A Fifties Vintage Tea Length Dress for a Festival Inspired Wedding

wpid333076 festival wedding archive12 dress 37

Happy Tuesday everyone, I hope the first month of 2015 is proving to be kind to you. It’s so good to be back in the wonderful world of weddings after my Christmas break! To start off my new year I have a right beauty of a loved-up ‘wedfest‘ for you this afternoon. Katie and Edward truly embraced the festival theme where the celebrations culminated in the bride’s parents’ garden, on the hillside overlooking the sea, in beautiful County Donegal, Ireland.

Early years educator, Katie married her paramedic husband on 26 July 2014 in an intimate, family ceremony at The Guildhall in Derry and their day has been delightfully documented by their long-term friend and photographer, Paula Gillespie.

“We both love festivals, so we styled our day around a music festival, with tipi tents from Magnakata. The idea was that you could attend our wedding for free – all drinks and food and everything else you need! The tents were really sturdy and created a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2015, Paula Gillespie

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“Edward and I met while working in the same bar 15 years ago. We finally got together on New Year’s Eve, the night of the millennium. We never thought we would marry as we already felt fully committed to each other. However there is an old Irish tradition that says that a woman can propose to a man on the 29th February in a leap year, so I took advantage and hid the question in a crossword.

One thing about the woman proposing is that you don’t get a ring but I had one that was handed down from my maternal grandmother, which means a lot to me as she passed away in 1996.”

Ladies, if you’re interested, we covered the idea of leap year proposals here.  And by the way, the next Leap Year is 2016, and Leap Day will be on 29th February!

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“My Aunt Jenny made my bouquet – she used to be a top florist and past clients include Posh and Becks, Prince Andrew and Elton John. She used flowers from my Aunt Margaret’s garden on Inch Island while my sister carried flowers from her own garden tied by her partner, who is the resident gardener in their house. It had sweet peas and lavender so smelled and looked amazing.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Katie bought her gorgeous, vintage dress from Archive 12 in Belfast which is a relatively new addition to the Northern Irish bridal scene and she was their first ever bride.

“I went dress shopping the month before the wedding. I knew I wanted a knee length dress and sleeves. Originally, I was looking for a blue lace dress, which I was going to have made but I wasn’t organised in time. The dress I bought was comfortable to wear all day, and spun out when I twirled. I loved the original lace. I would highly recommend the shop, Claire gave us lots of time; it was a lovely setting and a funky space.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Katie added the blue that she was originally looking for with a pair of baby blue Rachel Simpson shoes as well as a festival snap bracelet that came with the wedding invites. To complete the bridal tradition she borrowed her sister’s earrings that were handed down from their grandmother and wore a new diamond bracelet that was a wedding gift from her parents.

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“My long time friend, Paula Gillespie, takes photographs that look like paintings. She has won awards including NME music magazine 10 most beautiful photographs of the decade, for which I was the model. Paula was unobtrusive, and we took photographs on the street where we live.  Paula’s attention to detail was amazing, and she was so thoughtful throughout.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish weddingpaula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

The final touches to the bridal look came courtesy of some flowers from a roundabout outside the hotel for her hair along with a spritz of Candyland by Common Brimstone.

“This was a present from my friend Ruth who always smells like cake and gingerbread!”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“The bridesmaids’ dresses were all designed by the children who chose a pattern and then their own material. They were made by a family friend, dressmaker Suzie Campbell from Derry. Suzie was creative, patient and supportive. Aideen, my big sister and chief bridesmaid, chose a material that was purchased at Shipquay Fabrics in Derry.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“My favourite part of the day was arriving and seeing everyone who had travelled and made the effort to come and celebrate with us. The house and the garden were all done up and I was so excited.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

The couple decided to marry at the glorious Guildhall in Derry surrounded by family, which was followed by lunch at nearby Custom House restaurant. The celebrations then moved to Katie’s parents’ house and garden for the festival themed reception with games, street food, heaps of entertainment and 150 guests dancing well into the night.

“My dad walked me down the aisle – he is actually my step dad but is a real dad to me as my biological father and mum divorced when I was a baby. I was really pleased to find out that I was able to put his name on the marriage certificate.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Edward bought his smart, grey suit in Austin’s, Derry, which is Ireland’s oldest department store and his best man was the oldest of the four brothers, who had waited a long time for the role!

