Making a limited wedding budget stretch can keep the savviest brides-to-be awake at night, however one option is not to blow the equivalent of the honeymoon on the dress. Not ignoring the fact that the dress plays a key role in the big day – so it still needs to be ‘the one’ for you, and as so many discerning brides are demanding these days, vintage style is ever sought after. With this in mind, here are our top ten vintage style wedding dresses suitable for all silhouettes, to be had for under £750.
It’s no secret that weddings can cost the earth, and when the budget’s tight (or non-existent) it doesn’t mean to say the dress has to look budget. If you have your heart set on a vintage style wedding, and want your dress to be unique and have some history about it – it can pay-off to look outside of the more standard bridal choices. Consider going for something previously worn – just the once, or something new recreated in a vintage style, to create that unique look you’re looking for. Here’s some vintage style gems we have stumbled across that won’t blow the budget…
Cordelia Vintage Tulle Dress £395
When planning your ‘big day’, anyone in the know or who has done it before, will tell you that choosing a theme which means something to you and your life-partner-to-be is a key first step into creating the most memorable day. The rest is detail – but boy – these dastardly details can rapidly fill up the rest of your planning time (- even if it’s years!) as it’s these little touches which will make up the fabric of your meticulously planned day and will be what makes your wedding day truly yours.
Etsy is a great place to explore for all things wedding related – particularly if you are looking for unique and vintage ideas, or are stuck with a limited budget. With particular emphasis on hand-made and creating an individual look, Etsy can inspire you or help realise your dream theme. Or for those who have done it before – make you wish you could do it all over again with some of the most beautiful hand-crafted and imaginative touches your heart could ever desire!
Art Deco Diamond Daisy Ring £408
Ok, so maybe the engagement ring comes first.. and if I was proposed to with this ring, there could only be one possible answer! This beautiful art deco ring is c.1920's, with flower shaped design, 18 carat gold, in a platinum setting. The flower is set with a central diamond (approx. 2.5mm or .06pts), surrounded by six diamonds (approx. 1.5mm or .015pts each), with a diamond on each shoulder (approx. 1.8mm or .025pts each). Approximate Size US 7.5 Luxedeluxe
Downton Abbey may be on a break for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t inject your life – and wedding plans – with some 1930’s high-life glamour. If you’re looking for a venue to hold your very own thirties style wedding, the newly transformed Brinsop Court Estate could make a suitable backdrop that would make even Lady Mary Crawley jealous.
The majestic manor house is a gem surrounded by an 800 acre estate set in the Herefordshire countryside, and new of 2013 Brinsop is available for a limited number of wedding celebrations. With a rich history, the estate was once home to Hollywood starlet Madeline Caroll, who during her time as lady of the manor is believed to have kept pink flamingos on the moated lake.
Weddings at the manor house will take place in the library with views that inspired the English poet William Wordsworth to write prose. Exclusive use weddings start from £4,950. If you’re interested in finding out more about Brinsop Court Estate as a wedding venue visit www.brinsopcourt.com.
Gown: Enzoani; £1,725 (Ginger)
Accessories: Gilda and Pearl; Britten weddings; Liberty in Love; Freya Rose
Decorations: Love Gemsy; The Crockery Shed
Hair: Peter Prosser hairdressing
Make-up: Jen Gilling
Photography: Gemma Williams
If you love your Mad Men and Downton Abbey and dream of having a wedding set in an era gone past, then you should head to London this autumn as the Vintage Wedding Fair returns to the capital for the third time.
Set in the beautiful The Old Finsbury Town Hall in Clerkenwell, there will be lots of antique frocks, 1940’s teacups, hand-made shoes, vintage jewellery, bespoke milliners working in antique fabrics, and more on display.
When: 4 November, 11.00am-5pm; £10 in advance/£12 on door
Where: The Old Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4RP
Image credit: London Vintage Wedding Fair / James Finnigan
We’re officially in love. And this time we’re not talking about our hubby to be. Instead it’s Alice Temperley’s Ophelia 2012 bridal collection, which has stolen our hearts.
The range mixes boho, the flapper era and striking silhouettes to make this collection one to lust after.
If you’re a vintage gal at heart, you’ll love the designers Emmeline frock, which emulates the 20s Flapper look with beading and crystals, while the designer’s Kelly frock with its peacock design is great for brides who want to stand out in style.
It’s no wonder Kate Middleton is a fan of this designer.
See the gallery below for our top five frocks.
We’re absolute in love with the Old Hollywood glamour of this Fleur Wood lacy robe. Think about appearing in front of your new husband on your wedding night in this and red lipstick. Oh la la as they say.
Made from 100% silk it will adorn your figure beautifully and give a certain vintage charm.
Sold exclusively through BHLDN – from the team behind Anthropologie – for $250 USD
With news that the CoE are putting up the cost of getting married in one of their venues, you might already be thinking of where to make cuts in your wedding budget…
I would never advise you to skimp on your wedding day and night lingerie as good underwear can truly make your wedding look. Sorry to break it to you, but that expensive gown will not look perfect if you’re wearing a tatty old bra underneath… This is particularly the case if you are blessed with a fuller figure.
But for busty brides-to-be on a tight budget, news of Kelly Brook lingerie for New Look will be welcome. The British model/actress/celeb has designed a vintage inspired lingerie collection for the high-street chain that won’t break the bank and keep the girls happy. Embrace those curves!
