This beautifully stylish wedding of Hollie and Mitch shows us the glamorous side of the vintage eras, delving into true 1920’s art deco wedding styling; from the grand castle venue, to the Gatsby headbands, luxurious feather bridal cape and vintage pinstripe three piece suit!
Here we catch up with Hollie, who tells us all about her and Mitch’s love story, from first meet to first dance and all the lovely bits in-between…
“We met online on an alternative (rock/punk/goth community) version of Facebook, got talking via email and phone for a few months before meeting in person. Mitch was in a metal band and I went to all his gigs. Within 3 months we made it official. I was in my last year of sixth form in Kent and Mitch was working full time in Essex, as he was two years older. We would take it in turns to travel to spend the weekends together.”
“Marriage wasn’t something that either of us were keen on, although as the years went by the idea grew on me. In 2014 we took a much needed break to Reykjavik, Iceland. We both have birthdays in early March, so we would celebrate abroad. We had been together 8 years already but I had absolutely no idea Mitch would propose. We took a day trip to the Blue Lagoon, which is a natural hot spring. We were enjoying the warm water and the breath-taking scenery, when I commented on how romantic it was and how it would be a wonderful place to come on honeymoon….Little did I know Mitch was about to propose! Getting down on one knee is quite tricky in the water but he gave it a go. I was so shocked I couldn’t speak, I just grabbed Mitch in excitement, he had to pull me off to check I had actually said yes! We had the most wonderful meal in the fish restaurant on site, then spent the evening watching the northern lights.”
“Initially we couldn’t set a date as I was waiting to hear if I had secured a place to do my masters in art psychotherapy. If I got in (which I did) I knew that was all our savings. That didn’t stop me looking at dresses and venues. I bought my dress before we had set a date! When I had completed my first year of university we came into some money, so we were able to set a date. I used wedding planning as a treat to myself every time I handed in an essay. I knew I didn’t want wedding planning to be stressful, so I spaced it out over 3 years. Pretty much everything I bought was very much “oh that would be perfect for the wedding”, I didn’t ever go ‘wedding shopping’, which really took the pressure off.”
“I am a massive fan of wedding blogs, my Facebook and Pinterest were full of ideas. I knew I wanted something vintage, initially I was torn between 50s and 20/30s. It was only when I chose my dress that everything came together and I knew I wanted an art deco theme. I was then on a mission to source everything.”
“When I told my Godmother Avril (also my mother figure) that Mitch had proposed the first thing she said was “if you could have absolutely any venue where would it be?” I showed her Hedingham castle website and she ordered a brochure there and then. Avril came with me to the open day and asked all the questions and made lots of notes, I was over the moon when I realised it was a possibility. Mitch and I had been to the castle for medieval re-enactments and live music events and were already in love with the venue.”
“I bought my art deco wedding dress in Miss Selfridge in Bluewater, I had gone to meet my oldest friend for lunch as it was halfway between our homes. We popped into Miss Selfridge as they had got some glittery flapper style dresses in the window, I was explaining how I loved them but wanted something floor length. I spotted a dress on the “get me before I’m gone rail” It was on a size 12 hanger so I didn’t get my hopes up. “This is the sort of this I’m after”, I said, then realising it was actually a six 6, we ran to the changing room, nearly sending a few people flying on the way. Charlotte helped me into it, I knew straight away it was the dress for me, the weight of all the sequins meant it sat perfectly in all the right places.”
“My second dress came much later, I was on eBay looking at vintage fashion (as I often do), when I came across an original 1940s wedding dress. Well obviously I couldn’t resist. I had it dry cleaned and some minor repairs and it fitted perfectly. I was still in love with my first dress, so I decided to wear the vintage dress in the evening, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be in sequins all day as they can scratch. I changed into the vintage dress just after the wedding breakfast but before the speeches. It threw the best man as he had planned to comment on my dress in his speech, it all got very silly but we all laughed so hard. The wedding photographer captured the moment perfectly.”
