Two Vintage Wedding Dresses for a Relaxed, Seaside Wedding…

Well good morning! How does this find you?  I am so excited to be opening up this week with another 'Love My Dress' Bride :)  Beautiful Hannah, who runs the charity and who frequented Love My Dress regularly whilst planning her wedding, to seek ideas and inspiration, married her love Freddie on 4 June and I'm pretty chuffed to bits that she chose Ed Peers to be her wedding Photographer. Ed Peers people! He is like one of my fave'est ever Photographers ever ever ever!!!

Hannah married Freddie on 4 June this year at St Nicholas’ Church in Studland, Dorset, followd by a reception at the Shell Bay Seafood restaurant

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Ed Peers

1930s wedding dress, Ed Peers Photography

Lucky Hannah got to wear two stunning dresses on her wedding day.  The first, her main wedding gown, was an original 1930's dress, from Heavenly Vintage

"I could not recommend Helena from Heavenly Vintage enough – she is a lovely lady with a stylish eye and wonderful collection of dresses.

I first met Helena at a vintage fair. I was in the bathroom trying on a whole range of different 50s dresses. She told me she had loads of vintage wedding dresses at her home I could try, but I was feeling quite intimidated by the whole ‘bride’ thing, so the idea of doing anything definitively bridal freaked me out. I was convinced I wanted one that was tea length, possibly pink and something involving lace. I even bought a dress just like this, but part exchanged it with the vintage dealer later on…."


"I’d bought it by myself, having only tried on a handful of dresses, and wasn’t overwhelmed by the reaction from my bridesmaids. One of them, Justine, also gave me a pep talk. She reminded me that I could wear a pink 50s dress whenever I wanted, but this was the one and only time I could wear something truly glamorously bridal…" 

Peach Rose Bouquet, Ed Peers Photography

"So, we went to a specialist vintage wedding show. And I met Helena from Heavenly Vintage again. This time I tried on a whole load of her dresses. Justine, Helena and her friend Debbie (who later altered the dress) were very patient as I ummed and ahed between different styles, different dresses and just about everything else.

The winning thing about this one was that it really captured the glamour of the 30s, was something I could never wear on anything but my wedding day, and the heavy satin material was lovely to touch and flattering. Plus I loved the sweeping train, ruched bust and the panels at the front of the dress…"



1920's wedding dress, Ed Peers Phototgraphy

Rustic Just Married Sign, Ed Peers Photography

"The one thing I knew about my wedding dress was that it had to be vintage. Not only do I love all things vintage, but I also hated the idea of buying a load of new things that would only be used for one day. I worked for the environmental charity Global Action Plan for a few years so know the impact constant consumption can have on the environment. This makes me sound like the most dull person ever, but I do hope that our wedding shows you can convey your own style or identity while doing what you can to reduce your impact on the environment…"

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"The first pair of shoes I wore came from the Kurt Geiger sale. They were a bargain and I was so happy as they had the vintage vibe. I hadn’t been able to find any original vintage that fit me and were in good enough condition to go with the first dress. 

The second pair, however, are vintage Bruno Magli. I picked them up for £18 which is amazing because they had hardy been worn and would have cost a few hundred dollars when they were new…"



Hannah&freddie_028 Hannah&freddie_042 

"Justine, one of my bridesmaids did my make up. And a lady called Doris Royal, a hairdresser who lives in the village, knows my parents and runs one of the B&Bs where some friends stayed, did my hair…"


"The Bridesmaids dresses were all different. All I knew was that I wanted them to be vintage and ideally gold. We did look into sourcing vintage material and having them made to an old pattern. But enough old and gold material for 3 dresses was not easy to find.

After visiting some vintage fairs and shops, we went to a specialist high end vintage studio. Looking at all the beautiful dresses, I nearly changed my mind and my budget. We left to think about it, and ended up in a charity shop around the corner. There we found the first dress! It was more pink than I had imagined, but had metallic threading and fit my younger sister, Chloe, perfectly. It was original late 50s or early 60s and a complete bargain. We bought the dress and it kick started what we were looking for in the others… anything that would fit their shapes and they felt comfortable wearing, late 50s to early 60s vibe and pinkish to gold. The next two dresses were found on etsy, and only one of them needed any altering (Debbie again!) The girls looked utterly amazing, and considering the wedding was the first day we saw all the dresses together, I can’t believe how perfectly they worked. They looked amazing, and complimented each other but were very much themselves.

