A 1960’s Vintage Dress and Cape for a Gardening Inspired Wedding

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There is something so very cool about a cape and even more so when it’s worn on your wedding day. Prepare to be awestruck by beautiful bride Deborah’s attire for her vintage and garden-inspired summer wedding, with all the happy moments caught by Angela Ward Brown, a much admired and highly recommended member of our Little Book for Brides resource (see her listing here). Deborah is an assistant manager in retail and Michael is an accountant and the gorgeous couple married on the 11th of August 2016 at the stunning Sopley Mill near Christchurch in Dorset.

“We didn’t have a particular theme for our day but there were a few nods to things we love, like the typewriter guestbook and car for my love of vintage and the table plan and homemade centrepieces for our love of gardening. In general, we wanted the day to be about love and about having fun. We put a lot of effort into making sure our guests would enjoy themselves and I definitely think it paid off!”

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“Love My Dress was my number one blog. It was so useful, especially in terms of how to style my look and ideas for décor on the day. I loved how user friendly it is and how easy it is to find what I was looking for, e.g. searching for things by era or colour – that was so helpful when I was looking for inspiration. I love the quality of the posts as well, with lots of beautiful weddings to be inspired by! I also have the book, ‘Style Me Vintage Weddings’ (written by Love My Dress founder, Annabel Beeforth), which was super helpful and the Little Book for Brides wedding directory is brilliant too. I was maid of honour for both of my sisters before my big day and we all used Love My Dress – it was great for each of our different styles.”

Peggy and Kate created the invitations and save the dates and together the couple made mini jars of homemade chilli jam as favours. The venue was decorated with a range of photos of the bride, groom, friends and family, using gold frames sourced from charity shops, along with two old milk churns filled with floral arrangements. And the crafty table plan was another homage to Deborah and Michael’s green fingers.

“The table plan was presented on a vintage wooden ladder using flowers and pots from our back garden. We both really love gardening and thought that would be a fun way to represent that on our day. The tables were named after our favourite TV shows with a framed quote about love from each show on the table.”

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Deborah’s love of the romance of vintage and timeless elegance led to her wedding dress choice; a divine 60’s-style gown, complete with a cape.

“To be honest, I was really dreading choosing my wedding dress as I’m just under 5 foot so I have always struggled to find things that fit, let alone look good. I met Erica from Real Green Dress at a wedding fair and made an appointment a few months later.”

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“Erica was so lovely and helpful – I had emailed her prior to the appointment and she had picked out some beautiful dresses according to what I had asked for. She encouraged me to try on a beautiful 1960s dress which I didn’t think would suit (and I already had my heart set on a pink 1930’s number), but when I tried it on I knew it was the one!”

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“I loved the unusual print and the capped sleeves; the shape of it was perfect for me. My favourite part of the dress is, of course, the cape on the back, which made for some truly stunning photos and meant I had a dramatic train that was very easily detached. My veil was also from Real Green Dress.”

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The stunning bride added heels from Pretty Small Shoes, a hair comb from Artisan Dried Flowers, a spritz of her favourite scent ‘Sikkim Girls’ by Lush, and a pretty necklace and earrings from Accessorize. Deborah chose to do her own makeup on the day, with her sister helping out with her stylish beehive hairstyle.

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“I had a trial with a hair and make-up artist and it made me realise I didn’t feel comfortable with someone else styling me on the day. My older sister did my hair and she did a fantastic job. I did my own makeup, which I bought mainly from Bobbi Brown. We had a really fun and chilled morning all getting ready together and helping each other; it was such a good atmosphere.”

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The bridesmaids donned pretty pale blue Chi Chi London gowns with belts from TFNC, and pearl necklaces from Estella Bartlett.

“I thought these dresses complimented the style of mine very well and the colour was perfect for a summer wedding.”

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The little flower girl’s pretty pale blue dress was by George at Asda – isn’t she a sweetheart?

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Her dad accompanied her down the aisle to Bon Iver’s ‘Holocene’ (the instrumental version) and they had two readings during the ceremony; an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and an extract from ‘Stardust’ by Neil Gaiman, chosen for their mutual love of Stardust and the exciting love story between Tristan and Yvaine:

You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn’t true. I know a lot about love. I’ve seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate… It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves… You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and… What I’m trying to say is… I think I love you. I never imagined I’d know it for myself. My heart… It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it’s trying to escape because it doesn’t belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I’d wish for nothing in exchange – no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.

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“My ring was from Parkhouse and Michael’s was from Ernest Jones. I wanted something a bit sparkly to compliment my engagement ring; the diamonds have a very similar setting. We both went for yellow gold as we wanted them to match.”

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“My favourite part was saying my vows to Michael. I feel like I had been waiting a long time to say them and it was amazing to officially affirm our love in front of our favourite people – it was such a perfect moment. I was really glad we had a rehearsal so that we could get our blubbering out of the way before the big day! We loved dancing to the band at the end of the night too.”

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Michael wore a stylish Marks & Spencer three-piece suit, with a Charles Tyrwhitt tie, and his groomsmen donned smart suits from Next.

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“We met at uni in Southampton and bonded over our shared love for geeky TV. It didn’t take us long to realise how much we have in common and how well we complement each other. Two and a half years later, we had just bought our first house and Michael took me to a cottage in the Forest of Dean for my birthday.”

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I could hear (and smell) him cooking me pancakes for breakfast in bed. When he came in with the tray however, I was presented not with pancakes but the beautiful ring we had both liked a few months before (don’t worry, I still got the pancakes too!). We were engaged for almost two years before the wedding, which seemed like a long time at the start. Of course, time flew by and we were glad to have the extra time to save up and to spread out the planning.”

