Wedding Memories: Wearing a veil

Memories

To wear a veil or not – this is a big question for many a vintage bride.  In recent years it has fallen out of favour and if it is worn it is worn pulled back as a headdress rather can a face covering.  There are many origins of a bride wearing a veil on her wedding day.  The definition itself of the word veil is to “obscure, shroud, mask or cover” – so where did this wedding memory come from?

In ancient Rome people believed that evil spirits would be attracted to the bride, so they covered her face with a veil in order to conceal her features and confuse them.  Similarly in medieval times, the veil was used to protect a bride from the evil eye and was a symbol of purity, chastity, and modesty.  The veil was used as a symbol of a bride’s submission and willingness to obey her husband.

wedding veil 1 via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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Veils were key in the ceremonies of an arranged marriage. In days past, men bargained with an eligible young lady’s father for their hand in marriage and to arrange a dowry.  After the ceremony, the veil was lifted to reveal the brides features – this was to keep the groom from backing out of the deal if he didn’t like what he saw!

wedding veil 2 via National Vintage Wedding Fair
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In Victorian times Queen Victoria is widely credited with popularising white and lacy wedding dresses, with all women of the time wanting to copy her look.  She chose Honiton lace for both her veil and dress, showing her support of the British lace industry. Her veil was long, worn upon a wreath of flowers, edged with the aforementioned lace and created a frenzy for a long ‘cathedral length’ veil.

wedding veil 3 via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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The trend for long veils continued through the romantic fashions of the 20’s and 30’s with brides always being veiled as they walked towards their groom.  Only after they we pronounced man and wide would the veil be lifted.  So many women adopting a crop or bob, headpieces were extremely important as brides-to-be sought for ways to enhance the look in a feminine way – the Juliet Cap veil (named after Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) was the popular style choice.

wedding veil 4 via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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The 1940s was the time for war austerity which influenced all fashion. Many European brides couldn’t afford wedding gowns, nor was fabric easily available. Most brides got married on short notice, and they simply wore their best suits and hats.  Brides that could create a wedding dress would use the veils of their mothers or mothers-in-law.  By the 1950s with changing fashions, it was all about full skirts, tiny waists and elegant collars.  Veils were back but in a smaller way such as a birdcage veil or a small veil on a skull cap.

wedding veil 5 via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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With the 60’s and access to man-made fabrics veils got fuller (and cheaper) and by the 1970s with the influence of flower power brides wore floral wreaths and draped their long veils over them.  And in the 1980’s…they went OTT with Princess Diana defining the trend with a 25ft one!

wedding veil 6 via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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With the present moment being possibly the best decades for bridal veils, as today’s brides are free to follow their own style and forgo the veil altogether if they don’t want one, using only accessories in their hair if they wish. It also used to be that brides marrying for the second time were not supposed to wear a veil, especially a white veil. Nowadays, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a veil for a second marriage if you want to.  We say go for it and follow a romantic wedding memories tradition that has been around since the first ever wedding.

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

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Weddings we wish we’d been at: Princess Margaret & Antony Armstrong Jones

In the 1950’s Princess Margaret was always seen as the ‘cool royal’.   Without the pressure of knowing she would someday be Queen, she took an interest in the arts and fashion, was seen out drinking and smoking and was the centre of a young set of aristocrats, know as ‘The Margaret Set’.  In 1953 she fell in love with one of the Royal Household, Group Captain Peter Townsend. Because he was divorced, marriage to Margaret was judged unacceptable by the Church of England and the political establishment. Eventually, Margaret decided not to marry him.

While the idea of the paparazzi and celebrity weddings was still new, Princess Margaret became one of their first subjects. When she wore a two piece bathing suit while on a royal tour of Italy, photographs appeared around the world as no royal had ever been photographed wearing a bathing suit before.  Her name was regularly in the gossip columns and although she still carried out her public engagements, it was the wild side of the heavy partier, drinker and smoker, Margaret, the public seemed obsessed with.

