Vintage Wedding Dresses Through the Decades

Vintage wedding dresses are a fabulous way to celebrate your personal style while paying homage to your favorite decade. There are a plethora of vintage-inspired bridal gown options — whether you’re drawn to the romance of the Renaissance-era, the glamour of the Roaring Twenties or the free-spirited style of the 1970s. 

While you might think a bridal look over 50 or 100 years old wouldn’t still be in style, each era was so revolutionary in fashion that bridal designers continue to pull inspiration from past decades. In fact, some of the bridal designs and elements below are so iconic that you can be sure they will look elegant and timeless for years to come.  

From gowns that exude Old Hollywood glamour to mod mini dresses, we’ve found the best vintage-inspired wedding dresses to suit all retro aesthetics. These vintage dresses come in a variety of iconic silhouettes that will remain timeless no matter which era you choose to embody. 

1920s Wedding Dresses 

The Roaring Twenties was all about liberation and celebration! Full of glitz and glam, the Jazz Age’s fashion was known for its sparkle and decadence. The fabrics were typically silks or satins combined with non-floral lace. Geometric, Art Deco-inspired patterns, like zigzag and sunburst motifs, were also very popular at the time.  

Accents like flapper fringe, cap sleeves, and golden or silver embellishments were paired with clean lines, drop waist silhouettes, and sweeping curves. Brides can bring the 1920s to their wedding day look by choosing a bridal gown with a geometrical pattern or an Art Deco-inspired beaded lace, as seen on Essense of Australia Style D3421 featured below. 

Giving a nod to 1920s Art Deco style, Essense of Australia Style D3488 features a sunburst pattern, sparkly lace, and chic cap sleeves. The vintage pattern creates an elegant, scalloped shape along the V-neckline and back of the bodice contrasted by a simple flowy skirt. With understated elegance and charm, this gown holds all the Gatsby-inspired appeal for a memorable wedding day. 

1930s Wedding Dresses 

The Great Depression era brought sleeker designs to the bridal world of the 1930s! At the time, brides turned to Hollywood to find inspiration for their bridal looks. A slightly dropped waist and form-fitting silhouettes began to make an appearance on the bridal scene for the first time, and silk and satin fabrics reigned supreme. Statement shoulder details and long sleeves became the main features of the progressively simpler wedding dresses. 

To achieve this vintage bridal look today, choose minimalistic vintage wedding gowns with long sleeves like this gorgeous design, which evokes the nostalgia of the decade in a fresh, modern way.  

minimalist long sleeve wedding dress - siena by all who wander

All Who Wander’s siena gown is simple and sleek with a touch of 1930s-inspired charm! The long sleeves puff at the shoulders before gathering at the vintage-inspired buttoned cuffs for an elegant vintage wedding look. The deep V-neckline, a square back and  bishop sleeves give this modern gown a hint of vintage flair. The crepe fabric and the column silhouette provide a relaxed fit for a retro and fashionable bridal look.  

1940s Wedding Dresses 

While the satin-like fabrics continued to trend from the 1930s into the 1940s, the designs became more curve-hugging and sexy. Brides started to wear designs fully inspired by movie stars, which created what we now refer to as “Old Hollywood” glamour. Plunging V-necklines and corsets that accentuated the hourglass figure were introduced as luxurious new fashion features. The 1940s were all about sophisticated elegance that would make the bride feel like a starlet. 

simple silk column wedding dress - 1453+ by Martina Liana

Old Hollywood glamour is reimagined for the modern muse in Martina Liana Style 1453. With flawless couture craftsmanship, this column sheath silhouette glides across the natural curves for an elegant and sexy vintage bridal look. This wedding gown feels like pure opulence across every inch of the skin. 

1950s Wedding Dresses 

Bridal fashion took a sweet and feminine turn during the 1950s! Christian Dior’s “New Look” launched around this time, celebrating ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. The “New Look” introduced princess-like full skirts, cinched waists and rounded shoulders, which quickly became the style of the decade.  

In the 1950s, brides moved drastically from fitted dresses to grand ballgown silhouettes with off-the-shoulder-necklines for a touch of drama and romance. Graceful and elegant, the style of the 1950s quickly became a statement that stood the test of time and became a timeless staple in bridal fashion for decades to come.  

