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11 Romantic Rules For A Modern Vintage Wedding Theme (That Isn't Rustic)

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A modern vintage wedding theme doesn't have to have to be all burlap and birdcages - here are our favorite classic/timeless wedding ideas.

Modern vintage wedding theme.
updated on:
June 12, 2023

So I'm getting married this fall and you already know that my Pinterest boards are on fire! Being a girl who is obsessed with all things vintage, everyone expects that my main wedding theme is going to be romantic vintage. And it is! Kind of...

The problem is, everyone has a different vision of romantic vintage. Let me explain.

Back when I was in high school (from 2010-2014), I was super active on Pinterest. Planning my dream wedding was one of my favorite things to do. And during that time, the vintage wedding theme was super popular. Back in those days, vintage meant shabby chic furniture, burlap details, and rustic decor. I guess it sort of makes sense, vintage technically means 'of the past' so it's only natural people thought to include aged looking pieces in their wedding design.

I have a lot of thoughts about the word 'vintage' in general. If you're a member of the Roseglass Collective newsletter, you've heard me talk about this before. I feel 'vintage' covers a lot of different eras and different vibes. Here on the blog, we don't just talk about the 30s, 40s, and 50s, we talk about all the eras!

But, a vintage wedding doesn't have to mean one thing. It can be more than antiques and a big barn.

Fast forward to 2023. When I started my wedding planning, I wanted the event to feel timeless. One way to do that is to look at weddings from the past and see what is still trending today. Those elements have really withstood the passage of time and might be worth considering if you're wanting a classic wedding.

Today, I'll share with you some ideas that I am incorporating into my own wedding to make it 'classic vintage' instead of 'rustic vintage'.

This post is all about modern vintage wedding theme.

Throw rice

This tradition has been severely underrated in the past few years. Throwing rice at the happy couple symbolizes a wish for prosperity and fortune in their marriage. Plus, it creates the dreamiest photo op ever. If your venue is sensitive about rice, have your guests throw flower petals.

Incorporate family photos

Whether it involves remembrance of those that have been lost over the years, or a special family member or marriage, including family photos makes the day even more special. At our wedding, we will have a table of photos of our parents' weddings and their parents' weddings. I love the idea of honoring those that have come before you. It symbolizes wisdom and tradition, as well as the extension of the family line.

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Unity candle

I personally feel that wedding ceremonies these days are a little too short. I don't know if it's just that people are shying away from the traditional religious ceremonies of the past, but I love ceremonies that have a few different elements to them. Don't get me wrong, no one wants to sit through an entire lecture, but I like when the ceremony has a bit of a build up.

For example, I like something symbolic, like a unity candle. Two candles are lit and one candle remains unlit in the middle. The bride and groom each take a single candle and together light the candle in the middle, symbolizing your unity.

My parents also had two songs played during their ceremony. These were moments that they were able to spend with each other up at the altar and really take in the fact that they were getting married.

Consider lengthening your ceremony and including some unique traditions that suit you and your fiancé.

Blusher veil

modern vintage wedding theme

Ooo I am a sucker for a blusher!!! It's so funny, for my bridal wardrobe I am going to be wearing a veil as much as I can. When else will you ever wear a veil again??? NEVER.

When we were shopping for dresses, it was hard for me to see the vision with any dress without the veil. I was probably driving the consultants crazy because I kept wanting to be "jacked up" for every single dress.

Anyways, I wrote a post on "Vintage Wedding Veils Throughout The Decades" that will give you tons of fun Roseglass-approved veil options, but I can tell you the blusher is back.

In recent years, walking down the aisle veiled has definitely become less common, but I see the trend coming back again and I love it! It gives such a romantic and old-world feel to walk down the aisle with a blusher. It also creates a super intense and intimate moment when your groom unveils you to kiss you.

I just love the idea that the veil shields you from evil when you're walking down the aisle - so cool!

Black & white photography

This may seem obvious, but if you're looking for timeless, make sure to tell your photographer to include plenty of black and white shots. Maybe even ask if they can shoot a film roll in black and white. Something about black and white photography makes my heart swoon. It also makes it look like your photos could have been taken in any era.

Champagne tower

modern vintage wedding theme

I could see the champagne tower trend dying down soon, but it's just so old money glamorous that I hope it stays around forever. There is something so "Great Gatsby" about it, and I think it's such a fun touch and tells your guests you're ready to party!

Classic wedding music

Classics are classic for a reason. Bust out This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole and let the nostalgia wash over you. Any songs that could have been played at a 90s rom com wedding will probably be crowd favorites - if you're with the right crowd.

If you like this post you may enjoy this post: Vintage Wedding Veils Throughout The Decades - 100 Years Of Style

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Lots of traditions

I think taking certain traditions and elements from your family and culture really helps personalize weddings in a day and age where wedding planning can be intimidating and competitive. For example, incorporating a meal that your family always enjoys together, or picking a venue that has certain historic relevance can make it feel even more special.

Trying out some new traditions can also be fun and might be a delight if used by your own children some day at their weddings.

Lace somewhere

modern vintage wedding theme

Although vintage doesn't necessarily mean rustic, vintage definitely means lace. Just kidding! But if you are a true vintage girl at heart, you'll want a little lace somewhere. And that doesn't have to mean on your wedding dress, but maybe on your veil, on your garter, or for your rehearsal dress.

I mean, I'm all for modern vintage but lace is just classic.

Keep the kids

This one might get me in trouble with some people, but I'm just going to say it. I actually got this idea from Reese Witherspoon's book Whiskey in a Teacup which I recently wrote a blog post about.

She says that having kids at weddings is important because it teaches them about the tradition of marriage. I think having kids at weddings is so fun and sweet.

Vintage car send off

modern vintage wedding theme

I think the send off is so fun and symbolic because it involves all your family and friends cheering and waving as you drive off into your new lives together. Plus, it makes for a cute photo.

For bonus points, tie cans and ribbons off the back of the car and include a "JUST MARRIED" sign. I don't care if it's cheesy, it's important haha.


What do you guys think of the modern vintage wedding theme? I think it's so chic!

This post was all about vintage wedding theme ideas.

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