1940s Inspired Wedding Reception Centerpieces

Written by katie roberts
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1940s Inspired Wedding Reception Centerpieces
Men were expected to dress smartly. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

A 1940s-inspired wedding reception will reflect a highly emotive time; World War II dominated the 1940s. However, despite the austerity, it was still an age of elegance and romance. Ladies wore gloves, and gentlemen were considered underdressed without a hat. Music centred on the big band sound and Jazz. Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby and Count Basie were the stars of the era. Contrasting war and romance will make your wedding very memorable.

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Music Based Theme

Opt for a music-based theme for a 1940s wedding centrepiece. Musical instruments at each table and roses tied with simple ribbons will look stunning and reflect the big band sound. Fix an old trumpet on a wooden plinth, facing upward; use the trumpet as a cornucopia with bunting and flowers pouring over the top. Fill the plinth with seasonal fruit to create a display that is evocative of the era.

War Theme

War dominated the 1940s, so take this as a theme with United States Military hats as centrepieces. Find a World War II airman's hat complete and add model spitfires or fighter planes to the display; this will create a dramatic focal point. Add pretend medals from foil covered chocolate and bright striped ribbons to suggest heroism. Soften the effect with rose petals and climbing foliage.

Dancing Theme

Choose a dance theme; dedicate each table to a dance. The Jitterbug, Tango and Lindy-hop were all popular at this time. So was ballroom dancing. Choose an Argentinian wine and a red rose theme for the Tango Table with dramatic black velvet draped over the plinth. Black and white mens' dance shoes will make an excellent centrepiece for the Lindy-hop. White mens' gloves as a centrepiece surrounded by carnations will suggest the romance of the waltz.

Romance and Pearls

Select retro brooches and pearls for a romantic take on the 1940s. Brooches with big glass cabochon stones were very in vogue, as were intricate designs in a single metal. Incorporate the jewellery into oversized champagne or cocktail glasses filled with a base of glittery stones and water with the pearls spilling over the sides.

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