Vintage Wedding Vibes with DIY Décor & Thrifted Finds

Collage of vintage wedding decorations

Is there a more romantic vibe to celebrate two people’s love story than a vintage wedding theme? Not in my book! My wedding Pinterest board looked like I was going into the vintage furniture rental business. For all of the antique vanities turned welcome tables I pinned, there were equal amounts of reclaimed doors as ceremony backdrops. So, if you’re like me, and are looking to infuse your celebration with timeless, old world charm, DIY decorations and thrifted finds are the perfect way to bring that vision to life.


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In this article, we’ll explore the world of vintage wedding vibes through the lens of my own wedding. Learn how to incorporate thrifted wedding décor, and delightful do-it-yourself vintage wedding decorations to create your own unforgettable vintage wedding theme. Without further a do, let’s dive in shall we?

Curating a Timeless Vintage Wedding Ceremony Aesthetic

When it comes to planning a vintage-inspired wedding, the ceremony décor sets the stage for the entire celebration. Transforming your venue into a nostalgic haven can be achieved through careful attention to detail and the incorporation of DIY decorations and thrifted finds. Let’s explore some ideas to infuse your vintage wedding with that timeless charm and character you’re after.

Vintage Wedding Flower Arrangements & Color Palette Selection

Flowers play a vital role in creating a romantic ambiance for your vintage wedding ceremony. For a summer wedding like mine, opt for delicate blooms in soft pastel shades, such as blush pinks, creamy whites, pale blues, or gentle lavenders.

Floral swag on ceremony arbor. Pale pinks, dusty blue, white and greenery.
All Professional Photos by Anastasia’s Photography – Rochester, NY Wedding Photographer

I wanted a natural, organic look, so along with amnesia roses for a pale/blush pink and silver brunia berries for a silvery blue, my florist also incorporated 3 different kinds of eucalyptus, dusty miller, and white roses, lisianthus, astrantia, and veronica. A swag over the simple, rustic wedding arch my husband DIYed gave it a soft romantic vibe.

wedding bouquet with vintage heirloom brooch

Along with the swag over our wedding ceremony arch, I also used these same floral combinations in our bridal party flowers. For my bridal bouquet, I added a personal touch. My late grandmother’s brooch. Not only was this sentimental to me, gifted to me when my grandmother passed away, but it also was a beautiful way to incorporate a vintage element into my wedding bouquet. 

Start with nailing down your color palette, and use that as your basis for floral and décor choices. For a similar timeless summer aesthetic, choose 1-2 soft hues that you pair with neutrals. This will help keep everything cohesive and give you that understated, whimsical vintage vibe you’re after.

And when it comes to your floral, don’t be afraid to mix and match different varieties to create a whimsical and organic look.

Create a Vibe with Old Door Wedding Backdrops

OK, so we talked about color choices, next let’s talk about vintage elements you can incorporate that’ll give you a big bang for the buck in creating those vintage vibes. Integrating old doors into your wedding ceremony décor is a great way to add a touch of rustic elegance to your vintage wedding. 

wedding ceremony backdrop using old doors

For my wedding ceremony, our old doors were a bit of an afterthought, actually. Though I was always drawn to them and wanted to incorporate them in some way, I also wanted our guests to have a view of our beautiful Koi pond. That being the case, we used old vintage doors to cover up areas of our backyard that we didn’t want guests to see (like where the caterers were prepping the food RIGHT behind the ceremony…and behind our gift table). Between the flower choices and the antique door backdrop, I achieved the whimsical vintage vibe I was after for my wedding ceremony.

old door backdrop for card and gift table

To incorporate this detail into your own wedding décor, look for weathered wooden doors with intricate carvings or vintage paint finishes. Decorate it with cascading greenery, delicate flowers, or draped fabric to create a stunning focal point for your vows. If you’re into symbolism…incorporating antique doors into your wedding ceremony will not only provide a picturesque setting but also serve as a symbolic entrance to a new chapter in your lives. (Whoa)

Planning a Wedding on A Budget? Get The Guide.

As a former bride on a budget, I found the wedding planning tips and tricks in the Budget Savvy Wedding Planner and Organizer so, so helpful. It was the best combination that I found out there of organization meets real planning advice for couples looking to plan an affordable wedding.

Thrifted Postcard Guestbook

Next up, your guestbook. This is a prime element to do something a bit more old world and non-traditional than your average store bought guestbook. With this being your guests’ first encounter with your vintage wedding aesthetic (other than the invitations you sent!), you’ll want to amp up the vintage vibes with this element of your wedding. 

vintage postcard guestbook

For mine, I used old unused postcards that I collected from various sellers on Ebay and Etsy. If you have the time, you might be able to find these in your thrift store runs. To display them, I used the frame of an old room divider, twine and mini clothespins. On a vintage table, I set an old milk crate, and a sign using a vintage frame (ALL thrifted, of course!). 

DIY Postcard wedding guestbook

This was such a stunning statement piece at the entrance to our wedding ceremony, and was also a fun and interactive activity for guests to do as they arrived. We ended up with a ton of postcard notes hand written by our lovely friends and family that we cherish.

Thrifted DIY Wedding Signs for Timeless Elegance

Thrifted wedding welcome sign

Now, let’s talk about signs. This is an IMPORTANT element of your wedding plans. There are a variety of wedding signs you’ll need to help inform and direct your guests. You might also just want a few signs for sentimental reasons, such as displaying a quote that holds personal meaning to you. Whatever the reason, here are easy ways you can achieve a vintage aesthetic with your wedding signs: 

Thrifted Wedding Signage DIY Tutorial

thrifted wedding seating chart sign

For larger signs, like your welcome wedding sign, and your wedding seating chart:

1. Thrift. pursue old paintings to find beautiful ornate frames you can repurpose. Better yet, sometimes you can find loose frames. Just make sure they are large enough for their intended purpose.

