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Posted by Danielle Harvey on 9 June 2021
If you are looking for a wedding day with sophistication and style, you won't go far wrong with 1920s wedding inspiration to shape your big day.
Celebrity wedding planner, entertainment agent and hospitality consultant, Liz Taylor of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, has noticed a recent renewed vigour among her clients for 1920s weddings. Here she shares her tips on how to create the atmosphere of the roaring twenties for a style-packed wedding:
"Extravagant. Exuberant. Unrivalled glamour. And incorporating those alluring Art Deco touches that are synonymous with the era, a twenties wedding is, and always should be, a celebration in style," begins Liz.
"Since lockdown began to lift, we've been inundated with requests for 1920s themed parties. People want to just let go and have fun, so what better era than the roaring twenties. It may seem that a 1920s-themed wedding is easy, but if you go over the top the event can feel gimmicky. The aim is to achieve the perfect balance of stylish 1920s touches without feeling like you've stepped onto the set of the The Great Gatsby."
Finding the perfect 1920s venue
What you're looking for in a 1920s wedding venue, is the recognisable geometric forms and curved elements defined by the Art Deco movement. These influences can be found all over the UK, even in places where you wouldn't expect them. Blackpool Pleasure Beach for example has some stunning features that are typical of the era.
Often there's a spectacular focal point in an art deco room, which makes these venues an ideal backdrop for wedding photos. Be it a grand staircase or stunning architectural detailing on the ceiling, you'll likely be spoilt for choice.
One aspirational example is The Savoy in London. Iconic and untouched by time, it is an ideal setting for an elegant 1920s wedding.
Set in the maritime home of Greenwich, Eltham Palace is the embodiment of 1920s sophistication with chic Art Deco interiors that look simply incredible in wedding photography.
Another option would be The Bloomsbury Ballroom, a versatile space complete with outdoor terrace and a long bar that would make a fantastic speakeasy.
Looking further north for 1920s wedding inspiration, consider The Midland at Morecambe Bay. A magnificently restored 1920s wedding venue that's steeped in history complete with a dramatic sweeping staircase.
For those with a more theatrical nature, try the Plaza in Cheshire. Not only a stunning example of 1920s architecture, packed with original features, but it has also appeared in the hit show Peaky Blinders.
Another alternative would be a palm house such as the one in Sefton, Liverpool, palms being hugely symbolic of the era.
Twenties wedding décor inspiration
The twenties were typified by extravagance and that carries through to the decorative elements of a 1920s themed wedding. A simple step like upgrading white table linens to fabulous sequins or velvet will instantly transform decor.
Take it one step further with low hanging chandeliers and gilded furniture.
If you opt for table centres they should come with both height and drama. Distinctive 1920s motifs include pearls, ostrich feathers, fans, palm leaves and recurring geometric patterns. I love to include other items from the era too. A vintage typewriter or gramophone forming part of the table centre is surprising and stylish.
Ornate mirrors are another way to elevate the décor in a simple and affordable way. Use just one as a table plan or a series of smaller ones that double as table numbers.
Colour at a 1920s wedding is bold and inviting, rich and sumptuous. Black and gold is a classic Art Deco palette – but white and gold or a smoky grey also feature prominently. If you want some colour, bring in emerald green, blush pink or ruby red.
Floral inspiration from the 1920s
Shy away from the traditional wedding roses and peonies and steer towards greenery for floral décor at a 1920s wedding. Palms are an obvious choice, but trailing ivy or orchids nestled among the foliage can provide a modern twist on the look.
1920s wedding entertainment
Well, the music choice would have to be jazz! Soft and easy on the ear during dinner then hit them with some big band classics to really get the party started. I’m drawn to jazz music; I love the way the rhythmic patterns can lift the mood of the party. TLC has even taken on a wonderful jazz combo - Kitty La Roar with Nick Shankland. They sound like a big band, even when they play as a duo and are every inch old-school Hollywood glamour. Think Marilyn Monroe meets Frank Sinatra, or Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
A 1920s wedding cake
Cakes of the era can be designed to mimic the architecture, with those all-important geometric shapes and gilded edging. This works brilliantly on a cake, especially when created in cream and sage green colourways such as this gorgeous design.
A 1920s 'wow 'moment
The twenties were the time of prohibition. And when alcohol was banned, it drove the liquor trade underground, which leads me on to the next 1920s 'wow moment - an illicit speakeasy bar. Speakeasies were illegal hidden bars, where those wishing to have a drink could do so. They were the places to be seen. Or should I say, not to be seen! And this risqué movement, is another one of the reasons that I simply love the 1920s as a wedding theme.
Set up a hidden speakeasy cocktail bar as an experiential part of the party. Have the 'entrance' hidden as they were in the days of prohibition – a phone box, a laundrette, the rest rooms would all be brilliant options. Then deck it out in vintage furniture and serve up some stellar cocktails to boot.
No 1920s party would be complete without an original recipe cocktail list. From the Singapore Sling to the Hanky Panky, there’s a myriad to choose from. Many twenties’ cocktails feature gin as it was one of the easiest liquors to self-brew during the prohibition era. Often 1920s cocktails have strong flavours to make home brewed alcohol more palatable. A cocktail such as the Bees Knees which mixes honey syrup, lemon and gin is typical of the era. Add in some champagne and a good quality gin and you won’t go far wrong. You’ll need some vintage glassware of course – champagne saucers are a must.
Liz Taylor is founder and CEO of the Taylor Lynn Corporation, and has been at the forefront of the UK event scene for over thirty years. During this time, she has planned a wealth of private and celebrity weddings including that of Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, Take That’s Howard Donald, Queen of the Jungle Jaqueline Jossa and football legend Gary Neville.
www.tlc-ltd.co.uk | Twitter:@taylorlynncorp | Instagram:@taylorlynncorp | Facebook:@taylorlynncorporation