A Black Lace 1950’s Inspired Wedding Dress & ‘Beyond Retro’ Petticoats A-Plenty!

Hi All 🙂 By the time you read this, I'l be in the The Big Smoke with my lovely friend Cat Hepple, who is accompanying me on a couple of vitis to some rather fabulous Bridal Boutiques, but more on that another time 🙂

Lovely Bride Stevie sent in these photographs after her wedding to Husband Jamie on 16 October 2010 at Pelham House in Lewes, East Sussex. I LOVE receiving submissions from Brides who frequent Love My Dress and have gained inspiration from these blog pages.  This was a totally relaxed day, no fuss, just fun, love and laughter. And a lot of black and white bunting! 😉

Stevie opted for a black lace, full circle skirt 50's style wedding dress, which I think couldn't have suited her more perfectly…

"We both love Madmen and this definately influenced us, I also knew that this style suited my figure, trying to wear a 30s style dress would not have worked for me!  I learnt so much from other peoples weddings and basically lived to read this blog and get a new wedding fix 🙂

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Benedict Stenning



"Within an hour of announcing our engagement, one of my best friends, Saira, offered to make my dress as a gift! an offer I could not refuse (of course knowing she was an amazing seamstress and owned a haberdashery shop) I am a curvy size 14 and knew that 50s style would suit me best, I wanted knee length.  Saira found an old 50s pattern and adapted it to a design we both came up with. 

She used bomber satin ( for the stiffness and sound) and overlaid it with lace. It was my dream dress made just for me, totally unique and a gift! I am a very lucky lady."


"My Make-up Artist was Nina Gabriella Selby, again Im lucky to have such talented friends!


"Jaime and I very quickly decided to have a black and white theme, as this is not my first wedding I did not want to marry in white, so Saira and I went about looking for the perfect black lace.  I did not want to look gothic or vampy, but vintage chic – Madmen style. we decided everything else would be ivory to lighten the mood of the black, so I chose my ivory petticoats from Beyond Retro – in fact I purchased two for extra vavavoom, and fully fashioned ivory seamed stockings to complete the look!

I wanted a short veil but not a birdcage, so I visited my local bridal shop but they only had long ones and did not even know how to get a short one! I looked online and found UK Wedding Veils  where I could decide on all the details and have it made  – it was a very simple and fast service and it only cost £18, I thought it may arrive and I would hate it but at that price I had nothing to loose – luckily it was perfect! Later I added a few pearl beads to the satin over the slide to make it tie in with my jewellery."


"I felt now was my chance to buy some really gorgeous shoes and it would not matter what they cost 😉 but then one day at Debanhams I saw these Jasper Conran shoes that were just perfect – and within my budget.  I struggle to find shoes that don't slip off my heel and even though I loved my shoes, they kept slipping off so I asked my local cobbler if he could make an ankle strap for them and hey presto! The problem was solved and I loved them even more…"





The boys getting ready, and Stevie's Son below, who was later to give her away…

"My three sons were grooms men and Max my eldest gave me away.  Jaz my youngest is Beatle mad so we got them all mod style suits and shirts from ASOS with slim black ties and pointy shoes from Topman…"



Jamie got his suit, shirt, tie and cufflinks from Woodies in brighton.  He wore a black Moschino suit.

"Jamie had a white shirt and a cream tie and mother of pearl cufflinks.  He wore black Loakes boots from Jump The Gun and  I bought him a  rose gold Rotery watch which i gave him on the morning of our wedding…"


"Jamie is a musician so the music meant a lot to us – when we chose the song I was going to walk down the aisle to, we knew we had it right as we both started crying! ‘Sparkle and shine’ by Steve Earle, it was a song Jamie felt had been written about me!

Also, at this stage of our lives, it meant a lot for me that my Son gave me away and not my Dad – it was in fact a huge moment for me, Jamie and the children – it meant so much to us all – I'm welling up just writing this!"












JamieStevieWedding-8022 JamieStevieWedding-8079


"We asked my sister and Jamie's brother to do a reading during the ceremony.  Sian chose a Shakespeare sonnet – as she read it she started to explain what each bit meant, it was so funny everybody was laughing and the whole ceremony felt lighter for it.  Then later Tim read a poem he had written and everyone was in tears!

~ The ballad of Jamie & Stevie ~

Now clouds have drawn away the shrouds of night,
And day appears to offer light to shade
And this agreement made between possible and past
Between what’s lost and what will last
All in this margin, understood by both, it stands
And here we stand
And in this moment, unencumbered by shadows
Named & unnumbered, ranked & rated – stands, illuminated, love.

So if we see some years fade
Some months or moments rewound and replayed
Some minutes gone – some seconds saved
We know the clouds are there to rise above
And these two knew the sun would come
And here it is – the sun has ris
and it’s love. 

Tim Freeman, 2010

Having these moments and friends singing and playing the music was such an amazing joyous feeling  -  one that will never ever be forgotten…"


Words of Wedded Wisdom….

"Enjoy every moment and don’t stress, even my best made plans got changed at the last minute and it really did not matter. 

I had fun all year planning my wedding, and its not just the day I will remember.  Don’t feel you need to do anything you don't want to…"


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Brides dress – Brides friend with ivory petticoats from Beyond Retro
Brides veil – UK Wedding Veils
Brides shoes – Jasper Conran, for Debenhams
Grooms Suit – Moschino
Groomsmen – ASOS + Topman
Venue – Pelham House in Lewes, East Sussex. 
Hair & Makeup – Nina Gabriella Selby

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Thanks Stevie for sending in your lovely photographs.  It's always lovely to receive a submission from the Bride directly and especially when she's a follower of Love My Dress 🙂

Hope the rest of your Thursday goes sweet everyone – back tomorrow morning 🙂

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.