Floral crowns and whimsical hair styling

ImageHello gorgeous readers! I hope you are all well and enjoying all of the blog posts so far. Do get in touch if you have found something that has inspired you, or you have your own wedding pictures or ideas to share! We are looking to feature some guest posts on the blog, so do send us a little message! Today we’re all about floral crowns with a pretty photo post. Today is about inspiration for the boho-chic and vintage bride-to-be! Floral crowns can be traced back to bridal wear as early as 1910, long stemmed luscious leaves and blooms, tied with coloured twine and ribbons can create a striking look and a fantastic alternative to beaded headbands. They can be worn as a large crown with a beautiful long veil, or placed neatly into the hair for a more understated glamour. However you wear them, I’m sure you’ll agree they are a sure fire way to incorporate natures finest blossoms into your wedding outfit and really bring out your natural beauty. They also look pretty cute on flower girls too! Take a look, and let us know what you think! Pop back for our first real wedding feature happening very very soon!

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I wore a very similar hairstyle on my wedding day. I love messy updos with stray strands of hair lighting gracing the neck – simply beautiful!

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Lindsey x

Claire Pettibone

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A good afternoon to you all, those who are visiting the blog for the first time and those of you returning! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely autumnal day. The leaves here are already starting to seriously fall and the temperature has definitely dropped, but it’s not dampening our spirits! Today we have a feature on some absolutely jaw dropping gowns by American designer Claire Pettibone who’s Couture Collection is just up our street and will hopefully bring you some gorgeous inspiration. Claire says, “It has always been my desire to create exquisite feminine clothing using the finest fabrics and precious details; to combine a vintage feeling with modern style.” And we can’t wait to show you what we have today! Let’s kick off with the first of our featured gowns, “Viola”.
ImageViola is part of Claire’s “Windsor Rose Collection”

Claire says, “Richly embroidered tulle mermaid style wedding dress with illusion back and hand-placed guipure lace trims over luxurious platinum silk.

My grandmother was quite the 1920’s bohemian…her first husband was a rum-runner during prohibition, and was mysteriously killed in a “motorcycle” accident. She never talked about him, and I was a grown woman when my mom shared the scandal that my grandpa (her father) was not grandma’s first love.

I’ve been thinking about Anna Mae, and looking at the photos of her second wedding that we all thought was her first. She wore a beautiful mauve scalloped silk dress with a velvet sash at the hip, round spectacles and stylish Mary Jane’s. Grandma has long passed, but I have her wedding dress, the intricate embroidered linens she made by hand, her gold rimmed china with delicate painted roses…and a good dose of her free spirit.

The sweet and simple details of our heirlooms: lace linens, golden lockets, fine china, don’t they make lovely inspiration for a wedding dress?” Absolutely! The subtle shimmer of this delicious silk is hypnotic and is such a beautiful shape, balancing the hips with the shoulders for a beautifully flattering silhouette. Is this dress for you?

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“Beauty” by Claire Pettibone

I am an absolutely massive fan of floral crowns (a post just about floral crowns will be coming soon, so make sure you visit back for more!), elegant, chic and colourful, they look fantastic on flower girls, bridesmaids as well as beautiful brides. This gown caught my eye because of the cute capped sleeves and gorgeous green sash around the waist, not only that, but have a look at the back!
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Pretty stunning if I do say so myself! There is something distinctly enticing about a low and revealing back, sexy and seductive, they show just the right amount to really make your dress a show stopper. Let’s see what Claire had to say about this beautiful creation…

“Ivory beaded lace bodice and linen skirt with pink and green jeweled keyhole back.

Also available with Ivory jewels, flowers and sash.

Sapphire sea, an endless blue sky, the scent of sweet flowers drifting on the breeze, and a girl dreaming of her lover. Dutch born Victorian artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema painted scenes of languid beauties reminiscent of Roman deities, but his subjects are unmistakably human. Caught in a moment of relaxation or idle daydream…we can almost feel the cool marble and the warm Mediterranean sunlight. Elements of precious embellishment, sun drenched color and effortless luxury set the stage for our modern goddesses.”

