Vintage is in.
One of the best ways to create beautiful, unique décor for your wedding day is incorporating pieces that have been passed down through generations. Family heirlooms make gorgeous centerpieces and displays for your reception area. Imagine tables covered in old silver pitchers with flowers cascading down; beautiful plates and platters with old vases; a collection of doilies in the center of every table and depression-era tumblers or glasses.
If you don't have access to any family heirlooms, you can find some great vintage pieces at local antique shops. One of our brides used vintage tea cups from her family and made candles with them—an easy find at antique shops. They made a lovely accent, and they smelled great!
With all the planning that goes into personalizing each wedding, we often encounter the question of how to honor loved ones who are no longer with us. Often, the first thought of couples is to display photos and light candles. This can be a lovely gesture. However, we always encourage couples to look a bit deeper, in a more personal way.
Is there a specific memento that has been passed down in the family that can be used as an accessory to your attire, your flowers or even displayed as part of the décor? Could you carry it with your bouquet or display it on the cake table?
Was there a special phrase that person used often that could be incorporated into your theme or spoken in the ceremony? You could embroider those special words on a sliver of silk and stitch it into the lining of your dress or the lining of your groom’s jacket. They could be embroidered on ribbon to be banded around your bouquet stems.
For our grooms, we always suggest the possibility of including in their boutonniere, a small, personal item that reminds them of their loved one. Among some of the items we have used are a grandfather’s favorite fishing lure, a vintage button, and even a key.
For our brides, we have used vintage broaches belonging to the ladies in their lives, buttons from a grandmother’s collection, handkerchief’s bound around bouquet stems, and even a bouquet of all butterflies to remember a special aunt that always wore butterfly pins. One bride carried a silver cigarette case that had been carried by brides of the last four generations, unusual, but still immensely important to the traditions of her grandmother.
Our brides have used bits and pieces of mother’s and grandmother’s wedding attire to accent their bouquets, decorate vases at the reception and even accent their groom’s boutonniere with buttons from their mother’s dress. One bride asked her new mother-in-law to pin a broach belonging to the groom’s only grandmother, inside the lining of her wedding gown after her passing, a short time before the wedding.
Receptions too, can be a time to show family sentiment. One such was is by displaying lace linens belonging to the bride’s grandmothers alongside the wedding pictures of both couples. Arranging such a vignette on the guest book table compliments the occasion as well as honors those dear to us. A simple framed sign, comments on the heirlooms and tell guest the story of the scene.
Any way you choose to remember those dear to you, make it personal to your memories of that person. You can make a special note in the program about the specifics of the memento you choose. Briefly tell the story behind the special piece and be sure to have your photographer document it as well.
What do you treasure most about your loved ones? How will you make them a part of your day?
Renee Burroughs is an award winning floral designer based out of Anderson, SC. Her blog covers floral tips as well as overall wedding ideas.