First stop is Norwich this February, 11th (that’s this weekend people), before the wonderful and curious descend on East End London on the 31st March 2012. The fair will see over 60 exhibitors gather for the biggest vintage wedding fair in the UK, to share innovative and retro-tastic ideas to make your wedding the most memorable of them all.
A must-do for the not-so-blushing bride and her parter! Just remember to gel that hair and keep reapplying lustrous red lipstick.
Tickets start from £3 (only £2 if you’re a bride-to-be). For more details visit www.vintage-wedding-fair.co.uk.
11th February 2012, 11am-4.30pm
St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich, NR3 1AU
31st March 2012, 11am-5pm
York Hall, 5-15 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ
I do love when a bit of Art Deco lands in my inbox. This time it came from bridal designer Sabina Motasem Bride who has teamed up with one of London’s most sought after wedding venue, Eltham Palace, Greenwich – one of the UK’s finest examples of Art Deco style. The gorgeous venue is the backdrop of the labels’ new collection, which features vintage inspired wedding gowns for the modern bride who has a penchant for the eras past.
The new collection draws inspiration from the style and glamour of iconic performers at the Folies Bergeres in 1900s- 1930s Paris. Think slinky, understated dresses that complement the opulent and decadent Art Deco interior perfectly.
I’ll let you be the judge of the prettiest dress of them all, but these are gorgeous.
Sabina Motasem - Cabaret
As TV shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey bring stories of eras past to a screen near you, vintage is definitely here to stay as more and more events and stores dedicated to the fashion and lifestyle of bygone times pop up. And so the popularity of vintage-inspired weddings has only increased in the past few years, with celebrity brides like Kate Moss and Lily Allen opting for vintage looking wedding dresses.
But how do you go about planning a vintage celebration for you and your hubby to be?
First of all decide on which era you want to emulate. Are you looking to wear a 1950s tea length lace dress to your Rockabilly wedding or is the Art Deco glamour of the 1920s more your style?
Whichever decade you go for ensure that the wedding venue matches your choice. There is nothing worse than to see a vintage wedding held in a modern venue… Luckily there are so many manor houses across England that are able to host wedding ceremonies and receptions so all it takes is a bit of research, being good at bartering and starting the search well in advance of your wedding date. Once you have the setting, you can easily create the perfect atmosphere with a few well-thought of decorations.
If you’re not fortunate enough to have a wedding dress that has been passed down in your family, head to your local charity shops, second-hand shops, markets and vintage shops to rummage through the selection. You never know, the perfect dress might just be waiting for you where you least expect it.
And while you are second-hand shopping, pick up your bridesmaids outfits too.
For your sweetheart and his groomsmen a morning suit or tuxedo will do nicely. Most men will have this in their staple wardrobe, but ensure they comb their hair in the correct style. Perhaps Don Draper like? Swoon!
Nothing says vintage more than hand-written invitations, so invest in some quality paper, practice your best handwriting and start scribbling.
Planning a vintage wedding involves a lot of research – unless you live and breathe vintage already. So set aside enough time to research the elements and traditions of your chosen era, especially for the wedding menu. That said you can always opt for a more modern menu, but try your best and create a retro feast.
Are you planning a vintage-inspired wedding? Leave your tips in the comments below.
Debbie Carlisle is perhaps best known for her luxury vintage jewellery bouquets but we think she’ll soon be equally acknowledged for her vintage-inspired headpieces and cuffs that mix vintage charm with a modern edge.
The 2012 collection of headpieces and cuffs take inspiration from the 1920s, 1950s, 1960 and 1970s but with a modern twist and is available online now.
Debbie said: “I wanted to make this collection as versatile as possible so brides could wear their chosen design in many different ways. I wanted to give them maximum choice about their on-the-day look – or looks – and also give them the option of wearing their bridal headpiece over and over, long after their wedding day has gone.”
If you’ve got that perfect vintage wedding dress sorted it truly would be a crime to not invest in luxurious lingerie for your wedding day – and night.
Inspired by the glamorous sirens of classic Hollywood films, Gilda & Peal creates seductive lingerie that is certain to make you feel like a goddess.
Each piece is designed, made and hand finished in the UK using traditional techniques to fit and construct every piece – making for completely unique items. The brand also offers a bespoke service so if you see a style you like but want a different colour there is a solution.
We’ll be adding a few items to our Christmas wish-lists…
If you’re looking for a vintage looking wedding dress with a twist here’s a label you should check out.
Minna is the brainchild of Finnish designer Minna Hepburn who specialises in creating beautiful vintage inspired clothes – and now wedding dresses for brides looking for eco luxury. Each piece is hand embellished and made from sustainable, organic, recycled and locally produced textiles. Her label has in a short time re-defined what ethical fashion should be.
Here’s a label for you ladies wanting to go retro for your wedding: Dolly Couture. The US brand specialises in short cocktail-length bridal gowns for the bride who wants to be unique. And best of all if you have a vision they will make it for you. Time to start designing!
The Pink Label 1950’s style wedding dresses are available exclusively through DollyCouture.com and in their Los Angeles and New York City showrooms – should you happen to be living in those parts of the world. Prices start at $395 and up.
The Avila Bay
This gown features a sweetheart neckline and trimmed lace illusion sleeve. The scalloped hem of the Hastings lace and chiffon ruching at the waistline give this gown the details that will make your aunties cry when you walk down the aisle. Classic and timeless, Avila Bay can be customized with coloured petticoats. Shown here over ivory satin, this ivory lace can also be gorgeous over white or champagne satin. Waist detail available in your choice of ivory or champagne.