Gorgeous.

Next on our feature is Claire’s “Venus” gown, for brides who don’t want to wear white and try something different! Are you one of those brides? What ideas do you have for the colour you’d like to wear? There’s something very refreshing about a bride not wearing white and feeling herself in her own colours, have a look at “Venus”…

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“Venus”

“Seafoam cowl neck velvet gown with iridescent lace and jeweled floral embellishments.” Velvet! What a fantastic material! Warm, shimmering, luxurious, perfect for an autumn wedding! I adore the lace panels and long green bow flowing from the hips of this gown bringing length to the gown and incorporating air and freshness into the design. Just beautiful!

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“Deauville” by Claire Pettibone

“Gold embroidery on fine ivory tulle over a sumptuous pearl silk charmeuse wedding dress accented with gold guipure embellished drop waist, shoulders and neckline.” Wow. Just look at this back, shape, material, cut, everything! Ginger Rodgers, watch out! Imagine dancing with your spouse-to-be in this stunning gown, the gold detailing gleaming in the low lighting, the overlay flowing with every step and twirl. Who wouldn’t want to feel a million dollars in this dress?! And if the back entices you, just look at the front!

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I officially have wedding dress envy!

Last but not least in our beautiful feature today, as part of the “Windsor Rose Collection” we have the “Haviland” gown. “Ivory cotton and lace with tulle overskirt sheath wedding dress accented with jacquard and pearl trim details.”

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The train of this dress is just divine, lightly kissing the floor as you walk down the aisle to wedding bliss! The tiny pearl detailing helps to accent that 1930s style and would look wonderful with a vintage comb or small side headband. Any takers?!

Claire Pettibone’s designs exude class, vintage style and femininity. Staying away from stiff fabrics, the light materials filled with air and movement create a stunning silhouette and are guaranteed to bring out the best in your curves. I adore the detailing, pearls, lace trims, chameuse overlays, so many stories have gone into these designs. These gowns are like no others. Team them with some toe tapping t-bar shoes, a feather/fur shrug, and some gorgeous vintage jewellery for that stunning vintage look that we love here at A Pretty Vintage Affair.

Gorgeous! What did you think of the dresses we featured today? Are there any designers you would like to see us blog about? Have you chosen one of these gowns for your wedding? We’d absolutely love to hear from you!

Inspiration for autumnal wedding bliss

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A big beautiful good morning to all of you beautiful readers. We’ve had a bit of a make over here at A Pretty Vintage Affair and we are feeling good! Also stay tuned for our first ever real wedding post! Exciting! Remember, if you would like to be featured just get in touch with a brief description of your day and about 10 photographs and we will be in touch to let you know either way if you have been selected to feature on the blog. I’ve finally cracked open the old winter jumpers today and my knee high boots (it was bound to happen at some point) and we are now gradually making our way into autumn. So, to start us off, our first post of the season will be all about autumnal wedding styling. Rustic browns, golds, coppers, yellows and reds, can bring lots of warmth to your wedding decor. Delicious! I absolutely love anything homemade. Crafting to create your own wedding decorations is such a great way of making your day personal and total unique to you. I spent hours pasting doilies onto jars, tying bows on orders of services’ (there were SO MANY BOWS!) and making tassles for balloons, but it was totally worth it in the end. Being autumn, there are so many gorgeous natural materials you can use to integrate into your decor, including…LEAVES! So many beautiful leaves of different shapes, colours and sizes which you could spray paint, add a dab of glitter and suspend from the ceiling of your venue to create a magnificent canopy, or, instead of rose petals scattering the aisle, why not use striking red maple leaves? They’ll look fabulous if you add some woody scented red candles too! Have a look below for some more ideas!

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Doesn’t this buttonhole just look fantastic with the leaf and natural flower? So simple and beautiful. A great pop of colour to any blue groom’s suit too!

