Vintage Wedding Hair by the Vintage Bride

Our Vintage Bride Sophie is back this week with a really helpful post on styling vintage wedding hair.

Vintage Wedding Hair

Hello Cwtchers!

I promised I’d be back to vintage business in my next post so let’s shimmy to it!

So you’ve decided to go vintage on your big day… just how vintage you go I will leave you to decide but a vintage or vintage-style dress definitely requires a vintage style hair do!

Firstly, you can find lots of era-specific inspiration in the Pinterest boards I put together for 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s weddings. I also wrote a series of posts on each of these eras to help and inspire you so choose a hairstyle you are happy with and then consider the following…

In the lead up to our wedding I had hoped a hairdresser friend would do my hair on the day but after a trial and a couple of failed attempts it became clear that the look I wanted wasn’t achievable without a lot of practice and some vintage-training.

At this point I was due to attend a vintage wedding fair in Swansea. I immediately spotted a lady styling hair in a corner; most vintage wedding fairs have one or two – I could stand and watch them working their magic all day. Retro hair styling is an actual art! I watched in awe as she sculpted the most immaculate victory rolls I had ever seen. She charged £10 for a trial on the day, an absolute bargain and I immediately realised that I needed her but her skills came at a price and cut backs had to be made.

When you book a vintage stylist, you are paying for training most hairdressers don’t have. The techniques used require patience and lots and lots of practice. The amount you pay is dictated by a number of factors.

Firstly it depends just how vintage you want your wedding to look. You could choose to make-over your entire bridal party or you could choose to focus on yourself. I chose to go the whole hog. I didn’t plan to marry again and styling has always been a love of mine so I thought ‘to heck with it’ and paid for myself, my four bridesmaids and my mother to be transformed into 1950s bombshells. Our hairdresser worked tirelessly from 7am through to 12pm and there wasn’t a hair out of place. I couldn’t have been happier. I wouldn’t like to say how much I paid (I did get married three years ago) but it stretched the budget and I believe it was a little pricier than a ‘modern day’ hairdresser. wedding_brecon_vintage433 b2bf7171cb4c3e16f941acb2355cb670

Secondly, the distance the hairdresser needs to travel will make a difference. This is usually the case with most wedding stylists so you are usually better off finding someone as local as possible. Vintage hair stylists are harder to come by than standard wedding stylists so you should start your search early to ensure they are available on your day and to avoid disappointment.

If you have lots of time and have a hairdresser who is willing to learn to create the look you desire then you could book in for multiple trials but in all honesty, and having spoken to various hairdressers, if a hairdresser wants your wedding booking and they can’t create the style you want, they will practice in their own time. You are not putting them out by requesting this – they will have additional skills which they can use in the future – and you shouldn’t have to pay extra. If they are not willing to do this then you are perfectly within your rights to find someone who can, so it is always worth asking!

If however, you don’t wish to spend much on hair but still want to achieve a well-rounded vintage look on your day, there are ways!

I have a copy of Style Me Vintage – Hair by Belinda Hay and highly recommend it. It is great for complete beginners and it’s a fantastic book to get you started. It is full of step-by-step guides to achieving various vintage looks from a beehive to a fifties pony tail. You could get the girls over and practice over a bottle of wine but you will need to practice a lot, and regularly, so don’t leave it to the last minute!

If books aren’t your thing, head over to YouTube. Cherry Dollface is an absolute pro. She will teach you everything you need to know, from immaculate hairstyling to perfect eyeliner flicks. She has a series of videos specifically for weddings too so not only can she teach you how to style your hair in the comfort of your own home but she will show you how to ensure your make up is applied correctly and will see you through your day. Here is the link to her YouTube channel so subscribe away!

And if you have no time to practice or it just isn’t happening for you, Mia Farrow looked incredible when she married Frank Sinatra. Just saying ;-)

Good luck and please send in your vintage wedding photos!

Love Sophie x

 

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 Flower Girl’s Attire from the Vintage Bride

Vintage Bride Sophie has been sourcing some gorgeous flower girl outfits for you this week, all with a vintage twist of course! For all of Sophie’s posts on planning a vintage inspired wedding click here.

Hello Cwtchers and happy Spring!

It’s our third wedding anniversary this month and today I’m going to look at one of the elements of our wedding I didn’t play a part in… the flower girl’s attire.
Our flower girl was my bridesmaid’s little daughter Betsi. At the time of the wedding she and our little boy, Oscar, were 1 1/2. As if by magic, they both learnt to walk a week before the wedding and I’m not going to lie… they kinda stole the show (for which I will never forgive them) ;-)

Betsi’s gorgeous little outfit was from Poppy England and she looked absolutely amazing. My bridesmaid Ria organised her outfit which coordinated with her own beautifully and we sorted her out with some accessories and presents.
I now have two boys and don’t often get to look at little girls’ clothes so I’ve taken great pleasure in sourcing the finest little pieces the High Street has to offer your flower girl (with a vintage feel, of course). There are the sweetest dresses inspired by the 50s and the cutest little 60s inspired numbers (which I wish they made in grown up sizes!) I also have a selection of lovely accessories. I would have cried with joy as a girl if I’d had a red riding hood cape!!!
I Love Gorgeous winter cape

I Love Gorgeous winter cape

Sophie’s Vintage Inspired Flower Girl Pinterest Board

I’ve included a little something from each of the big names on the High Street, with a few shops you may not have known about thrown in for good measure. If you click on the image it will take you directly to the shop so if you don’t see anything you fancy you can browse at your own convenience. I hope it helps!
Till next time, enjoy the sunshine everyone!
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