Old Hollywood Themed Weddings
There’s just something so elegant, alluring, and even a tad bit mysterious about Old Hollywood. Whether you consider the look to be classic, vintage, or timeless, an Old Hollywood themed wedding can be a fun way to incorporate some gorgeous nostalgic elements into your big day.
While the right decor can transport guests anywhere you’d like, the best venues for Old Hollywood themed weddings are the ones you won’t have to do much with. An old theatre is a perfect fit. It may even have a vintage concession stand where you can set up the guestbook or serve up Old Hollywood-inspired cocktails. Consider putting your names and the date of your union up in lights on their marquee and employing a few waving searchlights for that extra touch.
If you’re unable to find an old theatre, look for venues with Art Deco details or even old speakeasies. As these were often hidden from public view to avoid police raids, these can add an extra dose of excitement, especially if they’re only accessible through hidden doors or panels.
“Damn Me, I Was Tying My Cravat.”
Themed weddings are always more fun when guests play along but know that not everyone will feel comfortable enough to jump in with both feet.
Depending on how far back the “old” in “Old Hollywood” goes, expect attire from a range of time periods.
Women can easily take inspiration from some of the big names of Old Hollywood like Jean Harlowe, Ava Gardner, or Rita Hayworth. Think Audrey Hepburn’s notable black gown in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Marilyn Monroe’s infamous white dress in The Seven Year Itch. Styles range but were generally long, with strapless or halter-like or v-neck bodices. For accessories, consider a flower behind your ear, vintage rhinestone barrettes or clips, and pearls.
For men, look to Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, or Humphrey Bogart. Tailored suits or tuxedos were all the rage. For an extra dose of Old Hollywood, consider adding a fun fedora to complete the look.
“Life is a Banquet, and Most Poor Suckers are Starving to Death!”
Modernize old Americana favorites for an Old Hollywood-inspired food menu. For hors d-oeuvres, consider new takes on old concessions such as mini bags of popcorn with some gourmet toppings like white cheddar cheese or jalapeno. For dinner, talk to caterers about updating old favorites like mashed potatoes, green beans, and steak or spicing up traditional hamburgers and fries.
Pair with an Old Hollywood inspired drink menu offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, Champagne Cocktails, Sidecars, Pink Ladies, or Gin Fizzes for some classic blasts from the past.
“You Don’t Understand! I Coulda Had Class!”
A red carpet is a must for an Old Hollywood wedding. A stretch of red carpet down the aisle, as well as leading up to the front door of your venue, can offer every attendee a Hollywood welcome. Consider planting a wedding photographer or two along the way. Getting the cameras flashing as guests make their way from the street and into your event can make for a real movie star experience. Expect some great shots too. In themed garb, and caught up in the moment, you may find guests will more readily ham it up as they make their way inside.
Adorn the interior with classic movie posters, dramatic draperies, and elegant touches like feathers in your floral decor. The unwound film can also make for an unexpected addition when strategically placed on table or in or around centerpieces. Dim lighting combined with candlelight, if permitted by your venue, can create just the right cozy and romantic ambiance.
“All Right, Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for My Close-up”
Alongside your photographers, a photo booth can be a fun extra addition to Old Hollywood events. Talk to photo booth rental companies about vintage-styles—like the ones you see on old boardwalks—that can snap black-and-white photo strips. Put out some Old Hollywood props, like boas, beads, and elbow-length gloves for some additional Old Hollywood flair.
These can make for fun take-away favors for guests, and some photo booth companies can offer you an album or CD containing all of the mini photo sessions for a wonderful remembrance of your day.
“It’s Alive! It’s Alive!”
Before you know it, your Old Hollywood wedding may take on a life of its own. With a little creativity and some wonderful additions, you may find your guests get so caught up in the moment that they’ll be talking in gangster-speak or forever quoting old movies before the night is up.
After All, Tomorrow is Another Day
When all is said and done, your Old Hollywood themed wedding is sure to be a blast, and it will be an event that guests won’t soon forget. So kick off those satin shoes, hang up your fedora, and enjoy your new married life together.