How To Use Vintage Furniture & Accessories For Wedding Decorations
Vintage Furniture For Weddings
On practically every wedding website these days, you can see a ton of beautiful pictures of vintage-inspired weddings. Not sure how vintage got so popular and even though Huffington Post claimed publicly that vintage is dead, it seems to be gaining even more steam and taking a little turn away from rustic and a little more toward rustic chic. With every industry, opportunists abound (i.e., that's code for smart people who know how to jump on a good thing when they see it!) and of course, the wedding industry is no exception. Sharp people with a head for business quickly picked up on the vintage craze and began offering vintage furniture for sale or rent to brides swooning over the vintage wedding shoots popping up on wedding websites everywhere. However, there's an art to using vintage furniture and accessories in your wedding without it looking like your great Aunt Susie's garage sale!
Old Books As Vintage Wedding Decorations
What Vintage Pieces Do You Want For Your Wedding?
Before you go the rental route to get vintage pieces to create the look you want, consider the cost. Unless your wedding budget stretches to the moon and back, renting may not be your most affordable option. You really have to look at prices. Start gathering your inspiration pictures, a place like Pinterest is a good place to start, and when you've gathered a bunch (translation=a few million, Pinterest is very addictive!), look at the recurring themes. Is it a gorgeous button back sofa with curving legs that captures your eye? Is is a beautiful Queen Anne secretary? Think before you invest your hard-earned bride dollars of how you're going to use those pieces. If you're just in love with how an antique sofa looks in some styled photo shoots with the bride and groom sitting around looking adoringly at each other, you might want to reconsider. If the sofa will be the centerpiece of a lounge area at the reception, then that's something entirely different. Seek out pieces with a specific use in mind. For instance, could that old desk be a guest sign-in table flanked by windows and old doors? Could the Queen Anne secretary make an adorable display for a dessert buffet? Don't get hustled into renting pieces without thinking of how you will use them.
Use Vintage Furniture To Create A Reception Lounge Area
Vintage Wedding On A Budget
You can get the same look for less without using pricey vintage wedding rental companies, but it's not something for the couple who got engaged yesterday and want to get married in three months! It involves collecting over time, maybe over a year or more, not to mention finding a place to store everything until the wedding. However, if you do collect vintage pieces yourself, the meaning attached to each one, particularly if they are family heirlooms, will make the wedding seems that much more beautiful. Not only is there time involved, but you also have to consider how you will transport your gorgeous loot once all the collecting is said and done. Although it seems appealing to hit up friends with trucks to move everything, is it really that cost effective? Depending on how far you have to move your items, think about the cost of gas (friendship only goes so far!) and multiple trips back and forth. Ugh! If you have a friend with a truck and a trailer, wonderful! If not, you might want to think about renting a large truck like a U-Haul. If you're not hauling your vintage furniture a long way, it's not as expensive as you might think. That way everything can be moved at one time and instead of truck driving, you can enlist those friends into unloading the truck and placing your pieces instead!
Vintage Table Décor With China & Doilies
Where To Find Vintage Furniture & Accessories
If you're trying to save money and not going the rental route, finding vintage pieces for your wedding décor is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, great scores may have been right in front of your eyes for years! We're talking about your mom's house, your grandparent's house, friends who love antiques. This is the time to call in favors or remind Great Aunt Susie of the hours you spent dusting the legs of her claw foot velvet chaise for her or arranging flowers in your grandmother's milk glass vases! Walk through relatives' homes with a new eye as to how you could use pieces in your décor. Refer back to your inspiration pictures for any small items like mercury glass votives that may be part of a to-die-for vignette and they could be sitting right there on a corner shelf! Search through closets, cedar chests, and attics and you may stumble across vintage hankies, doilies, old suitcases, or vintage typewriters. (All with permission, of course!)
Use Vintage Doors, Mantles, Or Windows For Decor
Other Sources For Vintage Wedding Décor Items
Once you've been kicked out of relative's houses (and told to never return until after the wedding!), there are still other great places to look for vintage pieces for your décor. Although antique stores might seems like a logical place, beware! Many antique stores have overpriced their items, so that you really aren't getting such a great deal. Instead, try thrift stores like Goodwill, consignment stores, estate or yard sales, even E-Bay. You can find many treasures for practically nothing if you just keep looking. Another great place to find vintage pieces is to search wedding classifieds sites. Many wedding sites like Weddingbee, OneWed, The Knot, etc., have classifieds sections where brides list items for sale after their weddings. Kind of like having another bride do the work for you...sweet! Although you can get amazing stuff from other brides, again, use caution! Know your prices and don't get caught up in the excitement of planning and pay too much for anything. Keep in mind that you'll have to pay shipping and when you're buying heavy items like furniture, it can become quite expensive. Look for brides who live close to you where you could consider local pick-up and make sure you factor in the cost of gas into the equation. Also, if you are buying fragile items like vases or china, make sure the bride on the other end knows how to pack correctly to avoid damage.
Vintage China Tablescape
Arranging Your Vintage Pieces
Once you have all the pieces you want, practice your arrangements, using your inspiration pictures to help. When you have a Style Me Pretty-worthy vignette, use your digital camera and take a picture. This is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, if you are using someone like family, friends, or a planner to do your décor, they will need to know how you want all your pretties arranged. Second, on your wedding day, you will barely remember your own name, much less where you wanted those pretty little milk glass birds or your Scrabble letter Mr. & Mrs. letters if you don't take a picture! Print out the pictures, give one to each friend and let them duplicate the picture...simple!
What To Do With All Your Vintage Pieces After The Wedding
The wedding's over! You've collected all those pieces, now what to do with them? If you've borrowed them, of course, return them carefully cleaned and wrapped to their proper owners. If you've rented them, the rental company may pick up or you will have to return to avoid getting hit with a late fee. If you've purchased them and really love them, keep as many as you can to furnish your new retro-themed home with your new hubby! If you have no way to feasibly keep all the things you collected, no matter how much you love them, pay it forward and list your items on the wedding classifieds or E-Bay. Some other bride is out there on the hunt, just like you were!
More Vintage Decorating Ideas
Collecting vintage items for wedding décor, although time consuming, can be fun and really make your wedding more meaningful. For more ideas on using vintage items for décor or how to find vintage décor, check out the following helpful articles:
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