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Modern Weddings: Amber and Matt’s 1920s Gangster Wedding

Amber and Matt's 1920s WeddingThe Bride: Amber, 26, Materials Engineer

The Groom: Matt, 27, Materials Scientist

Wedding Theme: 1920’s Gangster!

Wedding Colors: Black, White, and Red

Budget: $10-15k

What made this wedding modern: Amber loves themes and for the longest time she desperately wanted to wear a fedora hat in her wedding.  This obsession naturally grew into what she called “Project Gangsta” – her vision of a 1920’s gangster themed wedding in black, white, and red, complete with fedora hats, pinstripes, and toy guns!

Where they saved: Due to their small wedding party, Matt and Amber opted not to have a rehearsal dinner and instead spent the evening with out of town guests at a local amusement park – Kennywood Park.  Talk about a fun rehearsal!  They also decided to get married on a Sunday because it saved them $4/person in food, drink, and cake costs.  The maid of honor’s dress was $30 at Macy’s and their photographer was an acquaintance who only charged $1000 for the entire day.

Where they splurged: Amber’s biggest splurge was her dress at $600, which was handmade and based off a design she sketched up herself.  The splurge was well worth it because she got to wear the dress of her dreams, literally.

The bride and groom in their fedora hats!

The bride and groom in their fedora hats!

Believe it or not Amber's flowers are silk! Feathers were worked into the bouquet to create something that Amber loved since she is not a flower person.  The bouquet exceeded her expectations!

Believe it or not Amber's flowers are silk! Feathers were worked into the bouquet to create something that Amber loved since she is not a flower person. She was blown away by the final results! P.S. Check out that sexy garter!

The guys wore pinstriped suits and spectator shoes, while the maid of honor wore a red Marilyn Monroe “Seven Year Itch” style dress.

Groomsmen in 1920s style spectator shoes

The Bridal Party

The bride in her fedora hat

The best part of the wedding:

Amber said that taking photographs at Carnegie Mellon University (where they met each other as engineering majors) and the cake ceremony were definitely the best parts of the wedding. “For the longest time Matt had said he was going to shove cake in my face.  So I came prepared.  I had a lab coat and safety goggles underneath the table that I put on before he fed it to me.  Once I put it on, I had the DJ play “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”  Everyone got a good laugh out of that.”

Looking back, what they would have changed:

“Honestly, nothing… I loved every minute of it.  The only downside was that the venue was not willing for us to stay any later than our allotted time.  It is understandable, but looking back, I wish the night could’ve lasted longer.  We still had a lot of people out on the dance floor ready to party long into the night.”

Her Advice:

Don’t get hung up on tradition.  When I told people my wedding ideas of having a non-traditional wedding, I got some comments.  But weddings should ultimately be about pleasing you….not family or friends.

Black and white cake

Pinning on the Boutinneire

Amber all decked out in her lab coat and goggles facing the fabled cake smash!

Amber all decked out in her lab coat and goggles, facing the fabled cake smash!

*****POST UPDATE*****

There was a question about Amber’s wedding invitations – I had a chance to ask here and here is what she said:

“I had them made at Party City.  I picked a really simple tri-fold invite in red and had our names on the front in a circle with dots around it in black….very art deco.  On the inside, since we sent our invites out super early, I had an “Old Time” picture Matt and I took at the beach where he was dressed as a gangster and I was dressed in a flapper costume that sort of acted as the “Save the Date” card (see below).  It had the hotel info on it so people could leave it on their fridge if they wanted to book a room.”

The insert used for the wedding invitation

The insert used for the wedding invitation

“Based on the invite design, I made all my table cards and seating chart have a similar art deco design.  Each table was named after some Gangster-esque item.  Below the name, I gave a little background on the item.  For example, the head table was the “Bonnie and Clyde” table.  I also had table names such as Eliot Ness, Nickelodeon, Flappers, Tommy Gun, Spats & Spectators, etc.”

Awesome ideas!!! I hope this offers some extra inspiration for anybody planning their own “Gangster” wedding! 🙂

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18 comments to Modern Weddings: Amber and Matt’s 1920s Gangster Wedding

  • Angie

    What did your invitations look like?

  • Autumn

    Hi Angie, I had a chance to update the post with Amber’s invite info. Hopefully that helps 🙂

  • amber i love you ,your idea’s are wonderful and it’s just what im looking for me and my husband ric have been married for 26yrs and have never had a wedding so i told him insted of buying gifts and goingin on a vacation for our 27th lets re-marry and do it gangster stlye ,well he said yes of course and now her i am i love love love your pictures pls on your spare time send me some idea’s greatfully in your dept. mrs. angela pagan

  • Karrie

    Did you have any centerpieces on your guest tables?

  • jamie

    hey i was wanting to get some more info on your wedding cause i am planning a gangsta wedding with a modern twist to it

  • Veronica

    Your wedding ideas were so great amber and i loved your gangster dress!! Im doing a 1920’s gangster wedding too and i was wondering what your centerpieces were for the tables? Also what was your catering like was it expensive?

  • Veronica

    hey its me again i also wanted to know if u gave out any wedding favors….what were they?

  • Michelle DiLorenzo

    WOW Angie!!!!! the most amazing wedding and theme i’ve seen….. was wondering where and who made your dress because it’s exactly what i’m looking for. if you can let me know i would greatly appreciate it

    thank you sooooo very much

    ps you totally made my day and showed me that my wedding can be as sweet as yours

  • Ashley Howell

    Hey, I Love your wedding, Its JUST what we’re looking for. I Want mine to be more modern any ideas?

  • Gabrielle

    Hi Amber,

    Got this when I googled silk white fedora, as I just came up with the idea of a silk fedora for my wedding dress! Where did you get it?



  • Gabrielle

    The fedora, I mean

  • hey just wondering were you found your dress me and my boyfrind want to do a mobster theme wedding but i cant find a wedding dress… what did you find for your bridesmaids to wear?

    by the way beautiful pics:)

  • Shawna

    Can you tell me what the flowers exactly were?

  • SARA

    hey Amber! I am sooo interested in your theme and especially the groomsmens attire and cake. Can you please contact me? I am planning a wedding for September of this year and would greatly appreciate your input! My fiance has always wanted a gangster wedding and I would be so grateful if you could help us out! thanks

  • Ginger

    Hi Amber you have an awsome brain i have been with my well now husband for 10 years and i have been looking for a gangster looking dress like yours and i was wondering if you could give me a website link to where i might be able to find one my size i saw that you drew yours out and asked some one to make it could you Please help me thank you so much we are getting remarried November 14,2011

  • Marina

    omg the gurl looks amazing she’s so pretty and i love what she is wearing this looks like an awsome wedding :D!! when i grow up i want a wedding close to that one!! (:

  • leeza roberts

    Hi amber love the style of your dress was wondering if u could send me some more picks as the style is what I am looking for but a longer version. My dress maker needs more info to make it how I am trying to describe to here

  • Leigh

    Hi! i love your ideas! just wanna know what flowers did you use for your bouquet?