All Things Wedding

Grandma’s Guide to Planning a Wedding at 1940’s Prices

July 20, 2017

Ok we admit it, we’re just ever-so-slightly-completely-obsessed with the glamour of the 1940s. While there’s no ignoring the more solemn events of the decade, it was also a time of real hope and bloomin’ fantastic hair! So, roll out the barrel and get planning your own 1940s themed wedding with these helpful hints and ideas.

Junk Shop Gold

Junk shops and charity stores are a brilliant place to find old bits and bobs to create a real 40s theme for your wedding. Flowers in old tin cans, knick-knacks to adorn the tables, old photos and books, even 40s swing records can all help recreate yesteryear.

Create a Beautiful Dress out of Doilies

Modern wedding dresses can cost an arm, leg and bloody great overdraft but during the glorious 40s canny women were making their own and you can do the same using some of Auntie Ethel’s old doilies. Admittedly, it’s probably going to look like a load of linen coasters stitched together but there’s a war going on don’t you know?!?


“Caterers? Who do you think I am, the Queen of Sheba?!?” Catering was strictly for the well to do (and that How’s Ya Father, Lah-di-dah, Mrs Merrit at No.23) but us normal folk can’t afford such finery. Ask everyone to pitch in to the wedding feast by bringing along a little something for the wedding feast. That could mean an awful lot of Spam sandwiches.

Make Your Own Bunting

Bunting was all the rage back in those hazy, lazy, crazy days of summer and it’s surprisingly easy to make. You can learn how at a craft hen party and make something totally unique and special for your day. Learn how…


Wedding DJ vs Sing-a-long

Can you have a wedding reception without everyone drunkenly jiggling about to Come On Eileen? Well yes, you can get everyone around the old ‘joanna’ for a good old sing song. Roll out the Barrell, White Cliffs of Dover and that cheeky song about the man with a Ukulele up his trouser leg. Oh, how we laughed!

Get Into the Swing

Of course, if you really feel the need for something a little grander than Uncle Albert tinkling the ivories you could really go to town with a swing band. If you’ve never spent a night dancing in front of a live brass section then you are genuinely missing out. Swing music is fantastic and really can make it a night to remember.

A Hen Do Too

Back in the day people would never have dreamt of partying overseas. Even a trip to Clacton was beyond the budget of many (although it did see a few honeymooners). In fact, there wasn’t even such a thing as a recognised hen party. Occasionally the bride would spend the night with her mother and a few close friends playing parlour games while hubby-to-be sunk a few pints of stout down the old Dog & Duck.

You can also have a 40s themed hen weekend complete with a 1940s glam Makeover. It was a fantastic era for fashion so get the look or enjoy a vintage Afternoon Tea. See more ideas here…

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Something Old, Something New

It was a huge tradition back in the day for the bride to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. It really is a lovely authentic touch you can apply to your big day.

Over the Threshold

Another wonderful tradition was for the hubby to carry his bride over the threshold of their new home. For many couples, this was their first night of living together and it could still be a bit of fun, as long as he hasn’t had too much to drink.

First Night Nerves

Presumably as you’re thinking of a 1940s wedding you’ve done everything the right way and have ‘saved yourself’ for the wedding night. While your new Mister will no doubt already be keen as mustard to bless your union, you can truly drive him positively wild by whispering to him that you’ve packed your best nightie during the first dance.

Embroider Hankies

There’s no spare cash for expensive thank you gestures. Do something from the heart and embroider hankies as a thank you gift for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. If they don’t like it, tell them to go and blow their nose with it!

Wedding Cake – A Group Effort

Rationing (or in today’s money, Brexit) could mean you can’t get the essentials to bake a cake large enough for all your guests. So, ask a selective few canny cooks to each bake a layer of differing sizes to build a beautiful tired wedding cake. And ask your great nan how they used to use vinegar instead of eggs (true fact!).

Horse Shoes

Yep, horseshoes were all the rage back in the 40s. Brides carried them, wedding feasts were decorated with them, cards, confetti, even broaches were all of a similar U-bend shape. They’re also weighty enough to be able to clear a path through the groomsmen to get to the bar.

Don’t Mention the War

When people talk about the 40s they do tend to get stuck on the war. Yes, it was of course the defining moment of the 20th century but those that lived through the era talk about a time of rebirth and the happiness that came at the end of the conflict and that’s what you should focus on. So, uniforms should be off limits.

Get the Look

Get a truly authentic look for your big day, victory rolls and all that gorgeous style of this amazing time. Read more about a Vintage Makeover

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