Weddings we wish we’d been at: Marilyn Monroe & Arthur Miller

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were married in the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains, New York at 7:21 pm on the 29th June, 1956 in a ceremony that lasted less than five minutes. “Miss Monroe wore a sweater, skirt and no hat,” the New York Times wrote the following day, adding that “Mr Miller wore a blue suit and a white shirt but no tie.” It was her third marriage and his second, five years after they first met. Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism for her new husband.  After the ceremony, the couple got into their sports car and disappeared into traffic to the annoyance of the waiting paparazzi.

On the 1st July, the two held a longer, Jewish ceremony in Waccabuc, at the home of Miller’s literary agent, Kay Brown surrounded by a small intimate group of family and friends and Marilyn converted to Judaism for her new husband.

Celebrity weddings - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 4 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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Celebrity weddings - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 1 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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With the help of John Moore, costume designer Norman Norell made the light beige muslin wedding gown with peasant neckline and short veil that Marilyn wore.  The dress was floor length and figure hugging in a traditional wedding dress style.

Celebrity weddings - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 2 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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Celebrity weddings - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 5 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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The wedding kiss…

Celebrity weddings - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 3 via National Vintage wedding fair blog

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The marriage lasted five years and Marilyn never married again. The divorce was part of a decline which was marked by her erratic behaviour and persistent abuse of alcohol and drugs.  Tragically on the 5th August 1962 she was found dead in her Los Angeles home, aged just 36.

Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Love weddings?  Need some vintage wedding ideas? Come visit one of our vintage wedding fairs in Chiswick on the 13th February, Harrogate on the 22nd February, Stoke Newington on the 15th March, Manchester on the 19th April or Chiswick on the 26th April.  For more details check the website – www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

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How to pack for your Honeymoon like a pro

Once you’ve picked a destination and booked the honeymoon suite, there’s one big to-do left on your honeymoon list – to pack. Here are some tips for packing well and travelling smoothly to keep you feeling as happy as when you said your vows.

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Start early - Start to plan early (especially if you’re leaving at the end of your wedding day).  Avoid last-minute stress by checking your airline baggage rules and any immunisations required for your destination as far in advance as possible.  Call your credit card company and mobile phone provider to inform them of your plans so that you can avoid any surprise fees.

Pack well but not too well!  When it comes to packing it’s all about balance: packing too much will weigh you down, while leaving behind essentials will mean overspending on things while you’re away.  Keep organised by packing by outfit – choose an outfit for each day or occasion you have planned as well as a few versatile pieces that can be worn more than once.  Pack an extra large’ish bag within your suitcase to bring on day trips so you can bring back souvenirs and other shopping easily.

Pack a few surprises – Got a fabulous new sexy dress or shoes you’ve been waiting to show off? A stylish honeymoon hotel with your adoring new husband is the place and person to do it with. A honeymoon is all about romance, so pack some great lingerie and anything else you think will be fun – we’ll leave that up to you and your imagination…

Be organised - Knowing what not to pack in your checked bags is important too. Minimise the chance for potential problems by keeping essential travel documents like itineraries, visas, tickets, confirmations, important contact info, and copies of your passports with you at all times.   It can be useful to email yourself a folder of all important documents just in case the originals get lost or destroyed. This way you can always regain access to these items no matter where you are.

Beware lost luggage.  Hedge your bets in case your baggage is lost by dividing both of your belongings between two suitcases. This way, if disaster strikes, at least you’ll have some of your essentials!  Consider bringing a large carry-on bag of your favourite bits and essentials and then share one large, checked bag with each of your remaining belongings.  Label your luggage.

Roll with it.  Maximise space and avoid creasing, roll each item tightly then pack them snugly on top of each other. For particularly wrinkle-prone clothing, place tissue paper on top of items before you roll to prevent wrinkling.   Stuff your socks inside of your shoes—not only will this save you space, but it will help your shoes retain their shape.