ImageI have a slight obsession with mercury glass, I adore it! I had a couple of mercury glass candle holders (which I used as small vases) at our wedding in August and they look just divine and very vintage. The glass is dotted so that light will travel through it differently making it vary in colour. Check out these pretty little pumpkins as an alternative wedding favour or centrepiece decorations! Gorgeous!

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Another great way of integrating this theme into your day is to use lots of natural woods, hessian and card, bringing lots of warm tones and a natural look. I love this old cart being used as a cake table, check round antique shops, and scrap yards for old gems like this! If you don’t fancy buying you can also hire which will save you money and you won’t need to source the item. Try decorating your table with old soap boxes with vintage print on the front, old lanterns, old biscuit tins and baskets. You could even spray some twigs gold and put them in a tall vase to give your table a bit of height and colour! 

ImageAren’t these wine glasses just beautiful? If you’re hiring in glassware, why not mismatch everything? Get some reds, greens and golds for your glassware and watch how much it makes the table pop with colour!

ImageA good way of keeping your guests entertained is always having something to keep them interested. For us, we had toys for the kids outside, balloons, bubbles, a wedding favour, a candy buffet, cocktails and photo props, so there was always something new to see or do. Having treats as a thank you is a great idea and these toffee apples look delicious! Natural twigs for handles and displayed on a gold serving dish, there won’t be one guest who won’t be eyeing these up! 

Are any of you planning a autumnal themed wedding? How did you go about making your day personal? If you fancy being a guest blogger, get in touch! You could write a piece about an item you made yourself, a part of your wedding you’re planning or an amazing idea you’d like to share with other readers, do get in touch! We’d love to hear from you! 

Stay tuned for our first real wedding post, coming VERY SOON!

 

 

 

A personal post…8 weeks to go!

Hello dear readers! I hope you’ve been enjoying the summery posts recently. Today it’s time for something a little different. Whilst this blog is a way to showcase ideas and inspiration for your wedding, it is also a lovely opportunity to share what it is actually like to plan a wedding from a more personal perspective. So here’s a post from Lindsey, writer and creator of “A Pretty Vintage Affair”.

Before I got engaged (31st December 2011), I had absolutely no idea what went into a wedding. Nothing. Zero. Nada. I knew I had to find something to wear, decide on a date and organise some sort of food and entertainment for our guests, but other than that I’ve been pretty much clueless. This is both a good and a bad thing. I suppose it has actually been a blessing in disguise in so much as I haven’t had any pressure on me to make our wedding into a day that isn’t personal to us, and I know not every bride has that luxury! In other ways, purely from being the indecisive person that I am, it’s also made making decisions really difficult, because with all possibilities open to me, it’s made making choices quite difficult. So much choice! Favours, dresses, shoes, stationery! I’m not particularly great when it comes to making decisions… I remember a year ago when we moved into our flat I had decided I was going to go shopping for towels. I found a great shop where there was an entire wall full of towels, different colours, shades, textures, shapes, sizes, who knew the world of towels was so exciting?! Looking a bit like David facing Goliath, with a wall of fluff towering over me, I stood for one and a half hours trying to decide what colour we should go for. What if I pick something too bright? What if the OH doesn’t like them? Should I get something funky or play it safe? SO MANY CHOICES! Three phone calls to the OH later, a stiff neck from looking up for so long and a multitude of strange looks from the floor staff, I ended up going with white. Plain and simple. I could have saved myself a lot of time knowing what I wanted first, or at least some kind of idea, neutral, bright etc but even so, when confronted with 50 different sizes, shades and colours, it made things far more difficult than if I had been confronted with three. Damn you, towel store, and your plentiful shelves of bounty! I think this accurately represents my look at the time…

