The 1950s provides a sweet ton of wedding inspiration, and one particularly enduring style from the decade that keeps on giving is Rockabilly. Huge slicked quiffs, victory rolls piled high, pretty prom dresses, waists cinched to the gods, and plenty of net underskirts to give that must-have hourglass silhouette. Add a pop of cherry red on the lips, some killer heels and tattoos and you are 1950's coolness personified. Like most subcultures, Rockabilly started with the music - a mixture of honky tonk, western swing, boogie woogie and rhythm and blues, made popular by icons like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. It lasted all the way until the 1960s, and had a mini revival in the 1970s – which accounts for the dash of punk that can be found in the modern take of the style (note the red tartan and touches of leather that can be found here and there in the wardrobes of die-hard Rockabilly lovers!) Anyway, history lesson over, here's what you need to consider if you want to rock a rockabilly wedding...
1. A dash of red is a must!
Yes, red is a must to create the style. Miss Moss Boutique on Etsy has this exquisite 50's rockabilly bespoke satin wedding dress, £190, add some red heels and flowers, plus a pop of red on the lips and you're good to go!
2. Colour is your friend!
Ok, so it's not just red. Pastel brights and patterns are a great way to bring some rockabilly pizazz to the proceedings; polka dots, gingham and cherry prints are perfect. Here, a little peep of rainbow netting really lifts this dress by The Couture Company to new levels of awesome! Add one of their custom 'love' belts and you're a rockabilly rainbow dream. Prices vary as dresses are made to measure. Image by Sassy of Assassynation Photography.
3. Keep it authentic
One thing that rockabilly lovers know, is to keep their silhouettes, style and finishing touches on brand. We love some proper vintage gorgeousness and this pretty high-necked dress from White and Faded on Etsy is a genuine 1950's wedding dress and is only £249.
This is just beautiful! Found over on Me and My Girl Vintage on Etsy, it is an original vintage silk organza wedding dress, £185 (see below).
4. Banish boring silhouettes
The 1950s favoured a number of silhouettes; pencil, hourglass, shirt dresses, halter necks, poodle skirts, fit and flare, so there are plenty to choose from. If budget is an issue, there are plenty of great retro style dresses from many of the fabulous UK retailers. This set of dresses were so pretty and caught our eye in particular. From left to right: 'Dee Dee' Drape full circle party dress in blush pink, £50 from British Retro clothing; halter neck gold sparkle pencil dress, £160 from Vivien of Holloway and 'Rhonda's Revenge' Lavender pencil dress, £48, also from British Retro clothing.
5. Accessorise! Accessorise! Accessorise!
Yes, you know it's true, the small details make the look complete. Think roses, hearts, tartan, and anything red, cute and deadly. From left to right: Heart clutch, £24, KayKayTeeUK; Cherry Cupcake Fascinator, £52, JazzaFine; Sailor Jerry tattoo style cufflinks, £13.56, Dubious Design; Irregular Love wedding shoes, £59, Irregular Choice; Heart Custom Bridal Hi-tops, £120, Wedding Converse;Til Death Do Us Part customised wedding shoes, £43.63, Toxic Hart Designs; vintage atomic starburst, silver and crystal earring, £13.82, BelAir Baby Shop; tartan fascinator, £29, Miss Moss Boutique; Hand-painted leather bridal biker jacket, £75, Lady Bojangles.
6. Tattoos and sailors are everything!
We're not sure of how the nautical element became part of the rockabilly aesthetic, it's most likely due to the 1940s pin-up girls that helped pep up the boys on the front lines during in WWII. So a good measure of anchors, hearts and swallows will keep your look true to the genre. From left to right: Rockabilly Wedding Cake from Sugared Saffron; Vintage Tattoo Collection wedding stationery, prices from £1.50, Rae Henry; Tattoo Wedding Favours from Antonia's Cakes.