Wedding Memories: The Bride & Groom Leaving Early

Memories

In weddings of the past the bride and groom, who up to this time would of lived separately, would usually leave their wedding early and go straight to their honeymoon.  Their exit was the cause of much celebration with more confetti throwing, cheers and their discovery of a decorated car.   The honeymoon was seen as the beginning of their married life together and the start of their *ahem* physical relationship so for the newlyweds there was no time to lose!

This meant the bride and groom would leave the wedding reception before the scheduled end, usually after the bride tossed her bouquet, often in different outfits and with all their luggage for their honeymoon.  Nowadays most couples either stay at the venue or go home and go on their honeymoon a few days later as logistically it just seems too complicated.

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In the days of an early exit, the bride (and sometimes groom too) would change into a ‘going away’ outfit, typically a light coloured suit or dress (usually with coordinating accessories, such as a hat, gloves, shoes and handbag) that the bride changed into at some point after the reception.  The groom might replace his 3 piece suit or military uniform with a simple 2 piece suit and hat.  The choices were intended to be something that would travel well as the couple drove away together and onwards to their final destination by car, train, boat or airplane.

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So how have our royal brides handled their going away outfits?  Here is a drawing by Norman Hartnell of his design for Princess Elizabeth’s going away dress following her wedding on 20 November 1947. The outfit comprises a travelling coat in love-in-the-mist blue velour cloth with soft revers and rounded shoulders.

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In 1981, photographers snapped as Diana departing for honeymoon in a custom pink skirt suit by David Sassoon, worn with a pearl choker and slightly veiled hat in the same hue as the suit. The couple were taken by carriage to London’s Waterloo station where they took a train to the Mountbatten family home in Hampshire for their honeymoon.

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However the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in a Zara dress with LK Bennet black patent pumps paired with a simple black jacket…it seems even a royal can go simple with her going away outfit.

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These days creating an amazing wedding exit can be done whether or not you change into another dress.  Line up your guest in two rows and consider using sparklers, ribbon wands, bubbles or just strutting out to your favourite song.  Maybe a fast song after the slow dance you would of picked for your first dance?  If you use sparklers use long sparklers and have people lighting them starting at each end to the line so you your guests have lit sparklers as you leave.  If you are doing bubbles, make sure your guests start blowing the bubbles before you come out. That way when you come out you are walking into the bubbles and they are everywhere. It doesn’t really matter what you decide to use or do, just make sure you are overly excited when you walk out. Put your hands up, SCREAM, shout, you are married!

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What do you remember from weddings of the past that we don’t see so often now? Share one of your wedding memories with us and we’ll feature it in an upcoming blog at National Vintage Wedding Fair.

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Cambridge on 14th September, Harrogate on 21st September, Stoke Newington, London on 12th October or Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website – www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

Written by Sarah Gorlov

 

A Bright and Fun 1950′s Wedding

In our real wedding blog we get the chance to share the utterly gorgeous vintage Sheffield wedding of Michael and Stacey Teng  in September last year.

NVWF:  Tell us about yourselves? How long have you know each other? When did you get engaged and when did you marry?

We are Michael and Stacey and we are both Biomedical Scientists at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. We met at work, with our paths crossing frequently there, and when he brought me a steak pie to work that he had made, he won my heart!  We had probably known each other around a year before our first date, and we moved in together quite quickly after about 5-6 months of dating.  We started going to the Whitby Goth Festival each year. and Whitby kind of became ‘our place’, and it was here in October 2011 that Michael asked me to marry him.

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The proposal happened at the cliff top in the grounds of St. Marys church, just near Whitby Abbey. We had climbed the 199 steps and I turned round to see Michael acting a bit strangely and really out of breath. It was unlike him because he’s a fit guy and plays a lot of sport. I kept walking round the edge of the cliff and when I turned round he was on one knee with the most amazing ring. I of course said ‘yes!’ It turned out that Michael had been to ask permission from my Dad beforehand too which really meant a lot to me, as I’m really close with my family. We got back to our apartment and he’d arranged flowers and champagne and a meal at a nice restaurant that night, he’d really put so much effort and thought in to it.

