As regular readers of this blog may remember, today was the day The Vintage Wedding Festival (run by The Vintage Wedding Society) took place at our wedding venue (Heatherden Hall, in Pinewood Studios, in case it’s your first time here). Run by Kellie from Lola Rose Photography and Claire from Claire MacIntyre Photography, it was the first one, and I was very excited about finding a wedding fair that catered to people like me, and that I didn’t have to travel to London to get to.
As my mum and sister hadn’t seen our venue, and The Boy is still traumatised after all those wedding fairs I dragged him to at the beginning of the year (there were a lot), they graciously agreed to come with me. So we all piled into my old car (which my mum now owns), and headed down to Buckinghamshire.
Unfortunately for my mum and sister, I was driving. It’s been a long time since I drove a manual car that’s small and zippy (The Boy’s car, which I now share, is an automatic the size of a boat), so we whizzed in and out of lanes with wild abandon, while they queasily enquired, “Are we nearly there yet?”.
When we finally arrived (Sunday drivers – tsk!), I stuck my head out of the window to talk to security, and bashed my head on the doorframe as I pulled it back in. Good start.
Thankfully, things started looking up almost immediately, when we were greeted with a red carpet, and this rather foxy looking caravan, which is ALSO A PHOTO BOOTH! I cannot stress how excited I am by this idea, as someone who loves both vintage caravans, and taking many, many photos of my face:
We went inside to register, and the lovely lady who was signing people in agreed to let me take a photo of the amazing sign for the blog (and to be in the photo, which was nice). Unfortunately, my camera (I say camera, I mean phone – really must look into that), couldn’t cope with the bright sign and bright hallway, but hopefully you get the idea.
Pausing to say a quick hello to our wedding coordinator (all-round awesome human being and powerhouse of organisation), I gave Mum and Kates (sister, MOH, cake maker, good egg) a tour of the venue. In our ceremony room, The Vintage Sisters Travelling Tea Party had a pop-up tea room all set up, but Mum and Kates nodded in the right places when I laid out our vision (“Daleks, daleks everywhere! And K-9 as officiant!”) and exclaimed at the lovely view (it really is lovely. Shame my guests won’t enjoy it, as all eyes will be on ME.) (I’m joking, I promise. Well. I’m mostly joking).
We headed into the bar area, which had been taken over by A Peculiar Dream, a wonderful, colourful wedding decor company, with signs and light-up letters galore! (I’d love to have the ‘Kiss me’ sign at our wedding, but I have a horrible feeling that we’d attempt to get a lovely romantic, cheesy shot of us kissing in front of it, I’d trip over my dress, take The Boy down with me, and we’d spend our wedding night in A&E. Yes, this is what it’s like living in my head.)
And so to the main room, where I remembered all the ideas I had when we first got engaged. For those of you yet to plan a wedding, when you first decide to get married, after a month of “Yayhoorahhurray” playing on a loop around your head, you start thinking seriously about what you want your wedding to look like. You have a million ideas, and eventually decide on one (or, in our case, two) themes (I will never, EVER tire of telling wedding suppliers “Yes, our theme is vintage” – pause, while they nod approvingly – “Mixed with Doctor Who”. Longer pause, while they either grin and say it’s brilliant, or look a bit nonplussed. I’m pleased to say that today was full of the former). You’ll then decide what to do with your flowers, decor and the like, based on those themes. And you tend to stop going to wedding fairs around this time too, because it just gets too confusing.
After a quick stop at the Middo Shoes stand (oh my word, the beauty – they’re handpainted shoes!), we went to talk to the lovely people at Daphne Rose, makers of fabric bouquets. We’re having paper bouquets, so we have something to keep, so I really liked this idea. I adored the hairpieces and bouquets – especially the one at the front of the first photo, such lovely, soft colours.
And look at this table plan! We still haven’t decided how we’re presenting ours (it’s essentially a Mexican stand off at this point), and I love this idea:
As you’d expect with a wedding fair, there was lots of cake on offer, and I took a few photos. The one on the left is ‘Chloe’, from Sugar Designs (I love the fact they have names. I think we’ll call our cake Martha), and the ones on the right are from Just Because Cakes. Both stands had cakes that looked very traditional, but with a twist, which would suit our theme perfectly.
Moving onto the next room, I caught up with Oh My Honey!, a 50s-style dress brand whose website I’ve been stalking for some time now. On the stand, they had a chart of colour swatches for bridesmaids’ dresses. I swear, I swooned a bit. Kates asked if I might consider changing into one of their dresses for the reception, to which Mum replied I’d be wearing my wedding dress for a fortnight, in order to get the cost-per-wear down to an acceptable level. But, you know, I need a honeymoon trosseau. That’s still a thing, right?! Moving on.
Next, we found this rather exciting looking stand, which offers crafty hen parties. I’ve been looking for a way to get my friends involved in bunting making, and crafty hen party sounds so much nicer than ‘Evening where we all get together to sew and have a lovely time, but some of us drink too much, so I shout and then we all fall out horribly’, doesn’t it?
Seriously though, this does look like a lot of fun.
And then, to my favourite bit – wedding dresses, wedding dresses everywhere! We headed over to talk to the ladies at Sophie Grace Bridal, who were all so nice, exactly what you’d want in a bridal shop (and I’m not just saying that because they liked my coat).
I had two particular favourites. This tea-length one has feathers! Feathers! This photo doesn’t even do it justice, it was fun, twirly, 50s fabulousness.
And just look at the blush, lacy gorgeousness of this one. That bow! I believe these are both House of Mooshki, which was a brand I fell in love with before I found my dress.
Luckily, just as I was about to ask Mum if she was really sure I couldn’t have two (or three) dresses, we bumped into two of my friends who are also getting married next year, and agreed to meet them for tea and cake once they’d had a chance to look around for themselves. Me, Mum and Kate decided to explore the grounds (by which I mean, I cajoled them into going for a walk, because I wanted to show them the cave. Yes, there is a cave in the grounds. An actual cave). Kates scampered off like she was off on a nature ramble, and I swear I heard Mum mutter, “This is worse than when she was three. God, I wish I’d kept those reins”.
Here’s Mum, trying to keep up with Kates:
And here’s me and Kates, looking smug because we made it all the way to the top of a slight incline, without falling over in the mud:
Don’t tell The Boy, but based on everything I’ve seen today, I think we’ll be renewing our vows in 2017 and 2018.
*A quick reminder, I have featured these brands because I think they’re lovely, I don’t receive anything in return*