2. Refurbish. Once you’ve got a collection of frames for all of your large-scale signs, it’s time for a little DIY action. If you already like the look of your frames, they might just need a good wipe down, or sanding to get rid of loose paint. Or, you can give those old vintage frames a complete facelift with some metallic spray paint. I painted all of mine a champagne color to match my color palette. 

DIY Vintage frame wedding sign in process

3. Design. Once that’s done, it’s time to retrofit your old frames with new custom printed poster board signs. You can design them yourself, using calligraphy fonts, or find a template you like off Etsy. Then print it to size at your local print shop.

4. Assemble. Finally, glue the posterboard using hot glue or a strong craft adhesive to the inside edge of the frame. 

5. Display. Sit on top of an easel, and voila, a beautiful vintage wedding welcome sign!

love quote in vintage frame for wedding reception

For your smaller wedding signs, the same idea applies, though you should have to do less DIY work. Find some small vintage brass frames in varying sizes to use for your gift table signs and your favor sign. For mine, we also had small vintage frames with well-known quotes about love. A friend of mine donated them all to me from her wedding!

Vintage Wedding Reception Ideas & Inspiration

head table at vintage-inspired wedding reception

Feeling good so far? Great. Let’s talk about your wedding reception. Once the ceremony concludes, your guests will make their way into your reception space. And this is ripe with ideas to infuse a vintage aesthetic. To create a vintage wedding reception space, curate details that exude old world nostalgia. Let’s dive into ideas and inspiration for every aspect of your reception.

Vintage Wedding Table Décor: The more eclectic, the better!

Your vintage wedding table décor is the best place to incorporate your theme for your reception. There’s so many details you can incorporate to make it come to life. Let’s look at some specific vintage wedding table décor details you can incorporate. 

Tips for Thrifted Vintage Wedding Table Settings

To achieve a cohesive vintage look on your reception tables, consider using mismatched vintage china and glassware. Visit thrift stores, flea markets, or ask family and friends for heirloom pieces to add a personalized touch. Mix patterns, colors, and textures to create an eclectic and charming tablescape. 

thrifted place setting

PRO TIP: Start early and shop the weekly sale stickers at your local thrift stores. My goal was to never purchase a plate over the price it would cost me to rent, so I only shopped the sets that were on sale each week. Another option is to check resale marketplaces like Facebook or Craigslist, as you might get lucky and scope a bride that’s selling an entire collection.

To enhance the overall aesthetic of your vintage wedding table décor, consider adding a gauzy table runner, lace table runner, or embroidered napkins. And to elevate your table settings, add a personal touch by attaching vintage-style name tags to each place setting or leaving handwritten notes on vintage postcards.

Create Simple DIY Vintage Wedding Centerpieces

Vintage-inspired centerpieces can become the focal point of each reception table. For my wedding, I went with less is more. I chose DIY greenery garlands with votive candle holders in a variety of colors that complimented my color scheme.

greenery garland centerpiece

If you want to amp up the vintage vibes in your wedding centerpieces, a mix of vintage bud vases with delicate blooms and taper candle stick holders are highly in style. Or, if you’re the bookish type, a stack of antique books topped with a small flower arrangement, teapot, or frame is simple yet so elegant. 

Whatever you decide, the key is to embrace the beauty of imperfection and evoke a sense of nostalgia with every centerpiece.

Incorporate Thrifted Suitcase Wedding Décor

Vintage suitcases can serve multiple purposes in your wedding reception décor. And what’s more, they are really easy to come by at your local thrift stores, or estate sales. Opt for suitcases with weathered exteriors and worn leather straps to add an authentic vintage feel to your décor. And then, put them to use! 

vintage suitcase display of flip flops for dance floor

For my wedding, I used them to display flip flops next to the dance floor, but there are so many uses. Stack them to create an eye-catching display for your gift table or dessert bar. They can also be used as unique containers for your wedding card table, or displaying escort cards. Honestly, you can’t go wrong… so if you see one, snag it!

Vintage Wedding Cake Table Ideas

The cake table is a focal point of any wedding reception. And, for a vintage-inspired celebration, it’s an opportunity to showcase your creativity. Consider using a vintage dresser or a refurbished vanity as the backdrop for your cake display. Adorn it with cascading greenery garlands or floral arrangements, antique frames for signage, and vintage cake and dessert stands. 

vintage scale used in cake table display

For mine, I also found an old kitchen scale that I fell in love with. At the time, I didn’t quite know how I would put it to use, but then I had the idea to incorporate it into our wedding dessert table. We served pies in a variety of flavors, so my assortment of vintage cake stands, tiered dessert stands, and vintage kitchen scale each held a different pie flavor. Of course, we didn’t get any professional photos of the finished product, but these will give you an idea of how we used them.

various thrifted tiered dessert display for wedding cake table

Now, It’s Your Turn!

vintage car wedding photo

I hope this has left you inspired to plan your own vintage wedding. Through the artful integration of DIY decorations and thrifted finds, you can create an aesthetic that embraces the timeless elegance of that old world charm. From enchanting vintage wedding ceremony décor, and nostalgic old door backdrops, to a captivating vintage wedding reception space filled with charming table décor and vintage centerpieces. Every detail contributes to that vintage-inspired atmosphere of timeless beauty. So, embrace the allure of the past and embark on a journey to create your own vintage wedding masterpiece.

And, if you’re inspired and looking for more on this topic, check out 57 Vintage Wedding Ideas for a Timeless Look by

Happy Planning!


The Savvy Swaréy

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