Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vintage DIY: Wedding Wonderful

As Kate mentioned in an earlier post, we are very excited to be accepting wedding dresses throughout the month of March in the store.  Yesterday, the vintage wedding dresses began pouring into the store, and we hope that we can find brides-to-be that will love each and every one of them.  Kate has already given us the lowdown on vintage wedding dresses from every era, but since I just got married a few months ago, I thought I would share ideas of how I incorporated vintage items into every aspect my wedding.  If you follow any wedding blogs, or are on Pinterest, you know that vintage weddings are all the rage currently.  The best part is you don't need an expensive designer or wedding planner to achieve the look, and many of the ideas can be produced much cheaper than if you were renting or buying new items.

Think outside of the box when choosing your bridesmaids dresses.  There is no rule that you must get dresses from a bridal shop that are designated "bridesmaid" dresses.  You could let your bridesmaids choose their own style dress all in the same color, or even use a combination of colors like I did.  My bridesmaids all chose their own vintage dresses in colors that fit the color scheme of my wedding.  It was a lot of fun because we all got to go shopping together, and help each other hunt for dresses.  My maid of honor, Bailey (in the mint green tulle dress), found her dress in her grandmother's basement, and found out it was one of her grandmother's prom dresses.  Everyone else found their dresses in a variety of ways including Etsy, estate sales, and vintage shops. Keep in mind that since you will probably be saving a lot of money buying vintage, you will have extra to use for alterations.  Many of the girls had their dresses shortened to knee length, or taken in a little bit so that they would fit perfectly and comfortably!

Decorative Touches

Mason jars filled with flowers and hanging from shepherds hooks
Unique lighting is a great way to add some sparkle to your wedding.  You can use vintage lamps to light up your guest book table, collect vintage chandeliers to hang from the ceiling, or string lights and lanterns above your seating area or dance floor.  I collected four vintage chandeliers to hang from the four main beams in the barn where the food was served at my reception.  I spray painted them all yellow to match, and then put battery power tea lights in them to light them up (that way you don't have to worry about fire hazards or the candles blowing out).  You can also use shepherd's hooks with jars and candles to light up a path or walkway.  Mason jars are both easy to find and cheap, and add a rustic touch to any wedding.  Choose your own ribbon, and then fill the jars with whatever you like.
vintage chandeliers spray painted
Table Settings
There are so many amazing ideas for using vintage items in your table settings, from the centerpieces, to dishes, to table coverings.  I took on a huge project by deciding to use all vintage plates that fit in my color scheme for my wedding.  My mom and I collected the plates throughout the summer while at garage sales and thrift stores, and usually paid 50 cents to one dollar each.  Many times we would find an entire set that we could use for a bulk price, which made them even cheaper!  The best part is that you can save the plates you like, and reuse them again and again in your own home, or pass them along to friends for their own weddings.  For table coverings we rented simple white tablecloths for the base, and then made our own runners using vintage lace and colored linen we ordered off Etsy.  The head table had special runners with ruffles that we made from vintage fabric.  There are so many other great ideas for table coverings.  You can use all mismatched vintage tablecloths, make runners from doilies, or make your own runners from vintage fabric.  Centerpieces are also another fun project.  We collected some vintage mirror trays and dishes to put below our flowers for all the tables.  I have also seen people collect vintage books to stack on the table, trays for the center, or place a collection of hankies under their centerpiece.  Vases are another element to consider.  I wanted to use all vintage vases, so I collected a mixture of milk glass and retro planters, bowls, and vases in my colors of pink, yellow, and baby blue.  Once again you can use all these items again in your own home.  For example, I use a planter to hold all the remotes in my living room, one for a candy dish, and another to hold bathroom soaps and toiletries.  
Vintage mirror tray with vintage vase
vintage mirror tray with vintage vase
table runner with vintage lace over colored linen
vintage mirror tray and vase
vintage plate with vintage vase
head table with ruffled runners made from vintage fabric and all milkglass vases for bridal bouquet and bridesmaids

Don't limit yourself to rentals when choosing furniture for your reception or ceremony.  You can find used or vintage furniture at garage sales or thrift stores, and purchase it for about the same amount of money you would spend renting it!  I used all vintage furniture for my guest book table, gift table, and some seating areas.  This way you can custom paint or decorate your furniture to perfectly fit your theme and color palette, while adding some extra character to your space.  Another idea is to collect vintage mirrors for your space.  Whether they are hung in a cluster behind the head table, or set on a easel and written on, they add a beautiful decorative element to your reception.  I found my easels on sale at Hobby Lobby, and spray painted them to fit with my color scheme.  Next you can simply choose a mirror that fits well onto your easel and use a sharpie to write on it (magic eraser and windex will remove it when finished!) 
vintage mirror with painted easel used to display menus
vintage patio table, runner, and candles used in seating area with benches
vintage patio table used in seating area


  1. Adorable!! You should submit this article and photos to OffbeatBride.com.

  2. Nice posts, thanks for sharing this to us and looking forward always for more updates. Great wedding it is, and nice pics.

    Barn Wedding

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