21 Vintage Wedding Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget

vintage wedding ideas

Vintage wedding ideas aren’t hard to find these days, but it’s sorting through ALL the options that can get a bit draining! So, we combed the internet looking for our favorite vintage wedding ideas to save you a bit of time.

These 21 vintage wedding ideas could easily work for a daytime garden wedding, a rustic barn wedding, or even a black-tie loft wedding. From cloches to pocket watches, parasols and sheet music, there’s inspiration here for every bride and budget.

Are you planning a vintage-themed wedding? Tell us a few of your vintage wedding ideas in the comments section, below!

1. Use Vintage Tea Sets as Candle Holders and Vases

Tea cups and pots scream vintage, which means you should definitely consider having one or both of these ideas as a wedding centerpiece for a vintage touch.

WGM Says: Want to make your own tea cup candles? This budget-friendly DIY will help!

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2. And Don’t Forget the Tea Tins

Tea tins make great vases, but they also make great wedding favor boxes, too. You can fill them with your own blend of tea, chocolates, or other sweet treat guests can take with them.

3. Accentuate Your Wedding Chairs

Spruce up plain wedding chairs (even the plastic kind!) with dried flowers, lace, burlap, pearls, or ribbon in your wedding color palette for an instant vintage feel.

Photo by Kristy Dickerson Photography
Kristy Dickerson Photography

4. Outfit Your Wedding Party with Old-Timey Details

Accessories are a great way to add a vintage flare to your wedding. Having the groomsmen wear tweed vests or vintage pocket-watches or bridesmaids carrying parasols is a fun touch!

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5. Play Up the Hair Drama

Look back at old wedding photos for the past two hundred years and you’ll find one thing they all have in common: Hair accessories. From birdcage veils to gilded hair barrettes, they can easily transform a simple updo for you or your bridesmaids into something from a vintage fairytale.

birdcage wedding veil
Birdcage veil via Jannie Baltzer
lace bridal hairpiece
Via Etsy

6. Use Lots of Lace & Embroidery

Lace will always have an antique vibe, so don’t forget to infuse it wherever you can. From the cover of your guest book to your gown, table cloths, and even your invitation suite, there should be no shortage of lace or embroidered items at a vintage inspired wedding.

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vintage wedding decor
Via Etsy

7. Incorporate Vintage Paper

Vintage book pages, postcards and sheet music make for great table runners, settings, and decor. Use it liberally! You can also include them into your wedding invitation design to keep the theme going.

Photo by Frost Photography | via Elizabeth Anne Designs
Frost Photography
Photo by Nine Photos
Nine Photos
Photo by Papered Heart Photography | via Ruffled
Papered Heart Photography

WGM Says: To make a music sheet table runner, first you’ll want to buy vintage-style music sheets you can download and print yourself (like this option from Creative Market) or actual vintage sheets (like these from Etsy). Then, lay them out on the table and use a strong glue stick to piece them together. Ideally you can do this right before your wedding day and keep them on the tables. Or, you can carefully place them on hangers and store them until your wedding.

8. Add Cloches to Blooms or Desserts

Putting a cloche over ANYTHING instantly makes a wedding feel more vintage-y. Use them over flowers (peonies are our fave!), desserts, figurines…you name it. Etsy has a ton of glass cloche options if you’re looking to go the DIY route.

Via Belle the Magazine

9. Transform Vintage Vessels into Vases

Start shopping your local vintage and resale stores for unexpected items that can double as flower vases or other wedding decor. We love these trophies-turned-garden containers!

Find an old bird cage? You can easily stuff them full of baby’s breath to create the most unexpected floral arrangements ever.

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10. Repurpose Vintage Frames and Mirrors

While you’re out scouting, be sure to look for old frames and mirrors. You can use vintage frames to display old family photos (what’s more vintage than that?!) or use vintage mirrors as seating charts, menus, or table numbers.

