20 Ideas For a Glamorous 1920s Inspired Wedding

A 1920s wedding theme is the perfect choice for a couple who wants to celebrate in a glamorous, romantic way. Here’s how to execute it in modern fashion.

By The Zola Team

bride in carriage
Photo by David Lemp Photography

The Roaring Twenties got its name for a reason. This decade is defined by the rise of popular culture and sweeping economic growth that caused a dramatic increase in city dwellers and “new money.” This, in turn, brought about lavish parties and luxe style. Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?

We can thank F. Scott Fitzgerald for giving us all a glimpse into what life was like (for some) back then and enamoring us with the era. He brought said lavish parties to life in The Great Gatsby, and the film rendition made it look like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Naturally, these famous works of art have inspired many a bride and groom to embrace the decade.

A 1920s wedding theme is the perfect choice for a couple who wants to celebrate in a glamorous, romantic way—and also celebrate late into the night. It’s the perfect combination of beauty, romance, and fun. You can embrace the theme fully with a Great Gatsby-themed wedding; keep things more subtle, using the roaring 20s as wedding inspiration and playing up the vintage wedding decorations, or put a modern twist on it. Here’s how to create a 1920s-themed wedding that puts parties of the past to shame.

Clearly, the 1920s is the perfect decade to inspire your big day. But how, exactly, can you incorporate 1920s styles, trends, and decor into your wedding? Let's take a look at 20 wedding ideas on how to create a 1920s-themed wedding that puts parties of the past to shame.

The Setting

It must be grand, darling. A 1920s-themed wedding deserves an epic venue that can house a raging dance floor. You’ve seen The Great Gatsby, haven’t you? A mansion in the hills? Check. A black and white ballroom in the city? Check. A backyard by the coast, complete with fountains and gardens or an awesome pool? All of these venues could serve as the perfect setting for a ‘20s wedding.When you add in the extravagant decor and finer details, you can really turn any space into a time capsule.

Here are a few additional details to keep in mind for nailing the setting for your big day:

1. Choose a historic site for your wedding.

If you really want your wedding to scream "1920s," consider booking a venue with historically significance that ties back to the era—for example, a music venue in the city that hosted jazz musicians in the 1920s or a private residence that played host to plenty of Gatsby-inspired events during that time period.

2. Embrace 1920s-inspired design.

If you can't book a venue that has direct ties to the 1920s, not to worry; you can create that 20s-inspired vibe with design. When you add in the extravagant decor and finer details, you can really turn any space into a time capsule.

3. Opt for impressive views.

If you're hosting your wedding outdoors, one way to capture that 1920s extravagance is with an epic view. Look for a venue with impressive views of the city skyline.

The Color Palette

The 1920s was all about style and flair—and a big part of that style and flair had to do with colors.

The color schemes you choose will go a long way in setting the feel and tone for your wedding, so make sure to choose colors that fit with your 1920s theme—and then incorporate those colors in various ways throughout your big day.

So how, exactly, do you do that? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when crafting your 1920s'-inspired color palette:

4. Embrace the colors of the era...

Black, white, silver, and gold are natural color choices for a Gatsby-esque fete. Choose a combination of two or three of these classic shades, or work with all four. They go together beautifully, and the result is glamorous and timeless. Kick it up a notch and request your guests come in coordinating colors. Then, they’ll truly feel like they stepped back in time at your Great Gatsby wedding.

5. ...and make them pop with the right accent color.

If you stick with classic colors and metallic finishes, consider incorporating an accent color into the palette as well. Pastels, such as rosy pink or pale yellow, will feel more vintage and highlight the romance of the era, while bolder hues, such as teal blue or emerald green, will feel more modern and highlight the drama of the decade instead.

6. Incorporate your colors into different parts of your wedding.

If you want your 1920s color palette to take center stage at your wedding, you need to use the colors in a variety of ways. For example, if your colors are black, gold, and rosy pink, you might have your bridesmaid wear gold dresses, add drama with black linens, and incorporate pink roses into your wedding centerpieces. Then, you can tie your palette together with a black, gold, and rosy pink wedding cake.

How to Create a 1920s-Themed Wedding Photo Credit // Stone Blue Productions

The Attire

The key to executing a 1920s wedding in style is fashion. The fashion from the era is one of its trademarks, so it’s essential to include in your themed nuptials. Embellished fabrics, glamorous headpieces, shiny shoes, and top hats—what’s not to love?

Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you choose a look that really captures the glitz and glamour of the roaring 20s:

7. Choose a wedding dress that mirrors 1920s style.

For a wedding dress, consider fabric like lace or satin silk that feature embellishments such as beads and fringe. Think decadent yet fun. After all, the ladies of the time were known for pushing the fashion envelope with shorter hemlines and shifty silhouettes.

You should always choose a silhouette best suited for your figure, but the shape is also a sure way to keep your gown current. For a more modern take on the trends of the time, opt for a dress with all the right details in a contemporary silhouette. You can always play up the theme with accessories—a beaded cape or clutch, for example—that you can add or remove as the night goes on.

8. Make sure the groom is decked out in 1920s attire as well!

For the groom, choose a dapper three-piece suit that would give Jay Gatsby a run for his money. Feel free to play with fabrics like tweed and velvet or prints like herringbone and plaid for a look that truly reflects the time period, but you can never go wrong with a timeless black and white tux. He too can add accessories—a pocket watch or fedora, perhaps—and don them the entire time or just for a few thematic photos.

