How to Make Vintage Accessories Work for the Modern Bride

A vintage beaded purse for a bride to wear at her wedding.

Every bride knows what you need to walk down the aisle: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. And when it comes to finding that perfect “something old,” vintage jewelry and accessories are a popular choice. Whether you’re wearing a family heirloom or something cute you found in an antique shop, vintage accessories are a great way to give your look some old-fashioned class.

However, wearing antique or vintage accessories doesn’t always mean wearing them in old-fashioned ways. With the right styling, you can give any vintage look a modern upgrade! Here are a few tips that can help you transform your vintage accessories into a very modern look.

Carry a Classic Clutch

Most brides don’t carry a purse or clutch on their wedding day; their hands are pretty busy carrying the bouquet. However, a cute vintage clutch or handbag can be a great accessory during the reception! It adds some classic flair to your look, and it allows you to keep all the essentials nearby, in case you need to touch up your lipstick or snap a quick selfie with your spouse.

A cute beaded clutch in classic white (or one of your wedding colors) isn’t just a great wedding-day accessory. If you find the right purse early on, you can use it for all your pre-wedding events, from the bridal shower to the bachelorette party! Carrying the same bag to all your events is a fun way to connect it to all your wedding-planning memories. You’ll look fondly on this bag for years to come—and maybe even pass it on to your kids one day!

Dress up Your Hairstyle

A bride wearing a long vintage veil and holding a large colorful bouquet.

Another great way to sport vintage accessories is in your hair. Again, this style doesn’t distract from your dress (in fact, it doesn’t involve your dress at all) but it does give your overall look some extra dimension. If you have a vintage hair accessory like a jeweled comb or clip, ask your stylist to give you a look that lets the accessory be the star. Chignons, French twists, and even ballerina-style buns can be perfect looks for vintage hair clips.

Yet another way to use vintage accessories in your hair is with a vintage veil. If you have a vintage veil in your family (maybe your mother’s or grandmother’s), give a quick look to see if you can wear it, too! Obviously, some veils might not be your style, but there’s always a chance that you’ll find something special.

Wear Jewelry in New Ways

A bride wearing a vintage necklace draping down her back.

Vintage jewelry is one of the easiest accessories to wear on your big day. Jewelry trends don’t vary as wildly as other fashion (could you imagine wearing a puffy-sleeved dress from the 80s today?), which means that your grandma’s pearls will looks just as timeless and lovely on you as they did on her wedding years ago. But if you want to modernize your look, consider switching up how your wear your jewelry.

Wrap a long string of vintage pearls around your wrist for a stunning stacked bracelet. Wear a long necklace around your waist for a unique belt or sash. If your dress has a high neck and low back, consider wearing a necklace or two backwards, to give the back of your gown a little extra bling. These styles incorporate your vintage accessories nicely, but won’t distract from your modern wedding dress.

Wrap up in Vintage Style

A bride wearing a vintage cape and veil, hugging the groom on their wedding day.

When you’re shopping for a wedding dress, many thoughts go through your mind. Is this my dream dress? Does it suit my venue and theme? Will my partner like the dress? Is it the right shade for my skin tone? Despite the countless thoughts and emotions you experience in the bridal boutique, I’m willing to bet that one thought woefully skips many a mind: what happens if it gets cold?

Even summer weddings can be chilly by nightfall, which is why I believe brides should bring along a sweater or shawl to wear in the evening (particularly if they’re having an outdoor wedding). Luckily, this is another opportunity to bring vintage accessories into the mix, as there are many lovely wraps, shawls, or even fur stoles you can wear with your gown. These accessories may not make an appearance until the end of the evening, but they are great for keeping you both warm and stylish!

As you can see, mixing modern styles with vintage accessories can be easy (and a lot of fun)! So, get out there, raid your mom’s and grandma’s closets, and find some vintage pieces for your wedding day look! But keep in mind: if you want to bring vintage fashion into your bridal ensemble, make sure you try everything on together and take in the entire look. You’ll want to make sure that all the elements fit together, and that the finished style is one that makes you feel beautiful.

Find Amazing Vendors