1940's Vintage Wedding

A Theme Wedding From The Big Band Era

For those of you who love idea of having a 1940's vintage wedding set in the big band era, this theme should provide should provide you and your guests with lots of nostalgia and sophisticated elegance.

1940's Vintage Wedding Idea

Swing was in and the "cool cat" sounds of Benny Goodman, Bing Cosby and the Andrew Sisters were being heard in ballrooms and nightclubs everywhere.

If you love the jumpin' and jivin' sounds of the nineteen-forties, along with ballroom dancing, then why not plan your wedding theme around this fascinating era?

Here are some ideas to help you plan your 1940's vintage wedding theme.

1940's Vintage Wedding Attire

Bride's Attire

Go for a slim fitting suit or a drop shoulder slender fit satin dress with full length gloves and a hat with a netted face veil. Finish it off with accessories such as seamed nylons and spiked healed shoes (make sure they are comfortable though.)

Groom's Attire

Pin striped suits were still all the rage. Because of the war, army uniforms were often worn too.

Bridal Party

The bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen clothing should be along the same lines as the bride and groom.

Big Band Wedding Invitations

  • If you're making your own, decorate the invitations with pictures of either big band instruments (saxophone, trombone, tuba, bass, trumpet).
  • Champagne was flowing, so use an invitation that features a graphic of a wine bottle draped with a string of pearls.
  • Use a sepia photo (one that has been made to look antique) featuring you and your fiance as your background. Surround the picture in a border created to look like it's in an antique frame. Print your wording on vellum paper and secure it over the photo.

Be sure to also check out our page on vintage wedding invitations for more fabulous ideas on wedding stationary that is suitable for this theme celebration.

1940's Vintage Wedding Decorations

  • Fill balloons with helium and float them above the dance floor.
  • Create several balloon bouquets and place around the room.
  • Secure a mirrored, slow-turning "disco" ball over the dance floor.
  • Add strings of small lights over doorways and decorate small indoor trees with them.
  • Buy cheap children's musical instruments (saxophone, trumpet, etc.) and create an arrangement on the main food table as a centerpiece focal point.
  • Have a fountain that produces bubbles.
  • Find pictures of cars, bi-planes, etc. that relate to that period. Hang on the walls.

Wedding Centerpieces for a 40's Wedding

  • You could use an arrangement of 3 empty wine bottles draped with pearls or army dog-tags.
  • Lay long white gloves in the center of the table and scatter rose petals over them. Place a tall vase with a single rosebud next to the gloves.
  • Buy a large champagne glass for each table and fill with glass beads; place a candle in the middle of each and drape fake pearls along its stem.
  • Create a musical arrangement for very unique centerpieces. At a craft supply store, purchase miniature musical instruments (saxophone, trombone, trumpet, etc.), along with a small "music stand" and place an antiqued sheet of music with your songs on each stand.

Theme Favors For a 1940's Vintage Wedding

  • Give an actual antique photo of yourselves in an antique looking frame.
  • Create a music sheet with your favorite song, roll up and secure with ribbon.
  • Present small bottles of wine or champagne decorated with some ribbon and a string of fake pearls.
  • Another idea is to buy cheap champagne glasses and fill with rose petals or mints.

1940's Era Wedding Music

Use any of the big band music that features Jazz and/or Blues -- basically, think "Lawrence Welk". You could also hire an actual band or find a D.J. that enjoys this type of music and knows what to play.

Search for the appropriate music by the following artists:

Andrews Sisters
Louis Armstrong
Fred Astaire
Gene Autrey
Cab Calloway
Nat King Cole
Count Basie
Bing Cosby
Dorris Day
Tommy Dorsey
Duke Ellington
Gracie Fields
Ella Fitzgerald
Benny Goodman
Fletcher Henderson

Ink Spots
Spike Jones
Sammy Kaye
Franky Laine
Guy Lombardo
Jeanette MacDonald
Glenn Miller
Mills Brothers
Cole Porter
Artie Shaw
Frank Sinatra
Mel Torme
Fats Waller
Woody Herman

A 1940's Big Band Wedding Cake

Get a regular wedding cake (2 or 3 tiers) and place small, plastic musical instruments along the edges. For the topper, have two figures standing in front of a music stand.

Have the cake shaped into a musical instrument such as a saxophone, trumpet, drums, piano, tuba, guitars, etc. Brass instruments were very popular then.

1940's Vintage Wedding by Rose Smith
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