Why Vintage Décor Is the Secret to Creating a Memorable Wedding

Updated 05/01/17

Jess Levin Conroy began her career at Burch Creative Capital, where she helped manage investments and brand development for a portfolio that included C. Wonder and Tory Burch LLC. After earning her MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Jess saw an opportunity in the wedding space to help empower the businesses at the top end of the market. She founded Carats & Cake in 2013 in New York City. To date, the company works with over 25,000 businesses across the U.S. and has become the go-to resource for couples looking for the best the wedding industry has to offer.

Settling on a design sensibility for your wedding can be nothing short of overwhelming. But whether you lean toward a modern aesthetic or are a little more timeless, adding a touch of vintage décor to your wedding design is the quintessential way to evoke that romantic feeling. Incorporating furniture, fabrics, and designs from 18th century France to the Victorian era creates a layered look that is rich in heritage while also hinting at a bygone era.

From accessories to muted dusty color palettes, there is no shortage of ways to bring a bit of vintage into your wedding design. Below experts from the wedding industry share their inside tips on how to add a whole range of vintage elements using everything from your invites to your table design. The best part? Vintage never goes out of style. So read on to discover their secrets and bring a bit of stylish heritage to your wedding day. 

Incorporate Antique Trunks

Vintage Wedding Décor
Katch Studios

“There are so many fun vintage items that you can add to your décor to accent everything from your ceremony to escort card display. Old steamer trunks are a great way to add some vintage touches to your welcome display.” — Krissy Price, owner, Pollen Floral Design

Use Vintage Trays at Cocktail Hour

Vintage Wedding Décor
Rebecca Hollis Photography

“Unique and eclectic vintage trays are always a great addition to a wedding. We love using them for servers passing signature drinks and even appetizers.” — Darci Greenwood, founder and creative director, Greenwood Events

Add Drama with Brass

Vintage Wedding Décor
A Bryan Photo

“Brass candlesticks are making a huge comeback. These can be found in your grandmother’s attic, flea markets, garage sales, you name it. We love this vintage touch to any wedding.” — Neillie Kirk Butler, owner, Mariée Ami

Frame Your Ceremony With Old Doors

Vintage Wedding Décor
Josh Gruetzmacher Photography

“Think about unique ways to create a backdrop for your vows. We found these screen doors at a local antique store and purchased an interesting old door to create the support structure. We have used it as a ceremony backdrop, a place card holder, and an entrance to a tent!” — Sherry Spencer, Owner, Southern Blooms

Play With Heritage Pieces

Molly & Co Photography

“I like to add different elements that are unexpected and slightly incongruous but taken as a whole work beautifully together like these Chinese ginger jars along the aisle.” — Sherene Hulugalle, owner, Wisteria Lane Flowers

Pick an Era to Emulate

Corbin Gurkin

“One of our favorite ways to incorporate a vintage vibe into your wedding is to find inspiration from a bygone era. We absolutely love the roaring 20s with all its glitz and glam, and this bride was all about the Great Gatsby theme. We had a blast designing vibrant floral arrangements and coming up with Art Deco details—everything from the gold design in their invitation suite to the peacock feather accents at each place setting—all of which culminated in the ultimate vintage wedding.” — Isabella Sikaffy, owner and creative director, Florabella Studios

Incorporate Heirloom Vintage Pieces

Patrick Moyer

“Vintage vessels for flowers: We've all seen the mismatched vessel décor for a while now, but a fresh take on this is to incorporate heirloom vintage pieces into your tabletop. I don't mean scouring the internet to find vintage pieces, but actually using something that belonged to your family or your fiancé's family in your decor. It could be a simple as a vintage crystal vase used on your welcome or escort card table or as elaborate as all the family's silver pieces filled with flowers for all the tables. The uniqueness of the heirloom pieces makes your wedding a touch more personal.” — Anna Le Pley Taylor, owner and lead designer, Anna Le Pley Taylor Flowers

Borrow Some Vintage Wedding China

Ryan Ray

“Consider using your parents or grandparents wedding china as specialty place settings for your seats only, or at the head table. Make sure the catering company knows to treat these pieces with special care, and consider adding a note to explain the sentimental significance. If the china doesn’t go with your design, see if you can use their crystal or specialty glassware for your champagne or signature cocktail.” — Jacin Fitzgerald, owner, Jacin Fitzgerald

Make A Statement with Vintage Furniture

Connie Whitlock Photography

“I like to weave vintage decor in subtly so it becomes part of a layered look, rather than doing everything vintage, which can get a bit theme-y. I love using vintage furniture as statement pieces—cake tables are a prime example of a perfect statement spot for a great vintage find!” — Robyn Rissman, owner and creative director, Bare Root Flora

Keep Florals in Gray Tones

Shane & Lauren Photography

“Using blooms with a gray-hued tonality, such as blush quicksand roses, adds a vintage aesthetic to your overall design.” — Alise Davis, owner and principal designer, Olive Willow Designs

Include Vintage Chandeliers

Chantal Anderson

“We can't get enough of vintage chandeliers nestled in unexpected vignettes at weddings. What’s more magical than wandering around a gorgeous garden during a wedding reception at dusk and stumbling upon a romantic cluster of old chandeliers glowing in the trees?” — Aleah and Nick Valley, owners, Valley & Company Events

What’s your favorite vintage wedding décor styling tip? Sound off in the comment section below!

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