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Vintage Wedding Entertainment Ideas – 20s, 30s & 40s Music & Styles

Wedding entertainment advice

Wedding entertainment advice

Vintage weddings are increasingly popular, but if you’re going for a vintage wedding, what period should you choose? What should everybody wear, and what will they want to dance to at your reception?

Vintage Wedding Entertainment Ideas – 20s, 30s & 40s Music & Styles

In this series, we’ve taken a look at the most popular decades for vintage weddings and worked out your options for a soundtrack – whether you’re looking for a full funk and soul function band with a horn section for a 70s disco wedding, or a solo wedding singer for a sophisticated 40s wedding reception. Don’t forget that all our wedding bands are very flexible, and most will be happy to work up a first dance or special song especially for you.

First we’ll take a look at the 20s, 30s and 40s.

1920s

Modern fashion started to take off in the Roaring Twenties - Prohibition-era style saw women starting to wear shorter skirts and trousers cut to emphasise a boyish figure, and adopting ‘bobbed’ hair. Corsets were replaced by more fluid styles, such as flapper dresses, which look stylish at vintage weddings. Men exchanged longer suit jackets for shorter cuts atop wide trousers, with short tuxedos for formal wear. New ways of producing clothes in natural fabrics, such as cotton and wool, made them more affordable.

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We have the perfect wedding bands for 20s weddings. If your guests love dancing, how about a Charleston band? Dancing the jitterbug is great fun for all ages and is an exciting and original choice. For the ultimate authentic 20s experience, hire a Harlem swing band; they’ll help you create your very own glamorous speakeasy! For a wider selection of music, and a band that can play throughout your day, choose a traditional jazz or Dixieland wedding band. They can provide a gentle serenade during your ceremony as well as a rip roaring danceathon for your reception! Speakeasy style band The Sweet & Lowdown from Brighton have a repertoire that spans from the 20s right up to modern days hits, all played with a special vintage twist!

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1930s

The Great Depression brought longer skirts and a traditional, high waistline with broad shoulders, shown off in bias cut and empire line dresses, and handkerchief skirts, accessorised with short gloves during the day and longer gloves in the evening, with asymmetric hats. Fashion was hugely influenced by the glamour of American film stars, such as Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Men’s suits were cut for a softer outline, and tapered towards the end of the trousers, accessorised with a fedora. Some adopted the most extreme form of this cut, the zoot suit.

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For a stylish accompaniment to a glamorous 30s wedding, how about choosing a gypsy band? Our gypsy bands are all young, gifted and technically accomplished musicians, so they’ll provide a show to remember as well as an extra special soundtrack! They play authentic 30s classics you’ll love, but they can also mix in hits from other decades, and even classical favourites, making them the perfect band to hire to play throughout your day. London band The Djangos fit the bill here perfectly, with a vintage theme and a varied repertoire filled with old and new songs your guests will love. For the ultimate in glamour, choose a 7 or even 9-piece swing band, who can provide you with sophisticated swing versions of modern pop, rock and soul as well as 30s jazz.

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1940s

Clothes rationing restricted the way clothes could be designed, and shortages of silk and nylon meant shortages of stockings – some women even used paint to disguise the holes in old stockings! Utility clothing meant a simple cut and a knee-length skirt, with many new clothes fashioned from old – make do and mend! Women increasingly wore trousers for work. Men wore Utility Suits in Britain, and Victory Suits in America – each much narrower than a 30s suit, and without waistcoats – though many stuck to their pre-war attire.

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An authentic wartime soundtrack doesn’t have to mean austerity: choose from spectacular swing and Sinatra tributes, mix them in with jazz and swing versions of hits from other decades, and you’ll have an exciting and original set for your reception! If you’re feeling adventurous, add a dash of spicy salsa and Latin for extra groove and danceability. Swing bands and Rat Pack tributes make fantastic wedding bands for any number of guests – if you’re on a budget and you need great sounds for a small space, choose a singer with backing tracks; and if you have a large audience and need a focal point for the evening’s entertainment, choose a full swing band, who will be amazing to watch as well as great to dance to. South East crooner In Full Swing offers both options!

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Still not sure what would work best for your wedding? Call one of our experts (0333 242 0560) and we’ll help you find the best band for your buck.

We’d love to hear about your vintage wedding and see pictures of your dress – if you’d like to take part in the Function Central Wedding Blog, get in touch!


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