9 decades to inspire your wedding theme

18 Jan 2022

Be inspired by a bygone era with these ideas for a wedding theme based on these iconic decades in history

When considering a wedding theme, brides and grooms often turn to history to inspire their big day. Perhaps a point in time has a personal meaning, or the fashion of the era may really resonate with you.

Whatever the reason, couples can let their creativity run wild to ensure the theme infiltrates all aspects of the wedding day, from the cake and flowers, to the dress and stationery.

If you want to theme your wedding on a pivotal decade, here are some ideas to get you started.

1810s

The popularity of Netflix series Bridgerton has birthed a legion of fans who desire the same charm and romance for their wedding day. The Regency era, which ran from 1811 to 1820, brought pastel hues, blousy blooms and empire line dresses to the fore. Bridgerton-inspired brides wishing to give their wedding the same treatment should consider these ideas...

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Above: Style 18617 by Victoria Jane for Ronald Joyce

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Above: A Bridgerton-inspired shoot in Kent (Kate Hennessy Photography)

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1920s

For an antiquated take on the rustic wedding trend, turn to Peaky Blinders for inspiration with tweed suits and flat caps for the men and velvet gowns and fur stoles for the women.

Or, for a touch of luxe, go with a Great Gatsby theme featuring chic Marcel waves, faux bobs, sequinned dresses, suave tuxedos and feathered headpieces. 

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Above: Léna Vergne and Dale Allison's Peaky Blinders wedding in Shrewsbury (Silverleaf Photography)

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Above: 1920s bridal style was given a modern day twist in this styled shoot at Hintlesham Hall, Suffolk (Big Fish Photography)

1930s

Hot on the heels of a 1920s wedding theme, the 1930s is filled with wedding inspiration that is both beautiful and luxurious. Art Deco really began to take hold in decorative arts and architecture, and the style embdodies elegance and sophistication. 

Today, we are still seeing Art Deco-inspired wedding dresses, stationery suites and wedding cakes in iridescent metallic tones. 

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Above: 'Drew' by Badgley Mischka 

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Above: Ginger is the New Black via '12 stationery ideas with bold themes'

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Above: Art Deco wedding cake via 'A 1920s Art Deco inspired bridal shoot' (Image by Lemontree Photography)

1940s

Tea-length dresses, fascinators and polkadots just broke the surface in the 1940s as the post-war era paved the way for a fashion that we continue to see today. 

Brides seeking a retro or vintage look are drawn to this aesthetic, with finger waves, victory rolls, T-bar shoes and birdcage veil fascinators adding the finishing touch. 

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Above: 'Bunny' by True Bride

1950s

One movement which emerged in the 1950s was pop art, elevated by artists such as Andy Warhol. Challenging the traditions of fine art, pop art continues to be viewed as a means of defying convention and celebrating individuality. 

Pop art has been a popular choice for wedding stationery, bringing invitations, table names and place cards to life with its bold, fun and colourful design. 

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Above: Ginger is the New Black via '12 stationery ideas with bold themes'

1960s

The swinging sixties bring a wealth of alternative wedding inspiration. Wedding shift dresses, bridal beehives and Twiggy-esque eyelashes are all reminiscent of the '60s era. Many of these trends have even gone full circle and are still widespread today. 

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Above: 'Lady Penelope' by Kitty & Dulcie Boutique, £325

1970s 

Signalling the start of bohemian chic, tie-dye, fringed garments, bell-bottomed jeans and folk-inspired embroidery were big business in the seventies. Joni Mitchell embodied the hippy movement, while Farrah Fawcett added glamour with her iconic hair flicks. 

Deep burgundy, mustard yellow and vermillion orange was a key colour scheme, ideal for a stationery suite inspired by the decade. 

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Above: Frida by E&W Couture

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Above: Getty Images

1980s 

Whether your wedding is more Charlene and Scott (a.k.a. Kylie and Jason) than Princess Diana and Prince Charles, there are many elements that you can rely on for a wedding inspired by the eighties. Power suits, puff sleeves, backcombed hair and bridesmaids' dresses in a rainbow of neon colours can be embraced once again with an '80s wedding theme. 

See how this groom recreated the iconic Neighbours wedding for his own big day on Don't Tell The Bride...

1990s 

The Union Jack, cassette tapes, graffiti wall art and denim jackets are just some of the many quintessentially British symbols that offer a nostalgic nod to the nineties. Pop culture was characterised by the Spice Girls, Posh and Becks, Madonna and the Friends theme tune, and there are various ways you can pay homage with your wedding theme. 

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Above: Denim jacket via 'Behind the scenes: Bride magazine cover shoot at Ha Ha Farm, Norwich'

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Above: Union Jack bowtie by Dobell

Will your wedding be inspired by a bygone era? We'd love to hear from you. Submit your wedding story here. 

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