Posts Tagged ‘fifties wedding dresses’

Vintage and 50s Style Wedding Dresses Under £500

Friday’s here again already – this month really is flying! Unfortunately I don’t get paid until Monday so this is going to be a cheap weekend for me. I am deep in coursework anyway, so it should be easy for me to be frugal. Speaking of frugal, today’s post is definitely one for those of you keeping an eye on your pennies.

I am constantly surprised at how much us ladies are expected to fork out for a wedding dress. The average cost of a wedding dress is £977 (source), though most of the ones I hear about seem to cost in excess of that (by a mile). I expect the average cost of a top designer dress is more along the £3.5k mark, and if you’re a celebrity that might just about cover the veil. Kim Kardashian’s Vera Wang wedding dress cost a whopping $25,000 apparently (source). How long did that marriage last again?

Of course if you have the money it isn’t an issue, but for many of us we just can’t afford it! That doesn’t mean you can’t have the dress of your dreams though. On the blog today I’m showing you all the gorgeous 50s style and 50s vintage wedding dresses for under £500. Some of these are complete bargains at less than £200 even.

Fancy New York have a great collection of 50s-inspired wedding gowns. This ‘Linda’ wedding dress below is only £496 available from Look Darling here in the UK. I love that it has sleeves, and it looks so glamorous.

I’ve been a huge fan of Oh My Honey‘s 50s style dresses for yonks now, and I am utterly delighted that Louise has now brought out a bridal collection and will be taking orders from April 2012. This ‘Rosa’ dress below is simply stunning – that Grace Kelly style lace overlay is so feminine (swoon!), and I love the small scalloped detail on the trim. The dress itself is made with matte duchess satin, with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice is fully boned and it fastens at the back with a zip and a small pearl button at the neck. £225 did I hear you say? Oh yeah!

Another Oh My Honey dress at £225 that I just love for the fun fifties bride is this ‘Lizzie’ dress below. It’s made with ivory and multi-coloured spot embroidered organza 100% silk, and a base layer off matte duchess satin.

At even more of a bargain is this Oh My Honey wedding dress priced at a mere £110 – a classic 50s style with that halterneck and full circle skirt. The silk organza sash can be made in whatever colour you like to suit your wedding theme.

I totally adore this Dolly Couture number called ‘Summerville’ too. The ruched sweetheart neckline would work wonders on a small-busted bride, and that shape would flatter any woman. At US$595 it’s well under £400.

Also – while £3,000 might get you that beautiful pearl or lace detail, don’t forget you can always add those little details yourself. This is the beauty of getting a simple dress made for you by a dressmaker.

Actually I think a simple dress without all the trimmings works better in many ways – especially if you’re planning on wearing a bold headpiece, or you really want to show off those earrings or shoes. A simple dress works so well for a bride who wants a more classic and understated look (I was in this camp). Not everyone feels comfortable in the ‘alternative’, and I think a simple dress looks very natural and chic. You can always dress it up too, or have a different coloured petticoat or sash to add a splash of colour – just like this custom made number from Royal Splendor (US$420/approx £281).

You can find real bargains if you trawl through the vintage shops too. Try and find one local to you and see what you can find – you never know! There are also online vintage boutiques that might be able to help too. This vintage 50s wedding dress is made with lace and tulle, and fits a modern size 10 (approximately). It’s available from Hayworth Vintage. You need to call for the price so I’ll admit I don’t know if it’s under £500, but most vintage dresses certainly are.

I can say for certain that this 50s vintage wedding dress below has the magic number though. It’s from Love Miss Daisy and is £350. SO sophisticated.

If you’re on a budget, don’t rule out the high street either. In all honesty no one will know, and you can adapt your dress to make it special and add a bit of uniqueness. This gorgeous ‘Darling’ dress below is only £295 from Coast (who always make everything so well – I love their stuff).

Finally, if you’re a whizz on the sewing machine you could always attempt making your own dress! I have not yet met anyone who has been brave enough to do this, but there are some fabulous sewing patterns out there. Indeed you could commission a local dressmaker to make it for you. Etsy has some great 50s sewing patterns, like this one below (link).

Have a fabulous weekend everyone.

To be honest I am rather looking forward to it being over (I don’t normally ever wish that) – but Monday is our halfway scan! Ant and I can’t wait (hopefully all will be well). We’re 80% sure it’s a boy but Monday we should find out with more certainty. I am too excited – so hard to concentrate on work and exams when all this is going on!

Until next week,

Charlie x ♥

A 50s Style Seaside Wedding Dress Photo Shoot

Today on the blog I’m showcasing a fab photo shoot submitted by Essex wedding photographer Chanon deValois, showcasing the talents of 50s-inspired local wedding dressmaker Denise of Andrea Beun Couture. The location of this shoot really caught my eye – on the beach. You can just taste that fresh sea breeze!