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Cheers, Brucey. So, making decisions has never been my strong point and that has definitely not been a great asset when it comes to wedding planning. My other problem seems to be that I get so excited and enthusiastic about our day that I just want to do everything! Both of us love picnics and the outdoors, so let’s get several hampers for guests to sit on the lawn and eat nibbles! Both of us love music, so let’s have a music themed day where we have mini vinyl records as table numbers and mixed CDs as favours. “Woa woa woa, Nelly”. Having the opportunity to make the day ours is great but seeing so many wonderful weddings online and in magazines, makes me a bit overexcited so I’ve had to calm myself down a bit when it comes to a “theme”. The idea of having a vintage themed wedding hit the nail on the head for me. I feel so blessed than in eight weeks i will be surrounded by all of our family and friends, who will all be in the same place, for the first time ever(!) and will be celebrating with us. At the same time there are several family members who won’t be with us, and some very dear people who I was very close to. Whilst perusing old family photographs I was admiring my grandparents and great-grandparents, weddings of such simplicity and grace. There weren’t fairy lights strung up from the ceilings, nor were there fancy bands playing music. There was a classy outfit, wonderful family, handmade decorations and a damn good reason to celebrate. Love. Finally, it was like a light was switched on in my head. I’d found it. Taking the day back to its roots. I’d like to point out at this point that I had never (and still don’t) considered myself to be a “girly” bride. Frills, bows, and netting scare me half to death and all I had wanted, leading up to actually having to make decisions about decor, was to marry my OH. That is obviously still the case, but I feel like now we’ve finally cracked what we want the day to be as a whole; a reflection of the things that are important to us, and sharing that with our family and friends. It’s sounds so simple, but it’s taken quite a while to get to this point. The marriage is what it’s about for me, for everyone, but obviously we want us all to party and celebrate together. I am very creative and love making things, so that is what I’m going to do. I’ve been collecting jars to paint with glass paint and string up as make-shift fairy lights, and I’m making my own bunting and paper chains. The OH is making up homemade favours as he loves cooking, and in our own little way we are sharing part of who we are in our decor for the big party in the evening. I have no idea how it is only eight weeks to go, everything is feeling very surreal but very exciting and I just can’t wait to marry my best friend and see all of my family and friends together. So a little tip to other brides: do what you want to do. Share part of who you are during your day, your friends and family will love you no matter whether you have bunting or not, but if you’re into those personal touches, go with your instinct, because your instinct is usually right. Happy Monday! x

Getting crafty

Good morning lovely readers. The sun is shining (still! It’s a miracle!) and it looks like summer is here to stay. A massive trend at the moment in wedding land is DIY weddings. Making, crafting, sourcing, and creating as much of your decor and food as you can. We say, “bring it on!”. What better way to make your day even more personal, knowing you and your partner made it all happen. Today we have some crackin’ ideas to spark your creativity and inspire you to get hands on and pick up a glue pen, as my grandmother used to say, “You’re not having fun unless you’re making a mess”.

Tissue Pom Poms

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Oh, I do love tissue paper pom poms. The reason being they are just so simple and so beautiful! A perfect compliment to a floaty wedding gown, hovering above the wedding cake table or brightly coloured explosions of fun, strung up on a marquee ceiling with fairy lights. So easy to make and cost effective too- even better!

You will need:

8 sheets of tissue paper per pom pom
Strong string, twine or wool
Sturdy scissors
Invisible thread

Step 1) Start by placing the eight sheets of tissue paper on top of each other. If you’re using different colours place them in the order you’d like them to appear. For example, I did a sort of ombre-coloured pompom with cream, pale orange and hot pink tissue paper so for that one I first laid two sheets of cream, then three sheets of orange, then three sheets of hot pink.

Step 2) Next, you need to fold them all together in a concertina style (like those homemade fans we all used to make out of paper when we were kids), in widths of about 5cm. Keep folding back and forth until you then have one long strip.

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Folding all eight sheets of paper together, concertina style

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Keep folding

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One long strip

Step 3) Take a length of your string, twine or wool (you can use whichever – it just needs to not break easily) and tie it around the middle of the strip of folded sheets of paper, and tie securely. Don’t squash the paper, just tie around them to essentially keep them together.