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Sharing a mutual love of gardening, the couple incorporated this love into their florals, decor and styling of the venue. They ordered flowers wholesale from Nursery Fresh and made the bouquets, buttonholes and venue decorations, utilising succulents, hydrangeas and stunning terrarium centrepieces for the table.

“It was a lot of fun making the flower arrangements together! Luckily my older sister has a knack for flower arranging so they all looked really beautiful. I have always loved succulents and think they make really interesting bouquets. We wanted to keep the flowers relatively simple with pale blue and white and the green succulents complimented that well. You can plant the succulents afterwards and keep them which is a lovely way to remember your day! Hydrangeas are my favourite flowers so I had to have them – they are a beautiful summer flower and they looked fab in both the big and small arrangements.” 

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“For the tables, we had terrarium centrepieces which we made two weeks beforehand and stood them on log slices made from a tree from my parents’ garden – they looked really cool! Most of the terrariums are still going strong which is so great and I love popping over to visit family and seeing part of our wedding.”

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“We sourced the containers mainly from charity shops and got a few from Home Sense. Also, my sister made a beautiful eucalyptus and ruscus garland for the top table which was perfect – simple and clean and not too fussy.”

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The newlyweds provided a huge range of entertainment for their lucky guests, including a selfie booth (and even a big cardboard cut out of their cat who unfortunately couldn’t attend!), a Mr/Mrs quiz, a mad libs sheet and a quiz on interesting facts about some of the guests at the wedding on each table, and fun lawn games. I love these photos of the guests well and truly getting into the party spirit!

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“We had quite a few lawn games about to keep our guests entertained, like splat the rat, a coconut shy and duck races on the river. The most popular was of course space hopper races, which provided a lot of amusement – one guest got so into it that he split his trousers! We really wanted our guests to have lots of fun on our day and not feel like there was a lot of waiting around, so we were really pleased to see everyone getting stuck into the games.”

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“My brother provided us with some homemade cider that was served to our guests arrival at the reception venue, made especially for the wedding, and which went down an absolute treat with everyone there. We had some custom cocktails on offer at the bar, named after two characters in one of our favourite films, Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers.”

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“We had two parts to our guestbook. The first was a vintage typewriter (an amazing charity shop bargain that I am still excited about), which our guests could type notes on. Secondly, we had giant wooden initials made by Michael’s dad that our guests signed and left messages on in different coloured sharpies. They now have pride of place in our living room.”

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My mouth is positively watering at this delectable image of the couple’s divine cake, made by Deborah’s clever mum and sister.

“We liked the idea of a naked cake but love chocolate so it was a no brainer really! The filling was raspberry coulis and whipped chocolate ganache. It was honestly the best cake I have ever tasted and it looked absolutely stunning too.”

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“Our band was Festival Foxes and they were incredible. We loved that they are an all-girl band and they really exceeded our expectations.”

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“We had so much fun dancing and it was a great way to end our perfect day. Our first dance was to ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’ by Band of Horses – I’ve loved this song for such a long time and thought it would be perfect for our first dance. After the band had finished and we were due to leave we had a sparkler send-off which was the perfect way to finish off the festivities!”

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“Angela from Angela Ward Brown Photography is a really talented photographer and all round awesome person. She photographed my sister’s wedding a few years ago, and the photos were stunning, so it was a no brainer to ask her to shoot ours too.”

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“Neither of us really like having our photo taken but Angela made the whole experience so fun. Our couple’s portraits are just incredible and she smashed our expectations. We love all the candid photos of our guests and how she really captured the feel of the whole day. We have a beautiful album to remember the day – I still can’t stop flicking through it!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“The most important thing I learnt was to stay firm in your vision for your day. I’m sure all brides planning will have already discovered that everyone has an opinion and they aren’t afraid to tell you how to they think you should plan your day! I found it quite stressful trying to please everyone and taking their ideas or criticisms on board.

I was so happy with our day, it was perfect and exactly what we wanted. I think we would have felt so disappointed if we had tried to please everyone at the expense of how we had envisaged our day; it wouldn’t have been as amazing. So basically, don’t let people sway you into doing something you know you won’t like. Remember that it’s your day and no one else’s!

We didn’t have a wedding planner, so it meant we had to do a lot ourselves, which I was worried about. We felt so lucky to have the most amazing family and friends who put so much time and effort into realising our day. We made some great memories in the run up to the day and it just made the whole wedding feel even more special knowing all the care and hard work that had gone into the day from our loved ones.”

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Oh. My. Wow! What a gem of a wedding – thank you so much to Deborah and Michael for letting us a little peek into your most magical day. Also a massive high five to Angela for sharing these delightful shots and providing happy memories for the beautiful couple.

I have total cape envy too, so if you’re keen for a cape for your own big day then check out our archives for loads of inspirational styles.

Have a brill rest of week gorgeous ones.

Love Jo -xo-

Credits & Thanks

Jo Singletary

Jo Singletary View all Jo's articles

Jo hails from and lives in sunny Australia, is currently working towards her dream of being a career coach and a few of her favourite things are watching the sunrise over the ocean, morning walks on the beach, butterflies, and supporting the guide dogs charity.

6 thoughts on “A 1960’s Vintage Dress and Cape for a Gardening Inspired Wedding

  1. Thank you so much for featuring the wedding! It was a joy to shoot, and D&M are just the loveliest people. Seeing this has totally made me crave long summer evenings again…. <3


  2. Oh wow, what a beautiful wedding and stunning photography. Im not surprised that the couple’s expectations were exceeded with those couple portraits – the light is sublime!

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