Friday, 30 April 2010

Meadow flowers and real confetti

I think the idea of skipping through meadows picking wildflowers on the wedding morning may have been a bit of a pipe dream! So the idea of Sweet Loving Flowers sounds like a good compromise to me (thanks for the tip, Lula!). It's a small company run by a husband-and-wife duo that grows pretty meadow flowers in an organic plot in Wales. The field was once grazed by sheep and is now blooming with flowers and wildlife. They also provide simple bouquets that have a lovely thrown-together look 

And then my colleague Lucy sent me a link to Confetti Direct, a small company that grows wild flowers, roses and delphiniums for real confetti. Petals are handpicked and packed on the farm at Wyke Manor in Worcestershire, and they also provide paper cones and baskets for display. The fields are covered in a blanket of colour when the flowers are in full bloom… what a beautiful place to live and work: 

Monday, 26 April 2010

Readers’ Vintage Weddings: Jo and Robert

Jo has her own vintage headdress and accessories business in Hampshire but travelled to the majestic Banff Springs hotel in Canada for a magical winter wedding. 

The theme: 30s elegance and old Hollywood glamour. A Jenny Packham “Alice” gown, feather boas and pearls as table décor.

Homemade things: Jo made her own alternative bouquet out of her Grandmother’s vintage brooches and her unique head-dress from vintage gems and jewellery. For favours, they bought old-fashioned sweets from the local shop in Banff and placed them in wine glasses along with handwritten thank-you notes. 

Vintage tips: Jo recommends sourcing vintage from the suppliers featured on Love My Dress – where she found her veil and bolero, which she finished off with a huge vintage brooch.

I've included some of Jo's gorgeous vintage creations below, that you can find on her website.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Vintage gift list ideas

Researching wedding gift lists is a perk of the wedding planning process, but trying to find vintage wedding lists has proved particularly tricky and I’m beginning to think that good old John Lewis is our best bet – it actually stocks a great selection of vintage-style products such as KitchenAid’s bright yellow blenders and Sophie Conran’s crockery range.

But I have managed to find a couple of great list companies online – The Vintage Wedding List has a beautiful selection of antiques on its site, including 40s stripy Cornish milk jugs, cut glass cake stands, Welsh woollen blankets and faded antique maps. And they’ve thought of the little details too - all the presents come wrapped in tissue paper with hand-written messages on luggage labels.
The Vintage Wedding List

I’ve spent many a lunch hour drooling over the gorgeous products on the Baileys Home and Garden website, but I hadn’t realised that they can also arrange wedding lists – perfect if you are looking for bigger items such as their wooden chapel chairs, industrial lamps and quirky recycled products such as crates on wheels or wooden welly racks.


Monday, 19 April 2010

Vintage wedding hair and beauty

Inspired by a very chic model I photographed during Rome Fashion Week who had styled her own hair for a party (shown below), I’ve started researching vintage-style hair dos for the big day. I love the idea of soft 40s Victory Rolls, with a vintage brooch used as a hair pin at the back. 
I’ve discovered some great vintage hair and beauty specialists in London who have turned their salons into fabulous retro beauty parlours, complete with bulb-lit theatre mirrors, chandeliers and boudoir-inspired décor.

Lost in Beauty in Primrose Hill is decked out like a Victorian apothecary, with antique cabinets and old-fashioned dressing tables. Along with wedding beauty and bespoke make-up lessons, it can also arrange vintage-style beauty events that would be ideal for pampering at a hen do:

Lost in Beauty
Nina’s Hair Parlour in the legendary Alfie’s Antiques Market is a must for any die-hard vintage fan - entirely dedicated to vintage-style hair and beauty. Choose a style from its gallery themed by decade, and they will create the perfect 60s beehive, 20s finger waves or a Brigitte Bardot mane.

Nina's Hair Parlour
For something a bit more rock n’ roll, It's Something Hell's on Carnaby Street, has become a cult hair destination, where William and Vanetia Sessel (aka Mister Ducktail and Miss Betty) are experts in 50s Bettie Page pin-up styles and rockabilly quiffs for boys. 

It's Something Hell's

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Vintage wedding dresses: Ooh La La! Vintage

Vintage clothing specialist Ooh La! La! Vintage (run by the exquisitely stylish Tara Munro) was one of my first ports of call on the wedding dress hunt.

Based in Paris, Tara can source one-off vintage dresses and accessories for you, or you can book an appointment with her London counterpart Annie, who can help you create a made-to-measure vintage-style dress or alter an existing vintage piece from her stock of dresses (shown below).

Tara also runs vintage weekends and events where she hosts a vintage masterclass and dressing-up session (accompanied by champagne, afternoon tea and Edith Piaf), followed by a tour of the best Parisian vintage haunts in her charming Citroën 2CV, and finished off with a night out at the Moulin Rouge. Sounds like a fabulous vintage-themed hen do idea!


Monday, 12 April 2010

Vintage wedding decor: plant pots and jam jars

Inspired by Petersham Nurseries and its beautiful ‘outdoor’ dining room (see photos above), I have had the idea to include miniature potted plants among the jamjar-vases as table decorations at the wedding reception. They look adorable and they can also be re-used – sometimes it feels such a waste to enjoy the decorations for just one day!

So I have started collecting old fashioned “Tom Thumb” pots (the shops on Columbia Road do a roaring trade) - and the planting has begun…

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Vintage crockery update!

Since I started my vintage wedding crockery hunt - and this blog – I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of friends who have taken up the challenge themselves, hunting down second-hand tea sets and plates from all over the country and sending them my way.

There’s Amy who swears by Accrington’s dirt-cheap charity shops (just don’t tell anyone!) and has found hoard after hoard of chintzy china. And Claire who managed to uncover the holy grail of vintage china - those elusive large dinner plates - in Cornwall. Meanwhile my Mum has been tirelessly scouring the shops of Cheshire and The Wirral for delicate tea cups and saucers. And most recently there's Nina, who found a pretty china tea set in an Amersham antiques shop.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

An invitation idea

I loved the pretty invites sent out by London's most inspiring department store Liberty for the launch of its collaboration with gorgeous French concept store Merci - a simple piece of cardboard with words stamped out to reveal Liberty floral fabric sewn on to the back. Could make a beautiful wedding invitation – if you had the money to commission – or energy to create them yourself, that is!