The sun did its best to shine for drinks outside the marquee in my parent’s garden, blooming with summer flowers. My pretty veil sadly had to come off by then but it revealed the gorgeous headpiece handmade by my friend Emma Embery, made from embroidered vintage lace, diamantes and tiny pearls (thanks for the pic Sarah!).
Guests were welcomed with Rose Syrup Prosecco (an idea stolen from Petersham Nurseries) with crystallised rose petals, cups of tea and traditional pink lemonade (I think I tried all three!). We had afternoon tea-themed canapés including mini sandwiches and scones, and the more energetic guests tested their skills in croquet on the lawn, where all the old-fashioned deckchairs I had collected were put to good use too.
Read on for all the vintagey details:
- With the help of a dedicated team of friends and family, we managed to collect over 150 vintage tea cups and saucers which looked beautiful all laid out en masse.
- I had painted bits of wood as signs (“croquet”, “wedding” and “smokers and smooches” for the outdoor smoking space), and used blackboard paint to make smaller chalkboard-style signs and the table plan (tip: use white marker pens rather than real chalk!).
- The marquee was beyond all my expectations and looked incredible – the huge floor-to-ceiling windows let the light stream in and revealed the garden outside and it just looked stunning.
- Long trestle tables were laid with embroidered floral table cloths collected over the past year, jam jars filled with flowers, plants in mini terracotta pots and tea lights in glass yoghurt pots, and each guest had an individual vintage floral side plate.
- Those cheap and cheerful Ikea cushions were spruced up by my mum who had sewn on off-cuts of embroidered fabrics, vintage napkins and lace.
- The Kraft card (so hard to find but so good!) was again put to good use for menus and table names, and we used handwritten luggage tags for place names.
- The talented Jessie Chorley created a personalised guest album made from an antique book, which was passed around the tables for guests to sign.
- We wanted the meal to have a summer feast feel, with a choice of sea bass or lamb and big bowls of salad and roasted new potatoes on the table. After-dinner cheeses were laid out, along with mum’s homemade chutneys in jars for guests to take home.
- And even the MC’s vuvuzela couldn’t escape the vintage theme!