Tag: Wedding

It’s only Wedding hair and Make up but I like it!

Hair Claire

I met Claire Byrne through a Facebook group for vintage lovers in my area. I asked a question about where to buy hair accessories for my hair and was immediately pointed in Claire’s direction. She’s been cutting my hair ever since and also gave me some hair flowers to review. My sister and I modelled for her at a vintage fair recently too. I knew exactly who i wanted to do my hair on my big day – its not just anyone who can achieve the things that Claire can achieve. She knows exactly what she’s doing and is experienced in creating vintage up dos, classy styles and super curls.

Hair Claire 2

Flo Westbrook was very enthusiastic when she took photos of me getting ready! There are lots and they’re all fabulous! When I said I wanted my hair down and curly Claire knew exactly what to do! She started with a wet set and left me drying while she got started on the bridesmaid’s hair.

iso hair

Iso had a little wave at the front and then a gorgeous big purple orchid – handmade by Claire of course!

Mol hair

Molly has lovely, long thick hair and so we gave her a big thick ponytail, a matching ribbon and a little wave at the back with a pink orchid.

Mol hair 2

Jess had some lovely curls and a little white orchid.

Jess hair

We all had fun choosing from Claire’s box of delights!

hair claire flowers

Sharon Dawson is a friend of Claire’s and was our Make Up artist for the day. Just like Claire she was very easy going and really put us all at ease.

Sharon MUA

I don’t wear a lot of make up so was happy to be advised by Sharon on what to choose.

polly MU

I love the smoky eyes she gave me and it’s inspired me to try recreating the look myself!

Polly MU4

I don’t normally wear foundation but the one Sharon used was very light and breathable.

Polly MU2

As you can see the overall look was stunning.

Polly MU3

The only input I had into my make up was asking if we could use my Besame Cherry Red lipstick. I just love the shade on me – it’s very bold but I do think it works!

Hair Claire 3

Then I headed back to Claire for the finishing touches to my barnet!

Polly Hair

Some anxious looks here – looking a bit Martha Reeves?

Polly Hair 2

polly hair final

She teased all my curls into the right places and we added a white orchid and a teal orchid.


I’m so pleased with my finished look – so very vintage and perfect for me! Claire and Sharon were just amazing and so very easy to be around on a potentially stressful morning! The last 20 minutes before we left the house were mad – I had three people trying to get me into my shape wear, then my dress and not lose all my make up in the process! I can’t believe how great I look in the photos and wish I could call on Claire and Sharon every morning!

It is with a desire for live-in Hair and Make up artists I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a few Wedding Details but I like it…

Ok, I promise, I’m almost done with wedding posts for now, but I just wanted to share a few little details with you…

I can honestly say I’ve never dreamed of a large fairytale wedding in a castle, with me in a meringue dress. I know that’s what the storybooks told me. I know that’s what I’m supposed to want that, but I just don’t. I’m more of a ‘Once Wed’ (http://Www.oncewed.com) kind of girl – if you haven’t seen Once Wed, it’s full of hipster weddings, in barns, or on mountain tops, with brides in hippie gowns and guys in quirky waistcoats. They have dinner tables in meadows bedecked with jam jars of peonies, or planks of wood, laid out on scaffolding in warehouses with vintage vases. They make their own favours and have burlesque entertainment. That’s what I’m talking about!

I knew right off that all the little details were important to me. Let me explain:

The favours:


I’ve always loved wedding favours – I think it’s an extension of my love of gift giving. I knew I wanted it to be something handmade but inexpensive. I put my passion for chutney to good use and saved jars to pot up my favourite caramelised onion chutney. I spray painted the lids a lovely turquoise and added printed labels and name tags.


The flowers:


I got really stuck when choosing flowers. I didn’t want to be stressed on the day trying to buy fresh flowers and I couldn’t find any non living, button bouquets that I liked. I happened to mention this to best buddy Becca and she replied “Well, you do know my mum used to be a florist, don’t you?”. I had no idea but I did know my troubles were over! I handed over to Grandma Jane (Becca’s Mum!) and she did a beautiful job. I asked for simple bunches of Gypsophila for the Bridesmaids and the same for me with some added freesias.


