1930s bridal fashion

Image by John Oxley

1930s wedding of John McDonald and Ruby Wright

The 1929 stock market crash drove a lot of the cultural and social changes that happened during the decade that followed. Brides from this time had to respond to ever-increasing economic pressures and changing political climates. The New Deal, the Dust Bowl, and the looming threats of a Second World War all combined to make a complicated time. People sought refuge in entertainment and found strength in themselves and the support of those around them. We hope you enjoy this peek at 1930s bridal fashion and enjoy channeling the special determination of the 1930s bride during your special day!

1930s bridal fashion

The 1930s silhouette was all about celebrating a woman’s shape; curves were emphasized toward the end of the decade, but the long, lean look predominated the beginning of this era. You will find a lot of bias-cut, clingy and stretchy designs. Sheaths and a-line cuts are common styles for this time. This is great because the a-line cut looks great on everyone – it’s tailored bodice and flare at the waistline instills confidence. The basque waistline was also popular during the 30s. This look starts at the hips and makes a upward pointed v-shape at the center of the dress. The striking chevron motif was often carried up to the neckline, although the halter, cowl, and rounded profiles were also common.

Image from John Oxley State Library

Josie O’Flaherty and her hubby Bob on their wedding day

With the film era growing in importance, wedding styles often focused on adding an element of dram and intrigue. You’ll see sensational necklines, low backs, puffed shoulders, or even peplums and giant skirts. Luxurious fabrics created a sense of wonder to either enhance a fanciful look or create richness in simple gowns. Satin was heavily favored, but you’ll often find silk, velvet, and lace. By now you may be wondering if the 1930s was solely focused on extravagance. But you can have a casual wedding and keep true to the 1930s era too. Recreate an informal wedding look by pairing a nice, afternoon dress with a pretty hat and a simple, neutral colored shoe.

Image from John Oxley State Library

Afternoon wedding party

When it comes to fashion accessories, many brides would wear stunning juliet caps, tiered veils (most long and away from the face), fitted head bands, bolero jackets, and minimal bouquets. But as with any wedding, the best accessory is often a stunning beauty look. Look no further than old Hollywood for inspiration. Envision crimson lips, a smoky eye, a wave in your hair, and painted nails.

This era was a time of contrast: poverty with opulence and violence with hope. The extremes of this decade offer a lot of inspiration for the modern bride and we know you’ll find a beautiful, special look for your wedding!

Cause A Frockus would like to thank their tremendous resources: “Vintage Wedding: Simple Ideas for Creating a Romantic Vintage Wedding” by Daniela Turudich, “Style Me Vintage: An inspirational guide to styling the perfect vintage wedding” by Annabel Beeforth, and the people who post their images without restriction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments will be subject to approval by a moderator. Comments may fail to be approved or may be edited if the moderator deems that they:

  • contain unsolicited advertisements ("spam")
  • are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
  • contain personal attacks or abusive/gratuitously offensive language