Perfect vintage wedding gifts

Whilst many couples have that convenient Gift List ready to go, there is something rather impersonal about the formality of it all; ticking off the boring salt and pepper shakers before you have one too many, white bedding and even whiter cushions you know are going to get a lovely red wine spillage down them within a week. It all very straight laced.

There is a level of functionality about the Gift List that does mean you’re not going to end up with hundreds of one thing and nothing of another, but there are other ways of going about getting the items you would like, but still have all the personality. Go vintage!

Why not focus on a few items you would like in each room of the home complete with a cheque for various charities as your good deed of the year? After all, it is A LOT of stuff.

Whether you’re the lucky lovebirds unsure what you really want or the guest braced with the complicated prospect of finding the perfect gift, here are some unique ideas:

Get Personal!

Chances are you know the couple inside and out so why not get them something truly unique; an inside joke, poem or quote that only them (and your group of friends) understand.

Photographs have to be the ultimate memento; we often place so much more value on these than anything else. So a selection of your favourite photos of the couple as well as the guests is a thoughtful gift they can enjoy forever. If that wasn’t personal enough, you can grab a personalised wedding album as well. The ones from Jonny’s Sister allow you to write your own message on the front, whether that’s a simple “Congrats!” or something a bit more closer to home.

wedding present ideas from The National Vintage Wedding Fair


Go Gatsby!

In terms of inspiration, why not turn towards the luxurious world of Art Deco inspired Gatsby. The aspects of decadence will really make their first home together feel even more special. Perhaps you have something lurking in the loft gathering dust that could have a new lease of life in another home? A royal looking mirror that could do with a clean or an old sofa you can revamp into something truly personal. You know the couple’s style inside and out and a bespoke piece of furniture is completely unique and thoughtful.


The Great Outdoors

Instead of focusing on the indoors (standard kitchen appliances and a decent array of cutlery; necessities, granted, but not exactly exciting) why not give them an experience or something for the garden.

For the garden, quirky road signage gives a unique twist or you could always get some personalised deckchairs for glorious summer days having picnics. Or what about a cherry tree that will last their marriage?

Jonnyssister 2

In terms of an experience, there are so many options. If the couple have decided to head away on an adventure post-wedding then some much-needed spending money might be handy. This lacks a little on the imagination front so why not arrange something whilst they’re abroad?

For example, if you know the couple are going to be in Thailand at a certain time, would they enjoy some diving lessons? The magnificent Whale Sharks glide around the coastlines providing the couple with an experience they’ll never forget. Whether it’s bungee jumping in Australia or relaxing in a five star spa in Dubai, this has so much personality.

And that something REALLY special…

That would be jewellery, of course! A matching set for the bride and groom to wear on their big day and then continue to sport for years and years to come will become their most beloved items. For the males, you can get cufflinks, a pendant or even a bracelet (this generation is metrosexual after all) whilst the options for the bride is endless.

For a real vintage look, head straight to the antique shops and rummage around the bric’a’brac stores for hidden gems that aren’t going to be cloned anywhere else. The true vintage feel will include many jewels that even the males can pull off. Something they maybe wouldn’t have chosen for themselves, but the ultimate luxury; a treat they can treasure forever.


Everything Etsy! Five Perfect Place Cards

If you are currently planning a vintage wedding, or looking for wedding inspiration we suspect you will be quite familiar with handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy. Selling products from around the world it is a wonderful collection of bespoke items you just won’t find anywhere else, the hardest part is making a choice! Todays Etsy selection is five place cards to make any wedding table look amazing.

These little chalkboard place cards sitting on a little wooden easel would give any guest table a cute decorative personalised touch for each guest, they could also be used for labelling food on either a buffet table or candy bar.  Add the larger sizes for table numbers or more detailed signage.

Etsy mini chalkboard easel name place cards via the National Vintage Wedding Fair blog



For a pretty look these applique bird place cards are adorable.  Individually cut from cornflower blue felt fabric, these beautiful love birds have been hand stitched with a coordinating ditsy print making them the ideal finishing touch for a shabby chic, rustic or vintage style wedding.

Etsy bird applique illustration name place cards via the National Vintage Wedding Fair blog

A square laser cut handmade wedding place card is so striking to look at and can be made to match a laser cut wedding invitation or menu card.  The white colour-way is so elegant and will work with any wedding theme.

Etsy lasercut name place cards via the National Vintage Wedding Fair blog


Inspired by English country garden weddings, this charming handmade place card would be perfect for any vintage wedding. The unique place card design consists of a wooden teak label, pearlescent paper and textured card printed with a floral design, and finished with ribbon and twine. The place card can be printed with your required name, or left blank for you to write by hand.

Etsy English Country Garden wooden label name place cards via the National Vintage Wedding Fair blog
For a more DIY version why not pick a print at home version?  We love this beautiful, simple antique book style folded place card available to print yourself at home. This design has a blank space on the front for you to fill in your guest’s names by hand.