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NVWF:  What was your vision for your wedding when you were growing up: was it vintage or traditional?

I was never bothered about getting married when I was growing up, it all seemed a big waste of money and time to me -I  obviously just had not met the right person! I’ve been in to the fourties and fifties era for about 10 years, but I started dressing in the ‘vintage’ style about 7 years ago. I didn’t particularly focus on the wedding being ‘vintage’ as such, I just like that style and a lot of the things I chose fell in to that category. We wanted the wedding to be bright, laid back and fun. My Mum is a florist and I’m also very crafty so we made most of the decorations ourselves. We collected old crockery for the years leading up to the wedding, I already made teacup candles, so I knew I wanted to make those for my ladies favours. I wanted everything to be bright and not matching, I had polka dots, gingham and stripes all mixed on the tables and kept all the colours nice and bright.

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NVWF:  Why did you want a vintage wedding? What elements were vintage?

My dress was fifties style but was a reproduction by Dolly Couture. We had a vintage American car, bunting, old crockery, my bridesmaids and I had victory rolls and fifties style make up. Our band ‘Carmen Ghia and the Hotrods’ are a rockabilly fifties style band. It was all quite ‘rustic’ with the mismatched materials and hay bales which all went along with the theme.

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NVWF:  How did you choose your venue?

Our wedding was at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield on 7th September 2013. We had a humanist ceremony which meant we did the legal proceedings at the register office the day before with just our immediate family.  We knew we didn’t want a religious wedding in a church, nor did we want to get married in a hotel or where someone we knew had been married so we decided upon the humanist idea because it’s none religious and means you can get married wherever you want. I quite liked the idea of having a ceremony outside, so we needed somewhere with enough outside space.  We loved Whirlow Hall Farm straight away. We hired the Hall and gardens, which is an old cottage which has been converted to house kids on school trips, and a large garden with loads of trees to hang stuff in and plenty of space for a marquee. It has amazing views over the peak district too. When we were visiting a sheep even ran through the yard, I just loved it because there was so much potential.  Michael has a lot of family from Cumbria so the bunk beds in the cottage meant they could all come and stay for free.

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NVWF:  How did you choose your dress?

I’d looked on the internet and seen the Dolly Couture brand. The only place in England at the time that stocked the dresses was in Bexley Heath, Greater London which is a long way from Doncaster! So my Mum, Helen and myself travelled all the way down there a lovely shop called ‘Cutting Edge Brides’ to try some on. The shop specialises in short wedding dresses and I definitely knew I wanted a short dress. I picked out a couple of dresses, and the lady in the shop picked out a couple too. The one I chose was only the 3rd I tried on, it fit me perfectly straight off the hanging and I knew it was the one before I’d even looked at myself in the mirror. The style was called ‘The Beverlywood’ and was much more simple than I originally had in mind but I loved all the pleating to the bodice and the simple lace that came from the underskirt.

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NVWF:  Was there a theme to your wedding?

There was a bit of a tea party theme, the table centres were old teapots with flowers in and the favours were teacup candles for the ladies and biscuit shaped key-rings for the gents. But we mainly just wanted lots of bright colours - I love patterns, especially polka dots, so my bridesmaids were in different coloured polka dots and the men had polka dot ties and pocket squares. There was also a bit of a village fete feel to the day, my Dad had made a coconut shy and tin can alley, we had hook-a-duck and a golf game, plus small games on all the tables. We had a picnic style lunch that we prepared ourselves, most of the produce came from Doncaster Market and we made up hampers for each table so that everyone could share the food around and interact. The farm provided a hog roast for the evening. We had cheese instead of a traditional cake, so we cut that early so everyone could dig in as part of their lunch.