My Dad picked flowers from the garden which the Bridesmaids wore on their hair…"





"I wore two hair accessories on the day, the first one was made by Rosie Weisencrantz – I went to her studio and tried on a few very different hairpieces. Rosie was absolutely lovely, and after realising that my heart was set on the antique flowers but that I was missing any sparkle, she adapted the piece to include an old pink and gold rhinestone brooch at no extra cost…"


"The second headpiece I wore was by  Rosie Willett and is one of the limited edition Titania headpieces. It went amazingly with my 20s outfit, as the dangling beads echoed the era and were fun to dance with. Also, Titania is head of the fairies so perfect for a wedding in June when the days are long and mischief happens…"

Pop along to the photographs at the end of this feature to see Hannah's second headpiece…

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"The idea was to have seasonal flowers that fit with the village and countryside we were in, blush colours so that nothing was intrusive or too bright, and a natural handpicked look. Plus we wanted plenty of herbs for the smell. I’d heard that Swedish brides have strong smelling flowers in their bouquets to scare away the trolls-  loved the idea and wanted to bring in some of the Swedish traditions!

Jane,  our Florist, also suggested that as Freddie’s mother was not well enough to travel to the wedding, we had her a silk corsage made to fit with the other flowers, and posted it to her so that she had it for the day. It was lovely idea, and we’re so glad she suggested it as we would never had known it was possible…"


"Freddie wore a Paul Smith suit (bought it in one of their sample sales which happen a couple of times a year in Holborn. Grooms should keep an eye out for them as we bought this for £120 and saw it in the shops afterwards for loads and loads more!)/

Shoes were Freddie’s luxury item. They’re from Dries van Noten.

His, and the other button holes, were made by my mum using Queen of Sweden roses. They represent the unity between England and Sweden so seemed perfect to use. Both we and my parents now have a bush in our gardens too…"













"We chose not to do our own vows. To be honest, we both cringed at the ideas as we’re fairly jokey and anything personal we want to say to each other we prefer to do when there is just us there to hear it. Plus our lovely vicar worked with us to find the perfect wording (we used the same as Wills and Kate apparently!). So, instead we each chose a reading and had one of our friends read it. Neither of us knew until it was read out, what the other one had picked.

Freddie chose A Dedication to My Wife by TS Eliot.

I chose the excerpt from The Secret Garden, when Mary finds the garden.

This was one of the best things we did for the day, and I am so happy we chose to do that as we can now go back to those passages and read them to remind us how we felt leading up to and on our wedding day. I was so moved to hear the TS Eliot passage, and I know Freddie loved hearing The Secret Garden…"





"We had a Route Master Bus (had to have some sort of nod to London!).  And the local National Trust organised a tractor pulled trailer from the beach to the restaurant, with champagne and strawberries. This was amazing of them, so would love a thank you to them. They did it for a donation because my mum volunteers for them weekly and my dad does lots too.

It was one of the highlights of my day. The countryside is spectacular and this allowed us to enjoy it in all its glory …"

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"We collected old vases, jugs and anything we liked the look of in the months leading up to the wedding. They came from car boot sales, charity shops, we also included my great grandmother’s teapot thanks to my mum! To add a bit of a theme, we included birds on each of the tables. Most of these were collected like the above, and I was really happy to find 2 swans for flowers for the head table in an Oxfam shop while out with my bridesmaids. Swans mate for life so it seemed appropriate.

