Wedding? A few Points about Vintage

With rising costs in all aspects of weddings is it any wonder that brides are looking for alternative ideas. A wedding on a budget does not mean it has to be look or feel any cheaper either. If you want to go vintage then here are some suggestions that may inspire you.

There is always an expectation upon the bride and groom and their families. Whether they are aware of it or not everyone “expects” or “assumes” something. That could be just down to being invited to expecting a sit-down meal or DJ at the end of the evening. With a vintage wedding the pressure is actually taken off you. How? Because very few people will have been to a themed wedding that is styled Vintage and Vintage is so bang on trend…….here are some ideas to help:

Guest List ~ This is the most important list you will ever make, because this controls the budget for your wedding venue, food, drink and entertainment. Once you have a firm list, the one you are going to stick to and not keeping adding someone else, then you can decide on your

Venue ~ Be open minded and think out of the box as Vintage weddings are fabulous for village halls. Most village halls have a kitchen and obviously toilet, saving you more worry about toilet facilities for an outdoor marquee. Simple tables and chairs in rows, lots of bunting, candles, flowers will look stunning and some halls have a stage for entertainment, (we will get onto that one further down).

Food ~ How about an Afternoon Tea Party? If you arrange your wedding service to be about 1-2pm, by the time you have taken photos, greeted everyone it’s nearly “Time for Tea.” The idea is that all the tables are laid out with china cups, saucers and plates (called a trio), these can be matching or as now very popular mis-matched. Depending on how many guests you have coming you can cater yourself and make finger sandwiches, cakes and scones or you can hire a local caterer to make eveything for you and deliver it all on the day ready to be placed on your buffet table where guests can go back and forth for food.

Our advice if you are going to arrange an afternoon tea is this:
1….ensure you tell your guests what they are having for tea, so that no-one is under any disillusion and expecting a sit down 3- course meal.
2….If you are going to buy your own china remember YOU have to pay for it all before hand, YOU have to wash it up after and YOU have to try and sell it on and are unlikely to get your money back. Many people have used ebay, this is a good source, but the price you will pay with postage can be very expensive usually double if not treble the hire and if items are smashed in the post the seller and Royal Mail are not responsible and you cannot make a claim. Worse case scenario you can buy a whole tea set for a bargain price, it arrives and it’s in such poor condition it’s only worth putting in the bin, and you may not even get your money back! So, our suggestion is to hire all your crockery, cutlery, props, etc from a hire company who specialise in vintage parties. You may also be lucky to find a hire company who also supplies your Afternoon Tea, will also serve your food, style your wedding with you, and the very best thing is they take away the dirties afterwards and wash it all up for you. They are your Vintage Fairy Godmother!

As an alternative if you are wanting a hot meal, how about talking to your local fish and chip shop and asking them to provide your meal?

Drink ~ No-one expects Champagne so serving a Spanish Cava is just as good and there are some fabulous deals to be had. If you are lucky to have a wine warehouse near you then you can buy by the case. Decide what you are going to serve and how you are serving. Vintage hire companies may also supply the bottles for you. Try something different like Martinis or Gin Slings. Or just stick to a good cup of tea in a good china tea pot!  You may not be aware, but it’s illegal to sell the drinks or have a licensed bar without a Temporary Events Notice, these can be applied for by whomever supplies your drinks.  The fine is up to £20,000 or 6 months in jail for selling alcohol without any official license.

Wedding Cake ~ If your budget runs to it then you can always have a separate cake to the afternoon tea cakes. Now traditionally the top portion of a wedding cake was kept as a christening cake, (I wonder how often this happens now?) but the more tiers you have the more expensive it becomes, and then there is the worry that some guests don’t like fruit cake. We have found many couples are opting for sponge cakes, the current trend still being naked cakes.  There is also a trend for a simple iced cake large enough for everyone to have a bite.

Party Favours ~ On a budget you need to consider if these are necessary. If they are make your own and stick to something very simple like traditional sugared almonds, or how about retro sweets from your school days?

Entertainment ~ If you are lucky to know someone who can ‘bang out a good tune’ on a guitar or keyboard get them to come along and play. If you know of a new local band who are very good and need some stage practice, then ask them to play and offer them a very reduced amount of cash! Otherwise you can hire vintage entertainment. There are some wonderful singers and bands with repertoires covering 20-50 years.

