Jazzy Ideas For Planning
a 1920's Wedding Theme

Do you love the idea of having a 1920's wedding when flapper dresses, long pearl necklaces, and pinstriped zoot suits were the fashion statement of the day? If so, read on for some fabulous ideas to make your vintage wedding celebration a day to remember.

Plan Your 1920's Wedding The Easy Way

Unique Theme Weddings - Plan a 1920s Wedding

Kari White's ebook Unique Theme Weddings features an exclusive collection of 19 complete and unique wedding themes, one of which is based on a 1920's wedding - a perfect compliment to help you with your wedding planning.

It's a great resource full of ideas, as well as practical money-saving tips. Plus, you can swap ideas from the other themes and suggestions very easily to match your wedding style.

Click here to read more about Unique Theme Weddings.

1920's Bridal Attire Suggestions

For The Vintage Bride

Keep your wedding dress simple and straight - no big frilly or "Cinderella" type gowns for this theme please. You could also wear a flapper dress with the dropped waistline and sash around the hips.

Wear low-strapped pumps with seamed stockings (remember, pantyhose hadn't been invented yet).

A chaplet headpiece (this a simple band usually worn around the forehead) is a perfect choice in place of a wedding headpiece and veil. You may also consider wearing a flat veil held in place by an orange blossom wreath, which was also popular at the time.

Flapper Style for the Bridesmaids

Outfit your bridal attendants with flapper dresses, feather boas, and long bead necklaces. Have them carry a single orchid, beautiful lily, or an ostrich fan.

The Groom of the Twenties

Dress the man-of-the-hour in a pinstriped zoot suit, ascot tie, and a felt, roll-brimmed fedora hat or zoot suit hat. Another option is to wear a double-breasted 4 button jacket with wide-lapels, cuffed trousers, ascot tie or white scarf, white gloves, spats (shoes), black top hat and a walking stick.

Gangster Groomsmen

Dress similarly to the groom, but you could make them look like the "mobsters" by having them carry toy machine guns (for a fun spin on the celebration.) Also, suspenders were the "in" thing.

1920's Vintage Wedding Invitations

Here are some ideas that you can put together to create your own invitations to suit this era.

  • Have your cards printed in the shape of an old phonograph, 33 1/3 RPM record or 1920's sports car.
  • Use a real 45 RPM record and attach a label to it that has your invitation printed on it. (Although this size record wasn't available then, you obviously need something that is small enough to mail).
  • Create a DVD label to look like an old record and copy your video invitation onto the disc to be watched on a computer or DVD player.
  • To put more of a gangster spin on it, have your invitations printed as an "entry permit" to an illegal speakeasy. Make sure to put a "secret code password" on it.
  • Find invitations with images of a flapper headbands, champagne glasses and beaded necklace, cigarette holders, cocktail glasses, etc.

The following lovely and uniquely designed wedding stationary can be purchased through various independent sellers on Zazzle. Each of these invites can be customized as required. Be sure to also have a look at our additional suggestions for vintage wedding invitations.

1920's Themed Wedding Invitations invitation
1920's Themed Wedding Invitations
$1.95 each
1920's Themed Wedding Invitations invitation
1920's Themed Wedding Invitations
$1.95 each
1920's Themed Wedding Invitations invitation
1920's Themed Wedding Invitations
$1.95 each
Vintage Art Deco Formal Wedding Couple invitation
Vintage Art Deco Formal Wedding Couple
$1.95 each

1920's Wedding Decorating Ideas

A fabulous idea is to have the room set up like a speakeasy of the 20's. Add a few "gambling" tables and perhaps a mock stage for the DJ (and hire a singer or saxophone player to entertain guests during dinner)

Keep your reception tables small and cozy, just like a speakeasy would be - only 4 people to each table. Scatter them about the room surrounding a dance floor in front of the "stage". Here are some more ideas:

  • Hang beaded curtains in doorways.
  • Set up an old-fashioned, deep-claw bathtub near the bar. Fill with ice and add bottles of "hootch", "bathtub gin", "red ink" (homemade wine), "bootleg", "moonshine". (The bottles won't hold real liquor, just water and printed labels created on a computer. Find the appropriate types of bottles for "moonshine", etc.)
  • Have a photographer set up an old-time-photo studio where guests can have 1920's snap-shots taken.
  • Display black and white photos of famous actors, singers and musicians of that era. Some famous faces are: Jimmy Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Laurel & Hardy, WC Fields, Mae West, Louise Brooks, Rudolph Valentino, and Buster Keaton.

Tables and Centerpieces To Suit a 1920's Wedding Theme

  • Fill large brandy snifters with colored water and float petal blossoms and candles.
  • Use cigarette holders as place card holders.
  • Make an arrangement with an empty champagne bottle, a couple of wine glasses and strings of beads in the center of each table.
  • Keep is simple and elegant with a single large orchid in a crystal vase.
  • If you have time, assemble vintage model cars to use as your centerpieces.

The "Cat's Meow" in Wedding Favors

  • Give the men miniature Model T cars (Hot WheelsTM)
  • The women could receive long bead necklaces, feather boas or ostrich fans.
  • Put together a CD of your favorite 1920's music. Get a picture of the two of you dressed in 1920's outfits and print them out on the CD labels. Don't forget to come up with a catchy name for your CD!
  • Get some interesting "1920-ish" note-size paper and print out a sheet with trivia facts about the twenties. Roll them up, tie with ribbon and place on the tables for each guest.
      Here is some trivia facts that you could use:
    • The first Miss America Contest was held in Atlantic City in 1921.
    • The most popular dances were the Charleston, the Shimmy, and the Black Bottom.
    • Life expectancy of males was 53.6 years of age.
    • Female life expectancy was 54.6 years of age.
    • Average annual earnings was approximately $1236
    • A teacher's salary was $970
    • Murder, swindles and racketeering were the main gangster crimes.
    • It took 13 days to reach California from New York.
    • October 24, 1929 was the day the stock market crashed and is forever called: Black Thursday
    • There were 387,000 miles of paved road.
    • Dance marathons began in 1923 and soon became extremely popular across the country.
    • The most famous escape artist during this time was Harry Houdini.
    • You could buy a ford for $290.

Flowers and Bouquets For a 1920's Wedding

Bouquets were large and elaborate. Use magnolias, cala lilies, gardenias, and ostrich feathers.

What Should You Serve?

Roasted lamb, oven roasted potatoes served with sour cream, carrots and peas, biscuits, fruit cocktail, pineapple upside-down cake, JelloTM molds, New York cheesecake, tea and coffee.

1920's Wedding Entertainment

  • Mah Jongg was very popular at this time. You could set up a couple of travel-size Mah Jongs sets for guests to play, if you're having a very small intimate wedding reception.
  • Play jazz and ragtime music from Ella Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Gene Austin, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin.
  • Play casino games such as blackjack, poker, craps.
  • If all or part of your wedding is being held outside, play croquet.
  • Hire a dance instructor to teach the Charleston, the Lindy Hop, and other popular dances of this era.

Other Suggestions

  • To get more ideas, watch movies such as the The Great Gatsby, Bonnie & Clyde, and Chicago.
  • Make your wedding programs up to look like Tabloid Newspapers.
  • Remember, cabarets and speakeasies were the big thing of the day. Decorate your reception to resemble such an establishment.

1920's Wedding Theme by Rose Smith
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