Good morning lovers, did you get a chance to view the brand spanking new collection of vintage inspired shoes by Agnes and Norman on Love My Dress yesterday? If not, I encourage you to go take a peek, because for the next 2 weeks only, you, my lovely, as a Love My Dress reader, are entitled to a whopping 25% off any style of shoe design. That's a rather fabulous little saving there that I wouldn't want to miss out on!
Oh how we love a beautiful vintage inspired wedding – this morning's nuptials took place on 8th December at Islington Town Hall in London. where Clare and Greg tied the knot before going on to celebrate with their friends and family at a reception hosted at The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker on St Johns St, London.
"I worked with dress and costume maker Annie Kelley.
I chose a vintage 50s tea dress pattern (found on Ebay) and then Annie
suggested a few modifications in line with what I wanted. I
knew I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress. I tried on a couple but
they were just not me. I looked at some off the peg dresses in high
street shops but nothing felt right."
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Alexa Loy
"I’d seen a few 50s
tea length dresses online and really liked them but I wasn’t brave
enough to order one without trying it on. With only a couple of months
to go I was starting to wonder if I’d find anything at all. A friend
gave me the contact details of a dressmaker she knew. Annie mainly makes
costumes and textile art but when I told her what I was looking for she
agreed to make it.
We went to Berwick St in London and searched through
loads of fabrics and lace. At first I wasn’t sure about lace but Annie
found some lovely ones. We also decided to avoid white and finally went
with a vintage pink colour which really made the dress come to life. She
ended up hand stitching a lot of it which made it feel really special.
It was great collaborating with Annie and ending up with a truly unique
"We met on a dating site and I was just about to give up as I
had been a quite a few dates that didn’t work out, when I saw his
profile. I knew there was something different about him from his first
message. We started emailing and then met up in London a month later
(September 2010) and that was that. We spent a few months travelling
back and forth from Leicester (where Greg was living) until he found a
job in London and we moved in together. (August 2011).
We had talked
about getting married and Greg asked me in June 2012. He was very
traditional – getting down on one knee and he even asked my dad’s
permission the day before. I loved it! We decided we didn’t want to wait too long to get married and picked
early December as it meant that there was less time for me to be
nervous and just enough time to get everything organised."
"I looked at lots of real wedding blog posts to get some ideas of
what style I like and didn’t like. Greg left it to me to pick the style
but we both wanted something fun and informal and liked the vintage
weddings. The pub we choose to have our reception in, The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker, was
a little bit vintage/retro so we worked with that. The main aim was to
make it a great party that was relaxed with the minimum of tradition.
We both wanted to get married in London. I have always lived here
and Greg loves it since moving down from Leicester. We choose Islington
Town Hall as the Council Chamber is beautiful and felt very welcoming.
My dad’s family are from Islington and I went to school there so it has
always been a part of my life."
"For the reception we decided we wanted a pub venue to keep it
relaxed and informal but also somewhere that served great food. We
trawled lots of different pubs in the area but couldn’t find one that
was right. On the way back from yet another viewing we passed The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker.
It wasn’t on our list of possibilities but we had a look inside and
really liked the place. It was very friendly and the decor was a great
mix of retro and vintage. We had a chat with the landlords (Matt and
Mark) who said they had never held a big wedding reception n there
before but were up for the challenge.
We decided we would hire the whole
pub out the day. It was great being able to plan what we wanted and
Matt and Mark were fantastic. They had just hired a new chef and we got
to decide exactly what menu we wanted. The food was amazing too."
"Clarissa Harris (tel 01708475958, no website) provided our flowers. I’ve known Clarissa
for years. Clarissa is a florist and also teaches floristry. I knew
immediately I wanted her to do the flowers. I wanted something informal
with a vintage feel. We picked vintage pink, ivories and different
greens I discussed everything with Clarissa and she came back with a
list of plants and flowers that were perfect.
I bought different sized
jam jars to display them in. When I saw them on the day I was blown away
they were just beautiful and exactly what I had hoped for. My bouquet
was amazing. The flowers were one if my favourite things about the
"We looked at lots of different stationery designs. We wanted something fun but
not to silly and cool but not too pretentious. Finally we found a
scrabble design theme invitation by Happy Whale Designs from New Zealand on Etsy
which fit the bill perfectly. Belinda the designer was brilliant. We
ended up getting her design the rest of our stationery based around that
theme. With the New Zealand time difference often I'd send her a
request in the evening and by the time I woke up the next day the proof
would be waiting.
Luckily Greg works in the print industry so he got
Belinda's designs printed for us. I carried on the scrabble theme making
all the place names and table numbers from wooden scrabble tiles
sourced on ebay."
