Beyond the Veil: A Brief History Of Wedding Fashion

For today’s blog, we are going to pass you over to Beth (aka Madame B) Paton of Madame B’s Boutique

As an avid vintage collector and fashion history nerd, I love to see how fashions have changed and evolved over time. When it comes to wedding fashion, certain things have stayed constant (floral motifs, lace, variations on every possible shade of white and ivory). However, there are still trends that come and go. I’ve been taking a milliner’s look at the evolution of wedding headwear, and this is what I’ve found…



1920s: Wedding dresses were of a looser, simpler cut than in previous decades, but veils and headpieces were very elaborate. Crowns of wax or silk flowers were very popular. These were often combined with juliet cap veils that fitted close to the head, embellished with plenty of lace and embroidery. This also suited the newly fashionable bobbed hairstyles.


Attibute to BiblioArchibes/LibraryArchives

1930s: This era of romance and Hollywood glamour favoured long, bias cut gowns in silk, satin and lace. Cathedral length veils with long trains were created to match (think Maria von Trapp in the Sound of Music). Wide brimmed hats with shallow crowns, lavishly trimmed with feathers and flowers, were also a popular choice.



1940s: Wartime brought fabric rationing, so wedding outfits had to be less extravagant. Women in the services often wore their uniforms, while others patched up their Sunday best for their weddings. The finishing touch was a small perching hat, subtly trimmed with ribbon or a few feathers.




1950s: Rationing ended and the fashion industry celebrated by creating the New Look; dresses with nipped in waists and long, full skirts augmented with layers of petticoats. Longer, fuller veils with plenty of lace and embellishment were created to match. This decade also saw the rise of the blusher and birdcage veils, which covered the face. These could either be attached to a longer veil or to a chic pillbox hat.

Attribute to Jennifer Silverman

1960s: As hemlines grew shorter, veils were also shortened. Volume replaced length, with shoulder length veils in multiple layers of tulle, billowing outwards from an embellished hairband or comb. This paired well with the big, beehive hairstyles that were in fashion. Pillbox hats with birdcage veils were also still a popular choice.



Attribute to Muffinn

1970s: The romantic, hippie aesthetic had a strong influence on wedding fashion in this decade. Dresses and veils were long and flowing, and nostalgic details such as the juliet cap became popular again. Rustic, pastoral themes were in style, and veils were often paired with crowns of fresh flowers.


Attribute to Ion Chibzii

1980s: The decade of excess saw a return of the voluminous veil to match the big, bouffant hairstyles of the day. Heavy embellishment was also popular, with lace, pearls and anything sparkly. Elaborate crowns of silk or fresh flowers were used to add colour and volume.


Today, we’re very lucky to be able to pick and choose our favourite styles from any of these decades. Here are a few of my own takes on vintage wedding styles:









If you would like more helpful information on planning a vintage wedding, check out my free e-book!


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Say hello to Madam B’s Boutique at our fair on Sunday 11th September 2016:




Do we want children at our wedding?

When planning your wedding one of the first considerations is usually the venue. However, there is one important question which should be asked before this – “do we want children at our wedding?”

It is important for this to be asked before looking into venue as the choice of the venue can depend on whether your wedding includes the little ones and/or teenagers.
Here are our top 10 tips on how you can have a family-friendly wedding day:
1. Why not choose an outdoor venue?
Outdoor venues are usually self-contained and offer exclusive use. So, everyone on site will only be your guests and there’s no danger of children wandering off into the wrong room or event. Outdoor venues also offer loads (and loads) of space which is perfect for children to run about – something they love to do at weddings – without getting in the way.

2. Get the little ones their own area
With outdoor venues offering loads of space, you will be able to create your own little wedding village. So, you may have the main events in a tipi or marquee but you can book smaller tents such as a bell tent or a yurt for the children. Provided they are supervised, this will give you a dedicated area for children activities or even a mini cinema!

3. Book a professional crèche or baby sitter
Why not consider booking a dedicated professional crèche or baby sitter who will be able to take care of the children all day, leaving the adults to enjoy themselves completely worry free.

4. Child friendly food
Child friendly food is vital and an outdoor venue will really allow you to choose some creative options which the kids – and even adults – will love. Consider an ice-cream van or a fish and chip van! Children will enjoy this much more than a formal sit down meal.

5. Photo booth
Photo booths are great fun for everyone and there’s a huge choice available from now from caravans to New York taxis. You’re sure to find one to fit your theme!

6. Activity Packs
Even at the most relaxed wedding, there are still times when the children need to sit still such as during the speeches. To keep them occupied, why not provide activity packs which they can do at their seats. For example, stickers or puzzles.

7. Outdoor Games
Take advantage of the space and indulge in some creative party games such as giant Jenga and Connect Four. You could even go one step further and have a bouncy castle or a full size carousel!