Photo by Heidi at Our Labor of Love| via Ruffled Blog
Photo by Heidi at Our Labor of Love
Photo by RomaBea Images | via Wedding Chicks
RomaBea Images

11. Start a Vintage Serveware Collection

Vintage plates, silverware, and glasses should also be high on your scouting list. Not only do they pack a major punch for any vintage wedding theme, but you can use the pieces again for the start of your own heirloom serveware collection. And while you most likely won’t have room at home to keep 125 glasses, you can buy an assortment of smaller pieces for your wedding table (such as bread and butter plates) that will still have a lot of impact.

12. Let Them Eat a (Vintage-y) Cake

A hand-painted floral wedding cake lends a definite vintage feel, as do naked cakes. Both of these styles also work great in a more rustic setting. If you’re looking for a more modern wedding cake, consider an Art Deco design instead.

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13. Get Inspired with Stationery

The very first place you’ll want to show off your vintage wedding style is with your stationery. If you’re going for a 1920s vibe, consider classic letterpress with calligraphy, which lens an air of elegance to your invites. You can also create monograms to use throughout your wedding, as they were often used back in the day. Minted offers a free monogram design service here.

vintage style wedding stationery
Calligraphie letterpress invites via Minted

14. Curate a Collection of Vintage Wedding Stamps

One of our favorite ways to accentuate wedding stationery is by using vintage stamps. You can find companies online that offer curated collections. You can also source your own by using sites like Etsy and eBay.

WGM Says: Keep in mind that vintage stamps will cost you more than regular postage, often 3-5x the cost. Do we think it’s worth it if you have the budget? Absolutely!

15. Use Vintage Lighting

Every wedding needs great lighting, but a vintage wedding should take advantage of all the moody, wonderful options you have. Consider using candelabras on your wedding reception tables to showcase your candles, or even lanterns. For something more rustic, put tea lights in mason jars surrounded by brightly-colored roses. Getting married outside with a tent? Consider renting chandeliers with draping for a Gatsbyesque feel.

16. Create Nostalgia with Food

A retro ice cream cart. A popcorn machine that looks straight out of the early 1900s. There are so many fun vintage food options that can instantly transport guests to a different era.

WGM Says: If you have the space at home, consider buying a vintage-style popcorn machine instead of renting one. While they typically rent for around half of what you can buy one for, they make such a great memento of your wedding day! And who doesn’t want freshly popped popcorn at home?!

vintage popcorn machine for wedding
You can actually buy your own vintage popcorn machine to use at home after the wedding. Via Home Depot

17. Have Fun With Vintage Cocktails

Not only are champagne towers a nod to the past, but they’re one of those wedding day details that guests will definitely remember. While your wedding vision might have champagne dreams with a Miller High Life budget, you can save money by choosing Cava instead. Not a fan of the bubbly? Create a cozy corner with a rented wooden bar and an assortment of whisky for a tasting.

18. Vintage, But Make it Fashion

Aside from your décor, one of the most fun parts of paying homage to days of yore has to be the fashion. Added bonus? You can use it as your “something old” or “something borrowed”, even your “something blue.” Whether it’s a small detail such as a brooch or you go all out with a renaissance-inspired wedding dress with dramatic puff sleeves (like this BHLDN dress, below), you can let your vintage-inspired creativity come out.

vintage wedding dress
Via BHLDN

19. Accent Your Wedding Space with Vintage Chairs

Whether you rent a few 70’s-style peacock chairs or two velvet-covered antique sweetheart chairs, a few strategically chosen chairs can create a major wow factor without a lot of budget.

20. Give Vintage Tubs or Trunks a Second Use

Large trunks make great coffee tables, while smaller ones make great favor and card holders, and even flower displays. Vintage tubs and old canoes on the other hand can hold self-serve drinks and ice. And while chances are you don’t want a vintage tub hanging around your house after the wedding, a vintage trunk will always come in handy after your wedding day to hold sentimental items like heirloom blankets or photo albums.

vintage suitcase card holder wedding
Via Etsy

21. Hang Vintage Window Panes

Vintage window panes are so versatile. Perfect for your food or drinks menu, seating chart, or guest book, you can hang or lean them for guests to see. The best part? When you’re done, you can display them at home for a reminder of the best wedding day ever.

vintage wedding pane wedding decor
Ken Kienow
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