Retro Wedding Dress Ideas

Retro Wedding Dress Ideas

If you love the look of early last century from the roaring 20’s to the 50’s glam let us help you bring a touch of retro to your wedding style.

For a 1920s look:

Start with a beaded dress and shiny headband. Nothing says the 20’s like a drop waist and shiny beads over a sheer skirt and bodice. Add a vintage car and be sure the groom is wearing suspenders and you’ll be well on your way to setting the tone.

Photographed by Zee Anna Photography - Naples, Florida wedding photographers

Want to add a more modern twist and just hint at the 20s? Say it with a beaded dress and add feathers to the bottom as a nod to the flapper style.

Photographed by M. Hart Photo - Los Angeles, California wedding photographers

Or, show off beads at the back of your dress, and use a beaded purse and shoes.

Photographed by John and Joseph - Los Angeles, California wedding photographers


This decade went away from whimsical design and short sleeves to long sleeve dresses and high collars. Silk and lace became the fabrics of the day. To celebrate your 30s style choose a dress like this one with a flattering mermaid cut.

Photographed by Viridian Images - Atlanta, Georgia wedding photographers

Add to elegance with small beads with sheer sleeve and neckline.

Photographed by Joanne Dunn Photographers - Italy wedding photographers

Or choose something thoroughly modern and keep the demure neckline and long sleeves for a bow to retro style. 

Photographed by Sy Photography - New York, New York wedding photographers


When World War II, started fabrics were scarce and lots of women wore their mother’s and grandmother’s gowns. Designer shunned floor length veils and introduced the birdcage; lace became less intricate and embellishment was considered too much. That didn’t mean that brides didn’t look beautiful; it just meant that fashion wasn’t over the top. We love these looks that harken to the era. From this lovely red-haired bride with her lace bodice and silk skirt …

Photographed by Ed Peers Photography - London, UK wedding photographers

To this lovely bride with finger curls and her applique neckline. 

Photographed by Irina Duane Photography - Ireland wedding photographer

To this beautiful bride’s minimalist retro style wearing chiffon over silk.

Photographed by Ed Peers Photography - London, UK wedding photographers


Here comes the glam! Fashion explodes with off-shoulder dresses that accentuate the waistline, and Jackie O, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe set the trends. Skirt length gets shorter for some brides wearing gowns like the one pictured below.

Photographed by Tiffany Hofeldt Photography - Austin, Texas wedding photographers

And veils make a comeback, along with jeweled chokers and jewelry made for princesses.

Photographed by Sy Photography - New York, New York wedding photographers

And fur wraps become all the rage. We think they still look great although we strongly advise you to wear faux fur in today’s climate.

Photographed by La Vie Photography - San Juan Island, Washington wedding photographers

No matter what retro touches you’re adding to your weddings, here are a few extras you can add to surprise your guests and family.

Play your first song on a phonograph.

Photographed by Michele Abriola Photographer - Italy wedding photographers

Rent a car that fits the decade.

Photographed by Eppel Photography - Netherlands wedding photographers

Choose a venue that is already decorated in your wedding style.

Photographed by M. Hart Photo - Los Angeles, California wedding photographers

Hire a photographer who knows how to capture your unique style.

Photographed by John Gillooley -Ireland  wedding photographers
Photographed by Richard Israel Photography - Charlotte, North Carolina  wedding photographers
Photographed by Robert Mauriell Photography - Toronto, Canada wedding photographers

To find the most talented, experienced wedding photographers on the planet with portfolios from timeless to modern, check out our carefully curated directory and feel confident about choosing the one artist whose style is most like yours.