For those of you who are attending vintage or decade themed weddings over the coming months, this post is for you. This post will feature 1920’s – 1950’s wedding gift inspiration – future decades will be coming up on the blog in the next few weeks.
If you’ve been racking your brains for the ideal gift, I hope the following ideas will assist you in your search. Attending a wedding with a theme doesn’t mean you have to purchase a gift that is 100% in keeping with the era in question, but it does show the bride and groom that you’ve really considered their preferences. This post will also give you a little bit of background on some of the decade themes so you know exactly what to expect. If you’re a bride to be planning a vintage or decade themed wedding, I wrote a post on Vintage Wedding Dresses last week that you might like to check out too.
The 20’s were the decade of the Flapper! Image sourced here. Although there was other fashion around at the time of course, the daring short hemlines, boyish bob cuts and cloche hats are all associated with the 1920’s typical look. This was the Bugsy Malone era, with illegal speakeasies selling prohibited alcohol, gangster culture and rebellious women.
At a 1920’s themed wedding, you can almost definitely expect to see casino tables, zoot suits and pinstripes, and enjoy some lively Jazz music. Dancing was a huge part of the culture, so here’s my idea for a 20’s themed present – A Charleston Dance Lesson at the Evening Reception! Definitely something to discuss with the bride and groom before purchasing, but this particular company, Mad About Swing, based in the South West, offer a 45 minute lesson for just £100.00, meaning no-one has an excuse not to join in!
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 signalled the beginning of the Great Depression that overshadowed most of the 1930’s. There were also major political developments, including the rise of Nazism which eventually lead to the break out of World War 2 in 1939. But despite the authoritarian regimes and the poor worldwide economy, the fashion of the 30’s was that of pure Hollywood Glamour. Image sourced here.
Finding a present to suit the 1930’s theme was quite challenging, but I eventually stumbled across this fabulous company – Alexander & Co who are based in the USA. They produce the most beautiful custom 1930’s inspired prints with your wedding day details included. Prices aren’t stated on the website (always a worry) but this could be something worth looking into. A personalised gift for the bride and groom such as this would be a lovely touch. Image sourced on company website.
The 1940’s were largely controlled by the Second World War – which began in 1939 and didn’t finish until 1945. The second half of the decade was then a recovery period for Europe which was caught in between the West and the Soviet Union. This meant that fashion and lifestyle was heavily influenced by the wartime conditions. Image sourced here. Rations were imposed, men were sent to fight, and the happy-go-lucky outlooks from previous decades had dispersed.
But it was also a time of bringing people together, and uniting in the unfortunate circumstances. People still opt for a 40’s theme, despite the turmoil it can be associated with. The music of the time was still Swinging, although later in the decade, icons like Frank Sinatra began to emerge with a different vibe. Film Noir was prevalent in popular culture, and due to the restrictions imposed during the war, luxury fabrics and foreign exports were all but stopped.
For the 1940’s inspired gift, I went to the Imperial War Museum website – not necessarily the first place you’d look for a wedding gift. But this vintage fabric embroidered cushion caught my eye as a sweet addition to a new marital home. Image sourced on product page.
The 1950’s were also a time of conflict, with the Cold War raging between the United States and the Soviet Union, along with both the Korean & Vietnam wars taking place. But the culture at the time was thriving and rebellious – this was the era of Elvis after all. Rock N Roll became extremely popular by the mid 50’s, dominating the charts and influencing both music and fashion – think beehives, swing dresses, and America diners. If you’re asked to attend in outfits suited to the theme – ladies, a swing style dress is probably your best bet, and for your doting partners, they can either opt for Preppy or embrace the ‘Grease’ look above. Image sourced here.
My chosen 50’s gift encapsulates the importance of music during the decade and also ticks the box of being a practical present that won’t just gather dust on the mantelpiece. The use of vinyl as a wine rack is pure genius, great for the environment, and £38.00 is also quite reasonable in terms of price. You can find this item for sale on Not on the High Street.
And there you go! You can’t possibly say you’re stuck for ideas now. I’d love to hear you thoughts, and any vintage inspired gifts that you’ve come up with too?