lace wedding dress, complement it by adding cuts of this beautiful material to your centrepieces or flowers.
For the couples who love to travel, give a nod to this in your décor by using a vintage trunk case for your guests to leave their well wishes in. The tattier the trunk is the better – you can locate old trunks in charity shops or on eBay.
Fairy lights look beautiful both inside and outside so string them up outside your venue in the trees for a lovely ambience in the evening, or hang them above the tables if you’re having an indoor or marquee wedding.
Image Credit: Lights4Fun on Not on the High Street
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, give your guests something comfy to sit on by scattering small cushions everywhere. We love these little cushions from a wedding at Trenderway Farm – the combination of textures and materials shows how rustic vintage wedding décor is done.
Tea lights instantly add a romantic mood and these antique look holders from Not on the High Street would be a beautiful way to display them at your reception. They come in a range of colours too!
For an ultra romantic vintage themed wedding, choose a colour scheme filled with dreamy pastel colours and neutrals such as cream and beige. We love the colours at this reception at Callow Hall Country House Hotel. You can choose as many colours to go in the décor as you want, as long as you keep everything in soft pastel tones.
DIY Look Décor
The vintage theme is a great excuse to mix loads of colours, materials and textures in your wedding décor – ideal for brides who can’t make up their mind about the colour scheme.
The best part is that anything goes and the trend has a distinct DIY feel about it. You could even have a go at crafting your own decorations!
These handmade owls from Wedding in a Teacup are so cute and come in a range of mismatched patterns. Clip them anywhere you choose at your wedding, they can perch on anything from cakes to wine glasses!
If you’re worried about the décor at your reception clashing and feeling too OTT, don’t worry says Hester. ‘Lace table cloths, delicate china cups, well-travelled leather suitcases and photo frames to hold your seating plans will all sit harmoniously together,’ he explains.
Unleash those creative skills and think of a clever and quirky way to display the table plan at a vintage themed wedding reception. Attaching the plan to old items and prettying up with flowers is a great way to do it. Just check out this unique bicycle wheel table plan from Millbank and Kent Contemporary Wedding Stationery for inspiration.
Scatter confetti around your reception tables for easy peasy vintage wedding décor. Go for confetti in pastel colours or, if you want something different, opt for these packs of confetti from Not on the High Street for a timeless, romantic vibe.
Lanterns and Pom-Poms
Lanterns are becoming a popular trend for receptions and they provide a brilliant canopy for your guests to dance under when the evening party gets going! A venue with neutral décor or a marquee are the ideal spaces to hang up lanterns as they provide a blank canvas for the colours to really stand out.
Image Credit: Prested Hall
Wedding in a Teacup do sets of beautiful, tissue paper pom poms which would transform your reception into a vintage wonderland. You could also line them up along the aisle or hang wherever your guests will be mingling for a rosy décor touch.
Details such as lace, roses and mini bunting would add a retro finishing touch to your wedding cake. If you’re looking for a more unique wedding cake topper, we’re inspired by this art deco style ‘Love’ topper from Not on the High Street.
Image Credit: Pea Green Boat on Not on the High Street
If Alice in Wonderland is one of your all time favourite films, then you’ll love these quirky cake toppers that are inspired by the original book. They’re perfect for popping in cupcakes and would look tempting on the dessert table.
Image Credit: Postbox Party on Not on the High Street
Lettering and Wedding Signs
Wedding signs and oversized lettering allow you and your partner to add a more personal touch to the décor. These wooden letters from Wedding in a Teacup are eye catching and would make a stunning focal point for your reception.
Once you’ve got your décor sorted, you could highlight a retro theme by putting your best girls in vintage bridesmaid dresses.