8. Wedding Favours
There’s one thing children love – sweet treats. So, make your favours child friendly. You could choose from cupcakes, personalised lollies or bags of sweets. And if the cost is a concern, do not forget the favours can double up as the name cards too.

9. Involve them in your day
All children like feeling part of the event, so give them a role. They could let people know what is taking place in which tent, they can be handed the mic round during the speech or can even present gifts to guests.

10. Don’t worry!
The most important tip of all is to not worry and enjoy your special day! Guests all ages will have a great day.



Bell tent for children at weddings – by Vintage Belles



Flower girl dresses by The Bridal Boutique Warwickshire



Treats or activity packs for children by Elegantly Finished Events 


Six of the best – Short Wedding Dresses

If you’re planning a vintage wedding then a short wedding dress is a sure fire way of creating the right look.  A short dress instantly says Audrey Hepburn, 1950s, understated glamour.

Even if your theme isn’t vintage, there are numerous reasons to go knee length, tea length or even mini!

By rejecting the traditional full length gown you’re making it clear to everyone that you’re doing this wedding your way.

A short dress is also a great choice for a wedding abroad (easier to pack and no worries when stepping through the sand and sea for your beach front nuptials).

And of course we can’t forgot cost.  Short dresses can be much more budget friendly, leaving funds left over to spend on other important aspects of the day.

Here are six of our favourite short dresses:


Louise Bentley dress, from Boho Bride

Bobbi Dazzler by Kitty & Dulcie
Posy by LouLou, from Boho Bride
Hopelessly devoted by Kitty & Dulcie.
Bespoke dress by Stella Liliana, Photo Rob McColl
Bespoke dress by Stella Liliana

Festival Chic Wedding Fair

Last weekend we held our second Festival Chic Wedding Fair.  This unique fair was the first (and the only)  of its kind in Warwickshire and Birmingham.  The fair was held in Coleshill, Birmingham at the home of the amazing Deckerdence Bus Bar Marquee.

We welcomed 151 brides and more than 400 visitors.

This outdoor fair featured Deckerdence, tipis, a marquee, bell tents, food & drink, live music and a whole host of exhibitors.  We  work hard to create a real festival feel so it was great to see people relaxing in the sun, having fun in the photo booths, enjoying the food & drink and kids playing in the grass.  Of course that was all in between the time they spent chatting to our 50 exhibitors who all cater for outdoor, festival, tipi, boho, garden or marquee weddings.

Outdoor weddings are becoming soooo popular and our fair reminded us why. Couples get so much flexibility with an outdoor wedding. You can choose the size of your structure, your caterers, your timings, even your own ceremony. They are also great for children.

Here a few photos from the day  x


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Wonderful Wedding Ceremony

For today’s blog I am going to pass you over to Martina of Wonderful Events who has written a blog about personalising your wedding ceremony.

Any wedding is a very individual affair – the taste of the Bride is crucial and time keeping of the Groom necessary. Getting the perfect look and feel to the wedding ceremony and wedding reception is pretty much easy sailing as girls usually have an idea long before boys have put the ring on it!

While you may have your wedding day pictured perfectly in your mind, it is important to understand the legalities surrounding the day. As you know, you will pretty much have free reign with choosing a dreamy place with an amazing setting for your wedding reception, but with the wedding ceremony, you may be stopped by the legalities. Ironically, the most important part of your wedding – where you make your life lasting promises – is the most inflexible!

So, what are the legalities? 

A UK marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorised person and be witnessed by two people. This means couples have to choose between an approved religious ceremony, a registry office ceremony or registrar who will come to the wedding at a licensed venue. This 20 minute ceremony will have a set text where only names are exchanged from wedding to wedding. Not very personal nor very meaningful and for a substantial amount of money – especially if you wished to get married on a Saturday.

But of course it doesn’t have to be this way – the wedding ceremony can definitely have a personal touch. For example, you and your partner are able to choose where and who will officiate your wedding; a religious ceremony, office ceremony or registrar? Furthermore, as mentioned you need two witnesses, however this doesn’t mean you can’t have anymore – your guests! Lastly, vows can be personalised to your and your partner’s relationship. Nobody should dictate what your special day should look and feel like.



Hi, my name is Martina and I am a Wedding Celebrant from Warwickshire.

I travel to meet couples and make their perfect ceremony come true by writing and officiating their own bespoke one.

Be it sunrise, sunset, the countryside, the beach or under a blossom tree. You could have the beautiful setting you always dreamed of when whispering your chosen vows to each other.

A perfect love affair – Your perfect day!

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Vintage Chic Wedding Fair comes to Stratford Upon Avon!