"In keeping with our vintage theme we used vintage glasses to
hold tea-lights to decorate the tables along with vintage place mats and
table runners. We looked in lots of charity shops in the weeks running
up to the wedding and there was always something there. On a weekend
away in Wiltshire we discovered Beulahs Vintage Attic which was a treasure trove.
were in there for hours. I would recommend it to London vintage brides
who don't want to pay London vintage prices! For the drinks reception
following the ceremony I hired some vintage teacups and urns from Classic Crockery."
enlisted some friends to decorate the pub with bunting and pompoms to
make it more festive. On one of the walls I put up framed wedding photos
from my mum and dad's wedding, my maternal grandparents wedding and
great grand parents wedding. When I was searching for the photos in my
parents house I came across some wedding decorations from their wedding
in 1972. There were some brilliant things in there so I choose a few
pieces and hung them around the pub too.
discovered my mums wedding dress from 1972 and her mother's dress from
1942. I hung them up along with my dress in the morning and got Alexa to
photograph them. I loved seeing them together and how different they
"Our photographer was Alexa Loy. I came across Alexa's work after a friend posted up her wedding pictures that Alexa had taken on Love My Dress.
I really loved the colour and relaxed style. She seemed to really
captured the day. We had a chat on the phone and then met up over a
drink and Greg and I knew that she was just what we were looking for.
Alexa provide an engagement shoot as part of the wedding package and it
was great to get used to the camera as usually I'm very camera shy.
Alexa's enthusiasm for her work is infectious. On the wedding day she
made it fun and relaxed and our photos are just gorgeous.
"We kept to the traditional vows suggested by our registrar. I
wanted something simple so I could enjoy the moment rather than worry
about what I was going to say.
We had a difficult time
finding a reading. We wanted something that was romantic but not too
sweet and funny but not too silly. We also wanted something that
everyone hadn’t heard before. I search the web trying to find something
suitable for weeks. Finally I came across a link to a poem called
'Scientific Romance', by a sci fi writer called Tim Pratt
and was originally written for his wife. It was full of references that
were very much us as a couple and so I wrote to him to ask if we could
use it and he gave us his blessing."
"We decided to order our rings online at The Wedding Ring Specialist.
I did as much as I could online – makes everything much easier. Greg
and I never wear jewellery usually so we wanted something plain and
simple. The jewellery maker is based in Leicester which seemed fitting
and the were great."
"We settled on hiring a double decker bus to ferry everyone from
the ceremony to the reception. It looked great and all our guests loved
it. We hired it from Red Routemaster."
"I left the cake to Greg. He works near Choccywoccydoodah
and goes past their window every day. We didn’t want anything too big
(or expensive!) so he found a brilliant marshmallow cake which they
decorated with our names. It was a great success and there wasn’t a
piece left at the end of the night."
"Greg's dad is a drummer in a jazz band and they kindly offered
the play for us during the reception. They were brilliant and fit the
mood perfectly. We also hired a DJ for the rest of the evening. We refused to do a first dance though, despite some requests."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"The first blog I found and
my favourite was actually Love My Dress. I love reading all the real
life wedding posts and it was great for getting ideas.
like to say if you are an introvert like me and worried about being the
centre of attention be open about it and don't include things that
might be too overwhelming. For me that was not having a first dance and
not having very long speeches. It's also not going to be as difficult as
you think on the day. Also, sometimes the planning and
organising gets a bit overwhelming so it was important to take time off
from anything wedding related and do something else instead. Although
after hearing so many compliments from our guests on the day it made it
all worth it.
Finally, I wouldn’t have worried so much! "he whole day was perfect. I was expecting a few hitches but there
were none (at least if there were someone else sorted them out before I
got there!). I think my favourite part of the day was the one part I was
most dreading. I was a little nervous before entering the council
chamber but once the doors opened and I saw Greg along with all our
friends and family smiling it was lovely and my nerves vanished."
What a beautiful day, dress, atmosphere and photographs!
Huge thanks to the fabulous photographer that is Alexa Loy for sharing these lovely, lovely photographs, and congratulations to you both too Clare and Greg – thank you for sharing your day!
With much love,
Photographer - Alexa Loy
Venue + Catering – Islington Town Hall + The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker
Wedding Dress – Annie Kelley
Veil/Headpiece – Etsy at Squirlgirl Millinery Supplies + Vintage Styler
Brides' shoes – Rachel Simpson via Fur Coat No Knickers
Grooms Suit – Moss Bros
Bridesmaids Shoes & Dresses – Monsoon
Flowers – Clarissa Harris Flowers 01708475958 (no website)
Cake – Choccywoccydoodah
Transport – Red Routemaster
Rings – The Wedding Ring Specialist
Vintage Teacup Hire – Classic Crockery
Stationery – Happy Whale Designs from New Zealand on Etsy