As well as this, we had bird names for each of the tables, marked with cards my dad drew of the birds, the table plan was hanging from an old gilt frame balanced on old bird and nature books, we had a framed photo of the original bride in her dress, bunting made from old doilies that my mum sewed together, and we even jazzed up the toilets with candles, some of the old birds, flowers and an old handrail…"




"We made sloe gin, and picked the sloes in countryside where the wedding took place. We bottled them up and sewed on labels with gold stitching, 'Hannah and Freddie’s homemade sloe gin'…"

Homemade sloe gin


"A wonderful friend of mine from university made the cake. He is a very talented chef, which offered us endless choice. We both knew was that we wanted a Princess Torte – they’re a very pretty Swedish cake, with sponge, fresh cream custard and coloured marzipan…"






"There were many things that influenced how we styled our wedding day – the first thing we knew was that we wanted to get married in Studland. My parents have lived there for a few years, and I went to school nearby. We love going there to spend time with family, and because it is so beautiful, you can’t help but be happy.

We were excited that a wedding would give us a chance to share the area with more friends, so the save the date was a photo of Old Harry rocks and the invitation was a map of the village and surrounding area that my sister drew for us. The seaside and wildlife played into the theme- for instance the birds the tables were named after can all be found in the local area- and my dad is a keen bird watcher so was able to draw them and name them all…"




I had a second dress because I knew I wouldn’t be able to dance in the 30s dress. And it would have seemed such a shame to trash a dress that had survived so long in tact.  In actual fact, the dress I changed into was even older- a 20s spaghetti strap shift made of lace, from my own vintage collection. It was completely transparent when I first got hold of it, but Debbie made me a petticoat to fit underneath it so my modesty was saved. I decided this dress was perfect because it was comfortable, even after eating fish and chips, easy to dance in and, being light, it fitted the seaside location…"


Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Throughout all the planning, everyone will always tell you that it’s your day and all about you. And of course I agree that the two of you have to be utterly comfortable and happy, but for us, that came through the happiness and involvement of everyone else. So many of our family and friends contributed to the day- making the cakes, sorting the music, herding everyone onto the buses, sewing the bunting, drawing birds for our menus, designing our invitation, reading in the church, doing my make up, taking photos, making speeches, filming… the list is literally endless.

Their support and love was immeasurable and it is them, as well as our love for each other, that made us so happy on our wedding day and does every day…"


"One of our favourite moments of the day was as we were declared husband and wife and we kissed. Our own happiness was buoyed by the huge and long cheers and applause from everyone who was there- amazing.
Our wedding also led us to meet new people. I won’t list them all, but there are many whom I hope to hear from again over time. Getting married in a small village meant that lots of the people who live there were involved in some way, or knew someone who was. I love going back to the village where my parents live and being able to greet people by name and feel true fondness for and involvement in the community. It is a rare thing, and why making the wedding all about you shouldn’t be anyone’s priority. It should be about your love and all the people who support and are a part of it.

It was family and friends who first brought us together- my sister Kate playing a key part- and it is family and friends that will help to keep us together, as we hope we do for them.  That is not to say that you have to give in to everything everyone else wants. My mum was appalled when she heard that I wanted a dog to bring in our rings. So we agreed not to talk about it, and laughed about it afterwards…"



Wow! I LOVE these photographs! Congratulations Hannah and Freddie, and huge thanks to Ed Peers as usual for the stunning photographs…

"I emailed Ed after seeing his photos on Love My Dress. We had originally decided not to have a photographer as I’m not a huge fan of having my photo taken, and am fairly adverse to posed group shots. Plus a couple of friends our friends are great photographers.

However, Ed’s photos of weddings and couples made me really emotional, and after meeting him and realising how comfortable and easy he was to get along with, we decided we wanted him there to capture our day in his unique style. I am now also convinced he will be world famous one day, so having our own set of photos by him was an investment!"

Ed, didn't I tell you I was getting that red carpet didn't I?? 😉

Please also take a moment to visit the charity managed by Hannah  You can contact Hannah on [email protected] for further information.

Much love all,

Annabel xXx


Photographer – Ed Peers
Venue – Shell Bay Seafood restaurant
Brides dress – Heavenly Vintage
Brides shoes – Charity find + Etsy + own gold shoes
Brides hair accessories = Rosie Weisencrantz + Rosie Willett
Bridesmaids – Charity find + Etsy + own gold shoes
Groom – Paul Smith
Cake – Family friend
Flowers – Bouquet
Transport – Route Master Bus


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.