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Tie string, wool or twine around the middle of the folded sheet of paper

Step 4) Next, cut each of the ends of this bulk of paper in a curve, as per the photo below. You can either do it like I’ve done in one long curve to a corner, or create a whole petal shape by cutting a semicircle to the middle of the top and then down again. It’s up to you – both look good and just create a slightly different effect to the pompoms. Experiment!

You’ll need to use fairly strong scissors to be able to cut through all of the paper together and keep it all in line at the same time.

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Cut a curve to the corner

Step 5) Then fan out your two ends (with the string still keeping everything together in the middle). Spread them out as far as they will go.

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Spread out the folds

Step 6) Next, take each sheet of paper and very carefully separate it from the one underneath. Be very careful not to tear them! (Although if you do it’s not the end of the world as it’s hardly noticeable!). You need to separate it and sort of puff it up.

I found it best by doing the four top sheets to create the first half of the pompom, and then turn it upside down to do the other four. Fluff them up and spread the petals out so you get a nice, even puffed up pompom!

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Step by step puffing up the pompom!

Step 7) And then you’re done! To get a really lovely effect tie invisible thread to that string/wool/twine loop in the centre of the pompom and hang them from here, there, and everywhere! They look really lovely in cascading groups of various colours, as you can see!

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Thanks to Boho Weddings for the tutorial!

You could also take the pom pom theme even further and make tiny little ones as an alternative to confetti! How cute!

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The cake table

With weddings having so many traditions to them (what a surprise!) sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming with the whole “conforming” to tradition thing and often brides, grooms, families and friends can feel under pressure to adhere to all of the “rules”. Even the wedding cake has a story! Oh yes! Traditionally, the cake is tiered and covered in icing to preserve moisture in the fruit cake. The bottom of the cake is cut by the couple to signify their bond and making a new start and the cake was then divided up and little pieces sent to family members who could not attend the wedding (hence the thick icing and heavy fruit cake). The top tier was then kept by the couple and untouched until the birth of their first child, when it was then brought out the tin and shared between the family to celebrate the new arrival into the family. Personally, I know that my fiancé and I would be waiting a very long time between cutting our cake and delving into the top layer, and the last time I tried to post cake it turned green, but it was in a very pretty box so it was a well wrapped piece of mould (sorry, Luke). In saying that I do love fruit cake, though I seem to be the only one apart from my mother… So we have decided, along with many other couples, to break ranks a bit with our cake and go for the home-made look. Many brides are asking guests to bring along their own baking and displaying it on a cake table filled with vintage cake stands and teacups – we love it! Have a look below for some inspiration.

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There are lots of ways you can make your day more personal, get your hands dirty or collaborate with your guests – anything is possible with a little imagination and creativity! We’ll be posting lots more handy tips on DIY projects, featuring orders of service, place names, table plans, favours, to name but a few! Do leave a comment and let us know at A Pretty Vintage Affair what you think of these ideas. Have you been making lots of things for your wedding? Where did you draw your inspiration from?

Yellow and Green for a summery wedding

Hello dear lovely readers, apologies for the lack of posts the past few days, we had some technical difficulties with our site but all is well now and we’re delighted to be back and bringing you some beautiful zesty wedding inspiration for a summery bright wedding day! With a glorious summer season about to begin (and hopefully some bright sunshine) why not theme your day to this fresh and light season and incorporate yellow sunflowers, daffodils, or craspedia into your day. String up the bunting, stick out some fresh homemade lemonade in mason jars for your guests and enjoy basking in the glow of the summer sun. Enjoy!

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The 1930s bride

Good morning dear readers wherever you may be in the world. This is our second instalment of our “vintage brides” blog posts where you can learn more about how to integrate the beautiful fashions of the past into your wedding day. Today we’re looking at the 1930s, a time which is often forgotten about when it comes to fashion, as most people tend to believe that the 1920s were far more important fashion wise and there wasn’t much going on in the 30s – wrong! Up until the 1930s fashion was indeed bold, daring and at times, quite androgynous; waistlines were dropped, skirts were higher and hair was bobbed and adorned with expensive jewels and exotic feathers. The 1930s brought back a certain romanticised image of the woman’s shape, waistlines were returned to the natural line of the waist, skirts became longer and more sweeping, and the shapes of women’s bodies were celebrated with bust lines being emphasised rather than suppressed, and with the trend of “being sporty and healthy” being very in, curves were enhanced with corsets to emphasise the slimness of the female form. Many designers at the moment are embracing this elegant era and integrating it into their bridal designs- good news! 

