If you love the retro style, but the idea of retro bridesmaid dresses makes you think of poofy taffeta monstrosities, we can promise you just haven’t been looking in the right places! Retro bridesmaid dresses don’t necessarily have to be vintage to have that retro feel still, so throw out those ideas of shiny taffeta dress pumped up with crinoline and check out some of our ideas for retro bridesmaid dresses!
What is a retro wedding?
Retro weddings are an alternative way to have a truly unique day. They have all the glam and vintage beauty of the 1950s, with all the comforts of a modern wedding. Retro weddings may use different fabrics (such as velvet or velour), and short bridesmaid dresses in fun, punchy colors. Couples sometimes incorporate really neat elements like renting vintage Airstream trailers or cars or renting vintage furniture. Many companies specialize in furniture rentals for weddings, which makes finding unique furniture easy and accessible.
Choosing your wedding dress for a retro wedding
Your dress will really help make (or break) the feel of your vintage wedding. When you’re looking for ideas, start by considering the period you most love. While many people associate ‘retro glam’ with the 40s and 50s, you can also do the 60s and 70s, or even the 1920s! It’s all about what speaks to you and your partner the most.
When choosing your bridal gown, you’ll first want to decide on a time period and then draw inspiration from bridal dresses popular during that time. For example, bridal dresses from the 40s and 50s were often tea-length, fit-and-flare style with lace detailing at the neck.
Dresses from the 1920s had a looser, more ethereal feel to them and often used fringes or layered lace to create movement.
Once you’ve decided on a decade, get out there and start trying dresses on! Don’t feel too hemmed in by the exact lengths. Tea-length dresses can be hard to pull off, but as long as you stay at the knee or longer with a flared skirt, you’ll look sufficiently retro.
Choosing bridesmaid dresses for a retro wedding
Bridesmaid dresses can be really fun and flirty if they’re done well. Most retro wedding dresses will be either lace or satin and will often be knee-length. From there, you can get creative. Pastels were popular in the 40s and 50s, as well as rich reds. Cuts ranged from off-the-shoulder to spaghetti straps with banded lace bodices and flared skirts, to long, lace sleeves. We personally find that staying true to the retro look means having all your bridesmaid in the same type of dress, which could mean having dresses made, or bought online to find more variety.
If you’re doing a retro wedding, sit down with your bridesmaid and discuss how comfortable they are with the idea. You don’t want to dictate too militantly what happens with your bridesmaids, or they may end up feeling used. Go through some pictures together and see what idea people like best. Luckily for you, many retro styles are universally flattering to many body types.