The 1940s, an often romanticised time, featured simple weddings that focused on marriage rather than opulence. Weddings were often planned and carried out during a groom's shore leave, a brief period of time lasting several days. The bridesmaid dresses of the 1940s fit this low-key style.
Because of wartime rations, most women in the 1940s wore simple dresses. Common formal dress options included two piece suits in solid colours and casual dresses. Women wore more modest dresses and most skirts reached below the knees. Strapless dresses were rare and many dresses included short or long sleeves. Find modest, understated dresses for your bridesmaids in solid, neutral colours such as navy and grey.
Accessories and Makeup
Complement your bridesmaid dresses with long or short gloves. Wear short gloves with long sleeved dresses or complement a cap-sleeved gown with long, elegant gloves. Find peep-toed heels with a thick heel, about 2 to 4 inches in height. Curl or comb hair into a simple style. Wear subtle eye make-up, loose powder or foundation, a dash of blush and bold, red lipstick to complete the look.
Vintage dresses are available online at vintage inspired stores. Find homemade vintage dresses online at resellers like eBay and Etsy or contact a local seamstress to design and create dresses for you. If you live in an area with access to antique, vintage or thrift shops, scour local shops every few days to find 1940s dresses. Ask the manager of the store to contact you if any new styles arrive.
1940s Style Wedding
Due to military service, many 1940s weddings were planned in under a week. Keep your entire wedding 1940s inspired by keeping things as simple and casual as possible. Host the wedding at the home of a friend or relative. Keep the reception small and low-key. Instead of catering, serve simple homemade meals and low cost bottles of wine. Choose modest flowers such as daises or carnations for the wedding bouquet.
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