When they arrived they took my breath away. Grandma Jane said the florist always has to have some artistic license so she’d added some teal ribbon and tiny pearls. So beautiful and perfectly in keeping with my theme.


The table decorations:


Our place cards were an afterthought – the Dr ran down to The Range and bought them the day before and I wrote them out, adding a fact about each person on the reverse as an ice breaker: some silly, some whimsical and all very personal.


As I’m a primary school teacher, my current class are always a big part of my life. I had told them about the wedding and had been intrigued and amused by their reactions! I decided to ask them what they thought love was and to get them to write that on hearts which were scattered around the table.


“Love is when you have feelings for somebody and will keep a promise to each other and never tell lies to each other – Honey”

I also used Pinterest for inspiration – why wouldn’t you? A while back I had spotted a table runner that was made from lots of vintage lace doilies sewn together which just seemed perfect. I got on eBay, spent about £20 on doilies and my Mum and I sewed them together.


It was super cheap and no need for superior sewing skills as it just required a few tacking stitches here and there.


I had one final idea that I liked. I wanted to get some little badges made. I found a company online that were very reasonable. Mr T’s Shirts ( http://www.mrtsshirts.co.uk) did me a deal of about £25 for 100 badges. I was very happy with the service and quality and they were just another little souvenir of the day for my guests.

image image image

So these are my finishing touches, my little flourishes and the things I think really made the day. None of them expensive, all of them with some element of handmade and all created with love.

It is with a handmade flourish I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only The Wool House but I like it…

Not long after I first started visiting the Dr (my husband) in Southampton, back in the early days of our courtship, we spent a lot of time exploring the city. Despite having lived less than an hour away from Southampton for several years I had only ever really visited the theatre and the city centre. The Dr lived down by the docks and we set out one day for a walk. I spied an odd little old building near the ferry terminal. We wandered in and I swear there was something odd occurring there… A display of ‘genuine’ fairy skeletons downstairs and some kind of folk ukulele group playing upstairs. At this point in time it was functioning as a community arts space.

Wool House

Fast forward a year or two and the Wool House no longer houses fairy skeletons and has been transformed into a fantastic pub and restaurant. Paul and I had popped in a few times and loved the ale there – The Dancing Man Brewery is an award winning micro brewery and it took on the Wool House as it’s second venue after successfully running The Platform Tavern for almost 20 years. The Platform Tavern is known in the area for its ale, it’s live music and its tasty pies. We had dinner there for the Dr’s birthday a few years back and the food and drink were both excellent.

Platform Tav

The building itself is beautiful and has such character. Built in 1338 it has been a wool storage space, a prison, boat building warehouse and many other things. It has beautiful high ceilings, beams made of Spanish cedar and is currently decorated with heaps of fairy lights, work by local artists and 3 large windows over looking the harbour.

Wool_House_ exteriors woolhouse interiors

As soon as we started looking for wedding venues we knew the Wool House was the only choice for us. It is unpretentious, rustic and just a little bit different. Plus the fact it’s just a few minutes walk from the register office! All rather perfect I think you’ll agree! Our first meeting with Mandy, the events manager (and the fact we’ve always found the staff to be friendly and helpful), only cemented our decision –  when she said “Tell us what you want and we’ll tell you if we can do it!” we knew we were in the right place.

These photos from our photographer Flo Westbrook show just how atmospheric it was there on our special day:


It has a stunning spiral staircase taking you upstairs that had been decorated with trailing flowers and tea lights.

Wool House Wed

We began our day by pulling the first pint – look carefully and you’ll see a photo of us on the pump – our beer was called ‘Amazing Grace’. It was such a lovely touch and a great photo opportunity!

Wool House wed 3



The table had been decorated beautifully with lots of little touches that I had delivered to Mandy, the events manager, the day before.

