Raiding Gatsby’s Attic

Are there any F. Scott Fitzgerald fans in the house?! A few years ago I read The Great Gatsby, and it was true love from the very first page. I love Fitzgerald’s writing style and I am enamored and fascinated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous of the 1920s. I would give an arm and a leg to spend an evening in Paris or New York in the 1920s. Sigh…I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through Woody Allen movies.


F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda (left) with Owen Wilson and several minor characters in Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris / Photo via Cinema Convo

Although our wedding didn’t have a strict theme per se, a lot of the details, especially the decor, were inspired by the Jazz Age. To give you a visual, here’s a couple inspiration boards:


Inspiration board by Zed & Bee / Individual image credits at source


Inspiration board by SouthBound Bride / Individual image credits at source

Now let’s talk about how Mr. Wallaby and I planned to make it all happen!

First, the backdrop. We would be tying the knot under a beautiful, expansive oak tree on the property of a 150-year-old bed & breakfast. (That’s about as old as it gets here in Houston!) If weather permitted, we’d hold the reception outside under the trees, and we’d dance the night away under the stars after the sun sets.*

Next, the attire. Mr. W wore a three-piece gray suit with a black tie. Keepin’ it simple and classy, right? And I wore a beaded sheath gown (Sorry bees, the dress itself is a secret until we get back our pro pics! I love to keep a good secret! 😉 ) with Art Deco teardrop earrings and retro hair and makeup.

From the time our guests arrived, we’d be kickin’ it old school in the entertainment department. Our venue allowed us to play old records on their antique gramophone during cocktail hour (!!), and Mr. W and I amassed several lawn games, including a vintage croquet set, to amuse our guests while they sipped on local beer and classic cocktails. I asked our DJ to continue the old romantic music into dinner, too, so there would be a slow transition to more modern music as the reception went on and our friends wanted to get down to Top 40 hits.


Croquet on the lawn? How fun! / Photos by Gavin Wade / Image via Grey Likes Weddings

But the detail I was the most irrationally excited about was our vintage furniture rental. I clearly have spent too much time on Pinterest, because when I stumbled across the websites of several vintage furniture rental companies in Houston, I could not say no. It’s like having the opportunity to raid Gatsby’s attic! I think every bride has at least one wedding-related detail that cannot be compromised, that is non-debatable, and that is 100% frivolous. My mom wanted a six-layer wedding cake at her wedding; I lusted after vintage furniture. I love the look of an outdoor parlor setup, with antique sofas and coffee tables and yards of lace draped between trees:


Furniture from Archive Vintage Rentals / Photo by Studio Castillero

Couches also make great props for wedding-party portraits! I love this alternative to the traditional standing lineup:


Photo by Gabe Aceves / Image via Ruffled Blog

Now, the thought did occur to me to buy furniture for the wedding and keep it for our new home. But I could never fit a 10-foot-long couch in the back of my Subaru Impreza, and Mr. Wallaby’s Kia Optima has equally limited trunk space. Our honeymoon adventure was booked to begin the day after the wedding, so it would’ve been a big hassle to get large furniture transported back home after the wedding. So I enlisted help from A Style Collective, a new prop rental and event styling company run by the wonderful, sweet Kirbi and Tina. I met with these ladies to discuss my ideas, and eventually signed a contract to rent a pink Victorian sofa, a brown velvet armchair, a white coffee table, a white-washed hutch, and several small tables. The contract included delivery and pick-up: Kirbi and Tina arranged all of the furniture at Oak Tree Manor the day before the wedding, and they returned to pick it up the following Monday. Transportation problem solved!

I’m not going to reveal all of the furniture that we rented—it’s best to have some surprises from the wedding photos!—but here is a picture of the white-washed hutch in action as a cake table:


So dreamy. Vintage furniture from A Style Collective / Photo by Chelsea Davis Photography

…And that’s the story of how we ended up renting vintage furniture for our wedding!

Are you renting any furniture or props for your wedding? What is your irrational wedding “must-have”?

*If it did rain, the venue also had a large reception hall where we could hold the festivities. We asked everyone to cross their fingers and toes and do an anti-rain dance for us, though, since we are big outdoors people and would have loved to have been married out under the oak trees!


Mrs. Wallaby

Wedding Date:
November 2012
Hawkily Ever After: How Sweet It Is
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  1. genie Bee
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 1:43 pm

    I love it all! So dreamy and perfect! I can’t wait to see how it all came together.

    If you liked Midnight in Paris, you would really enjoy The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It’s a book about Hemingway and his first wife when they lived in Paris alongside Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, among others. Loved it!

  2. mswallaby Bee
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:55 pm

    @Mrs. Genie: Yes I read that book and loved it! I hope she writes some others, that book was so charming 🙂

  3. graywolf Bee
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 2:21 pm

    i LOVE your inspiration photos. cant wait to see the pro pics…

  4. Member
    MrsFutureG 1696 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:40 pm

    Mrs. Genie beat me to it. Shucks.

  5. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:18 pm

    I can’t wait to see your vintage rentals in action, I just love that look!

  6. Member
    Red Poppy 31 posts, Newbee @ 6:53 pm

    Sounds so cool! I haven’t seen Midnight in Paris yet… Gotta watch that!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Guest, Guest @ 11:05 am

    You do realize that the Great Gatsby is actually a bleak book in which the rich are deeply unhappy despite all the decadence? I think every English major went through a wear-black-and-smoke-cigarettes Hemingway phase, and I still have a fondness for Steinbeck, but I don’t think any wedding should remind us of Lost Generation authors… unless you plan on running over your husband’s mistress for your getaway?

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Furniture for Rent, Guest @ 11:45 pm

    I love to see rentals that are different from the norm – so many companies have the same exact items in stuck. Really nice stuff!

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