Wedding dresses are the ultimate wear-only-once fashion item, often an extravagantly expensive purchase that will only ever be appreciated once. Eco-friendly brides who love the romantic appeal of retro style vintage wedding dresses may consider investing in a vintage gown for the occasion, reviving new life into a treasured garment that has been packed away in an attic for decades.
There is something intrinsically romantic in breathing new life into a wedding gown that once graced an earlier bride. Brides may consider shopping in vintage stores or online, or revive the dress originally worn by a beloved grandmother. Vintage wedding dresses often cost less than modern gowns, particularly if they are pre-worn. Brides should not think of a vintage wedding dress as second-hand but rather as pre-loved, steeped in the romance of a wedding from a bygone era. Vintage gowns, having passed the test of time, are timeless. Classic styles with a retro aura will look amazing in the wedding photographs, particularly if the bridesmaids choose dresses reflecting the era of the wedding dress.
Brides considering choosing a vintage wedding dress have many decades of designs to choose from. The 1920s was the flapper style era, popularized by tea-length shift dresses, while the 1980s was the decade of puffed sleeves. The Bohemian style of the 1970s has inspired many modern Bohemian wedding dresses, but if the bride wants original retro there are amazing original vintage dresses from that era to be found.
If a bride has decided to go with vintage she should be aware sizes have changed over the years and vital measurements are the key to a good fit. It may be necessary for a professional seamstress to make alterations to a vintage wedding dress. Additionally the fabric should be closely checked for any discolorations that have occurred over the years. If a bride opts for vintage for her wedding there is more than simply the dress to consider. There are vintage wedding veils and head-pieces, and accessories such as vintage garters, gloves, and brooches.
Brides looking for vintage wedding dress inspiration can consider these styles representing five decades of dresses, from the 1940s to the 1980s, each available online via Etsy.
This 1940s long sleeved satin wedding dress was designed for a British wartime bride. A very high sweetheart neckline nestles between the shoulder pads of this simple yet elegant dress.
Above, this 1950s knee-length French wedding dress with an A-line silhouette is styled in silk damask. This petite, embroidered vintage wedding dress has a jewel neckline, 3/4 sleeves, cinched waist and an oversized bow adorns the skirt.
This 1960s satin vintage wedding dress with a slim A-line silhouette features long sleeves. Delicate lace daisy appliques adorn the illusion neckline and the back waistline.
This 1970s Bohemian-style organza vintage wedding dress features floral lace appliques embellishing the bodice, the long cuffed sleeves and the high round neckline. The lace applique trim is mirrored on the waistline and the scalloped hemline of this A-line gown.
This 1980s cocktail-length wedding dress is styled in sequin fabric with a peplum and puff sleeves. The bodice showcases gold embroidery and the puff sleeves are a classic of the era.