Wool House wed 4

The lighting is beautiful – very soft and twinkly, and Flo has captured the atmosphere perfectly here.

Wool House wed 5


Such a stunning space with those high beams and stone walls!

Wool House wed 6

Look at all those twinkly lights! Such a lovely backdrop for our photos!

Wool House Wed2

All in all, we’re so pleased with our choice of venue and everyone loved the food – we had a range of pies, with vegetables and golden roast potatoes, lovely flavours and great quality – one guest insisted there must have been half a chicken in her pie! The staff were attentive and polite, totally understanding of the needs of our party all the way down to our youngest guest who was just 4!

It is with a new career as a barmaid I say:

It’s only vintage but i like it!

It’s only a Bridesmaid but I like it…

Back in June I asked three ladies to do me the honour of being my bridesmaids. I did this, for some reason, in the style of Lily Allen:

I chose my little cousin Molly, my sister Jess and one of my best and most long standing friends Iso.

Due to the different ages and heights of my bridesmaids I decided to go with a fairly plain and classic dress that I knew would suit all of hem and would be quite comfortable on the day. A quick look at Lindy Bop ‘s website left in me in no doubt that Audrey would be the right lady for the vintage look I was trying to achieve!


I initially though about having all my bridesmaids in polka dots but in the end I decide just to put Molly in spots and let my two senior bridesmaid rock a classic colour. I teamed the dresses up with this lovely royal blue petticoat:


I decided to leave the finer details of footwear to the Brideys to organise and made my final job to buy them white pashmina each and a Tatty Devine name necklace!

Bridesmaid 2 Bridesmaid 3 bridesmaid1

As usual lovely Flo Westbrook has done us proud with some images!


I’m very happy with the quality of the dresses and petticoats. I ironed my sister’s dress and the cotton was a nice thick material that held a pressing well. They looked lovely with petticoats under them and I didn’t hear any complaints from the girls about the petticoats although I know they can take a bit of getting used to! The two blue dresses were purchased in the January sale and only cost about eighteen pounds each. All in all the Audrey was a thrifty and gorgeous choice and I think my ladies looked fab in them!

bridesmaids b&w

I can’t imagine having spent my day with any other ladies!

It is with a finger on my chin I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a post-Wedding mantelpiece but I like it…

The day after our wedding we woke up in our boutique hotel room, had nice showers in L’Occitane smellies and then, feeling rather tired, headed for home, after picking up cards and gifts left at our venue.

We made a pot of tea and sat down to open all these lovely messages and then tried to make room for as many things as possible on our mantelpiece. We had said that we didn’t need gifts but many of our friends and family gave us money or things they knew we’d love anyway and we felt totally overwhelmed by their generosity.


Our lovely P&P has pride of place and a selection of cards shows just a little of the love we received. That’s my bouquet on the right – lovely gypsophilia and freesia and little pearls!


We were grateful to receive these little instruction manuals too. They’re very informative.


With the support of Ladybird books I’m sure this will be a long and fruitful Union! Must say we loved leafing through these and giggling – what a fab sense of humour the people at Ladybird have!

It is with a short shopping list I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wedding Dress but I like it!

I have a little announcement to make!


I’m married! (Although you may have picked that up!)

The Dr and I tied the knot on the 31st of March and had a blissful day. I have lots of things to tell you about the day but I’m going to spread it out over a few blog posts, starting today with the most important thing: my outfit!

I tried on various dresses. I tried, I really did. After a distressing experience in a bridal shop a few years back I vowed I would not set foot in one again. On said occasion I was a bridesmaid and the assistant in the shop insisted on dropping dresses over my head that were several sizes too small (‘just to see’), shoved her hands up my skirt to help my into the dress and then paraded me around in front of the shop window with half my back hanging out of the dress. Or at least that’s how it felt to me. I was much bigger back then, had zero body confidence and didn’t own any dresses…

Luckily, 2016 finds me several sizes smaller and much more in tune with my feminine side. I didn’t visit any bridal boutiques, I met with Gilly from Gilly-Leigh’s Vintage and PreLoved Wedding Gowns and tried on a few of her vintage gowns but, as is the nature of vintage, she just didn’t have anything that was quite right at the time. She was lovely though and has an ever expanding range of dresses, so give her a look if that’s your bag.