We did everything ourselves, after our registry office wedding we all headed to Whirlow and our closest friends all came out to help us set up. I finally left at 10pm the night before the wedding after decorating the marquee and gardens, Michael and some of his closest friends still had to sort out the hampers and move the hay bales the morning of the wedding. And my Mum was there sorting out all the flowers, it was all quite stressful, but totally worth it.

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NVWF:  What were your influences for the day?

I looked at loads of wedding websites to get ideas, but I think the day really reflected us and was exactly how we wanted it to be.

NVWF:  How long did it take to plan?

We started planning pretty much straight away, but we knew it would take a while to save up, even though we were doing it on a budget. I was in the middle of my degree and working full time so we tried to space out the planning so I didn’t get too stressed. That didn’t work of course, we quite quickly sorted out the venue, marquee, table hire and bar hire but we forgot about a photographer! My Mum had told us about Sarah Folega when she met her at a wedding fair where they both had stalls. Mum gave me her leaflets but it totally slipped my mind, with a few months to go we still didn’t have a photographer planned but luckily Mum had kept Sarah’s number and she was still free on our date. It was meant to be!

I’d decided I wanted my bridesmaids to be in different bright colours and be in dresses that they all liked and could wear again if they wanted. Unfortunately, I bought 3 dresses under the premise that the fourth one would be in stock soon only to be told when I rang to check up on the order that it was no longer available. Helen’s mum, Val, came to the rescue! We managed to find some material with the same polka dots and Val made a fourth dress to match the others. She saved the day!

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NVWF:  And finally, what was the best part of the day?

There were a few really memorable moments. Walking down the aisle with my Dad was brilliant, when the music started to ‘My Girl’ I have never been so terrified, I thought my legs would give way or I was going to cry! Luckily I was fine once I got going and Dad clung on to me so I didn’t wobble over! We sang ‘I only wanna be with you’ by Dusty Springfield as part of the ceremony, it was so lovely being stood at the front watching all our friends and family really going for it singing the song! The best men’s speech was crazy, like slap stick humour mixed with Vic and Bob with everything that could go wrong, going wrong! It just made it all the more memorable! When we could finally relax and have a dance and a drink with our families without any of the worries of when things should be happening it was just great.

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Unless stated otherwise all photography : Folega Photography

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Are you going to be a vintage bride soon?  For ideas and inspiration join our mailing list .  Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Cambridge on 14th September, Harrogate on 21st September, Stoke Newington, London on 12th October or Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website – www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

Written by Sarah Gorlov

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Everything Etsy! Five perfect wedding 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 wedding cards from you to the bride and groom.

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Go for an original and unique personalised 3D wedding card - when the card is opened two paper love birds take shape – one representing the Bride and the other the Groom. Just add the personalised text for the love birds when ordering.

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This lovely Sixpence Card is the perfect keepsake card to give to the Bride on her wedding day as tradition has it that the sixpence is given as a symbol of good luck.  The sixpence can be removed from the card to be carried by the bride and replaced and kept as a keepsake and the card and sixpence can be framed and displayed after the wedding.

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Send all your love and wedding day congratulations to the happy couple with this cute bunting card.  Handmade in Scotland using recycled card, it features hand drawn plastic bunting and a printed ‘Wedding Day’ greeting.

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Feeling cheeky?   Hate flowery wedding cards?  If your bride and groom are straight-talking and don’t take themselves too seriously, this funny little card should make them laugh out loud.  Buy it at your own risk though!!!

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5Choose a personalised surname card with not only the newly-wed couple’s surname on the front, but also the date of their marriage on the reverse.  Printed using a font which was hand drawn by the artist using a dip pen and ink and then digitally manipulated and coloured to create the finished design.  Super cute.

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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? Come visit one of our upcoming vintage wedding fairs in Cambridge on 14th September, Harrogate on 21st September, or in Stoke Newington, London on 12th October or Chiswick, London on 9th November and find everything you need for your big day. For more details check the website – www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

Written by Sarah Gorlov.

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