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1980s – Eras of inspiration

by | 20 January 2018 | Inspiration

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Eras of inspiration

The 1980s was the era of excess. Big hair, bold colours, exaggerated silhouettes… and even though we’re a bit more subtle in our tastes today, this all-out era can still offer plenty of inspiration when it comes to planning your wedding. Make way for the eighties…

Bold bride

80s fashion was all for oversized shapes; this was the age of the shoulder pad, and the wedding day was the perfect excuse to pump up the volume. Look to puff sleeved gowns and layered fishtail dresses for some of the era’s drama, or seek out full tulle A-line skirts and long sleeve lace designs for a more subtle interpretation.

1980s – Eras of inspiration - wedding dress

Shoe shades

The 80s saw the rise of the high school prom, or as we Brits liked to call it, the school disco, and this is where you can take your cue from some matchy-matchy retro dress-up. Think custom dyed satin court shoes, matched to the exact shade of your dress, your bridesmaids’ dresses or even your flowers.

1980s – Eras of inspiration bride shoe

Big hair

Ok, so we’re definitely not talking subtle and delicate here. If you’re going all out 80s for your hair, then you need to bring on the volume. Think loose and wavy dos with dramatic curled under fringes and layers, big curls and blow dries, and a dramatic veil to top off all that look-at-me volume. Throw a sequinned headpiece into the mix if you really want a head-turning finish.

1980s – Eras of inspiration Wedding, Hair

Puffy bridesmaids?

You know those horror story images we all see at the mere mention of the word ‘bridesmaid’? Well, you can thank the 80s’ puffy sleeves and full skirts for that inherent bridesmaid fear. Stay subtle but true to the theme with metallics – think shiny gold and silver lamé fabrics, plisse pleats and satin. They don’t have to be oversized, choose a sultry plunge mini dress or a ruffled pencil dress to give your bridesmaids something to love.

1980s – Eras of inspiration Bridesmaids dress

Dream groom

When I think 80s groom I am all about Jason Donovan marrying Kylie Minogue in Neighbours circa 1987. Sans the mullet cut, it’s actually quite a strong look for your wedding day: smart morning suit, wingtip collar shirt and a dicky bow. Channel those dreamy high school prom vibes with dapper three pieces, echo the style pros in pinstripe power suits or give it some personality with patterned shirts.

1980s – Eras of inspiration Tux

Rainbow decor

The 80s certainly had a taste for the rainbow, so it’s a great excuse to inject some colour into your decor. Think bright blooming flowers, neon invite details and retro finishing touches, whether that’s with tape cassette table settings or coloured streamers and drapes if you’re dressing a room. There are also plenty of old-school treats if you fancy building a candy bar…

1980s – Eras of inspiration wedding decor

Are you feeling the 80s for your wedding day? Or perhaps you’ve already thrown your own retro nuptials? Share any tips with us or let us know what you think of the theme in the comments box below.

About the author

Laura Feasey

Having studied journalism at the London College of Fashion, Laura trained in crafting features and articles, not only in the subject of fashion, but in lifestyle, art, travel and culture. For the last few years she has been writing for a number of clients, from holiday companies such as and lowcostholidays, to design retailers such as and Debenhams.


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Inspiration 1980s – Eras of inspiration