“Trying to track down men’s vintage is a bit trickier, so we opted for a reproduction waistcoat and oxford bags from Some Like It Holy, an online brand. These were then tailored to fit perfectly. The shirt complete with collar stud and shoes were from William hunt and the blazer was from good old M and S”
“I originally saw the bridesmaids dresses on a wedding blog, where the bride wore Jenny Packham and the bridesmaids wore Adriana Pappel. It was the perfect look, as my dress had a Jenny Packham feel to it. I showed my Bridesmaids and they tracked the dresses down to John Lewis and House of Fraser, by this time they were selling fast and we had to get two different colours to get the right sizes. This worked well though as I was keen from the beginning that the bridesmaids feel individual and just as special, I had toyed with the idea of them all having different dresses. The girls wore simple pearl drop earrings and vintage pear necklaces that I sourced over the three years. The gloves were from Dents, who have been making evening gloves for years, so had the classic feel to them. All the shoes and handbags were chosen by the bridesmaids and they helped me choose the hairstyles and hairbands.”
“I knew I didn’t want anything too fancy for the cake, probably a naked cake with a few berries or flowers. On a visit to the venue on an open day we saw the perfect cake, naked with just a few succulents (which was developing into a bit of a theme by this point). To keep costs down one of my bridesmaids (Gem’s) mum jewels made the cake, she did a fantastic job. All the flowers and button holes were assembled by myself and Gem over a few months, the silk flowers came from Hobbycraft and Dunelm. The table flowers also contained flowers taken from my godmothers and my mother in laws bouquets. The table decorations were collected over many months, some new, some charity shop and some eBay. I also had a “wish you were here” table for relatives that had passed or were too ill to make it: these were framed in M and S frames. The show stopper was my moon photo booth. Many of our friends are into community theatre and make all the stage sets and props, they offered to to make the moon and help me source props. I took the idea from vintage photos of actresses and dancers on moon props.”
“The whole day went by so fast! I think my favourite part was the ceremony, it was complete role reversal. I hate the limelight, I’m used to seeing Mitch on stage. This time I was the calm one, I got all my vows out without crying. Poor Mitch had to keep composing himself, everyone said it was the most romantic ceremony. We had two beautiful readings from two of our acting friends. The string quartet just made the whole thing so magical.”
“Going vintage Is so much more personal, no one will be wearing or styling like you. I also love the idea of preloved things, they come with so much history. You also can’t be out of fashion if its vintage!”
Words of wisdom
“Get a good nights sleep the night before, don’t worry about convention, do what feels right. I knew I wouldn’t sleep the night before if I was on my own. The morning of the wedding we had breakfast together then drove to the venue together before going to our separate cottages. This was we missed all the mad panic from the bridesmaids and groomsmen arriving before us. The day goes so fast, don’t spend it panicking about every little detail- so what if it rains (I bought white umbrellas as I knew it would). Having a sweetheart table was the best decision we made, we got time together and there was no upset about who sat next to the couple. We could see all our guests better too! Don’t panic when things go wrong, we lost our photographer 2 weeks before the wedding, the hairdresser put us in touch with Rafe and it was the best thing ever.”
Dress: Miss Selfridge/Vintage
Accessories: Elizabeth Michael, Saffron Waldon
Brides ring: Ernest Jones
Bouquet: Made by Hollie and Gem (bridesmaid)
Make up/Hair: Francesca Fonzarelli
Grooms suit: Some like it holy/William Hunt (shirts)/Marks and Spencer
Bridesmaid dresses: John Lewis/House of Fraser
Venue: Hedingham Castle
Photography: Rafe Abrook Photography
Also big thanks to…
Helga and Steve for making the moon and Gem for all the flowers and finishing touches
Looking for more vintage wedding inspiration? Check out A 1960’s Mad Men Inspired Wedding with Modern Vintage Styling
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