Remembering Loved Ones by Vintage Bride Sophie

Vintage Bride Sophie is back this month with her thoughts on remembering loved ones at your wedding. Over to Sophie.

Hi lovely Cwtchers!

I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on a part of your wedding day we don’t often talk about. Ways to remember loved ones…

After the initial excitement of announcing your wedding subsides a little and thoughts turn to planning and budgets, perhaps when the dreaded table planning begins, there will come a moment when you realise that not everyone you love will be there on your special day and it isn’t easy when the realisation hits you.

One of the hardest, yet most beautiful moments of our wedding day was when Gareth took a moment to remember the people we love and are no longer with us during his speech. Here is a little extract from his speech and a photograph Maria took as he read it.

I want to toast to the loved ones that are no longer with us. I know that there are some empty places in our hearts and not just at these tables today. Soph, I know how much you would have loved an approving kiss from your Grandfather and Uncle Eric and also a warm smile for you and a disapproving look for me from your Aunt Joyce. And for me, I’m thinking of my Grandad Eirydd – or Eddie as you might have known him and my Grandad Sid. Both men taught me to live my life with a smile on my face and most importantly that learning never stops – at any age – so I know that I will be questioning everything around me until my dying day. So this toast is to the people that mean everything to us – I said there are empty places in our hearts but really our lives are richer for having had these wonderful people in them. To loved ones!

He was right, what we would have done to have them there.

Ahead of the wedding, I had already decided that I would honour my grandfather by including sweet peas in my bouquet. He used to grow them and enter them in to competitions and he was so, so proud of his garden. If he had still been with us I imagine he’d have grown all of our flowers.

I never got to meet my grandmothers but it was always clear that my mother and father would have loved me to. My bouquet was tied with lace which belonged to my mother’s mother and the room was full of crocheted doilies my father’s mother and great aunt had made.

Wherever I looked in that room, they were there.

If I have any advice it would be this… When you’re planning your wedding, make time to remember the people you hold dear. Find a special way to ensure they have their place in your day. You want them there and they would want to be there so ensure you have something; a photograph, a favourite poem, a song, something that you will see or experience on the day and think ‘Oh, there they are.’

Think about the person they were and why you loved them. Of course, you can look to Pinterest and the internet for inspiration but if you can, find your own way to remember them. I chose not to have a photo table because that would have reminded me that they weren’t there. Instead, I found ways to include them as if they were still here. My grandfather would have grown sweetpeas for me, my grandmother and great aunt would have crocheted doilies if I had asked and I would have been given lace and other pretty pieces.

Above all else, when that moment in your day comes, by all means shed a tear and have a little cry; it’s your party and you should cry if you want to. Just make sure you give them a smile. Remember that they would want you to be happy and, whether they can see you or not, they would want you to smile your biggest smile! You are marrying the person you love and I am sure they would have given anything to be there to see that. So let them.

If you feel you can share, we would love to hear how you plan to remember your loved ones or ways you have already honoured them. Perhaps you can help inspire other readers :)

I promise vintage business will resume next time!

Till then, much love,

Sophie x

Vintage Inspired Wedding Favours from The Vintage Bride

Vintage Bride Sophie has been exploring the tradition behind giving wedding favours and has found some beautiful vintage inspired favour ideas…

The tradition of giving wedding favours

Favours have been given to guests at parties and weddings for many, many years. The tradition of the favour is an extremely old one, originating in Europe. Aristocrats would present their fancy party guests with boxes, often embellished with gems and jewels containing sugar cubes. Sugar used to be extremely expensive and was considered a complete luxury so to be presented with a favour like this was such a treat!

As sugar became affordable, favours (or bonbonnieres) evolved. Have you ever been given sugared almonds as a favour before? I know I have and it was only through researching this post that I discovered why! Traditionally, five sugared almonds should be presented in a small box or bag tied with ribbon. The five almonds represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness and the almonds themselves, teamed with the sweetness of the sugar symbolise the bitter-sweetness of marriage. How lovely is that?! They also happen to be super cheap so if you want tradition on a budget this is surely favour perfection!

