A Fifties Wedding

May 31, 2012 in
Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Emma Lester

Emma Lester lives in the north west of England with her husband and little girl, and is the writer behind Fifties Wedding, which currently has over 42,000 unique visitors a month. Previously a lawyer, she changed direction after planning her own '50s style wedding in 2009, and now focuses on her first love - weddings! She also runs a '50s style bridalwear company.

Anyone planning a vintage-style wedding will find Etsy a valuable resource for both original vintage and reproduction handmade pieces, from invitations to accessories to, of course, wedding gowns!  Here are some of my picks for a ’50s style wedding.

I am a sucker for an original vintage dress. If you’re lucky enough to be very slim, it’s definitely worth taking a look at the vintage section during your dress search. However, if (like me) you haven’t a hope of fitting into an original vintage gown, there are tons of reproduction alternatives and bespoke options.

Don’t be afraid to try styles that you think may not suit you — a beautifully cut gown will flatter you in ways that high street clothing cannot, so the usual “rules” don’t necessarily apply when shopping for a bridal gown.

Shop vintage bridesmaid dresses; dress pictured by Katherine Louise Kerrison.

For bridesmaids and wedding guests, there are some fabulous original vintage print dresses available. as well as some fantastic reproduction options. One of my favorite sellers is Flossy & Dossy, who makes reproduction dresses in cotton prints and colored lace.

Pearls are so elegant for a wedding, and an investment for everyday — is there anything that doesn’t look better accessorized with a string of pearls?  I really love this multi-strand pearl necklace with vintage jewel detail — perfect for a wedding, but equally wearable with a shift dress for work.  The pearl studs are a pretty addition, and the drop earrings would look great with swept-up hair and a floor length gown.


It’s so hard to find genuine vintage shoes. Etsy has the best range I’ve found, including “something blue” for your wedding. I’m a bit of a magpie and can’t resist something sparkly.

Original vintage beaded bags are beautiful for a wedding day. Because this type of formal accessory has often only been lightly used, there is a real treasure trove of vintage beaded bags in amazing condition.

My most common inquiry from brides is where to find an affordable bird cage veil.  The answer is always, “Etsy, of course!” I can’t resist the statement headpieces from Pearls & Swine, and their bridal options are really wearable. Little pillbox hats look fabulous with a tea length dress or a little suit.

Shop wedding invitations; retro invite by Golden Silhouette.

I love the ’50s feel of these invitation designs, with their fun retro cartoon images and speech bubbles.  They really set the scene for a wedding day and give guests a hint of the feel of the celebrations to come.