Seeking tips for an Art Deco wedding theme : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

I am planning an art deco theme for my July 2000 wedding. We have a swing band, I'm weaing a Jean Harlow inspired dress and giving antique jewlery from the 1930's to my bridesmaids as gifts to wear with thier gowns. I need help with centerpieces, invitations, bridal flowers, cake decoration and favors (I'd like to find ideas from authentic 1930's weddings or parties for inspiration). I'd appreciate any information and would especially love to hear from someone who got married during this time. Thanks.

-- spw (, October 20, 1999


My husband and I had a 30's style wedding last April. We had a friend design the cake and we took it to a local cake decorator who did it great justice! It looked like a deco building, fondante icing is key so they can make the rounded edges.

Our bridesmaids carried calla lilly bouquets. Very elegant looking. Three callas tied together with satin ribbon with pearl head pins so it gave it a "buttoned up" effect. Many of the photos I saw showed bridal bouquets with streaming ribbons and flower buds tied at the free end of the ribbon, so I did that with mine.

My dress was a vintage silk satin 30s dress that I found in a great shop in Pennsylvania called the Cat's Pajamas, I think they have a website. If you are looking for dresses, Vogue just reissued some of their 1930s dress patterns.

I looked in some antique shops for invitations and found a few, they were basically your plain invitation, small in size, I wanted something different so a friend designed this invite that had some 30s clip art on vellum and she used deco fonts I tied a little black pinstriped bow to the invitation to give it a formal look.

I used peacock feathers in the decorations in one room and callas in another. And, because I had mine in a rural region I used a lot of flowers that were representative of the area.

For party favors, my husband and I dressed up in vintage 30s outfits and had our picture taken in black and white, kind of like film stars with different poses, then we copied the photos and wrote our wedding date on them in silver pen. It gives the guest a momento that they can keep rather than something they will eat or stick in a box. Since the wedding, I have seen our photo momento on display at friends' houses!

We had a 1938 Packard take us from the church to the reception and all of our professional photos were done in black and white. We encouraged our guests to dress vintage.

Hope this helps a little, I looked in old magazines, rented old movies, talked to friends and relatives to get some ideas. Good luck with the wedding, and if you have any questions send me an email, I could send you some pictures!

-- Heather Pettus (, January 21, 2000.

The June 1998 issue of Retro features "Your Vintage Wedding" by Malvina DeVries. You can find it on the web at

The article includes sections about invitations & graphics, ceremony setting, color scheme or theme, clothing, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, flowers, reception setting, photography, music, food, and transportation. Another article in the same issue covers bridal showers.

-- Joel Shprentz (, October 21, 2000.

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