Think about hiring a photographer and doing a vintage photo shoot. Have the gals all pose in their beaded flapper dresses and have a collection of feather boas, headbands, cigarette extenders, fans, martini glasses, hand mirrors and the like to use as props. For the guys have fat cigars, fake tommy guns, fedoras, and cocktail shakers. Rent a piano (if you don’t own one) pose the groom-to-be playing and the bride-to-be perched on top as if serenading him. Another classic 1920s photo image is the cut out crescent moon stage backdrop on a black starry sky, young lovers nestled inside the curve of the moon.
A speakeasy party will be one that will always be remembered. Be sure to add a password to the 1920 theme wedding shower invitations to kick off the event. Have a large friend in a vintage tux serve as “Bouncer” or a girlfriend dressed in a mans tuxedo (ah la Marlene Dietrich in “Give Me The Man“) as a greeter at the door. Serve a signature cocktail in teacups, so the coppers won’t getcha. Music? Is there any other choice for the 1920s? It was the JAZZ AGE! Here is a go to list of 1920s Jazz standards, but I encourage you to listen and chose the exact Jazz tunes that will set the proper mood for your event. Again I say Cole Porter. Look at the movie “De-lovely” for some added era appropriate musical inspiration.
Create excitement with this engagement party, an art deco wedding shower! Be sure to have the cocktails shaking and your guests dressed up in their best Great Gatsby attire. I can just hear the soundtrack for this fab party – Cole Porter singing “Let’s Misbehave” will get the ball rolling. Ain’t We Got Fun?!
As for decor think ART DECO, of course. The presence of a graphic pattern – a strong cubist design (not floral, that would be Art Nouveau), use the pattern repeated on the place cards, and chose a color scheme that screams 1920. Try black and gold, deep brick-red and mustard yellow, emerald-green and peach….or my favorite dusty pink and black. Lighting should be soft and warm, drape vintage scarfs over crook-neck lamps, or use swag lamps with crystal mini chandeliers over each small round table. Table cloths of black underskirts with an over lay of the contrasting color of your palette. Lots of fine crystal glasses, and perhaps vintage china from thrift shops in mismatched designs but all from the 1920s and 1930s.
As far as food and drink – begin the evening with aperitifs complimented by olives, nuts or canapes – followed by a catered dinner – one done with a vintage flair and fine silver. Then finger food sized desserts – served in a separate room – complimenting the after dinner cocktails. Of course chocolate covered strawberries compliment champagne perfectly.
If the event is to planned around a couples shower or engagement party then hold a nice dinner followed by libations and party games – we like Charades played with a Golden Age Of Hollywood / 1920s theme. Have your guests acting out clues to The Great Gatsby, Chicago, Citizen Kane and Downton Abbey among other memorable movies and TV shows based in the 1920s.
Remember, it’s all about creating memories. Be sure to collect photos and souvenirs along the way to add to your scrapbook of wedding day nostalgia.