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Naomi Neoh‘s Lady Mary gown

When I was starting out on my wedding gown hunt I came across this stunning gown in a bridal magazine. A very big fan of Downtown Abbey, I was floored to see this (aptly named) Naomi Neoh gown singing to me from the glossy pages. Inspired by the Heroine of the costume drama, this slim line gown is created from tiers of gently shimmering beaded lace. Complete with a waist cinching corset this gown creates a svelte, elegant silhouette. Perfect for the 1930s look! 

Also have a look at Alice Temperly for some demure gowns such as this one called the “Peony” dress.

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The Peony Dress comprises a fluid silk crepe de chine gown with fluted sleeve and draped back, with the sweetest of fabric cut flowers and crystal embroidery at waist. Who wouldn’t want to wear this gorgeous creation?

In terms of accessories, headpieces were still popular in the 30s, pieces which swooped over the head and delicate detail were more popular than the extravagant style of the 20s. 

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Astra by Rosie Willet Designs

The Handmade Astra Wedding Headpiece is an unusual double motif design made with Swarovski cream pearl and diamante. It is individually handmade by the designer, using intricate hand beading techniques. The Handmade Astra Wedding Headpiece is a double sided design made with Swarovski cream pearl berries and diamante leaves and flowers on a band of pearls. The design is asymmetric, with different sized motifs on each side of the band. The Handmade Astra Wedding Headpiece is available on a silver or gold plated headband. Just divine!

Also have a look at the “Ophelia” leaf garland below, also by Rosie Willet Designs.

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 The Handmade Ophelia Wedding Leaf Garland is made in champagne shades of French lace, silk taffeta and silk organza. Each leaf is individually hand stitched and mounted on a soft wire band that moulds comfortably to the head. Swarovski cream pearl and diamante adds sparkle amongst the delicate leaves. The band ties with lace ribbon and can be fastened under the hair or worn on the forehead, fastening at the back of the head. The Handmade Ophelia Wedding Leaf Garland is available on silver or gold plate. Always nice to have flexibility when something is handmade by the designer!

Surprisingly, a variety of shoe styles were available during the 1930s; rounded toes with thick heels; pumps, flats, ankle straps with moderate heels; slip-ons, lace ups, buckled; spectator and two tones. I am absolutely in love with Rachel Simpson‘s shoes, I bought the Mimi pair myself for my own wedding and they are just so beautiful I can’t wait to wear them when I try on my dress for my first fitting next month. Rachel Simpson is fantastic for the vintage inspired shoe, have a look at some of her designs below.

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Olivia 

The on-trend shoe boot shape is given a traditional twist with brogue detail and organza bow. Made from buttery soft ivory leather they are really comfortable and can be worn for weddings, special occasions or every day for the cutest little shoe!

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Eva

Eva is a pearlised ivory leather peep toe with beautifully shaped panels with champagne binding.

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Ginger

The dancefloor beckons with this ballroom inspired t-bar in antique finish metallic gold or silver leather.

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Mimi

A two part ivory satin peep toe with champagne leather t-bar and beautiful back detail

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Hettie

A classic mary jane in ivory suede with silver panels is finished with handmade trims in diamante and pearl.

Delicious creations from Rachel Simpson, all heels also being of a very comfortable height which is never a bad thing when you’ll be wearing them all day long! 

The 1930s bride celebrates elegance, beauty and a curved silhouette with detailed headpieces and glamorous shining heels- a truly decadent look oozing style and sophistication. Have you embraced the 1930s look? Have you recently got married in a pair of swoon-worthy shoes? Get in touch and let us know, we love to hear from all of you beautiful brides.