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“We signed the register to a live rendition of The Henry Girls original song ‘Don’t Worry About the Weather.’ Here are some of the lyrics… 

Don’t worry ‘bout the weather, Take my hand we’ll go together
And embrace whatever troubles come our way
No don’t worry bout the weather
We can happily endeavour, Just as long as we’re together…
I’ve been dreaming, and waiting on this day so long,
And now you’re standing next to me, I feel so strong… I’m alive, alive as I will ever be Let’s tumble down unto the sea, And listen to the endless song.'”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

The wedding car was a 1979 Ford Cortina, registered on February 14th, which is owned and was driven by the couple’s friend Dave. Like the music and beer it was a wedding gift.

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“The festival feel was enhanced with vintage games, including hook-a-duck, throw the horseshoe, face cut outs for photographs, play your cards right, a children’s tent and a pic‘n’mix area for sweets. Prizes for the games were also kept as favours and included such items as silly straws, headphones, children’s toys, miniature drinks and scratch cards.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Pike ‘n’ Pommes award winning street food, my sister in law’s deli – Baltic Social & Salt n Liquor in Liverpool, the Banba coffee van and the Honeybear ice cream van helped to create the festival atmosphere and kept our guests well fed throughout the day. The bar was personalized by Evan’s Brewery, Co. Donegal, run by my sister’s partner, and included drinks created and named after us.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“Instead of a cake, we had a whole cake room with a huge array of cakes supplied by Caffe Banba, Carndonagh. These included a chocolate and Guinness cake, red velvet and lemon drizzle cakes, salted caramel muffins and Football Special squares (Football Special is a local soft drink made in Donegal!) We also had a tiered wheel of cheese presented as a cake and served with grapes, pears and crackers, supplied by Funky Cakes, Derry.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

“We added candles, decorated jars and hay bales for seating. There were fire pits with marshmallows, including one made from an old washing machine along with an old spray painted car that we stripped out and filled with seating, music and a disco ball, sparklers and fireworks.”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Musical entertainment came in many different forms from The Inishowen Gospel Choir of which Katie is a member, The Henry Girls, Bounce DJs, Siobhan ShielsGreat White Lies and The Ukeladies who all are good friends of the couple.

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

Words of wedded wisdom

“The day goes so fast, so just enjoy the planning stage and don’t worry about a thing on the day. All the small things stop mattering. It will be brilliant because it’s yours.

Also, in retrospect, I would hire a clean up team for the morning after the night before! Similarly I would organize someone who wasn’t family to co-ordinate the arrival of the vans, toilets etc. We also forgot to leave a key for the house while we were at the ceremony, so a friend had to climb in the kitchen window to connect the power!”

paula gillespie wedding photography, 1950's vintage wedding dress, tipi wedding, irish bride, irish wedding

I think this may just be the most cool, chilled out and relaxed wedding I’ve had the good fortune to write about to date! Garden with a sea view, a cake room and super informal; it simply looks like it was a lot of fun! On a sentimental note, I love that the wedding rings were both made from the one belonging to Edward’s mum who passed away when he was nine. Best wishes to you both for your fabulous future together.

Thanks of course to Paula Gillespie for sharing the photos depicting the story of the day.

Much love, Katie xx

 

Photographer – Paula Gillespie
Venue  – The Guildhall + Custom House
Tipi – Magnakata
Wedding Dress – Archive 12
Shoes – Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Scent/perfume –  Common Brimstone
Groom – Austin’s
Bridesmaids – handmade
Florist – family
Cake – Caffe Banba & cheese cake – Funky Cakes
Catering – Pike ‘n’ PommesThe Baltic SocialCaffe Banba
Stationery – Zoo Creative
Hair Stylist – Hairspray
Entertainment – The Inishowen Gospel Choir + The Henry Girls + Siobhan Shiels + Great White Lies + The Ukeladies

6 thoughts on “A Fifties Vintage Tea Length Dress for a Festival Inspired Wedding

  1. Paula is amazing. The photos really capture the joy of the day. A wonderful wedding with two of the best people.

  2. The photos are amazing Paula is super talented looks like a really fun day, it was a joy doing Katie’s hair for her wedding in City hotel herself and her sisters were a joy to work with and of course Bernie xx

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