However, I feel that (especially in recent years) favours have evolved again. You brides and grooms are more creative than ever and the development of social media means there is more inspiration at your finger tips than ever before! **cough cough PINTEREST cough**

We chose to give small jam jars filled with tiny rhubarb and custard sweets topped with mismatched floral fabric. They were easy to make, cheap and they looked really effective on the tables with the mismatched china. However, I do wish we’d perhaps put more thought into what people would want as we were left with a lot of jars of sweets at the end of the night! Needless to say our dentist wasn’t happy at our next check up

I’ve put together a selection of my favourite favours out there. A lot of these are vintage-inspired but even those that aren’t can easily be adapted.

This is my personal favourite. I’d fill it with five sugared almonds

I love the idea of books as wedding favours!

Or a Mix-Tape (OK Mix-CD)

Who doesn’t love Popcorn?

And last but not least favours for a winter wedding- vintage Christmas baubles.

What did you choose or what do you have planned? Have you received a spectacular favour you’d care to share? Will you be making your own favours or will you be calling on help or paying someone to provide them? Do you think favours are a terrible waste of money and will you be donating to charity or using the money saved for something else? I would love to know!

Till next time, enjoy this glorious sunshine!

Sophie x

Welsh Wedding Traditions from the Vintage Bride: Love Spoons

In this new series of posts Vintage Bride Sophie is going to be investigating Welsh Wedding Traditions and sharing with you ways that you can incorporate them into your wedding day. She kicks off this week with the beautiful tradition of Love Spoons.

Welsh Wedding Traditions: Love Spoons

Hi Cwtchers!

Over the next year, I’m going to be looking at various romantic and wedding related Welsh wedding traditions. I’d originally planned to do a single post on these but I wouldn’t be able to do each of them justice (some of them are incredible and some are HYSTERICAL!) so we’ll look at them one at a time.

Today I’m looking at the tradition of giving love spoons. This tradition is thought to date back to the seventeenth century and they were traditionally carved by men to present to young women as a way of asking their girl of choice out or showing affection. It is thought the spoon showed the girls’ father or family that he was good husband material – that he could carve wood and provide for her (grrrr). The earliest known Welsh love spoon dates back to 1667 and is on display at one of our favourite wedding venues, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life (I’m now dreaming of proposals by it. Pleeease say this has happened to one of you!)

These days love spoons are generally given as gifts and presented at weddings, births, christenings and for anniversaries. As I’m sure you’re aware there are many different symbols and meanings associated with the spoons. Symbols are carved into the wood and, collectively, hold a little message. I remember my father giving me a silver love spoon necklace when I was a little girl which was meant to prevent my heart being broken. Of course, I did have my heart broken but I can honestly say that I wasn’t wearing it at the time and I’m sure it wouldn’t have happened if I had been.

So let’s have a look at the different meanings and ways you can incorporate love spoons into your wedding. Predominantly, these are the main symbols you will find carved into them.

  • Horseshoe: luck
  • Cross: faith
  • Bells: marriage
  • Hearts: love
  • Wheel: supporting a loved one
  • Lock: security
  • Caged balls: the number of children hoped for
  • Birds: going away together
  • Stalk: a new birth
  • Chain: a wish to be together
  • Diamond: wealth and good fortune
  • Key, lock or keyhole: security (I will look after you)
  • Knot: eternal love
  • Twisted stem: togetherness
  • Dragon: the protective symbol of Wales

In terms of incorporating this tradition into your day, there are many ways you can do so! You could present your husband or wife-to-be with a bespoke spoon as a gift they can cherish forever. If your budget allows you can buy personalised spoons in bulk to give as favours. You may choose to have spoons made for your bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to say thank you. Or you could put one on your gift list if you’d like one for your own home to remember your day! Left it too late for your wedding? Your fifth anniversary is the one requiring a wooden gift .

If you don’t have the time or expertise to carve love spoons for your guests or loved one, shame on you (although I may be able to help).  Luckily, living in Wales, you can buy gorgeous spoons on your doorstep. Or for those further afield, they are readily available online too. Here are my picks…

You can purchase reproduction love spoons from St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life. They are carved by Sion Llewellyn and are copies of the spoons held in the museum. You can also buy from him directly.

