One of the best ways to give your wedding a timeless look and feel is by incorporating vintage pieces and antiques into various aspects of the event. At The Brooklyn Teacup, we specialize in repurposing vintage china into functional décor and serving pieces. From ring dishes crafted from teacup saucers to tiered dessert trays made from multiple plates, we turn forgotten dinnerware into unique products our customers can’t wait to use and enjoy.
Whether you purchase unique vintage serving pieces from us, upcycle your family’s pre-loved china or collect your own assortment of dinnerware and props for your big day, these suggestions will evoke that touch of nostalgia and warmth at the heart of any memorable wedding.
Our suggestions are not in any particular order, but they do all focus on vintage china. Use as many as would delight you and your guests and work within your vision for the event.
Make a grand statement during cocktail hour or on any buffet table by incorporating tiered trays for anything bite-sized, from sushi to puff pastries. Not only are these pieces eye-catching, they also allow you to serve multiple items at once without crowding your surface with multiple platters. Tiered trays can save space and keep surfaces looking neat and tidy. They can also be a unique and whimsical way to circulate passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour.
Dessert Displays & Tiered Cupcake Stands
Send your guests off on a sweet note by displaying your desserts on an assortment of tiered servers and stands. The multiple levels allow for a variety of treats for guests to choose from. A must-have for tea party-themed events, typically for bridal showers or brunches, tiered cupcake stands and dessert displays will add dimension and vintage vibes to your sweet and savory spreads.
Elegant Vintage Centerpieces
Elegant tiered trays aren’t just for serving—they double as decorative displays too! Unlike some bulky floral arrangements that can obstruct guests' views, tiered trays offer an elegant centerpiece alternative that can be adorned with fresh flowers, candles, and other accessories. Personalize the look with a touch of sentimental charm using vintage accents. We love the look of antique frames displaying black and white photos of the happy couple, but there are many creative ways to dress your tiered centerpiece.
Eclectic Place Settings
Bring your vintage wedding theme to life by using vintage dinnerware as your place settings. Don't be afraid to mix and match and play with patterns to create a unique and eclectic look. The beauty of vintage dinnerware lies in its subtle imperfections, so embrace the charming, mismatched whimsy for an authentic vintage vibe.
According to Linden House, a specialty tabletop event rental company, mismatched vintage place settings are their most requested items, especially for weddings. When asked why she believes her clients opt for this look on their milestone occasions, creative director and owner Lindsy Stigile asserts "it's because they know they'll receive a uniquely designed look that's rich in details and texture, tailored just for them on their special day."
Whether you choose fancy fine bone dinnerware or casual blue and white transferware, (Linden House's most requested tabletop design in 2023) vintage china adds a memorable, elevated quality to the dining experience. Word of caution: before setting your heart on a vintage look, inquire with your rental company or venue as many do not carry this type of unique inventory.
Vintage Bar Accent & Bar Cart Décor
Add an unexpected vintage flourish to your event’s bar/beverage station or bar cart using a teacup snack stand. Made from a teacup and saucer, these pieces add a playful touch to your garnishes for cocktails and mixed drinks, like lime wedges and olives. They’re also great for sweet and savory bar snacks, from nuts and pretzels to candies.
Table Seating Place Card/Escort Card Display
Picture of teacup jewelry stand and vintage china from Olive Eye Photography
If you’re looking for a unique way to set the tone and invite guests to their seats, consider using a 3 Tier or 4 Tier Server on your welcome table. These vintage pieces catch the eye and, depending on the size of your guest list and layout of the venue, can be the ideal spot for guests to find their seating details.
Once the place cards have been collected, the tiered displays can be repurposed for later in the evening, for anything from displaying desserts to parting favors. We like to think of these pieces as visual bookends for the event that help welcome and conclude the festivities.
Hospitality Basket Alternative
Impress guests with your thoughtful attention to detail by adding a vintage touch to your venue’s bathroom and powder rooms. In lieu of hospitality baskets or wedding bathroom baskets, use a 2-tier tray or 3-tier tray to tastefully display toiletries, feminine products, mints and other amenities that you think your guests will appreciate.
Getting Ready Photos: Vintage Tea Party Style
Add a vintage touch to intimate, pre-wedding moments with antiques and old-fashioned props. A classic and simple idea to execute is to set up a low-key tea party in the bridal suite, or wherever the bride is getting ready, complete with antique china, teapots, sugar bowls, and teacups. These props will undoubtedly add an element of interest and playfulness to photos, creating a relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere on a day when anxiety can be higher than usual. An added benefit is that your tea party treats will keep the bridal party hydrated and hangry-free before the long day ahead.
Whimsical Floral Arrangements
For an extra-charming addition to your décor, consider incorporating floral arrangements in a variety of vintage vessels. One unique idea is to use vintage teapots and coffee pots in lieu of vases for larger bouquets, adding a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to the overall look. Additionally, incorporating smaller floral bouquets in various vintage vessels, such as sugar bowls, teacups, and other decorative pieces, can add pops of color in overlooked areas.
Bridal Party Gifts
Express appreciation to your bridesmaids and those who played a role in your wedding journey with a meaningful and practical gift. Vintage jewelry dishes made from fine china saucers are our most popular bridesmaid gift for a reason. They make wonderful and unique gifts that can add a touch of sophistication and charm to a living space. If your friends don’t wear much jewelry, they’re perfect for everything from trinkets to candies. Scented candles in darling demitasse cups and teacups also make wonderful gifts that are compact, unique and smell incredible. Once the candle is done burning, the vessel can be repurposed in a variety of ways, from returning to a teacup for drinking to serving as a planter for a mini garden.
These gestures will not only show how much you appreciate your bridesmaids’ support, but will also serve as long-lasting keepsakes of your nuptials.
Something old, something new, something…uniquely you!
Vintage china upcycled from your family’s preloved heirloom dinnerware.
Whether your entire wedding has a vintage décor theme or not, incorporating something old, something new, and something borrowed—and perhaps even something blue!—can add a unique and meaningful touch to your celebration. If someone in your family has pretty plates that carry sentimental significance, consider asking if they’d want to repurpose a few pieces to add to the symbolism of the day.
Not only do these upcycled pieces bring a touch of personal charm to your wedding, but they also serve as a beautiful reminder of your family's traditions.
There you have it: 10 ideas for infusing your upcoming wedding festivities with beautiful, meaningful and highly practical vintage decor . Unlike most wedding decorations that'll get tossed out or returned, these upcycled pieces can be used for many future celebrations, serving as joyful reminders of your joy-filled celebration.