Etsy vintage book style print at home name place cards via the National Vintage Wedding Fair blog

Our 5 Etsy buying tips –

  • Be clever with your search options. Use specific colour and shape descriptions as keywords. So instead of just searching for ‘pink dress’, search for cerise dress, fuchsia dress, pastel dress, blush dress, coral dress etc. Search every day as people list all the time and you don’t want to miss out on the perfect item because you didn’t find it in time.
  • Consider the location of your seller. You can buy globally on Etsy but factor in timescales, postage costs, customs charges and language differences.
  • Use Paypal. This will protect both you and the seller and provide you with extra protection in case of a problem.
  • Request samples. This one is particularly key if you’re thinking about co-ordinating lots of different products together, as colours can vary widely and photographs aren’t always accurate. Most sellers should be open to sending you small samples, especially if you’re willing to pay postage or a small fee.
  • Read the feedback and askabout the return policy. Check out what other shoppers have said as comments and reviews are a great sources of information. When you’re buying products sight unseen, there should always be an easy return or exchange option. Check out the seller’s return policy, and if it’s not on the site, feel free to ask about it.

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Need some vintage wedding ideas? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in  Stoke Newington, London on 12th October and Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website –

Written by Sarah Gorlov

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Our Timeless Ten: Reception Fun Inspiration

Every one love a wedding reception.  But what makes the ones we talk about for months after stand apart from the rest?  There can be many things that make a reception party memorable but one of the big ones is FUN!  After all the wedding reception is the celebration party after the formality of your wedding ceremony and a party needs to be full of fun.  Lets see ten different ways to make that fun happen…

Create a memory wall of different photos of yourselves to be seen as your guest come into the venue.  Include baby photos, school shots and photos throughout your entire relationship.  Try and find as many with guests in them too so they can find themselves as part of the fun.

Fun reception ideas - memory wall of photos via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Everyone loves a retro board game.  Add piles of vintage games of different areas of the room and on tables and let your guests be kids again.

Fun reception ideas - board game area via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Play the shoe game.  Here’s how it works: during the reception, sometime after dinner but before the dancing gets underway, two chairs are placed back-to-back on the dance floor – one for the bride and one for the groom. Once sitting in their chairs they each remove both of their shoes, and trade one with their new spouse so that both are holding one of each. Then the DJ (or other host) asks a series of questions about the two and their relationship (like “Who does the most cooking?” and “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”). After each question, the bride and groom hold up the shoe belonging to the person they thought was the best answer to the question.  For even more fun, get other couples to play with the bride and groom to make it more like a panel of contestants on a game show and ask your DJ to get the theme song from ‘Mr and Mrs’ and have it played it as the game starts.

Fun reception ideas - the Mr and Mrs style shoe game via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Unexpected, untraditional entertainments like tarot card readers, singing waiters and magicians can really make a difference during the wedding meal and evening reception.  Watch your guests faces as they are amazed and entertained.

Fun reception ideas - magician entertainer via National Vintage wedding fair blog



Pretty much every wedding these days has a photo booth but how about going one further and having a Karaoke booth?  Sing your heart out in the privacy of your own little pod…we guarantee they’ll be a queue for it all night!

 Vintage wedding fair blog


During the meal having a quiz or two on the tables will liven things up, plus create an opportunity for a bit of competition and the best answers to be shared with the room.  Add a couple of cheeky question and see what comical answers your guests come up with!

Fun reception ideas - wedding table quiz via National Vintage wedding fair blog


A silly unexpected touch in the formality of the wedding ceremony is always a way to get your guests laughing (and telling people about your wedding afterwards).  We love little tweaks such as this one of using both your Grandmas as flower girls!

Fun reception ideas - grandmas as flower girls via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Have a cheeky cake topper on top of your cake.  Whether it’s a reluctant groom, bum squeeze or drunken version it is a great bit of fun.  Both of you love your phones a little too much?  Then this one is perfect…

Fun reception ideas - cheeky wedding cake topper via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Everyone loves a midnight feast – it seems so naughty and is perfect after a full day of celebrating and drinking!  Lay on trays of late night pulled pork, bacon or steak sandwiches or how about milk and cookies before your guests head off to bed?  Whatever you choose you guests will thank you for it…partying is hungry work!

Fun reception ideas - midnight feast food via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Don’t underestimate the power of a spectacular send-off. Once guests are riding high on a night of dancing and drinks sending you off in style can be a fun way to end the night. Make sure you have a fun way to let them participate in your send-off. Sparkler, ribbon wands, bubbles and confetti are all great ideas – for something a bit different how about having guests create paper airplanes on their tables and then toss them as your bride and groom leaves!

Fun reception ideas - sparkler send off via National Vintage wedding fair blog


Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Need some vintage wedding ideas? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in  Stoke Newington, London on 12th October and Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website –

Written by Sarah Gorlov

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