Vintage Vows

By Kellye Crocker

Something old is something new. Vintage weddings offer a fun, relaxed atmosphere that feels nostalgic yet modern, says Cynthia Betts, who owns Special Events and several other wedding-related companies, including Vintage Love, Rentals and annessi. Betts, an event planner for 35 years, added vintage services about four years ago but only a few couples were interested. This year she’s planning more than 300 vintage weddings. Some hallmarks:

• Unexpected spaces. Couples seek intimate and architecturally interesting settings, from rustic barns to the opulent World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

• Mood lighting. “You can’t go wrong with a chandelier,” says Betts, who even hangs them from trees. More brilliance: string lights and candles, candles, candles.

• Eclectic décor. Mix vintage items together, such as weathered doors and window frames, furniture and area rugs (even grouped into “rooms” outdoors), Mason jars, empty picture frames, bird cages, old books, suitcases and trunks, and mismatched chairs and china. “A lot of people think we just throw things together,” Betts says, but a good designer creates a cohesive plan “so it doesn’t look like a circus.”

• Personal touches. From displaying family photos and heirlooms to serving Grandpa’s famous apple pie alongside the wedding cake, personal touches make memories.

Intrigued? Attend a free vintage wedding show March 30, from noon to 3 p.m., at West End Architectural Salvage, 22 Ninth St. A similar show last year drew 500 people. For information and to register, click here.

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