Big Band Era Wedding Theme – Bringing Back the 40’s | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

Many brides today are using a 1940’s vintage wedding theme and loving it! This time period was known as the big band era and is the perfect theme for entertainment and fun for your guests. In the 40’s, ballrooms and nightclubs everywhere were doing the Swing to music sung by the great Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters. This is a fascinating era to plan your wedding theme around and there are many ways to keep with that theme. You’ll want to learn about the dances, the fashion, and be sure and research all the different tips for a 1940’s wedding theme.

First of all, the wedding dresses worn in the 1940’s were generally slender fitting, satin wedding dresses, possibly worn with full length gloves and a hat which had a netted veil over the face. Some bride’s chose to wear a slim fitting suit, seamed nylons, and spiked heeled shoes.As for the groom, he usually wore a pin striped suit or his dress military uniform. The attendants wore the same style of clothing worn by both the bride and groom.

Credit goes to , Fine Wedding Dress Reproductionsfor the beautiful picture of bride and groom kissing in front of the house.


When it comes to sexy wedding hairstyles, there’s nothing hotter than a glamorous 1940’s look. In fact, some of the hottest celebrities have been spotted with 1940’s hair…stars like Gwen Stefani, Katherine Heigl, Christina Aguilera, and Reese Witherspoon. Whether your hair is short, medium, or long…be sure to choose a hair stylist that knows all about designing the styles of the 40’s. And it’s not all about the hair. You’ll need to make sure your 1940’s make up is right on the mark! You’ll want to find the perfect make up artist to give you that 40’s sex kitten beauty look.

The wedding invitations can be so much fun, as well!  If you are crafty, you can make your own invitations by using a sepia tone photo of the two of you together as the background and then put an antique style border around the picture to look like an antique frame. You may want to affix the photo on card stock to cover the back of the photo. Purchase vellum paper to print your wording on and place it on top of your photo. Beautiful!

Decorations for your 1940’s reception can be lots of fun.  A few suggestions might be:

• Rent a fountain that produces bubbles in the room.

• Float helium filled balloons above the dance floor.

• Tie several balloons together as a balloon bouquet and place around the reception room.

• Purchase or borrow posters or large prints of famous people of the big band era.

• Purchase or borrow pictures of 1940’s automobiles and planes to hang around the room.

• Place strings of small clear or white lights above each doorway.

• Have a large mirrored disco ball that rotates above the center of the dance floor.

• And my favorite is…purchase inexpensive children’s instruments to place on the buffet tables or as centerpieces on tables.

And of course you’ll need table centerpieces for your reception. These ideas are fabulous!

• A large champagne glass on each table, filled with colorful beads or stones and a candle situated in the middle.  Put a string of toy pearls in and around the glass.

• Wine bottles draped with pretend pearls or military dog tags.

• Use miniature or very small musical instruments along with a tiny music stand and arrange with an antique looking sheet of music.

• Long white gloves with rose petals scattered on and around and next to a tall vase with one single rose.

An excellent way to mark your reserved pews or aisle chairs is to purchase small, plastic horns, drums, or other musical instruments. Attach them to a music sheet with a ribbon to hang on reserved pews or on aisle chairs.

Wedding programs are also very popular today and guests always want to know the wedding party participants. You can make your wedding programs look like a music book with your initials or names on the front cover. On the inside, use a faded out musical score sheet for the background with the program information written in bold to stand out.

If you are thinking about wedding favors, try some of these ideas.

• Inexpensive champagne glasses filled with rose petals and candy mints.

• A photo of both of you in an antique type frame.

• Small bottles of wine or champagne tied with a ribbon and a string of children’s toy pearls.

• Find a sheet of music from the big band era that you both really enjoy. Create another using your own twist to it, roll it up, and tie it with a ribbon.

It’s not always easy to know which singers or songs were popular in the 1940’s or big band era. If you find any music that features Jazz or Blues, you are on the right track. The best way to be sure is to hire a jazz or blues band or a DJ that will know what songs to play for that era. You may also look for music by some of these artists.

• Andrews Sisters • Ink Spot • Louis Armstrong • Fred Astaire • Gene Autry • Franky Laine • Guy Lombardo • Nat King Cole • Count Basie • Glenn Miller • Bing Crosby • Doris Day • Tommy Dorsey • Duke Ellington • Frank Sinatra • Mel Torme’ • Ella Fitzgerald • Bennie Goodman • Wine bottles draped with pretend pearls or military dog tags.


Let’s not forget the Wedding Cake! You can do this yourself….or have your baker do it.

• For the groom’s cake, have the cake shaped into a musical instrument.

• Purchase a regular 2 or 3 tier wedding cake at your grocery store bakery and place small, plastic musical instruments along the sides of the cake. Place 2 figures standing at a music stand for the topper.

• Have your baker design your wedding cake to resemble hat boxes.


The most important thing is to enjoy your wedding day and have fun with this theme!

For more information on wedding planning, please visit my website at http://www.stsimonselopements.comor e-mail at http://stsimonselopements@yahoo.comor call 912-638-8706.


12 thoughts on “Big Band Era Wedding Theme – Bringing Back the 40’s | St. Simons Island Wedding Planner

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