A Century of Weddings: The 1920s

A Century Of Weddings: The 1920s

The Golden Age, the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties—whatever you like to call it, the 1920s were a time to remember. Immortalized in films like The Great Gatsby and Some Like It Hot, it was an era of lavish looks and decadent parties. Elaborately dressed flappers and catchy jazz music ruled the scene as the world pushed into a more fast-paced life. Let's take a closer look at the wedding trends of the decade!

Wedding Trends

City Hall Ceremonies:

A city hall wedding was the ceremony du jour—the allure of a quick and (relatively) inexpensive ceremony appealed to couples that wanted to get married right away or elope. New York City Hall cemented its status as one of the most popular venues in America, while the town of Crown Point, IN gained a reputation as the elopement capital of America (yes, before Vegas!).

Receptions
Reigned
Supreme:

Couples put more emphasis on the party post-ceremony—invitations started to include the reception location!

Piece
Of Cake:

The wedding cake was just as decorated as the bride's gown, however they were typically expensive. The introduction of boxed cake mix and commercial icing allowed couples to afford their own wedding cake!

Rise Of The Registry:

Guests could pick a gift for the couple from the wedding registry, an entirely new concept brought to life in 1924 by a Chicago department store.

Picture Perfect:

In addition to the cake and gifts, wedding pictures were now easier thanks to the invention of the first fully automatic film developing machine in 1928.

Bridal Style

Drop Waisted Delights:

Flappers' ornate shift dresses were the most glamorous trend of the time and brides took note. The laced up, corseted gowns of yesteryear were tossed to make room for flowing, drop waist dresses that showed off your ankles. Embellishments and ample beading gave these gowns an Art Deco aesthetic, while various sleeve options guaranteed you could do the Charleston with ease!

All In The Details:

Glittering hair pins and silky turban wraps were go-to accessories for women along with the iconic feather-and-pearl combos we imagine when thinking about flappers. Embellished heels were low (all the easier to dance in!) and often featured a T-strap design!

Hair & Makeup

Cut it Out (Or Off):

While long, curly hair was still a sought-after style, bobs gained popularity. Irene Castle was one of the first celebrities to chop her hair, inspiring tons of women to do the same (or pin it up in a faux-bob!). Brides of the era followed suit, shortening their hair along with their hemlines—tight curls worn under a cloche hat or a Juliet cap veil were the epitome of bridal glamour.

Kiss & Makeup:

In these early years of the makeup industry, a flawless matte face was a key trend, especially when paired with a DIY smokey eye made from a mixture of coal and petroleum jelly. Mascara was in its infant stages with cake mascara, a pressed powder applied with a wet brush! Dramatic red lipstick and rouge gave your otherwise-matte face some color. Rouge was applied with fingers and the newest invention of lipstick in a tube made it more convenient to touch up on the go.

Parties

Life of the Party:

Movies like The Great Gatsby (all versions!), Some Like It Hot and even The Princess and the Frog got it right—the 1920s were a time of prosperity and partying! People gravitated toward cities, leading to the rise of dance halls and speakeasies that have since been immortalized in pop culture.

In Tune:

The invention of the phonograph and the popularity of jazz and blues music gave parties a lively feel, perfect for breaking out the foxtrot, the Breakaway, or the ever-so-iconic Charleston!

Famous Couples

Zelda & F. Scott Fitzgerald:

This illustrious and hard-partying duo was the most iconic couple of the 1920s. Her embroidered dress and finger waves paired perfectly with a smokey eye as “the first American flapper” married the writer in New York City.

Mary Pickford & Douglas Fairbanks:

Another famous couple to get married during the Roaring Twenties? Two stars of the (silent) silver screen. They were American royalty, creating the United Artists studio with Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith to cement their status as Hollywood legends.

And that's been the 1920s!

Onto the next decade: The 1930s.

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