Essense of Australia Style D3238 is the epitome of a princess-inspired wedding dress! With a bold, luxe ballgown silhouette, this wedding dress embodies the essence of the 1950s. Every element of this classic gown is an ode to the era, from the voluminous skirt and lace fitted bodice to the off-the-shoulder neckline.  

1960s Wedding Dresses 

Wedding dresses during the 1960s moved into a chicer territory! Hemlines were raised, and tea-length dresses dominated the decade. Brides went from luxe ballgowns to sophisticated A-line silhouettes with simpler necklines. From the runway to the wedding aisle, Jackie Kennedy inspired the revolutionary fashion of the era. 

For brides who crave vintage wedding dresses with 1960s flair, this luxe satin ballgown features iconic ‘60s elements such as a tea-length hem and slight off-the-shoulder neckline. With a flattering ruching bodice and elegant diamante beading at the waist, this dress emanates sweet elegance for the chic vintage bride. 

1970s Wedding Dresses 

The bohemian style became the fashion hallmark of the 1970s! Boho wedding dresses with long flowy bell sleeves and bold, eclectic patterns dominated the decade’s style. Brides looked for a more laid-back and adventurous approach for their wedding day look, with comfort at the forefront of their bridal choices. Artistic, unconventional options and dresses that channel their inner flower child reigned supreme. More than anything else, fashion in the ’70s celebrated individuality and free-spirited style.  

All Who Wander’s kenzo gown is a lace wedding dress that radiates bohemian style! Billowing sleeves meet eclectic lace patterns for a vintage, boho look heavily influenced by the ‘70s. The fit-and-flare silhouette features a subtle but flowing skirt that effortlessly dances with every step. 

1980s Wedding Dresses 

“Larger than life” was the fashion philosophy of ‘80s wedding dresses. Dramatic puffy sleeves, long cathedral trains and voluminous full skirts ruled the bridal fashion world. Combinations of bold beaded lace appliques, ruffles and oversized bows added texture and dimension to this decade’s iconic maximalist bridal look. Princess Diana’s wedding dress was the fashion moment that defined the decade’s bridal looks. 

 For the contemporary bride who wants a dramatic wedding dress with a retro vibe, Martina Liana Style 1413 brings the wow factor of the ‘80s with a modern twist. The luxurious puff sleeves and glamorous wrap detail highlight the upper body of the couture wedding dress. Lace floral motifs and rich embroidery infuse a vintage touch, while the extended train brings the excitement of the era. 

1990s Wedding Dresses 

Some bridal details of the previous decades were incorporated into the wedding dresses of the early 1990s. However, as the maximalism of the ’80s faded, ’90s wedding dresses became increasingly sophisticated and sexy.  

Halter and cowl necklines appeared for the first time, and square necklines came back from the Regency era for a fresh take on the traditional wedding gown. Spaghetti straps and bare backs were paired with slinky silhouettes for an effortlessly glamorous style. Brides of the ’90s were all about the sleek and chic style of the slip dress that drastically distinguished the minimalistic bridal fashion of the decade from the drama of the ‘80s. 

simple sheath wedding dress with low back - D3589 by Essense of Australia
simple slip wedding dress - essense of australia d3589

Making a chic vintage bridal statement, this soft luxe gown is the epitome of 1990s style. Essense of Australia Style D3589 is a modern version of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s iconic wedding dress. This gown offers a sophisticated, red-carpet-worthy moment while walking down the aisle. Sexy spaghetti straps grace the shoulders before joining the ultra-flattering cowl neckline. A fluid column silhouette and the simple fabric create a chic bridal look that gracefully embraces the retro aesthetic of the 1990s. 

No matter which silhouette you prefer, or which decade aligns more with your personal style, there is a beautiful, vintage-inspired wedding dress waiting for you at True Society. Our True Crew is ready to bring your vintage bridal vision to life by helping you find your dream dress. 

Find a True Society store near you and book your appointment today for a fabulous bridal shopping experience! (Selection varies by store.) 

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