Should I Hire, or Buy? Vintage Inspired Wedding Styling Advice From The Experts… was last modified: September 23rd, 2014 by Annabel

Morning lovely people :) Hoping this finds you well.  'Something old' may be traditionally associated with one of four objects a bride traditionally has with, or on her during her big day, but recently, it has transcended in to a much sought after theme.  With vintage shops and styling becoming ever more popular, it is no wonder that more people want to create their own image of old fashioned romance with vintage décor. But the question now is can you hire or should you buy? I was keen to explore this questions and so hooked up with Kerry Smith, founder of London vintage china hire company, Vintage Simplicity...   

"The biggest positive for buying is that you feel that you have more control over the designs, colours and patterns. However, it is very time consuming collecting high quality vintage china.  I once sent my husband into a skip to pull out a teapot – it turned out it was damaged, but it was worth it to see him going in!"

Though it is argued that sourcing your own china can often, in the long run be cheaper, the rise and demand for this styling means it is becoming harder to collect a complete set with little damage….

"I have always had an interest in anything 'old fashioned' and in particular the lives and style of people throughout the 20th Century.  Ten years ago, I was offered a gift by my late Grandmother of two boxes of 1940's china – it's beauty and fragility truly inspired me.”

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Lily & Frank

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Beginning her collection from that moment Kerry has spent the last decade collecting an eclectic range of accessories, and her obsession for all things vintage has turned into a full service for brides-to-be wanting bespoke experiences reflecting the bygone eras of sophistication and elegance.

While this has been a fabulously enjoyable and fed Kerry's passions, Kerry has as times found it to be a very time consuming task….

"It is easy to pick up a job lot of china through either Ebay or at a charity shop but from experience this comes either cracked, chipped or crazed. Considering that a high quality English pottery trio (cup, saucer and tea plate) would cost anything from £6 to £20 then I think that hiring for £2 is most definitely the most economical way of using vintage china at your event."

Styling is one of the first considerations when planning the perfect wedding. Many hire companies now offer consultations on colour schemes and patterns well before any event to give you a complete feel of the china and accessories that will be supplied on the day."



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“For anyone that loves vintage (and I most certainly do) it is so important to get the 'feel' of the event right to reflect your own interest in a particular bygone era. The term 'vintage' can so often be used 'loosely' when all it really means is shabby chic, eclectic or English Country. Piecing together a truly 'vintage' event should definitely be high on the agenda as it can take many months to style a truly authentic event".

With Kerry being a firm believer of putting together events that would have been typical of your chosen era she aims to give a bride and groom full focus on the celebration rather than the details.

And while Kerry has aimed for authenticity in every aspect of her business, she has applied one modern aspect to the experience.  She will actually do all your washing up! hehehe :)


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Thanks so much to all those who contributed towards this photoshoot…

Vintage China Hire: Vintage Simplicity
Photography: Lily and Frank
Models: Nina Boldt, Hayley Griffiths, Nicolina De Lauro
Flowers: Fairy Nuff Flowers
Dresses: Joanne Fleming Design
Hair and Make-up: The Trend Hair Salon
Cakes: Cake by Sugar
Accessories: Gillian Million
Venue: Turks Launches

The fabulous Vintage Simplicity can provide a bespoke styling service to ensure that your wedding or event has a truly vintage look. With an eye for 1920’s to 1950’s era detailing, Kerry will set up your event and is dedicated to providing the finishing touches so that it looks simply chic and elegant.  Drop Kerry a line on or visit the Vintage Simplicity website.

Do you plan on hiring or buying? Share your thoughts in the comments box below… :)

Much love,

Annabel :)

Leave a Comment!

11 thoughts on Should I Hire, or Buy? Vintage Inspired Wedding Styling Advice From The Experts…

  1. Hiring is a lovely idea- environmentally and to make thinhs run smoothly and beautifully! Although there is something to be said for collecting your own via charity shops and fairs then re-donating.
    Some charities, like Oxfam, have specialist vintage bridal departments (not like a dusty charity shop or rummaging a vintage fair at all- they have dedicated boutiques and buy-online); a dress- for example- could be bought and re-donated several times and raise lots of money for a cause as an alternative to hiring.

  2. It’s an interesting question to hire or buy, ultimately I think it comes down to how much time you have and are willing to spend; a lot of fun can be had sourcing all your own props and will add to the experience and create further memories to cherish but don’t forget to take into account what happens after the wedding- who’s clearing it up and what are you going to do with everything.
    Can I also just say I LOVE the upside down cake- it’s fab!!

  3. I have a growing collection of vintage china from about 1910 to the early 1960s but I wouldn’t have quite enough yet to use it for a wedding or let a friend use it for theirs. It isn’t always easy to find a trio with absolutely no damage of any kind so to collect enough pristine china for a wedding would take quite a while I’d imagine! Personally I’ve found it hardest to find teapots! :-)
    There are so many great hire companies I think I’d probably try to find one through a recommendation to make use of styling and clearing away!

  4. So very beautiful! I love this shoot so much…saw a sneaky peak a while ago and I’ve been looking forward to seeing the whole thing. Lily and Frank always create stunning pictures and Steph from Fairy Nuff flowers is such a talent…she is one of my flower heroes..FACT! :)
    I want those cakes too…all so perfect!
    Thanks for making me smile today with this feature! xxxx

  5. All I can say is, I would definitely hire!!! I’d love to be able to collect my own pieces but I simply wouldn’t have the time, and I think it’s wonderful that companies like Vintage Simplicity exist who really do CARE for finding the perfectly mismatched (or matched!) tea cup and saucer to make your wedding look pretty.
    Saw a great idea in this wedding where the vintage china as used to place flowers in, instead of table centre-pieces :)
    Thanks for your lovely comments everyone :)
    Much love,
    Annabel xXx

  6. I LOVE this shoot! I decided to have a vintage Tea Party for our wedding and have spent the past year scouring car boot sales and charity shops collecting the most amazing china. You can get some great bargains if you’re willing to haggle. At one car boot sale I found a box under a table with 2 full tea sets and was informed it was mine for £3, that’s so much cheaper then hiring! As long as you don’t mind putting in the leg work you can find anything to match your colour scheme at a fraction of the price. Ask your friends and family to help too as mine had a great time.

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