Each year seems to bring a new bridal trend inspired by celebrities and pop culture—from the Royal Wedding and Princess Kate’s refined traditional lace looks to Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood glamour, even if the marriage only lasted 72 days.
This is the year of The Great Gatsby, Downton Abbey and ‘20s-inspired bridal fashion. Ever since the film remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel premiered in May, long, lean gowns coupled with glitzy Art-Deco beading, illusion necklines, lace caps and Roaring ‘20s attitude are popping up everywhere. While this look is not for everyone—especially those of you who’ve dreamed of swishing that princess ball gown around as you sashay across the dance floor—it certainly has its followers. And we predict that interest will continue to grow, long after the movie is available on DVD.
While a number of wedding gown designers are inserting these ‘20s touches into their newest gown collections, this style has always been the mainstay for British designer Jenny Packham. She’s where we suggest you start first on your quest to imitate Daisy. BHLDN, Anthropologie’s sister brand, also offers a great selection of vintage-inspired wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and accessories. And you can even have fun scouring the vintage shops, which is a little ironic since Daisy wouldn’t be caught dead in a re-sale establishment!
New Jersey bridal salons are gearing up for the flapper frenzy. “I have had many brides show interest in the Gatsby ’20s look,” says gown designer Sareh Nouri, whose gowns are available at Exquisite Bride in Millburn. “They were inspired by images from Pinterest. The brides that love this aesthetic are usually brides that love the whole vintage theme. They love gowns that have beautiful intricate lace with elegant lines and patterns.”
Leia Marley, owner of I Do…I Do in Morristown foresees this interest lingering into the fall and beyond. “We have brides requesting a retro-inspired look from that era,” she says. “I think once the movie is out for a while, we will see even more of an increase. I have a few new gowns that are definitely reflective of the designer inspiration for the Roaring ‘20s. Martina Liana has a fabulous one in crepe, and Justin Alexander has a wonderful adaptation as well.”
So what does it take to replicate Daisy Buchanan’s style? “The silhouette is definitely a sheath, and in some cases a bias-cut,” Marley says. “Most of the gowns have a version of draped jewels on the top or back neckline and then a sleek column-like body. There is also the allover beaded look in a very fitted silhouette. The back is usually low and draped in a cowl style.”
Lace is also an important detail. “I would suggest lace for sure” adds Nouri. “Lace wedding gowns would be ideal for this look especially with a lace illusion top. I also think beading in a blush tone would look beautiful.”
And this Roaring ‘20s bride can make quite an impact on the overall look of your wedding, says Jenny Orsini of Jenny Orsini Events in Berkeley Heights. “Couples can also use fashion to enhance their wedding theme. The ‘20s had some unmistakable fashion trends,” she says. “Try a dress with movement, similar to those worn by flappers. Dresses sparkled with sequins. Jewelry was often pearls. Hair was short and hats were small, headpiece-like, often with feathers. Makeup was dramatic—smoky eyes and deep red lips. And the gentleman were dapper! Wearing pinstripe three-piece suits, wing-tipped shoes, hats and pocket squares.”
And don’t forget the accessories for the bride. Beaded bags, feathered headbands and beaded hair pins are all must-haves. “I love vintage headpieces and lace caps,” Nouri adds. “Anything that has a three-dimensional look with vintage flowers goes great with the theme. I think it completes the look.”
“The key accessory is the beaded headband worn on top of the hairstyle and showing all the way around,” advises Marley. “This can be in a number of widths from a narrow two-inch band to a wide four-to-five-inch band, tapering to a narrow back. It can also have a cluster of bling worn at the top of it asymmetrically.”
As for shoes, Marley suggest slingbacks, pointy-toed heels and pumps. “But the jewels will be minimal because they are actually so heavily beaded on the top of the gown.”
Long pearls finish the look—and lots of bling. “Intricate jeweled earrings and bracelets will be key,” adds Marley.
As for how to incorporate the feel of Gatsby in to your décor, Orsini has some great tips. “Gatsby-themed weddings are not necessarily a new trend,” she says. “But because of Hollywood’s recent influence, I definitely anticipate an increase in the number of Roaring ‘20s–inspired weddings this year. Incorporating this free-spirited era into your décor is quite simple!”
She suggests to keep the color palette elegant and light, with pinks, blushes, whites and ivories. Accentuate with gold, pearls, lace and even feathers. Try a lace-like table overlay coupled with gold beaded chargers. Keep florals minimal but make sure there is movement. Go for a swanky vibe. Use empty gin bottles filled with delicate florals for decorative accents. Adorn napkins with strands of pearls.
“This era was all about drinking and smoking and dancing!” she says. “Lets be honest, people back then wanted to party and have a good time without a care in the world. So give your guests an experience. Offer them a fabulous swanky lounge area with period furniture pieces. Maybe consider a live piano player or a ragtime band. Even have the waiters dress up in period clothing. That will really enhance the theme.”
And New Jersey offers some great venues that would serve as the perfect backdrop for this themed wedding. “Consider the Newark Mezzanine, Westmount Country Club or the James Ward Mansion,” Orsini suggests.
There’s also Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, the former home of the King of Morocco…one of the best mansion settings in the state. While it can’t provide views of the Long Island Sound like Gatsby used to gaze upon, it’s panoramic sights out over the rolling Somerset hills are equally spectacular.
And keep in mind one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lines from the book: “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy.”