Oh the 1940s – the perfect era to replicate if you’re after a vintage touch! Looking for 1940s wedding ideas for a timeless celebration? Well, this is it! From the hair, makeup and fashion all the way through to the cars and music, there are several ways to incorporate the 1940s into your celebrations.
For three decades in a row, a hugely important event marred what should have been a joyous and positive transition. The 1910s had World War I. The 1920s had The Great Depression. The 1930s ended with World War II – the most serious conflict by far. As you know, this war ended only in 1945 – halfway through the decade.
It may seem trivial to talk about fashion when the war and its consequences overshadowed all, but women in those days still made efforts to look presentable with the limited means at their disposal. There were wartime weddings of course, and in the occupied countries very few brides could afford to buy a wedding dress, and fabric wasn’t easy to find either. To get wed, women simply wore the best clothes they had, while the men often wore their military uniforms, or their best suits. When the war ended, there was rationing that influenced weddings for a time – but as the decade marched to a close, the fashions became more indulgent once again. 1947 was the key year – Christian Dior unveiled his famous New Look in Paris, while in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II got married in a regal white gown featuring a stunning lace veil.
The iconic movie, Casablanca, came out in 1942. It’s the movie you’ve definitely heard of, if you haven’t seen it already! So many famous lines in this one – and of course, Ingrid Bergman’s outfits are to die for.
Have Frank Sinatra sing
…or at least a sound-alike singer, like Sean Hession, also known as Frankly Sinatra.
Evoke the era with Frankly Sinatra recreating the sound of the legendary Frank Sinatra. Sean’s uncanny resemblance and skilful interpretation will leave you and your guests’ jaws on the floor! His voice – and the backing of his fabulous band – will impress guests of all ages with the classic sound of swing, bossa nova and romantic anthems. Choose your favourite Sinatra songs from an extensive list of options!
A smooth jazz harmony trio
Yes, we’re talking about The Victory Dolls!
Add some 1940s to your 2020s with The Victory Dolls! This award-winning close-harmony trio puts a playful flair on the sophisticated class of “the good old days” with a little something for everyone. Hep step to The Andrews Sisters classics, reminisce over the smooth jazz of Ella, and enjoy the best of both worlds with a vintage twist on some of your modern favourites! Hop on the Chattanooga Choo Choo and add a touch of class to your wedding or event with The Victory Dolls!
Play music on a gramophone
The Gramophone Social is a cool new idea based around an old technology. Playing music on 78rpm records from the 1920’s to the 1950’s with two beautiful hand cranked gramophones from the same era. The genres include the likes of ragtime, jazz, swing, soul, classical, bluegrass, early rock n roll and much more! It’s a magical sound and it really will transport your guests back to that time. As well as the unique sound of The Gramophone Social there is the added bonus of the visual impact that two gramophones will add for your guests. This is an experience that will stay with your guests long after your wedding.
Arrive in style
Hire a fabulous vintage 1940s classic car and arrive at your wedding ceremony and reception in style!
Whether you opt for a classic car, a vintage bus or a classy limousine, this is an incredible way to incorporate your 1940s wedding theme into the Big Day. There are plenty of vintage cars available for hire all across Ireland.
Available at: Heffernan Wedding Cars, Munster Chauffeurs, Lawler Chauffeur Service, Classic and Executive Cars, UrChoiceLimos, Glendale Limousines, The Limo Company, Pristine Classics Vintage Car Hire, Wedding Vintage Car Hire, Vintage Fleet – Wedding Coaches, and VintageWeddingCars.ie.
Add a vintage makeup look
Here’s what we love about makeup from the 1940s:
- The well-defined and shaped eyebrows (groomed, but not as thinly plucked as was popular in the 1930s).
- Liquid eyeliner.
- Eyeshadow applied modestly just over the eyelids.
- Lots of mascara!
- Strong red and orange lipstick.
The classic vintage hairstyle
The most famous hair style was – you probably guessed it – the Victory Roll, which was basically a glorious curl of hair arranged in an artful way somewhere close to the top of the woman’s head, and rolling towards the centre, although there were many versions of this. Overall, there were two things women didn’t do to hair in the 1940s – straight and sleek, or messy. Some fashion historians say that women compensated for the wartime make-up shortages with beautiful hairstyles. Therefore, the 1940s hair is glorious, stylishly curled, under control, pinned, arranged, yet looking as natural as possible. It is, in fact, a perfect hair do for a wedding – it was so commonly seen in those days, yet today it looks so fabulously glam, and suits so many brides, it’s really worth considering!
Your vintage fashion look
This is what makes the 1940s fashion so iconic:
- Modest, high necklines, with sweetheart style popular for evening wear and wedding gowns.
- Tailored suits with square, sculpted shoulders, fitted to the figure.
- Hemlines no higher than the knees.
- Peter Pan collars.
- Hats, belts and gloves.
- Dior’s New Look – fitted jackets with full skirts plus pumps.