I’ve spent a lot of time researching vintage wedding resources while planning my Art Nouveau/Art Deco wedding and I thought I’d share a few with you some books that I’ve come across that’ll help you with planning your own vintage wedding.
As far as creating your wedding dress goes, the following books are great for both sewing and inspiration.
Bridal Couture by Susan Khalje is by far the best couture sewing book that I’ve ever seen. The author takes you through the steps to creating couture gowns and displays photos of some gorgeous gowns that she’s made. I’ve borrowed this copy from my future mother-in-law and would loooove to have my own, but it currently retails on Amazon at $495 (eek!) for a new copy. I believe it’s out print and as it’s such a great one-of-a-kind book,I believe that it must be in demand. I definitely understand why, but for now, I’m borrowing hers.
The Perfect Wedding Dress by Philip Delamore is a great book for looking for inspirations while designing your dress. It explains the the elements of a wedding dress and helps you choose styles that flatter your body. I picked up my copy at Half Price Books in Concord, CA and you can get a used copy on Amazon for as little as a buck.
My background is in history and I’m always happy to find books that view weddings from a historical aspect and help you to create the vintage wedding of your dreams.
I happened upon Your Vintage Wedding by Nancy Eaton while perusing the sparse wedding section at Half Price Books in Modesto, CA. I was so surprised to find such a FANTASTIC book. This book details weddings by decades (1910s-1950s) and includes vintage photos as well as contemporary ones from vintage style weddings. I’ve already read this book twice. It is the best resource book I’ve found for vintage weddings. My only problem with this book is that it doesn’t include details like favors, food, or flowers, but the “case studies” are great and it helps to inspire you to create your own vintage wedding.
I am borrowing To Have and to Hold: 135 years of wedding fashions by the Mint Museum of Art from my FMIL (yes, she is a great resource!). This is an EXCELLENT book, especially for those creating a vintage gown. It not only goes into detail about wedding dresses and weddings over many decades, but it shows photos of the actual dresses in the museum as well as photos of the brides themselves from their wedding day. This book tells you the fabrics used, the designers and the accouterments of each bride. It’s such a GREAT book! I spent hours reading it from cover to cover. You can find your own copy on Amazon for about $15 for a used one.
Legendary Brides by Letitia Baldridge is another great resource when planning your vintage wedding. From Queen Victoria to Princess Grace to Jackie – it’s one beautiful bride after another. She details many traditions and describes each wedding in detail. If you see one of these, pick it up! I got mine at Half Price Books in Fremont, CA, but I’ve seen them at other bookstores (some with an alternate cover) and it’s available on Amazon for about $15 for a used copy.
I hope you can get your hands on all of these books, but if you can’t, you can check out the websites that I have linked in the side column, some of which are great sites for inspiring you as you plan your big day.