I’ve been following Vivien of Holloway for some time now on Facebook and loved their bridal range. I sent for and tried on both the Grace and Duchess dresses.

Vivien of Holloway Duchess
Vivien of Holloway Grace

After some deliberation (and sending my mum selfies in both dresses) I decided Grace, with her snug waistline, wrap detailing and partial sleeves was a more ‘grown up’ look. I also thought Grace would show off the fact that, with a bit of help, I can have a tiny waist!

I should admit at this point that before I even bought a dress I had purchased these delicate beauties from Irregular Choice.


I later relented, admitted I couldn’t really walk in them and they might make me just fractionally taller than the Dr, and bought the same style of shoes in a kitten heel.

My next idea I cherry-picked from blogger Georgina Horne as she looked so lovely on her big day.


I fell in love with George’s petticoat and decided to add a splash of colour to my outfit in the same way. Luckily the fabric in my Irregular Choice shoes perfectly matched the teal petticoat I bought from Vivien of Holloway.


The dress and petticoat covered my ‘Something new’ and ‘Something blue’ and I figured a simple string of pearls might be a good look, so the vintage pearls that the Dr’s Mum gave me covered my ‘Something old’.


I borrowed a ring from my sister and completed the quartet.

The next question was what shape wear would give me the smooth lines I desired. I’ve lost lots of weight, but still have some jelly rolls on my tummy which get in the way of lots of clothing choices.


This Waspie Glamour Nouveau from What Katie Did did a perfect job and was relatively comfortable. By the end of the night I was feeling the need to remove it, I will admit, but it’s shape wear – it needs to be snug and it did make me look very smooth.

So here’s the overall look! More on hair and make up to come!

I’ve only had a few finished images from lovely photographer Flora Westbrook but they look amazing and they show off my outfit very well! I’ll be sharing more, have no doubt!




It is with something old, new, borrowed and blue I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wedding Cake but I like it…

Inspiration for my cake is probably down to one lady : Nikki McWilliams. I’ve loved Nikki’s biscuity goodies since I found her on Folksy several years ago. Since then she’s gone pro with the biscuit empire and her range of goodies has increased, tempting me each time.


I love her range because it takes me back to a time when a custard cream could solve most any problem. Grazed knee? I prescribe a Bourbon biscuit. Wasp sting? Jammie Dodger. And so on.

People pay crazy money for wedding cakes, so as a keen baker I pretty soon began trying to figure out if I was up to making my own. Mother in Law Barbara – who’s an amazing baker – was knocking up a three tiered beauty for her neighbour’s daughter when we were up North at Christmas and she assured me I could definitely make my own. She lent me a cake tin, gave me an icing smoothing tool and talked me through the finer points of buttercream.

I found this recipe on BBC Good Food and it had lots of good ratings and tips on how to make it. I felt confident I could make and ice three cakes – but what about the decoration?

Then comes my friend Becca, who bought me these British biscuit cutters for Christmas because they “Screamed Polly at me!”


The minute I saw them I knew my design was ready to go!


I think I found the cake the most stressful part of the wedding! It had to be left until close to the day and I am not a last minute person. The bottom tier chocolate cake was an enormous mixture and climbed out of the tin, the middle lemon layer did not rise anywhere near enough to be sliced into three and the little top layer fruit cake seemed a bit stodgy despite extra time in the oven. Then I had to ice all three layers and hope I didn’t mess it up too much.


The cookie cutters were great and the detailing was perfect. I used Renshaw’s icing for the bourbons and it had a lovely rich chocolatey taste.


