Going vintage

Add chic, romantic feel to your wedding

Going old school is one of the most current styles in wedding themes. Many of today’s couples are opting to celebrate their wedding with vintage touches, with everything from dishes, furniture and photo booth props commemorating other eras.

Vintage is a popular choice because it lends atmosphere to a wedding. “It’s so romantic,” says Kate Lerman, owner of Chicago Vintage Weddings, a weddingplanning company that focuses on vintagestyle weddings. “Just by the very nature of weddings. But it’s still very modern and very personal.”

“[Vintage has] more character, and it feels more like home and relaxed,” says PJ Rude, owner and stylist of Milk Glass Vintage Rentals in Pleasanton, Calif.

Brides also can use the vintage style to share more about themselves. “I think that brides should definitely try to express their personality through their décor at their weddings,” says Jeni Maus, owner of Found Vintage Rentals, based in southern California.

Vintage allows couples to be creative and personalize their event because it’s not tied to any particular era. “People go for a particular look more than a time period,” says Lerman. Rustic barn-style, Art Deco, Victorian and shabby chic all are possibilities under the vintage umbrella.

“Everyone is into vintage right now because of home décor, too,” says Rude. “People know the little details of a wedding are so huge, and brides are focusing on the little details.”

Chicagoan Dawn Gildenmeister, a do-it-yourselfer who got married in October, opted to have a vintage theme. “My husband and I are both really crafty, so we made almost everything for the wedding,” she says. They used family treasures and thrifted props for décor, but when it came to dishes, they opted to rent them from Lerman’s company.

While it’s tempting to consider pulling off a vintage look on your own, renting pieces from a specialized vendor or store can save time, money and hassle. Gildenmeister learned this when she initially tried to find her own dishes. “About three weeks in on going to thrift stores, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to pull it off,” she says.

Also know what you’ll do with the goods once you’ve said, “I do.” “You can do a lot of the DIY stuff, but think about budget and what’s going to happen after,” says Rude. Many brides will reach out to vintage companies to sell her their vintage goods because they hadn’t thought about what they were going to do with the pieces after the wedding.

However you put together the look, going vintage can be the perfect way to create a unique wedding. “You have to have the willingness to imagine and the patience to see it all come together,” says Gildenmeister. “A lot of my friends didn’t really understand what we were doing, but when they saw it, they said, ‘This is amazing.'”


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