On Sunday 13th March, we held the Vintage Chic Wedding Fair at a new venue for us – the stunning Ettington Park Hotellocated in Stratford Upon Avon. The neo-gothic mansion provides the most luxurious surroundings and it suited our hand chose, high quality exhibitors perfectly.
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As well as having indoor suppliers within the beautiful hotel, we also were able to take advantage of the stunning grounds as we also had outdoor exhibitors which included vintage vehicles, the stunning Deckerdence bus bar marquee and the cutest caravan called Edna to help inspire any lovely brides-to-be looking to have an outdoor vintage wedding. It was great to see visitors enjoying these exhibitors in the spring sunshine!

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As well as helping our visitors with details such as photographers, wedding cakes, bridal hair and make-up, decorations and more, Boho Bride ran a Bridal catwalk show within the breathtaking long gallery. Bookcase lined walls, stained glass windows and imposing stone fireplaces – it was the perfect setting to show off such elegant vintage dresses.
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Live music was provided by the D Day Dolls and the classical Nero String Quartet throughout the day which really helped to create a vintage feel all day!
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We were pleased to see so many of attend the Vintage Chic Wedding Fair in Stratford Upon Avon and to see how many of received practical and inspiration advice from a number of exhibitors. The Vintage Chic Wedding Fair is all about you getting inspired for your wedding day! Thank you to everyone who came along whether visiting or exhibiting!

Our next fair will be something a little different! We’ll be holding a Festival Chic Wedding Fair on Sunday 15th May 2016 to help all of you brides and grooms looking to have a festival, garden party, boho, tipi or marquee inspired wedding.



To find out more please visit our website and social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

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Behind The Scenes of Ghostly Shoot

We recently took to Ettington Park Hotel in Stratford Upon Avon, with some of our wonderful suppliers, and had a ‘Ghostly Wedding’ photoshoot.

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Our thought behind the photoshoot was to create a ghostly feel with a touch of vintage elegance, to help brides of today with some inspiration, which is why Ettington Park Hotel was the perfect location. The exterior of hotel really has a Gothic yet English Country House feel to it and the inside feels rather grand with the beautiful staircase, high ceilings and vintage interior running throughout. Ettington Park Hotel reportedly being one of the most haunted hotels in Britan made it even more of a perfect location as it really helped us to capture the eerie feel we were looking to create. It seems the makers of 1963 film The Haunting also took advantage of the Gothic hotel as it was the location for the horror film.

We really took advantage of the beautiful location as we used both the interior and exterior of the location to capture the ghostly yet vintage feel we had in mind. We did a full range of shots including some ‘serious ghostly’ shots which our fabulous model Katie did a great job of; I’m not sure how she kept such a straight face sometimes with us all giggling around her! Being the true professional she is, Katie even carried on posing as the perfect ‘Ghostly bride’ whilst standing outside in the frosty January weather in just a corset dress.

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Our day shooting at Ettington Park Hotel was truly amazing; the stunning location really helped us to bring our vision alive. It is such a beautiful location that some of the suppliers intending to drop items off were so drawn in by Ettington Park Hotel that they ended up staying for the whole day! This was a really great opportunity for more creative minds to work together.

By the end of the long day, we created and captured some beautiful shots, ready to give modern brides some inspiration for their special day. We think it’s important that shoots are looked to for snippets of inspirations to which they can be personalised. A bride should never be concerned about their wedding not looking as good as the ones they see in the magazines – shoots are there for brides to pick and choose from! Having kept this thought in mind, it allowed us to have a lot of fun with a shoot and do something a bit different.

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While the Vintage Chic Wedding Fairs are something we love to organise – especially with them being so much fun – styling and organising photoshoots are a true highlight of the job. Being able to work closely with suppliers and exhibitors provides more time for interaction between the Vintage Chic Wedding team and our wonderful suppliers/exhibitors, which isn’t as easy to do at our busy fairs.

We would just like to thank everyone who took part within the photoshoot; especially our model Katie and Sarah from Nellie Photography who helped to keep us keep on track throughout the day with her super directing skills.

Take a look at our behind the scenes film from Nicola Joy –

For all images of the photoshoot – 

Our next Vintage Chic Wedding fair is taking place in Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday 13th March. You can purchase your tickets for £2.50 each online:


Venue – Ettington Park Hotel

Photography – Nellie Photography

Flowers – Country Wild

Wedding Cake – The Sugared Rose

Decor – M Style

Stationery – Good Egg

Hair and Make-Up – Sarah Russell Vintage Hair and Make-Up

Props – Pillows and Procelain

Bridal Accessories – Thomasina Brides

Dress and Tiara Supplier – Boho Bride – Dress is Lovely Lizzie by Terry Fox

Model – Katie Sheldon

Large Candelabras – Set The Scene

Styling and Organising – Vintage Chic Wedding Fair

Follow Vintage Chic Wedding Fair – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Vintage Chic Wedding Fair comes to Leamington Spa!