The design in my head was very simple, just a layer of biscuit shapes around the bottom of each tier and a specially customised cushion from Nikki McWilliams on the top.

image image

That bottom layer of chocolate cake was so dense that those two tiers alone weighed a tonne! I had to enlist help to carry it to the car…

I delivered it to the venue, explained how to fit it together and handed over my special topper.


Here it is, beautifully captured by Flora Westbrook!  That one wonky Bourbon upsets me – it wasn’t wonky when it left my house, it’s a good job I’m not a perfectionist! I finished my top tier with little hearts and a gold bourbon. I love Nikki’s cushion – it sets it off perfectly and brings in our new surname perfectly!


We chopped it up and it was served as dessert – I was determined it was going to get eaten given all the headaches it had caused me! Wedding cake is so expensive and seems so often to go to waste. I had good reviews and the fruit cake in particular had a beautiful flavour. I’m proud of it and for a first attempt at anything like that I think it went pretty well.

It is with a grateful nod to the cake Gods I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Lady V Bridal but I like it…

It’s just a little bit too late for my nuptials but I had to share this lovely new bridal range from Lady V.


Love the 3/4 length of this dress and the lace detail to the sleeves. It’s plus size so starts at a size 16 making it just a little bit too big for me which is a shame as I’d definitely have tried it. image

The same goes for this lovely breast hugging beauty called Marilyn. I think you could definitely have some fun with this one if you were the right shape.


Charlotte comes with a pretty sash to one side. An unusual design and quite striking.

Do check out the rest of the range – if you’re after vintage inspired dresses on a budget Lady V is a definite contender. Look here: www.ladyvlondon.com/Wedding-and-Bridesmaids-Dresses/

It is with an eye for a lacy sleeve I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wedding but I like it…

My wedding for the record. My wedding which is in less than 8 weeks. This weekend my Mum, my little cousin Molly, my sister and my oldest friend came to me for the day. We ate cake and cookies (baked by Molly and I that morning) we had our hair done and our make up done and we tried on dresses, petticoats and jewellery together for the first time.


It’s a scary moment when all the things you have sat and ordered on wet and windy evenings on your own, suddenly materialise and are put together in the right order. You hope you chose the right colour, the right length, the right material and that it fits and works as a whole.


And do you know? It did. Almost all of it.

The hardest job I am having is not showing you the photos of all of us, dressed up, made up and grinning together. My bridesmaids are the loveliest, and most perfect ladies ever. They look so good together and even though none of them is that into vintage they have all committed to full circle skirts, petticoats and retro hairstyles.

It is with excitement I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Ring but I like it…

Yesterday Dr P cooked me dinner. That’s not unusual, he does that several times a week. But it was a special dinner. He said it was to celebrate the first month in our new house. I was pleased and surprised. I’d been so busy lately I hadn’t even noticed the date!

He cooked spring rolls to start, delicious pan fried seabass with tender-stem broccoli and new potatoes and lemon meringue pie for dessert. I felt spoiled. As I cleared the dishes and returned to the dining room he got down on one knee and presented me with this:


It’s a beautiful vintage ring from the 1920s. A single diamond in a silver and gold setting and I love it. It needs resizing, I think it’s maybe two sizes too big, but I want to wear it! I’m going to try and get it resized this week and have it back for the weekend… Bless him, he’s spent months scouring websites for vintage rings and has a really tough time choosing. I love jewellery, but tend to wear odd rings – my favourite is a big chunky jade band that wear on my middle finger, or a wooden scrabble tile with my initial on it that I bought at a craft fair years ago. I don’t really wear conventional rings so he had nothing to go on in terms of size or shape. After what I’m sure was many hours of searching he found Addy’s Vintage on Etsy ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Addy ) and finally found something he thought was simple and beautiful enough. He knew I wouldn’t want anything too big, too sparkly or too expensive – as a primary school teacher I’m often elbow deep in pond water, PVA glue, paint or some times a mixture of all three! This ring fits the bill exactly – and it’s vintage!

So it is with some surprise, and more than a little satisfaction that he chose so well. It’s perfect. Just like him. And I look forward to wearing it for many years.

It is with huge smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!