Weddings Throughout the Decades

For a substantial part of my young adult life, I was not too fond of weddings. Seriously? Two people decide to spend their lives together and want the whole world to know? Yuck

As my mind matured and a mimosa at ten in the morning became a thing of the past, I slowly began to embrace them. Whenever I’d receive an invitation, I’d feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Why the sudden change in rationality, you ask? 

I’ve realized that weddings are ceremonies where two people decide to spend the rest of their lives together and wish for the world to know! It goes deeper than booze and learning the Cha Cha Slide, so you don’t look like an idiot on the dance floor. There was something spiritually enlightening about the whole thing. 


It’s stressful to plan- especially if you’re the VIP- but if you’re the guest, it’s such fun to attend. I mean, free alcohol and always some family drama peeps out. 

Have you ever stopped to wonder what weddings looked like in the past? Yeah, sure, we have Hollywood movies portraying them in a certain way, but how much have weddings changed? 

Decades ago were astronomically different than our wedding planning today. From makeup to gown, everything has changed. As each decade brought new considerable changes to the country, the wedding industry took giant leaps and portrayed massive differences every year. 

Let’s take a look back to how things were, and how thankful we are for the changes. 

1970 (AKA: The Beatles Break Up)

With everything that was happening at the time (Invasion of Cambodia), The Disco Era surprisingly did not have a specific attire when it came to weddings. Silhouettes became very popular in this period, and bridal wear was what we know today as “hippie.” Think flowy, free, and conservative. 

Weddings were mainly held with a small gathering in the parents’ backyard, even though open-air ceremonies were becoming popular at this time. This was because of the free-spirited and newly changed nation that emerged in the 1970s. The brides went more of a natural or no-makeup look as simplicity was the key here. 

1980 (AKA: Titanic Wreck Is Found)

Puffy sleeves, long-drawn trains, excessive lace, frills, and flowers, and dramatic big hair. 

This decade was also when couples were finally able to video record their weddings, which led to the explosive business of the wedding videography industry. Much of the fashion influence was deprived of Princess Diana (a fashion icon, really) when she married Prince Charles in 1981. By the 1980s, weddings were performed at religious sites, synagogues, and hotel ballrooms. The bride’s goal was to be as extravagant as possible, with bold makeup colors, and head topped with a mountain of curls. The bigger, the better!

 1990 (AKA: End of the Cold War)

The dramatic presentation of the 1980s diminished as the 1990s came with a more minimalist approach. Sleek and sexy was the new look. Celebrity marriages influenced the style Millennials mirrored at the time. Elopements became extremely popular also, as did destination weddings. 

Due to the plethora of 90’s wedding movies, many couples sought inspiration from these Hollywood favorites (Father of the Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Only You). Bouquets shrunk in size, and hiring someone to arrange your wedding became a thing. Personalization was slowly, but surely, becoming a thing as well. 

2000 (AKA: George W. Bush Elected President)

The start of a new millennium. 

As more and more people personalized their weddings, fewer ceremonies took place in houses of worship. This meant dresses required less fabric and were more ostentatious. Most brides opted for halter tops and even strapless dresses. As destination weddings became more popular, flower bouquets also got an upgrade, ranging from colorful to even tropical choices. Bold colors in makeup took a step down as most opted for a more natural or otherwise light makeup look. Instead of veils, crowns and tiaras became the new headpiece choice for the bride. 

2010s & Today (AKA: WTF Is Going On)

Creativeness has officially joined the chat. There is only one word to capture the spirit of this decade, and that is wholesomeness


Couples were getting married at a younger age, and ceremonies took place in backyards like old times and city halls. Instead of the traditional white, couples sometimes chose a bold color to set with the reception’s theme. Body fitted dresses such as the mermaid were in as minimalism was the niche of the decade. 

It’s difficult not to fall in love with this decade as many broke traditions and created their own. For example, twenty years ago, only a priest could officiate your wedding, but now, anyone can get a certificate online, and your best pal could do the honor. The simpler, the better. 

By HitchSwitch

About US

HitchSwitch was born of an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to make life easier. HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff was in his first year at Fordham Law School, where he toyed with the idea of starting a business and hoped to experience his “Eureka!” moment.
Read More

Get in touch

2001 Route 46
Suite 301
Parsippany, NJ 07054
(844) 639-6263