Wedding Cars ~ Is this a necessity? If your guests are all likely to be inside waiting for you to arrive before and after your ceremony is this really necessary? Only you are going to see the car and that’s a lot of expense. Why not use a family car or ask a friend who may have a vintage car you can borrow, just ensure it’s reliable!

Photography ~ I have seen the best photos taken at weddings by friends and family on a good digital camera or phone – pixels are so high now on smart phones they compete and over take some of the more affordable digital cameras. Ask friends to bring along a camera and take photos for you, and send them all to you so you can print them yourself and make up your own photo album. If you want to book a professional photographer you will need his services for 2-4 hours for good photos. Do you really want to spend that amount of money? Speak to local photographers as they will probably have suggestions on how you can work to a budget with them.  Some will come for the whole day and take photos of you preparing in the morning, others arrive for the ceremony.

Honeymoon ~ Oh for a lovely holiday. This depends on your preference to a holiday straight after your wedding date or a few weeks later. Depending on the time you could get a good bargain holiday. Again, look outside of the box. Try a holiday in Luxor for example, visit temples, sites of ancient history, immerse yourself into the culture and sail along the Nile. Luxor is fabulous and far quieter than Cairo, and through experience it’s not expensive £1 is about 12p in Egypt so great bargains to be had! You could, of course, stay and home and sample the fabulous alternative holidays in the UK. What about staying for a week in a vintage caravan or a yurt which will really cut down your carbon footprint.

Clothing ~ if you would love a genuine vintage dress there are some super dress agencies offering stunning original pieces, some have a tailoring service to ensure the fit. You could make your own dress if you enjoy sewing. Vintage patterns are available, but be aware that american vintage patterns are at least 2-3 sizes different to British sizes and not the current one size difference. For example a British size 16 in the 1950s is probably about a size 12-14 now as women were a lot smaller in shape and had fabulous foundation garments holding everything in!

Flowers ~ Choose old vintage style, cabbage roses, hydrangeas, delphiniums, think about flowers that may have been grown in a garden and rather than have bouquets made use large glass jars or enamel jugs.

Table Decorations ~ If you are using a Vintage Hire Company then ask them if they have table decorations to hire. You could choose from shabby chic birdcages full of flowers to silver candle sticks. If you are doing it yourself then think about who is sitting where. Over the years I have seen some fabulously elaborate table decorations that looked stunning on arrival but within half an hour guests had removed them as they could not see each other or in fact the top table for the speeches! Bunting looks fabulous for a vintage wedding, whether you use the same colours or a mismatch of prints you just can’t get enough! You can also use the same fabric as table runners.

Hopefully this had given you ideas.  If you would like more then visit us at
The Vintage Party Co


Free Vintage Advertising for Events

If you have an event and would like it to be listed on a blog so that people can find it, please send details through to us via our advertising page and we will copy and paste it into this blog:

Please send your vintage fair or event details in the following format:

ORMSKIRK – Chapel Gallery, WLBC St. Helens Road Sunday Sunday 25th August – Stalls will include: · True Vintage · Reworked vintage · Up cycled goods · Retro Designs The markets will be held both indoors at the Chapel Gallery, and outdoors in Ormskirk Town Centre. It is time to apply for stalls so if you have any vintage, vintage inspired or handmade goods that you wish to sell, including textiles, jewellery, furniture, clothing, homeware, cupcakes or cards this is a great opportunity for you. Indoor stalls are priced at £25, and outdoor priced at £20. Contact the Chapel Gallery on 01695 571328 for further information and a booking pack.

our service is free so please make things a bit easier for us or we will have to start charging for submissions.

Many thanks

Vintage Central

If you are on in holiday North Devon why not contact the Vintage Party Company for prices on their afternoon cream teas and picnic baskets and make your day that little bit more special……

The Vintage Party Company

We had a lovely time at Saunton Sands Hotel for the annual wedding fayre. It was a fabulous sunny day, and my view was straight out to the beach and sea below. Here are a handful of the day’s photos.

Vintage China Hire & Shabby chic

Pretty Vintage China from the 1930s to the 1960s available with contrasting and matching cake stands. We also have many shabby chic items to hire, including suitcases, 1930s typewriter and postbox and our fabulous 1930s traditional gramophone with shallac records, which is ideal for a beach party!

Got an idea for your wedding? Just ask.

Devon Catering for Weddings

It’s not just Afternoon Tea at the Vintage Party Company. We can cater for different menus.