Welsh Gifts: 20 personalised love spoon favours are £58.40

The Lovespoon Gallery in Mumbles is a gorgeous little shop selling many designs. You can order online and they have a selection of spoons which can be used as favours.

If you’re looking for something really special, Adam King carves the most beautiful bespoke spoons. You can choose exactly what you’d like carving to make your spoon really personal and unique (he’s even carved Care Bears before!) Prices range from £70-£150

For those of you wishing to go the extra mile, you can learn to carve your own spoon at this workshop: Sharon Littley Woodcarving in Port Talbot or  via this online tutorial.

If you’ve ever tried your hand at this amazing craft please let us know! We’d love to see your efforts and we’d love to see how you’ve incorporated love spoons into your wedding!

Enjoy the first days of spring all and, as always, happy planning!

Sophie x

Vintage Bride: Men’s Vintage Inspired Attire from the High Street

Vintage Bride Sophie is back this week with an in depth look into some of the hottest men from days gone by, a real hardship of course! All in the name of men’s vintage fashion for the groom to be…

Hello all!

Today I’m here to help out the often forgotten, left to the last minute, not-given-as-much-budget gentlemen amongst you. I think wedding attire is hard for a lot of men, it certainly was for mine! Gareth had never spent much on clothes. He bought things when he needed them and would never spend much (the wedding changed that; he’s now a shopaholic). Our wedding was the first time he’d ever been out to source an entire look, he didn’t know where to begin. If your man isn’t fashion conscious and is taking a backseat in the planning, it is likely he’ll be guided by a brief you deliver (and may need an nudge in the right direction).

Image by Maria Farrelly

Gareth AKA Mr Vintage Bride! Image by Maria Farrelly

Ladies: Please place ipad or other reading device in husband-to-be’s hand. In the meantime, I would love to know… How involved has your man been? How soon into planning did he choose his outfit? Did YOU choose his outfit or was it left to him? Can your man be trusted (with shopping, obviously)?

Men: Fear not, you are in luck! There are so many vintage-inspired pieces on the high street at the moment!

I’ve taken a look at some legendary style icons of days gone by. Just for you lovely lot I’ve been looking through image, after image, after image, after image of James Dean, Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley. I know, I have a tough life These hotties oozed class. I can’t think of a better bunch of lads to show us how it’s done! So, please find below the best high street buys I can find to recreate these looks on your big day (with the odd luxury item thrown in – the boys deserve a splurge too, right?)

Elvis Presley

Image Source: Pnterest

Elvis & Priscilla. Image Source: Pinterest

Who knew his wedding suit was paisley print?! Well I tracked down a pretty good match!

Click any photo to see a larger size and, where appropriate, a link to purchase

 James Dean

James Dean. Image Source: Pinterest

James Dean. Image Source: Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

This man makes a classic black suit look SO cool (and those glasses! SWOON!!!)

Steve McQueen

Image Source: Pinterest

Steve McQueen wearing Persol Sunglasses. Image Source: Pinterest

Dressed like a gentleman, drove cars like a man!

I have another post coming up shortly with some more vintage mens’ looks to consider but if there are any old school looks (male or female) that you would like me to look at and recreate do let me know! This was fun!!!

Happy planning lovelies x

Wow thank you Sophie, what do you think cwtchers? Girl did good! Can you see your man wearing one of these looks on your wedding day? My personal favourite would be the James Dean look, although it’s hard to choose! x

Readings for a Vintage Wedding from the Vintage Bride

Our Vintage Bride Sophie is back this week with a selection of beautiful readings that would perfectly suit a vintage themed wedding, take it away Sophie!

Hi Cwtchers!

I’m going to be exploring some old wedding readings with you today. Traditionally weddings were religious, as were the readings spoken at them. Today however, I’m going to be looking at poems and pieces written many years ago but which would work brilliantly as part of a ‘vintage wedding’ – today!

