Vintage style weddings are incredibly trendy at the moment, driven by a wave of nostalgia and a desire for weddings to feel genuine and homemade rather than frivolous, glitzy and expensive. I must admit, this is a refreshing break from the gaudy O-T-T WAG style weddings of the early nineties.

If you are planning a vintage style wedding, the chances are you are thinking of an afternoon tea at around 4-6pm followed by some fun food later in the evening. Perfect! This is the best way to instantly feel vintage, as in the ‘olden days’ this was all there would have been.

When discussing modern day vintage food I often find myself paraphrasing the famous Dolly Parton quote “you know, it takes an awful lot of time and thought to look homemade”.

Vintage Wedding Menu

Before I go on to menus, here are my three golden rules when it comes to vintage weddings:

  • Always stick to one vintage era. 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s menus are all very different and if you mix and match them you risk looking more shabby than chic.
  • Always tell your guests. Convey it through the wording and style of your invitation. Not only will this manage expectations, but remember that your guests create the most significant visual impact at your wedding so encourage them to dress the part.
  • Always add a modern twist. Your guests don’t want to be in a museum, they want to be at a party!

Here are some ideas for the three most popular decades of vintage style weddings:


Style: Elegant Afternoon Tea, Gatsby excess, Brideshead charm, croquet on the lawn, chaps and chapesses, clusters of occasional tables, table service from butlers, moustaches, tweed and bicycles.

Venue: The long lawns of a mansion house.

Modern Twist: Rap music in a 1920’s style from The Gentlemen Rhymer and a barbershop quartet on stilts like The Top Bananas.

Menu: Elegant food for elegant people…

  • Finger sandwiches edged in fresh herbs decorated with edible flowers
  • Stuffed eggs and celery
  • Pineapple cake
  • Florentines

To Drink: Pimm’s, tonics and tea in matching tea sets


Style: Victory Tea Dance Celebrations, muted colours, Keep Calm and Carry On, prints, black and white photos, homemade jam as favours, strawberries and British reserve meets jiving GIs.

Venue: A pristine marquee in the garden strewn with home-sewn bunting.

Modern Twist: Modern classics from the Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys sung in a wartime classic style, and ice cream served from a vintage tricycle.

Menu: A buffet of cakes and afternoon tea from mismatched vintage cups…

  • Lemon drizzle cakes
  • Soft, puffy buttermilk scones with jam and clotted cream
  • Farmhouse fruit cake
  • Flapjacks with ginger

To Drink: Tea, ales, elderflower and lashings and lashings of ginger beer

Evening Buffet: Pie and mash


Style: Rockabilly Riot loud, proud, lots of Americana, big circle dresses, pin up girls, teddy boys, tattoos and burlesque.

Venue: A village hall with a stage, a pub or a Brighton beach hut.

Modern Twist: References to movies like Back to the Future and Mad Men.

Menu: Fabulous fun finger food…

  • Mini burgers and hot dogs
  • Bottles of pop with stripy straws
  • Popcorn chicken in colourful pots
  • Chiffon cake

To Drink: Milkshakes, coke floats and cheeky fruit punch cocktails

Evening Buffet: Coronation chicken, herbed rice pilaf, quiche Lorraine, tomato and orange salad

Guest post by Julie Gray of Bovingtons

Images from Lloyd Dobbie