Devon Vintage China Hire

Also, we design and create wedding gifts from traditional mohair bears to silk ribbon ring pillows. Everything can be personalised to make your day.

Vintage China Hire, wedding Catering Devon

This was my beach view – all day!

We met some fabulous brides to be…

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Vintage by Helen

Vintage By Helen:

I have a love of all things Antique, Vintage and Retro. My father used to collect antiques, and from the age of five I went along to markets, car boots, auctions and fairs with him. I learnt so much from my father and subsequently have a vast knowledge – to this day I am still learning as there is so much to know, I still pick things up along the way!

My passion is vintage jewellery and I personally collect brooches. I do however have an interest in all aspects, and provide a vast range of lovingly selected items.

My father was my main inspiration to setting up my own business ‘Vintage By Helen’. He encouraged me to do what I love the most. I specialise in Homeware, Jewellery, Fashion Accessories and Furniture. The knowledge gained over the years has helped me immensely as it means I am able to pass information on to my customers regarding the makers, and the age of the item etc.

I specialise in genuine vintage items, and always aim to have quality and interesting items in stock. I travel around a lot so that I can offer a good variety, and also at times have shipped small items over from abroad.

I exhibit at various fairs, and soon hope to do more across the UK. I regularly exhibit at the Handmade & Vintage Fair at the Centre MK (Middleton Hall, Milton Keynes) which is held every couple of months. Details of my fairs will always be published on both my website and my Facebook Page.

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I am always listing items for sale on my Facebook Page and anything can be purchased this way. Items will always be securely wrapped, and will be sent via recorded delivery so that you will have a tracking number for your goods purchased.

If you are looking for anything in particular, please email me as I am always happy to try to source items with people specifically in mind if they become available.

Please take a look at my Facebook Page

My website is and I can be contacted via email

Best Wishes

Helen x
(Vintage By Helen)

We Was Brung Up Proper – born in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s


  • We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank Sherry while they carried us, breastfed us, and we lived in houses made of asbestos.
  • They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, bread and dripping, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, were not tested for Diabetes, and our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
  • We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention the risks we took hitch-hiking.
  • As children we would ride in cars with no air bags or child seats that resemble a straight jacket; in fact our cars had NO seat belts!
  • We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
  • Take away food was limited to fish and chips; no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Nandos.
  • Even though all the shops closed by 5.30pm, had half-day closing in the week, and didn’t open on a Sunday somehow we didn’t starve to death!
  • We shared one soft drink with four friends from one bottle and NO-ONE actually died.
  • We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers and Bubble Gum -we were the forerunners of recycling!
  • We ate cakes, white bread and real butter, milk straight from the cow, and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because……WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
  • We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street-lights came on.
  • No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
  • We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.
  • We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY, no dvds, colour TVs, ipods, ipads, iphones, no personal computers, no Internet or Social Networking sites……..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
  • We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.
  • Only girls had pierced ears!
  • We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
  • You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time….
  • We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays.
  • We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them to come out and play.
  • Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet because we didn’t need to keep up with the Jones’!
  • Not everyone made the rugby/football/cricket/netball team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that? Getting into the team was based on MERIT.
  • Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and throw the blackboard rubber at us if they thought we weren’t concentrating.
  • We can string grammatically correct sentences together, spell and have proper conversations because of a good solid three R’s education.
  • Our parents would tell us to ask a stranger to help us cross the road.
  • The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
  • Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like ‘Kiora’, ‘Blade’, ‘Ridge’, ‘Vanilla’ and ‘Brioche’
  • There was no re-branding to fall in line with other countries – a Snickers was a Marathon and Cif was Jif!
  • We measured in feet and inches, and still do!
  • We didn’t live our lives believing we should win a talent TV show! Talent shows were at Butlins in the Summer!
  • We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

If you are laughing and agreeing YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for ‘our own good.’
And while you are at it, please forward this blog to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Make You Own Lipstick – London

Fabulous workshop in London by Merry Bobbins with Amanda Moorhouse of Lipstick & Curls teaching you how to make your own lipsticks!   Not only will your learn the basics, but you will come away with your own lipstick, recipes and how to make the most of your own whether you have made them or not! Let’s be honest, do we all really look after our lippies?

You will also learn how to create the iconic looks from the 20s to the 50s and what colour suits your complexion.

Don’t miss out, tickets are £45 – Book Now!