Chanon told me she was keen to use real girls (not models) of all different sizes for this photo shoot, which I always love to see. Let’s face it – every wedding dress looks great on someone tall and perfectly formed. It’s nice to gauge how a dress might actually look on someone normal!

One of my favourite dresses is that capped sleeve soft pastel pink number. I love the gloves and parasol as accessories too.

Can you see those button details down the back of this dress?

…and of course I LOVE red as you all know, so this red petticoat and red sash have really won me over.

The hair for the shoot was done by local hairdresser James Perry with make-up by local talent Elizabeth Benjamin. The models were Katie (hot pink petticoat), Jacqueline (blonde hair), Olivia (red sash) and Vikki (in the pale pink). I think it’s great when small local businesses collaborate together.

What about that location then? I asked Chanon to tell me why they chose the beach…

We choose the beach because we wanted something outside and not typical to your everyday wedding, and I loved the little coloured houses, and it leant itself to the fun and flirty theme we were thinking of.

…and her favourite shot?

That is a difficult one! I would say it is a toss up between these three below because Vikki the model just looks so Audrey Hepburn in the first shot, the middle one because Vikki is just stunning, and the last one because I love the pose and contrast of the gorgeous silk dress and the roughness of the brick work.

One of my favourites is this black and white shot. It could be straight out of an old Hollywood movie, and you can see that gentle breeze from the wisps of hairs on the back of Vikki’s neck.

Big thanks to Chanon for submitting her gorgeous photos to Fifties Wedding, and for all the collaborators on the shoot. For more on those 50s inspired dresses, hop on over to Andrea Beun Couture.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I expect many of you are, like me, decorating your Christmas tree this weekend. Yippeee! I’ve got an exam on Monday evening so I will be studying on Sunday, but I’m really excited about the mother & daughter day my mum has planned for tomorrow! It’s a complete surprise – although I do know it involves a manicure. I can’t wait! Aren’t I lucky?

Charlie x ♥


Inspiration for a 1950s Oscars & Hollywood Themed Wedding

I am a huge fan of the Oscars – every year I try staying up for the whole event (every year I fall asleep before they announce Best Picture). I really love making a thing of it, and I always make sure we have Oscars-themed canapés and a bottle of bubbly! I could therefore run wild with an event combining the 1950s and the Oscars, and I think it’s a fabulous idea for a wedding reception. Think guests in black tie, women in long cocktail dresses, champagne, sophistication and glamour. Oooh doesn’t that sound incredible?

First of all (of course), you have to tell your guests this is a black tie affair. To be ultra 50s of course your female guests should be wearing white gloves and carrying evening bags.

Frank Sinatra at the 1956 Oscars - Source

Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd at the 1957 Oscars – Source

…and the Groomsmen should be in black tie too of course.

Gigi wins Best Picture Oscar – 1958 – Source

Photo via Le Noeud Papillon

As for your own outfit, it’s all about the full-length wedding gown.

‘Joslin’ full-length wedding gown from Alexandra King

‘Audrey’ wedding dress from Charlotte Casadejus

Jenny Packham wedding dresess (left – ‘Ariel’, right – ‘Gaia’)

You’ll need a fabulous entrance of course. Red carpet leading into the reception venue is a must, as is you and your husband’s name in lights! In fact there are quite a few old cinemas that will rent out to weddings, so do a little digging and just ring up and ask if you’re not sure if it’s possible.

The venue for the 1954 Oscars – Source

© Joey Brown via Artrick Playground

Popcorn is also an essential treat for your guests. You can be really creative with this – build a popcorn tower or have bowls scattered around. I love those retro popcorn boxes which you can buy on Amazon at £1.75 for 8.

© Troy Grover Photographers via Ruffled blog

Use old film reels and other cinema props to add to that movie theme.

© Troy Grover Photographers via Ruffled blog

For wedding invitations, it’s all about black, white and sparkle! I think the more simple the better for an Oscars & Hollywood themed wedding as it’s all about style and grace.

‘Bejewelled’ wedding invitations from Knots & Kisses

Custom wedding invitation from Kynsie & Cole

For wedding favours I found these fabulous retro popcorn candles from Wedding Favours Kingdom. Each one comes in a striped gift box with a ‘for you’ tag. They’re so cute! They’re priced at £2.48 or £1.88 each when you buy 6 or more.

I’m also loving these stainless steal bow tie hip flasks from The Hair of the Dog – perfect for the men in your bridal party. Prices are US$90 for 5.

For a wedding cake, black and white really suit that Oscars & Hollywood feel. Of course you can be really creative with that…

Left – Source, Right – Source


…and for something entirely different, check out these cupcakes!