Tech support – Leave computers and tablets at home. Your honeymoon is a rare moment in life when it’s just the two of you. Unplug, turn off your phone, and savour every moment together. Of course, part of the fun of traveling these days is posting photos while you’re on the go, so post and share your photos while on the WiFi in your room.

Better to be safe than sorry – It may not be the most romantic thing to think about, but neither is getting sick on your honeymoon with nothing to help you feel better. Bringing the right medication will help should you become ill. Pain relievers, cold remedies, allergy medication, nausea relief, anti-diarrhoea meds, sunscreen, aloe, hand sanitizer, tissues, and insect repellent will get you through most disasters. Also don’t forget your contraception unless you’re planning for a honeymoon baby!!!

The camera never lies - Your honeymoon is a milestone in your life that should be remembered as such. If you don’t have one, invest in a decent camera (or consider registering for one as a wedding gift) as exotic honeymoon locations and precious moments deserve better than smartphone photography. And don’t forget the chargers and accessories for your camera like extra batteries and memory cards.

And finally - Take a deep breath and relax.  All the stress of the last few months is over and you get to spend quality time holidaying with the love of your life.  It doesn’t get better than that!

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Are you going to be a vintage bride soon? Love weddings?  Need some vintage wedding ideas? Come visit one of our vintage wedding fairs in Chiswick on the 13th February, Harrogate on the 22nd February, Stoke Newington on the 15th March, Manchester on the 19th April or Chiswick on the 26th April.  For more details check the website – www.vintageweddingfair.co.uk.

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Vintage Wedding Venues: Stoke Newington Town Hall

Welcome to the first on a series of blogs showing you some amazing wedding venues. The first one we are to feature is Stoke Newington Town Hall in East London.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

This beautiful building is also where we hold our East London Vintage Wedding Fair. Our next one is on 22nd March 2015 so why not pop along and see the venue and amazing space for yourself.

It is an Art Deco building, set on one of the coolest, independent roads in London; Church Street, Stoke Newington. There are 2 rooms of note, The Assembly Room and The Council Chamber, both perfect for your big day.

The Assembly Room is the perfect space for a reception, with its Canadian Maple sprung floor, large stage and one of the largest working glitter ball in Europe. The ceilings are high, the room is light and can host 550 guests.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

The Council Chambers is where you would get married and feels more serious yet still elegant. With its walnut panelled walls and curved mahogany furniture, it seats 83 guests.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

The town hall was built over a three year period from 1935-7 and the designs were the result of a competition. The Metropolitan Borough wanted to showcase its pride in its surroundings so set the task of designing an extra building on the side of the existing library. Only a few years later was broke out and the venue became a hub for the community by hosting variety nights and even as a place to collect your gas masks from. They even painted the building to camouflage it which must have worked at it avoided bombing during the Blitz.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue 7

The 1950s and 60s saw the continued rise of music halls and great dance nights and Stoke Newington Town Hall provided many a great night out. Celebrities performed including Barbara Windsor, the ultimate East End girl.

“In 2009 Stoke Newington Town Hall re opened its doors following an ambitious 18-month restoration project, funded by Hackney Council, which saw the property returned to its Art Deco glory.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

Throughout the project, emphasis was placed on reflecting the original character and charm of the building while fitting it out to a very modern standard. Where possible original features have been retained and are complimented by modern additions. New lifts and external ramps mean that the building is fully accessible.

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

The Town Hall’s original materials and colours have been used, including original brick, Portland stone, slate roof tiles, hardwood veneers and York stone paving. The entrance foyer still has on show original Tudor brickwork from a mansion house that originally stood on the site of the Town Hall.

The result is a unique venue that blends the best of old with the new, providing a flexible space for any event.” Hackney Venues

Stoke Newington Town Hall East London Art Deco Wedding Venue

A wedding here would be beautiful whatever your style however, if you are having a glamorous 1930s affair, then this is THE place to get married. Plus they have an events team who can help you plan the day exactly as you would like it.

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