Home & Garden

Integrating antiques is the new trend in weddings

Pictured is a Victorian mourning jewelry set, black onyx/jet, circa 1880s.
Pictured is a Victorian mourning jewelry set, black onyx/jet, circa 1880s. Photo provided

A new trend in weddings is throwback nuptials that highlight antique and vintage elements that enhance the wedding day experience.

We all know about the tradition of wearing something old along with something new, borrowed and blue, but today’s old things at weddings are going beyond the run-of-the-mill pearl necklace that belonged to grandma or a pair of your mother’s earrings. Today’s brides are selecting rare and unusual objects to serve as their something old objects like espadrille wedge shoes from the 1970s, jewel-studded sweater clips from the 1950s and vintage tortoise shell or rhinestone encrusted hair clips, tiara style headbands and barrettes.

Brides are going vintage when decorating for receptions, pre-wedding parties, rehearsal dinners and wedding showers. Some antique inspired design ideas include antique glass Ball canning jars filled with wildflowers for centerpieces, placing a small toy from the bride’s childhood next to a wine glass and printing out digital photos of the members of the bride’s and groom’s family who have passed away and sewing them into the underside of the bride’s wedding dress as a remembrance.

Rococo, Victorian and other period wedding items are being reintroduced into contemporary weddings. Brides are carrying flower bouquet holders like vintage tussy mussys and small scale glass or ceramic bud vases. Grooms are using pieces of their mother’s or grandmother’s lace wedding veils to accompany floral boutonnieres or as pocket squares. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing antique family stick pins, brooches and even war medals to remind wedding attendees of the family lineage on this special day.

For weddings that take place far from a family home, couples are selecting wedding decorations that remind them and everyone in attendance of the family home and bygone days. Decorations that recall vacation homes, family cabins or long ago sold family homes are being integrated into the design of a wedding gazebo or wedding reception floor plan, too.

If you are using precious and cherished antique and vintage objects that are irreplaceable for a wedding ceremony, establish a “keeper of the goods” that is not a member of the wedding party to care for these keepsakes after the ceremony. Perhaps you are wearing the set of black onyx mourning jewelry that was worn at your great grandfather’s memorial in the late 1800s. It will be this person’s responsibility to collect and safeguard these family heirlooms and related objects so members of the wedding party won’t worry about losing these items and can instead enjoy themselves at the reception.

Lori Verderame is an antiques appraiser, nationally syndicated columnist and author, and award-winning TV personality.