40's Style Wedding Themes

by Arielle Reed
Look to events from the 1940s for your wedding theme.

Look to events from the 1940s for your wedding theme.

George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

The 1940s were a transitional time when World War II forced women into new roles, popular jazz was on the rise and the economy was about to boom. This was a period on the verge, and with so many changes in so many different aspects of society, you can pick from plenty of ideas when considering a wedding theme inspired by this decade.

War Time

World War II resulted in continuous metal, rubber and nylon drives, so plan a socially conscious wedding without use of these products. Housewives moved to the workplace and the men were away at war; ask the ladies to wear Rosie the Riveter garb to represent this role change while the men don uniforms. Decorate your reception venue with patriotic flags and colors, and display propaganda from the time. Use the 1940s propaganda style to customize your wedding invites, programs and photos.

Television and Frozen Meals

Television and frozen meals were invented during the 1940s, so design an elaborately styled wedding with an unusual menu of classic frozen foods, such as mashed potatoes, chicken strips and corn. During your reception, play old reels of original commercials and news footage from this decade, or show a film set during WWII. Set up your reception area to resemble a family dining room, using vintage textiles for your tablecloths and napkins.

Hollywood Theme

Take inspiration from Hollywood to create a 1940s theme all about glamour and fashion. Movies were good for morale during wartime, so Hollywood was all the rage. Take cues from actors and actresses of the time -- decorate your venue to resemble the glitz of party scenes from classic movies. Offer popular 1940s cocktails, such as an Old Fashioned or a Singapore Sling, using the appropriate type of glass for each beverage. Hire musicians to play big band tunes.

United Nations

The United Nations was established during the 1940s to combat the Axis of Evil. Decorate your tables so each one represents a country that was a member of the U.N. during this time; examples include the United States, Poland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Use the colors from each country's flag for inspiration. Leave cards on the tables with phonetically accurate phrases in each country's native language, such as "hello" or "peace." Give the guests at each table a flag pin from their designated country to wear as they mingle with guests from other nations.

About the Author

Arielle Reed started writing professionally in 2007 for the Alverno College student paper "The Alpha" where she acquired a Bachelor of Arts in interactive media design. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in communications at Eastern Washington University.

Photo Credits

  • George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images