Ok, so he asked the question, and you said YES, YES YES. You’ve set the date, and managed to find your dream dress with a big thumbs-up from your bridesmaids. Your invitations are sent out but there’s no time to relax……. it’s now time to think about styling your wedding and I say it’s all about vintage happiness.
- Get Set
The biggest thing here is all about collecting and crafting if you want that truly authentic look. Boot sales and charity shops are about to be-come your best friend, but you will have to be willing to rummage to get those really special pieces. Miss-matched crockery for table settings is what it’s all about. Be prepared to haggle, you don’t want the over-all cost spiraling out of control, so decide the maximum amount you want to spend on each item and try to stick to it as best you can. You may want to also think about e-bay, where you can get some amazing deals for a job lot of crockery delivered straight to your door, with no rummaging required. You can still haggle for the best price, most of these have best offers against them. Another option is to hire the crockery and save the hassle, there are lots of local Facebook pages like Dreamday Design, where you can hire out exactly the number of pieces you need for your guests, delivered to your venue for a hire fee – simples.
Vintage style is all about floral prettiness, so you’re on the look out for just that. There’s nothing plain about this style, however you can cleverly tone it down depending on your individual tastes. You’re looking for teapots, teacups, plates, tins, glassware, cake stands; think not only about the dinner setting but the centre pieces and entrance tables as well. Keep it colourful – you want anything with a beautiful floral pattern, a mix of pastels and deeper colours to give depth and character, and pieces finished with gilt is a must. If you don’t want to go all out and need to keep costs down, then most venues provide white plates, so just use one plate and a teacup on top of the white ware this can look just as effective.
- Mix it up
A mixed up, mish-mash of floral fabulousness is the essence of this style. If you’re the type to have nightmares when you know the in-laws are coming round for dinner and your side plates don’t match your dinner plates, or you can’t go anywhere without your shoes matching your handbag, then this style really isn’t for you. The best, most beautifully vintage style weddings are those which really embrace how to mash it up. This is not just about colour but about pieces; teacups must not match saucers, side plates must not match dinner plates, centre pieces are a mix of fine china, glassware, flowers and even a pile of vintage books thrown in for good measure.
Another way to mix up your centre pieces is to use a mix of vintage tins. These can be branded or floral tins. Just use different sizes to hold flowers and add in some jam jars and you’ve created the perfect look.
- It’s all in the little details
I come from a retail background and it was always drummed into me, Retail is Detail, but I say the Devil is in the Detail Darling, dance with the devil and embrace the detail, it will capture the fabulous design. If we’re talking cutlery, then it has to be one of two things, a real mix of old knives and forks, small fish knives used for butter, and really worn spoons or gold it’s really that simple. Old knives and forks are just the best, bog standard modern venue cutlery just isn’t going to cut it, pardon the pun. And if there’s even a hint of IKEA then you truly haven’t captured the essence of this one. Gold, well I don’t really need to say a lot about gold cutlery except it just looks divine and really brings out the gold gilt trims on the crockery.
Name cards are another little special detail that can make or break your table, getting this right really matters. If your guests don’t know where to sit, chaos is unleashed like a Tasmanian devil in a hurricane. You can get your invitation designer to design these in the same theme as the rest of your wedding stationary, or you can make it personal and rustic. Personally I’m a lover of the plain old brown luggage label. It’s simple, rustic and cheap, so covers all bases, plus it’s big enough to put your guest’s name and a cute little message if you wish. Now don’t be discouraged, but this will take some time, especially if you have over a hundred guests. Bridesmaids to the rescue on this one, rope them in to help out – obviously test out they’re handwriting skills first. You could chose a number of options for this, a fine line marker or fine line Sharpie pen would be great for this. Alternatively a silver pen stands out on the brown tag. If you have plenty of time and lots of bridesmaids you could use alphabet stamps. These can be found on eBay and most good craft shops.
- Wild at Heart
Just like you’re mixing up the colours and crockery, you can use a variety flowers. If you have a favourite flower use this in the main but think of wild and wonderful flowers that will complement each other. I’m a hydrangea and sunflower fan, happy, romantic flowers, mixed with green foliage and gypsophila. Use different jars, glassware and vintage tins to hold your flowers, they also look amazing in old scrumpy jars and old rum bottles – any excuse for a little tipple. It’s all in a good cause after all. Another great centre piece for flowers is a vintage teapot or coffee pot, tall ones mixed with smaller fat ones and glass jars look absolutely fabulous.
- Light it up
There is nothing more romantic than candlelight. Even in the daytime this can add a cosy, intimate look and feel to your day. The cheapest way to achieve this is a simple tea light in a jam jar. I tend to buy all my sauces and spreads in glass jars as I know I can recycle these and feel I’m doing my bit for the environment, changing the world one jam jar at a time. So if you buy everything in plastic think about changing your habits and re-using things for your big day. You never know it might make you feel all warm and fuzzy whilst saving you a few bob. All you have to do is give the jars a good soapy soak. Labels can be tough but leave them in hot water and they’ll soon slide off happily. You can just keep these in the garden until they’re ready use, I also like to use these in the garden at summer time. But we can’t stop there. We have to give the jar a simple but effective make over; it is a wedding after all. You can achieve this in many simple ways, a lovely piece of lace or floral material around the top, a rustic looking twine cord or coloured cord also looks fabulous. Again mix it up, use a glass pen, draw some hearts with your initials, these can break up the elegance with a bit of fun.