The modern bride has broken so many rules that a traditional wedding is no longer a requirement. That said, a bride can add traditional flourishes to this fanciest of functions via vintage finds. At GasLamp, a modern bride can easily design her wedding to include everything from vintage wedding dresses to vintage wedding rings to vintage tableware. So it’s easy to introduce a heap of chic when taking the leap.
Here, we’ve rounded up some vintage wedding finds that will sweep the bride and groom up in the romantic aesthetic of days gone by. From table settings to wardrobe touches to interior elements, GasLamp has it all for a vintage wedding.
A SWOON-WORTHY DRESS
In the 1950s, the French fashions of Christian Dior – with their tightly cinched waists and full skirts – heavily influenced American wedding dress silhouettes. The similarly fashioned wardrobes worn by Elizabeth Taylor in “Father of the Bride” and “A Place in the Sun” also sent brides swooning. As seen with this 1950s wedding dress at GasLamp, that era’s fitted waist and full skirt combination is infinitely flattering. Fashioned from cotton voile, this knee-length frock features a bateau neckline that begs for a statement necklace and detail work that includes covered buttons and sheer appliqués ($275; Booth B-301). Bonus: It includes matching gloves and a veil.
A RETRO COUPLE CAKE TOPPER
It’s a tiny touch, but a wedding cake topper can make a big expression. This vintage wedding cake topper featuring a brunette couple will undoubtedly announce a bride’s vintage style ($20; Booth T-959). It features netting and millinery details not found in modern cake toppers. Bonus: It can be a keepsake after the big day, enshrined under a glass cloche.
A SILK-HAT CENTERPIECE
We love the notion of a centerpiece fashioned around this vintage top hat made of black silk ($125; S-544). A clear vase can be tucked inside of the hat inconspicuously. Then one can fill it with an array of decorative items – cattails, palm fronds, peacock feathers – as the bride-and-groom table’s centerpiece.
A SILVER BRIDE’S BASKET
A vintage item known as “bride’s basket” gained favor when introduced in the late 1800s (it has a nicer ring than “fruit bowl,” no?). This memento of a couple’s happy day was often made from ruffled glass or silverplate, or both. Bride’s baskets also hit the lower end of the market, with charming baskets made of hammered aluminum (now beloved by collectors of Midcentury Modern décor). This basket is made of quadruple-plated silver and stamped “James W. Tufts, Boston” on the bottom with the silver maker’s mark, a four-pointed star enclosing a capital letter “T” ($126; B-2012).
A COLLECTIBLE COUPLE
The Victorian craze for pottery that emerged from the kilns of Staffordshire County, England, has persisted to this day. Modern interior designers place earthenware Staffordshire spaniels on their mantels, as did fashionable Victorian matrons 150 years ago. This Staffordshire figurine of a wedding couple would be a fabulous (and collectible) wedding gift ($395; Booth B-101). The couple is enrobed in wedding white, and the bride wears a gown trimmed in floral details trim. The piece features glaze crazing and a patina that is appropriate for its age.
A TREASURE CHEST
This antique wedding chest of German provenance would have once housed a bride’s trousseau ($1,380; Booth B-162). Called a hope chest, glory box or bridal trousseau, such a box held household necessities and luxuries for use in married life. This stunning trunk is decorated on four sides with colorful floral bouquets hand-painted in gesso or tempera. This antique trunk likely dates to the late 18th to early 19th century.
A WEDDING QUILT
This vintage quilt features the double-ring wedding design that dates to 15th-century Europe ($135; Booth B-324). The quilt pattern was initially published in the United States in the early 1920s (although some homemade versions were made earlier). The pattern is a symbol of love and romance, with its interlocking rings symbolizing marriage. Traditionally, mothers and grandmothers sewed such quilts for their children as gifts on their wedding day or anniversaries. These vintage and antique quilts typically become family heirlooms.
As weddings get increasingly creative, they can fully reflect a bride’s personality to the fullest. If the bride loves vintage style, a wedding becomes the perfect occasion for reviving historical items used for entertaining. This refined-yet-fun aesthetic makes any wedding an affair to remember.