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 1 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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After being forced to give up her love, the princess resumed her social life with a vengeance and, in 1958, was introduced to a dashing Cambridge graduate who was making a name for himself as a photographer.  Antony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret were engaged in October 1959.

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 3 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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Thousands lined the streets to witness the Queen’s younger sister get married on May 6 1960 at Westminster Abbey. It was the first ever televised royal or celebrity wedding, and 20 million viewers tuned in in the UK alone.  Princess Margaret made the journey from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach with the Duke of Edinburgh.  There were 2,000 guests in the church and the traditional Church of England service was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 7 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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She dressed in white silk and sported a diamond tiara.   Designed by royal designer Norman Hartnell and fashioned from white silk organza, the gown had a jacket style bodice with long sleeves and beautiful full skirt consisting of 40 yards of fabric draped over a mass of stiffened tulle petticoats.  The dress was complimented with a matching long sheer veil of silk organza.  As a bouquet, Princess Margaret carried a diminutive version of her sister’s orchid bouquet of 1947.  Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 4 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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The wow piece though was the breathtaking Poltimore Tiara, made by Garrard in the 1870s.  An all-diamond tiara set in gold and silver. Amazingly it is a convertible piece that can also be broken down into a necklace and a set of 11 brooches.   Princess Margaret carried on wearing this in all its various versions all through her life.

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret tiara 5 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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After the ceremony, the pair travelled to Buckingham Palace where they waved to a delighted crowd.  Later, after driving through crowd lined streets, the newlyweds boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia on the Thames and set off for a honeymoon in the Caribbean – again showing their jet setting modern day style.

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 6 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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Celebrity Weddings Wedding of Princess Margaret - the Going Away via National Vintage Wedding Fair

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Antony Armstrong-Jones (now the Earl of Snowdon) and Princess Margaret had two children, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Over time, Lord Snowdon tired of official engagements, saying “I’m not royal; I’m just married to one.”  The couple officially separated in March 1976, and divorced two years later.  In 1998, Margaret suffered the first of a series of strokes and on 9 February 2002 she died peacefully in her sleep after another stroke. The Earl of Snowdon has continued with his photography work. In 1999 he received a life peerage so he could keep his seat in the House of Lords.

We think there wont be a royal again like Margaret…she defines how the 1960’s changed so much…

Celebrity Weddings Princess Margaret 2 via National Vintage Wedding fair

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Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Need some vintage wedding ideas? 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 wedding worthy buntings

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 worthy types of bunting to make your wedding day look amazing.

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Bunting is a fun touch for any wedding day.  Using vibrant reds, yellows, greens, pinks, oranges, purples and blues and mixing up spots, stripes and plains bright bunting is perfect for adding those bright decorative touches to weddings.  And with these being made using vibrant poly cotton fabric they will last for lots of other celebrations too!

Etsy bunting 1 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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Fancy something a bit wordy?  This heart shaped bunting is made from an old complete edition of Shakespeare’s plays, hence the aged gold of the paper. Strung onto natural linen, it will make any wedding into a literary celebration!

Etsy bunting 5 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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A ‘Just Married’ wedding bunting sign is perfect for any stylish rustic wedding!  Made out of natural hessian/burlap and is adjustable.  Hang it low, hang it high – but just make sure you hang it somewhere at your venue!

Etsy bunting 2 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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Create your own gorgeous personalised bunting for weddings with retro Polaroid style bunting with 5 photos. Pick 5 of your favourite photos to create your own personalised bunting from Facebook, Instagram, your phone or anywhere you have photos.  Adorable and totally unique. Etsy bunting 4 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

 5If you are having a winter wedding or a Christmas one, this gorgeous vintage paper bunting is perfect, featuring a variety of vintage festive images.  Now where’s our Eggnog?

Etsy bunting 3 via 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 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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