If you’re one of those who can’t bear to part with old luggage, you’re in luck! Vintage suitcases, valises, overnight bags, and hatboxes are quite the rage as props at travel and period-themed weddings. Want to see what decorating magic you can do with them? Read on and be charmed by the ideas we discovered. And if you don’t own any vintage pieces yourself, don’t worry. Borrow from family and friends, or scour nearby antique stores, thrift shops, and yard sales.
1 – Ceremony backdrop – This stunning ceremony backdrop was assembled for a real wedding with an ‘eclectic’ theme. But it would certainly suit a travel- or 1920s/1930s-themed wedding, too! (Snippet and Ink)
2 – Accent pieces – A grouping of 2 or 3 cases could serve as decorative accents themselves, creating a vignette display wherever you wish at your wedding! (Archive Vintage Rentals)
3 – Centerpiece prop – A miniature-sized suitcase adds to the charm of a ‘period’ centerpiece—whether paired with a vase of flowers like this one, or other vintage props like old books, glassware, frames, or candleholders. (Archive Vintage Rentals)
4 – Seating chart display – Instead of individual escort cards, this stylish presentation uses a vintage suitcase to hold seating cards listing guests per table. The silhouette graphics on the chart and the bed of dainty flowers suit the look perfectly! (One Wedding Wish)
5 – Wedding cake stand – This lovely cake in white and pink is showcased perfectly at a vintage English garden wedding, using a leather-trimmed case as a stand. (Events by Heather Ham, via Hostess with the Mostess album)
6 – Dessert table stands – An assortment of suitcases make delightful display cases for baked goodies on a wedding dessert buffet. Mix and match colors and sizes, and use them open or closed. (Paper Pastries)
7 – Alternative guest book – This is probably the most popular use of vintage suitcases—as a holder for guests’ greeting or message cards. The key, then, would be selecting the style and color to suit your motif, and decorating the case to match! (Wedding Bee)
8 – Tiered sweets stand – A stack of suitcases from large to small simulates a traditional tiered stand for sweet treats. In this case, it’s assorted scrumptious cupcakes! (Rock N Roll Bride)
Tips for making the most of vintage suitcases as decorative pieces:
- When sourcing the cases, be on the look out for attractive colors and interesting linings as these can add to their decorative appeal at your wedding.
- Be sure to thoroughly wipe down and air the cases for a couple of days prior to use, since they’ve most likely been stored away for years and will smell musty!
- If you’ll be using them anywhere near food and drinks, do an extra careful cleansing with a wipe-on cleaning agent. But to be doubly sure, line each case with table linens first, then use trays, platters, and dishes to actually hold the food items.