We asked Carol and Josie, from Worcestershire based vintage crockery hire company Strawberry Fayre, to pass on their expertise on how to style the perfect vintage wedding day. Read their top tips for getting it right.
What makes the perfect vintage wedding?
Quite often the bride and groom’s opinion on what would make the perfect wedding will differ, but one thing’s for certain, they will both want the day (and preferably the lead up to it!) to be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.
Tear up the rule book
As a nation we appear to have grown increasingly weary of mass produced outrageously priced weddings; more and more couples are aspiring to create a bespoke occasion, one that truly expresses who they are, that reflects their history, their quirky characteristics and perhaps a few hidden desires! In doing so, many couples are turning the clocks back to the glamour and excitement of the 1930s, 40s and 50s for inspiration. With brides ‘tearing up the traditional rule book’ in favour of saying’ I do’ be- gowned and be-jewelled as a glamorous Hollywood actress or an elegant great Gatsby mol!
It’s all in the detail
Whatever choice you make, the key to creating timeless, vintage elegance is all in the detail; from the hues of the bouquet and floral arrangements to the vintage place settings carefully selected and strategically placed.
Our top tips
1. Be creative, be unique
Wedding magazines and Pinterest are a great starting point, but remember, adding your own unique flair will give the day that all important personal touch which your guests will talk about years after the event. Keeping a scrapbook or online collection of images from wedding dresses, cakes and flowers to button holes, seating plans and lighting ideas, is a good place to start. Once you have gathered a collection of everything that appeals to you both, you can then start to narrow down your choices and begin to create a more specific theme.
2. Choose suppliers who are friendly and really listen to you
Your suppliers are vital in helping you create the perfect vintage wedding, it is really important to choose people who listen to you and understand your ideas and vision. Taking along your ‘mood board’ or scrapbook can really help to get your ideas across and offers a great opportunity for suppliers to make suggestions which you may not have thought of.
I was lucky to work with a fabulous florist who really understood and could interpret our theme. She was knowledgeable, passionate and really friendly, which made working with her a dream.
3. Setting the tone
Your wedding stationery speaks volumes. It gives guests that all important first insight in to the theme of your special day. It’s possibly one of the first things, besides your venue and dress, to get excited about – and it’s a great excuse to splash out on some gorgeous stationery!
Think about the theme of your wedding and use the style, font and finish of your invite to reflect this. There are some beautiful ‘save the date’ cards and wedding invites available, from fun luggage tags to delicate vintage lace cards. Having said that, both myself, and a friend who got married recently, made our own. For me it was a lovely opportunity to sit down with a few friends and family and be creative. If you are planning on making your own invites I would suggest getting a group together with drinks, nibbles and music to make the task truly enjoyable.
4. Make it memorable – make it you!
Choosing your venue is one of your biggest decisions and quite possibly the biggest expense! Although a stately home, castle or country barn lends itself readily as the backdrop to a truly beautiful vintage wedding, so to do less costly options such as, your local village hall, favourite botanical gardens or even the village green – all you need is imagination and inspiration – and a friend, or two, especially in those final days running up to the big day itself, to guide you through.
We chose to get married on the family farm, which had always been a childhood dream of mine, with the exception of being whisked off to a little chapel on the edge of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand; not only did it match, it exceeded my expectations!
We hired a traditional marquee, which we ‘softened’ with cream tented drapes, added a splash of colour with homemade hessian and floral bunting and created a warm, cosy ambience with dimmed chandeliers, fairy lights and twinkling candles come evening time. We danced barefoot on the lawn, under the light of the stars, to a swing band and warmed ourselves by chimeneas as the sun came up.
Biased, I know, but for us it was perfect! Our guests still, to this day, say how magical and intimate an occasion it was.
5. Keep it simple
The term vintage covers so many dimensions – from pretty pastels to robust reds and gold, from 1950s retro glamour to 1930s boho chic. But one thing binds them together – elegance and opulence. Keeping things simple really is the key to a charming vintage, stress free wedding. Some of the most beautiful weddings I have been to have had the most simple understated flower arrangements and twinkling nightlight jars. A few accent vintage pieces can help to lift your table and give it an exclusive feel -flowers inside an old birdcage, jars decorated with stencils and beads or a few coloured antique bottles. Then there is the lace – lace edged, vintage table centre pieces and runners soften tables wonderfully and help emphasise the table arrangements.
6. Exquisite vintage crockery
What can we say! Why would you choose a vintage style wedding and settle for plain white crockery when you can drink and dine from exquisite vintage bone china and delicate cut glass?
Yes it is there to be used, but it also makes such a wonderful and integral part of your table display themed and coordinated with your choice of colour and style. Mismatched fine bone china vintage crockery teamed with crisp, linen and lace edged napkins really do add that all important touch of class to your tables.
With a variety of vintage dinner plates, side plates, cups, saucers and glasses each place setting becomes personalised and unique – just like your guests. It helps to create a relaxed, unique setting for your wedding celebrations and helps to put everyone at their ease – especially the best men prior to the speeches!
Check out Strawberry Fayre’s website to see our beautiful crockery all available to hire for your wedding day.
Creating the right ambience
Creating a relaxed ambience is, in my mind, essential to a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. Again like everything ‘wedding’, there are so many options to how you achieve this. My advice – make it personal to you. For our wedding we had old fashioned games in the orchard; a coconut shy, hoopla and skittles added a dash of fun and got everyone involved from the youngest to the oldest guest. Last summer, at a friend’s wedding, the bride and groom chose an ice cream vendor on an old tricycle with the most delicious ice creams. Another friend had a gramophone playing in the background from which guests could select the music if they chose.
Easy listening live music in the afternoon was, for us, definitely money well spent as it helped to create a relaxed, lazy summer’s day feel to the afternoon part of our wedding. It also meant that guests (especially elderly relatives) were able to while away the afternoon whilst those feeling more energetic enjoyed the other activities on offer.
Yes, there is so much to think of … and we haven’t even touched on the dress, the bridesmaids or groom!
Whatever type of day you choose, one thing’s for sure a vintage wedding will never date and with such an exuberant array of themes to choose from you’re certain of having a truly unique and memorable occasions.
For more ideas and sample wedding packages see Strawberry Fayre’s website. Our bespoke packages are personalised to suit your individual style and budget.