1930s-Themed Vintage Wedding


This is the era of the radio, iconic Technicolour movies such as ‘Gone With The Wind’ and ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, hardboiled crime thrillers by Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain, the Great Depression and the build-up to (hopefully) the greatest war of all time. The Depression years had a muting effect on fashion by making clothes less colourful (in comparison to the 1920s).

Swing Jazz

The 1930s saw the emergence and rise to popularity of Swing Jazz, a style of jazz unique in its own right. This hip and very danceable form of music placed emphasis on cross-rhythmic syncopation between the melody, harmony and rhythm sections of the band.

Famous names (and songs to look for) from the era include Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and eventually Glenn Miller.

Featuring a Swing Jazz Band for your wedding would be a great way to underline a 1930s theme!

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Fashion In The 1930s

This was the decade where celebrities such as Fred Astaire, Carole Lombard and Britain’s Prince Edward set the fashionable trends. The 1930s saw the exaggeration of the shoulders for both men and women, and emphasis on skinny waists for the latter.

The increasing popularity of American culture, especially through radio, gramophone and cinema, saw that country becoming a trend-setter for fashion across Britain and the whole of Europe.

Fashion For Women

Short hair slowly gave way to the longer styles worn in hard or soft curls that the late ’30s and ’40s were known for. The crown of the hair was usually left smooth, so that women could fit a variety of hats on!

Fashionable items of clothing included capelets, bolero jackets and dresses cut with fitted midriffs, tilted and extravagant hats, and gloves.

Fashion For Men

Drape-cut suits became popular in the early 1930s, similar to modern-day lounge suits. More casual wear included the baggy knickerbockers or plus-fours (baggy trousers that are tucked into a stocking very high up the calf!). Hats for men included the fedora, usually tilted to one side, and neckties were large and geometric.

For a slightly more hilarious or mobster look, the boys should try a Zoot Suit!

Radio Concerts

Radio dominated the airwaves as the most popular form of mass media.  The voices of news reporters, Swing and Big Band Jazz and the speeches of the famous and elite blared out into the homes of millions around the world. If you are going for a 1930s-themed wedding, then try finding an old wireless to broadcast music at your reception – one that works would be great, but a modified one fitted with a modern speaker is possible too!

How Far To Take Your Wedding Theme

As always with these wedding themes, don’t be put off by the concept of devoting the entirety of your wedding to a particular era or style. In fact, you can easily take small, suggestive elements of this theme and apply them to your wedding. You are not trying to create your own miniature museum, and after all, a wedding is about the union of a couple, not the theme.


Vintage weddings are becoming increasingly popular these days. So we hope that this article can offer enough tips and advice to inspire you! For live Swing Jazz Bands, check out music agency Hop Till You Drop. For other wedding suppliers, take a look at our Shop Window or Categories to the right of the blog.

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