Firstly, I must share the same disclaimer Charlie did in her first post on alternative wedding readings because, alas, the exact same thing just happened to me. I’ll call it ‘the curse of looking at wedding readings following your own wedding or in the week before your wedding’. It’s a cruel, cruel curse so please be warned… If you have chosen your readings and it is too late to change them, put your laptop or tablet down. Just do it. Save yourself. Do it now.

Now that that’s cleared up, the first reading I will share is “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe. It was published in 1599, after his death. Although Marlowe was English, this would sit so beautifully at a Welsh wedding. As soon as I read it my heart sank because it would have been perfect at our own wedding almost three years ago. You would think he was writing about Wales… He mentions valleys, myrtle (which is considered lucky here) and, dare I say it? Sheep. I LOVE it. SOB!!!

If you’re having a 1930s style wedding you can even use it for your first dance. In 1995 it was used as song lyrics for a 30s-style swing piece in the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Have a listen, it’s gorgeous.

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle,
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull,
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs,
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherds’ swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

THE CURSE STRIKES AGAIN!!! Those that know Gareth and I well will instantly know why this reading would have been perfect for us. I wish I could share the reason but he would give me evils and I would blush like a beetroot. However, that aside, this is so sweet. Us Two is a verse included in a book titled When We Were Six by A. A Milne and was published in 1927. It captures the innocence of young love and is so light and lovely, it is sure to make everyone smile. Oh, and it mentions dragons… Again, obviously Welsh!

“Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
‘Where are you going today?’ says Pooh:
‘Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,’ says Pooh, says he.
‘Let’s go together,’ says Pooh…
‘Let’s look for dragons,’ I said to Pooh.
‘Yes, let’s,’ said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
‘Yes, those are dragons all right,’ said Pooh.
‘As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,’ said Pooh, said he.
‘That’s what they are,’ said Pooh.
‘Let’s frighten the dragons,’ I said to Pooh.
‘That’s right,’ said Pooh to Me.
‘I’m not afraid,’ I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted ‘Shoo!
Silly old dragons!’ – and off they flew.
‘I wasn’t afraid,’ said Pooh, said he,
‘I’m never afraid with you.’
So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
‘What would I do?’ I said to Pooh,
‘If it wasn’t for you,’ and Pooh said: ‘True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together,’ says Pooh, says he. ‘That’s how it is,’ says Pooh.”

For those looking for some serious ‘old school love’ the following romantic poems are pretty lovely. They’ll certainly add a touch of classic vintage to the proceedings!

Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her
by Christopher Brennan (1870-1932)

If questioning would make us wise
No eyes would ever gaze in eyes;
If all our tale were told in speech
No mouths would wander each to each.

Were spirits free from mortal mesh
And love not bound in hearts of flesh
No aching breasts would yearn to meet
And find their ecstasy complete.

For who is there that lives and knows
The secret powers by which he grows?
Were knowledge all, what were our need
To thrill and faint and sweetly bleed?

Then seek not, sweet, the “If” and “Why”
I love you now until I die.
For I must love because I live
And life in me is what you give.

Marriage Morning by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Light, so low upon earth,
You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.
Oh, the woods and the meadows,
Woods where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stay’d to be kind,
Meadows in which we met!

Light, so low in the vale
You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,
And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,
By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and heart,
Into my heart and my blood!

Heart, are you great enough
For a love that never tires?
O’ heart, are you great enough for love?
I have heard of thorns and briers,
Over the meadow and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
Flash for a million miles.

And for those with a sense of humour, the next two would really get some laughs. I was lucky enough to witness the Readers Digest article from 1955 in action at a wedding recently, it went down a treat. Everyone in the room was roaring with laughter and I genuinely don’t think the bride knew it was going to be read! Well I’d have loved it

A word to husbands by Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you’re right, shut up.

And this one:

Image Source: Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

I always rattle on about asking your parents or grandparents about their wedding but another way to include them and personalise your wedding would be to use their readings or vows on your own day. If they’re still happily married, who knows, maybe there’s some luck in there for you :)

What are your thoughts? Do any of these take your fancy or do you have an old reading you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them!

See you soon!

Sophie x