It’s no secret that vintage inspired weddings are back. With gorgeous references coming in from the world of TV including Peaky Blinders, there is a lot to love about this often-overlooked decade.
Given that many vintage inspired weddings go down either the 1920s or 1940s avenue, there isn’t a whole lot of inspiration for 1930s weddings online. It’s a shame because this era has the glamour of the 1940s together with some of the fun and freedom of the 1920s. This combination makes it an ideal option for a wedding theme, especially if you’re a fan of a loose silhouette and pumping jazz music.
With that being said, let’s uncover how you can really bring your 1930s dream wedding to life and what you need to remember to make your special day spectacular.
With a 1930s wedding dress, there are a few points you can ponder. You can opt for a completely vintage look and scour the thrift stores and the internet to find something that you like. Then you’ll need to get it tailored by a vintage specialist to fit you, which is a pretty time-consuming and costly option. Or, you can get something modern that gives a nod to the 1930s style without appearing costumey.
The fundamental hallmark of a 1930s dress is a floaty, more a-line silhouette with gold or silver embellishment detailing that brings some glamour and elegance to the overall look. What separates this from the column style silhouettes of the 1920s is that the bodice and waistline are more fitted, tracking the path for the heavily structured silhouettes of the 1940s.
Modern options that would work for a 1930s themed wedding would be the Grecian inspired dresses that cascade below the waist but are fitted and embellished on the bodice to offer much needed points of interest.
It’s all in the Accessories
Much like many vintage inspired weddings, this 1930s dream day includes some potent accessories that are really going to tie your entire look together and bring your 1930s vision to life.
As the bridge between the 1920s and 1940s, there is still plenty of pre-war glitz and opulence that can be seen with beautiful drop earrings, bejewelled headbands, and necklaces that draw attention up to the beautiful bride’s happy face. It also combines this with statement red or purple lips that we see becoming more and more prevalent throughout the wartime period and beyond.
This combination comes together to give a powerful balance of fun and elegance that is just what many of us seek on our big day.
Outdoors Versus Indoors
When you’re looking at having a themed wedding, particularly an era-specific wedding, it can be tricky to find that dream wedding venue that directly references the period you’re looking for. Even if you find a hotel or stately home from the 1930s, the interior decor may have changed over time or the light might not be quite what you’d like.
Instead, if weather and temperatures allow, consider having your 1930s wedding in the great outdoors. Both the 1920s and 1930s were times when garden parties, carnivals, and street events were growing in popularity, so this adds to the theme while also providing a softer backdrop for you to add details and references as you wish.
Especially if you opt for a woodland setting, perhaps on the grounds of a 1930s house or hotel, you can have that whimsical, magical feel that was so indicative of this era. It’ll also go with the fun and floaty aspect of your dress giving you a Midsummer Night’s Dream style vibe to your big day.
If you’re looking for a big statement piece to truly bring the 1930s to life at your wedding, then look to your wedding cars. Nothing is more iconic than a vintage car. You arrive and before you’ve even stepped out of the car, your wedding guests know exactly what vibe you’re going for with your big day.
Fortunately, there is always a demand for vintage wedding cars, with many traditional wedding cars being vintage Rolls Royces or similar as standard. Although these can be more expensive than limos or sleek executive cars, they’re definitely worth it for the wow moment as well as the inherent link to the theme.
The added benefit is that you’ll probably have the car on either a half or full day rate meaning that you can also use it as part of your wedding photo shoot. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to budgeting for your 1930s dream wedding. If you can combine transport with decor and photoshoot props, then why wouldn’t you? It’s the perfect solution!
Let’s round this out with some final tips to help you get the most out of your 1930s inspired big day.
- Lighting is key with this theme. With most 1930s inspired photo shoots you’ll see a muted tone that overlays the photo. This is done largely in the editing process, so the light has to be good in the original photo for this effect to work well. So, if you’re opting for an old 1930s hotel that’s a bit dark and theatrical, consider where you’re going to have your photos.
- Conversely, consider facilities if you’re having an outdoor wedding. Remote woodlands might seem moody and romantic, but when you can’t get electricity out there for lights or music, or it’s too far from the car park for older relatives or those in heels to get to, you might need to think twice.
- Remember to combine soft and hard elements. As the 1930s is between the fun of the 1920s and the austerity of the 1940s, you need to balance the softness of floral elements and floaty dresses against the harsher elements like the wood of the trees or the jewelled embellishments, so that the scheme looks well-rounded and considered.
1930s Bridal Styled Shoot
I’m obsessing over every detail in this 1930s styled bridal inspiration shoot from Christina Block Photography. Each element plays perfectly against each other & creates one of the most ‘accurate feeling’ vintage editorials ever.
It’s always funny as a blogger to see which detail draws me to a shoot and for this one I was first intrigued by the stamp on the wedding invitation envelope.
The stamp’s image is a photograph taken by Man Ray in 1926 and it was provocative for this time period because it showed different forms of beauty (Western & an African mask) in parallel. It’s a thoughtful, beautiful image and I adore the depth that it gives this editorial!
From Christina – “Styling and designing inspiration shoots is my second passion. A lot of my brides come to me for help and inspiration, and it’s just something that I love to do.
For this bridal inspiration shoot I worked closely with all the vendors to make sure that the vision was brought to life. It had a 1930s feel to it without going completely overboard and the final product was nothing short of beautiful. Everything turned out so lovely!” .
Credits: Photography, Design & Styling: Christina Block Photography // Wedding Dress: BHLDN // Hair Piece: Urban Outfitters // Shoes: Target // Hair & MUA: Kiara Shannelle with Makeup by Paulina Perez // Model: Julia Savage // Bouquet & Garland: Ruby Reds Floral & Garden // Cake: Sweet n Flour // Velvet Album: Velvet Raptor // Paper Suite: Smitten on Paper.