9. Encourage guests to dress in full 1920s fashion.

You and your soon-to-be spouse are going to be decked in 1920s attire—so why not get your wedding guests in on the fun? Encourage your guests to wear 1920s-inspired outfits to your wedding, like flapper dresses (complete with sequins!) or herringbone suits and bow ties.

The Decor

Art Deco decor is a signature of the Jazz age and one of the main reasons couples flock to a 1920s vintage wedding theme. Embracing the glitz and Old Hollywood glamour of a century ago (can you believe it?) is all too easy, but art deco can also feel ultra-contemporary. When done right, a 1920s wedding strikes the perfect balance between then and now.

So, how can you incorporate that art deco look into your decor to pull off the perfect 1920s look and feel? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

10. Embrace bold geometric designs.

Bold geometric designs that were popular back then are popular today, plus they’re easy to incorporate into your wedding day decor. Consider a statement-making ceremony backdrop in the shape of a diamond, tall and thin acrylic signage for an escort card display, and striking square stationery on each plate.

How to Create a 1920s-Themed Wedding Photo Credit // Mary Veal Photography

11. Use the right fonts on your signage.

Speaking of stationery, the art deco style is defined by minimalist fonts aptly named “Deco” or “Gatsby.” Get the theme across by using one or the other on signage and paper goods. Strike a romantic balance by incorporating a complementary clean calligraphy font as well. Complete the look with sunburst motifs, a trademark of the times.

12. When it comes to design accents, think "more is more."

While clean lines and cool shapes reflect the era well, the true art deco air can only be accomplished with over the top design details. For example, art deco details elaborate chandeliers, metallic flatware, and mirrored furniture will transform any wedding venue into a space beautiful enough for Daisy Buchanan.

Feathers and fringe make both of which can be beautiful additions to floral centerpieces and ceremony arches—and are also a clear nod to the decadent design of the roaring 20s.. You can also embellishments like bows on the back of each chair or pearls scattered across tables for a more feminine feel. Basically, when you're having a 1920s wedding, there's no such thing as over the top; the more elaborate, intricate, and eye-catching the decor, the better.

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The Drinks

The 1920s may have been the era of Prohibition—but it was also the era of elaborate, over the top parties. And even though alcohol was technically outlawed, it was still a mainstay at many Gatsby-esque affairs.

But when it comes to 20s-inspired drinks, not all beverages are created equal. Here are a few tips for crafting the perfect drink menu for your big day:

13. Keep the champagne flowing all night.

Champagne is the natural drink of choice, but don’t settle for a few flutes here and there. Presentation is everything, so a Champagne tower is an absolute must. Beyond fueling everyone’s fancy with a bit of bubbly, decorate your cocktail hour and wedding reception with vintage-style bar carts fully stocked with signature libations and a suspender-clad bartender to boot.

14. Make your signature cocktail a 1920s cocktail.

Have you ever tasted a 1920s cocktail you didn’t like? The Bee’s Knees, the Gin Rickey, the French 75… we’ll wait. And to think these all came out of the Prohibition Era. Serve up the ultimate cocktail bar at your 1920s wedding by picking one or two (or three, if you can’t decide) signature cocktails from the decade.

15. Serve drinks in 1920s-inspired glassware.

Your drinks may all be 1920s-inspired. But if your glasses don't have that same 1920s vibe, your cocktails are going to lose their impact. To make sure your guests are transported back to the 20s with every sip, have bartenders pour drinks into vintage cups, etched whiskey glasses, goblets, and other vintage glassware.

The Atmosphere

Give your guests a night they won’t soon forget by prioritizing the atmosphere.

16. Keep the party going with 1920s-inspired music—and a dance floor to match.

The music and dancing often provide the most memorable moments at a wedding, and this should be especially true of a 1920s-themed wedding. Set the stage with a jazz band and a playlist of roaring tunes that will get everyone out on the dance floor. In true art deco fashion, lay a dance floor of black-and-white checkered tiles, or decorate it with decals such as the sunburst motif and the movie catchphrase “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody.”

17. Set the mood with the right lighting.

Lighting is another important aspect of the atmosphere not to be overlooked. In true Gatsby fashion, hang crystal chandeliers from the ceiling, ideally on dimmers, so you can turn down the lights when the dance floor gets going. Also consider lighting up each table with candles in glass or crystal hurricanes for a luxe look.

18. End the night with a bang.

Fireworks? Why not! A fireworks show is the ultimate send-off at any wedding, but one that will truly put the icing on the wedding cake at a ‘20s-inspired fete.

The Exit

When you leave your wedding, you want to make sure you leave on a high note—and in true 1920s fashion.

Here are a few tips to create a 1920s-inspired exit you and your guests are sure to remember.

19. Have your guests send you off with a sparkle.

As mentioned, a fireworks show makes for an epic 1920s-inspired send-off. But If a fireworks show isn’t in the budget, you can capture the same look and feel (at a much more affordable price point!) with a sparkler exit. Have your guests light the way with individual sparklers as you and your spouse make your exit.

20. Drive off in (1920s) style.

Complete the evening in theme by climbing into a 1920s vintage vehicle. Wave goodbye from the window of a Ford Roadster or a Rolls Royce Phantom to the delight of both you and your guests. The photos your photographer will capture will be priceless.

Plan the Perfect 1920s Wedding

At its core, a 1920s-themed wedding is supremely cool. It’s stylish, lavish, and fun. There’s a reason we’re still enamored with the roaring ‘20s a century later. The decade was monumental on every scale. And by modeling your wedding after it, it will be too. When you’re done putting your own twist on the theme, it’s the 2020s that will be inspiring brides of the future.

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