A heritage building or chateau (if you can afford a destination Parisian wedding!) would make the perfect reception venue for a ‘Roaring 1920s’ themed wedding. If you’re the type of bride who is looking to have an energetic, fun, whimsical wedding then this is the perfect theme for you, because the 1920s was a time of decadent celebration. Jazz was the most popular form of music at the time and jazz trios, quartets, and swinging big bands were permanent fixtures at most parties. Women were enjoying for the first time the fun and daring of wearing shorter hem lines, rolling up their stockings, throwing away their corsets, wearing shorter hair do’s such as bobs curled into finger waves, and generally partying and dancing the night away like never before. So if you want your wedding to be a party like no other, a jazz theme is perfect for you. Think flappers, hats adorned with feathers, beading, fringeing, pearls, gangsters and Coco Chanel.
Art deco was a major trend in the 1920s, and it can be easily incorporated into wedding invitations and stationery. You could style yourselves as Bonnie and Clyde on the invitations.
A jazz band will really cement the theme of the wedding, you should ask them to play music from the 1920s to create an authentic feel and set the tone for the guests. Some of the great musicians of the time include Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Bessie Smith. Request that the musicians wear attire to fit in with the wedding theme. It will look incredibly impressive to have a live jazz band dressed in 1920s attire at your wedding reception. It will be a huge hit with your guests, truly a night to remember. The 1920s were known for jazz bands and dancing, particularly the Charleston. Consider hiring dance instructors to instruct guests and teach them all the right flapper-esque moves. This is sure to keep the guests smiling and having a good time. Other popular dances include the Lindy Hop, the Foxtrot, the Shag and the Waltz. You could learn a traditional waltz and surprise your guests by showing off your moves for your first dance, to a live jazz band no less.
Art deco and 1920s vintage accessories such as brooches and full length gloves can be sourced from op shops, eBay and vintage clothing stores. A full length, flowing, slinky satin wedding gown would be ideal. Look for bold, crystal detailed, art deco style hair clips or accessories. Chandelier earrings and long strings of pearls will complete the 1920s look. And don’t forget flesh coloured fishnets or pantyhose with a visible seam down the back for your bridesmaids. They could also wear feather boas or fur stoles to polish off the look. And bright red lipstick is a must.
The ‘Roaring 1920s’ was a time of prohibition so alcohol was not allowed, you could perhaps tie this in to your wedding in a fun way. Make the distribution of alcohol at the wedding seem secretive and fun. Or serve drinks that were popular at the time, such as Mint Juleps, Gin Martinis and Champagne Punch to get your guests into the Jazz Age mood. Rent ‘The Great Gatsby’ to get some inspiration and ideas to create a wedding out of the ordinary.
Zoot suits, driving caps, tweed, suspenders, rolled up sleeves, these are just some of the characteristic male fashion trends of the 1920s. Pin stripe suits would tie in with the theme perfectly.
Instead of having table numbers you could have themed table names such as the ‘Al Capone’ table and the ‘Charlie Chaplin’ table. Be creative. You could also have a best dressed competition amongst the guests, with the winner receiving a prize such as a bottle of Moet.
The author, Scott Simpkins, is the Musical Director of Sydney's #1 Wedding Jazz Band ‘Jazz Fever’.