On Sunday 28th February, Vintage Chic Wedding Fair made its way to the Royal Pump Rooms situated in the heart of Leamington Spa.

We welcomed over 30 hand chosen, creative and super stylish exhibitors who spent the day helping our 106 Brides plan their vintage inspired wedding day. From beautiful flowers to chic fascinators, unique bouquets to elegant bridal gowns and vintage music from The Glamophones to make-up, we had it all.


As well as helping Brides with the finer details for their big day, we also took to the Jephsons Gardens where we held our Bridal Catwalk show. Royal Leamington Spa Venues also run events at the spectacular Jephsons Brasserie within the gardens, as well in the Royal Pump Rooms. The gardens really have to be seen to be believed and we were lucky enough to hold our catwalk within the Brasserie, which overlooked the beautiful garden. With help from our suppliers M Style Creations and Elegantly Finished Events, the catwalk looked very elegant.


The elegant dresses showcased at our Bridal Catwalk, supplied by Boho Bridesuited our vintage inspired fair perfectly. A range of Boho Bride’s wedding gowns and accessories from top British designers were modelled, including 50s tea length dresses and light floating boho styled dresses. Our lovely models also walked down the aisle with unique bouquets provided by Bouquet Chic Unique and Lisa Drinkwater FlowersCrawford and Jayne’s had also done a really great job with the hair and make-up.

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Throughout the event, Vintage Wedding DJ really helped to create a vintage feel as they took us back in time with some great vintage music.

Thank you to everyone who had attended the fair in Leamington Spa! We were really pleased with how many of you enjoyed the event, and we are super happy with how many people we were able to help. With a number of exhibitors in one place, the Vintage Chic Wedding Fair is a great place to get some vintage inspiration for your wedding day. If you didn’t get the chance to attend the event – worry not as we are coming to Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday 13th March.


You can purchase tickets from our website –

Find out more on our social media pages – Facebook,  Twitter and Instagram.

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Six of the best – Sweet Wedding Favours

Did you know wedding favours date back to the 16th century? Wedding favours started off as sugared almonds and many couples still choose this traditional option, however there is a wider variety nowadays!

If you’re looking for something not as traditional and a bit different, then look no further! We’ve rounded up some of the best favours from our favourite suppliers to help you choose! While favours can now be anything from a key ring to a charity donation, we’ve stuck to the 16th century idea of giving your guests a little sweet treat as a sugared gift was a symbol of care to all guests. And of course, there can never be too much cake or sweets at a wedding!


Bride and groom cake pops – The Sugared Rose



Butterfly cookies – Spin Spin Sugar



Coloured chocolate lollipops – Hand Crafted Cake Company



Personalised custard creams – Gail’s Cake Pantry



Chocolate button pine cone – Claire’s Creative Bakes



Cupcake in a tea cup – Clairey’s Cakes


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Are you planning to plan your plan?

So you’re engaged and you can’t wait to start planning the big day, whether it’s weeks, months or years away.

Many people will happily plan and plan away. And this is great, but if you feel you’ve reached your limit then read on because while careful planning is vital, brides-to-be sometimes feel that they are going too far. Planning, procrastination and Pinterest can be kept within reasonable limits to avoid falling into into a few common traps.

First, everyone can be guilty of bit too much planning and too little action. So set yourself a limit on when you will complete your plan and start actually doing things. For each item you add to the plan, try and include a date of when you will start looking into it and when it needs to be completed by.

The best way to stick to this is to use just one plan or planning tool. Otherwise you will be over-run with to do lists, reminders and check lists.

Busy B is one of my favourite stationery brands and their wedding planning journal has everything you need.

Second don’t let Pinterest take over your life! This is one of the main causes of brides-to-be spending way too long researching ideas without actually making a start on the actual planning. And this causes more stress. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest and it’s extremely useful for wedding planning and inspiration. But remember it should only inspire.

No one wants a Pinterest Wedding (one someone has already seen every element of on a Pinterest board) and remember a wedding is a real day. It’s not an inspiration board and it’s also not a photoshoot. So while Pinterest and photoshoots can be used to give you ideas, you shouldn’t expect or want your actual wedding to look like it’s come straight off a computer screen or App.

The best way to avoid this is to personalise, personalise and personalise. Think how you can incorporate all the lovely ideas you’ve seen into your day in a way that represents you and your husband-to-be. So choose a cake you may have seen on the web, but add a persoanlised topper that means something to you both, such as a favourite song. Or choose paper decorations but have them made out of your favourite books.

It’s the little things people notice and these are much easier to plan because they are already part of you both. And it’s those little personal details that will mean the most to you when you look back on your perfectly (but not overly) planned wedding.