©  Posh Tot Events - Source


Now aren’t you just pining after a 1950s Hollywood themed wedding?

Marlon Brando & Grace Kelly at the Oscars in 1955 – Source

Have a lovely day everyone, and a very happy Wedding Wednesday!

Charlie x ♥

Wedding Wednesday Feature – Stunning 50s Style Wedding Dresses from Once Upon a Time

Today on the blog I am super excited to be welcoming our latest Fifties Wedding sponsor and a lady who I have become a huge fan of over this last year. In fact I’ve always admired her dresses from afar, but since I was lucky enough to visit her and see (and touch!) her dresses up close, I am even more in love with her beautiful creations. She is of course the hugely talented wedding dress designer Dana Bolton of Once Upon a Time. In fact Dana is the magic hand behind my favourite 50s wedding dress ever that we used in our night-time photo shoot this summer…

© Tino & Pip Photography

She’s also the lady behind the gorgeous pastel blue tulle number that Annabel of Love My Dress wore at her summer soiree. Here you can see the steps from design to finish. Amazing! In fact I saw Dana when she was making this dress, and then when I later saw Annabel wearing it I really was wowed. It’s was really amazing to see it on her after seeing it in its first stages.

© Katy Lunsford

In fact today on the blog I’ve got lots of fabulous piccies to show you of Dana’s dresses, and we also meet the lady behind these fabulous wedding gowns in her Fifties Wedding welcome interview. All photos © Dana Bolton/Once Upon a Time unless otherwise stated.

When & why did you set up your business?

I started making wedding dresses around ten years ago. This was after many years working freelance in TV costume and a few other incarnations!
It really was such a wonderful decision as, at last, I could direct my own destiny. Bridal wear was becoming more exciting and experimental with many of my early clients already choosing vintage styles, I think my first fifties commission was around seven years ago. I really wanted to create a small design led business, in the maker tradition, with an artisan ethic.

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your designs?

I take inspiration from so very many different places. I love to be inspired, it fires up my enthusiasm. There is something quite wonderful about the creative process and I feel very lucky to be able to work in this way.

I particularly love the softer, sweet American prom style fifties dresses. I love the kitsch frilly bits n bobs and the Chantilly lace and bows and ribbons. I would say that my inspiration comes from original vintage dresses; this has been the case even when I started designing all those years ago. Pouring through pictures of 20’s vamps and thirties screen sirens when at Fashion design school.

I must say I am immensely impressed with the beautiful luxurious materials that Dana uses in her designs. They feel like they should be made for royalty. One of my favourites is this gorgeous tulle skirt. You can just imagine how wonderful it would be to walk and swish in that!

Which one of your designs would you choose for a 50s or vintage-inspired bride?

I don’t actually have fixed products at present, although I am working on a collection. My favourite design at the moment would be the creamy lace fifties dress with the little jacket. In fact the cut of my little jacket is something I am very proud of.

I also love the spot fabrics that I use, one of these actually being a French lace. The spot is an integral part of the overall fabric as is a more traditional lace design. This produces the most gorgeous soft to the touch beautiful fabric, difficult to find in a spot.

What do you love most about your job?

I love my job with a passion, it is what I do and to a great extent who I am. I do try to be a little more commercial and business savvy these days, but it is not the driving force sometimes I think that it really should be but then it would be such a different job!

I absolutely adore experimenting when I can. Playing with new fabrics and trimmings is like being a kid with a dressing up box.

I am very happy to say that I have wonderful brides, no bridzillas as yet! It is world of joy and excitement lots of hugs and the occasional bunch of flowers. Then, of course, the best bit for me is seeing the wedding pictures eventually. I cannot say how amazing it is to receive these. It does feel a little like making lots of new friends albeit for a short time span.

Based on your experience of weddings & dealing with brides-to-be, what is your one tip?

I find that most of my brides seem to take the stress of so much to organise in their stride. It is pretty exhausting, I can see, but the excitement soon adds energy. I endeavour to keep in mind just how important the dress is and to make the experience of having a dress designed a fun experience. I have to be committed and confident so that my clients feel in safe hands.

…and it’s clear that Dana has happy clients galore!

© Emma Case Photography

© Caught in the Light

What would you be if you weren’t working in the wedding industry?

I think I need several lifetimes! I would paint watercolours living by the sea! Perhaps on a Greek Island for half the year and Cornwall for the other half!!! I love to paint and draw. I have had a couple of watercolours published this was when I fancied myself as a greeting card designer. This was not an overnight success but still being published was brilliant. It also taught (self) me how fabulous water colour is as a medium. There is a wonderful letting go of control that gets the best results; this was an important creative discovery!

I would rather like to write a book. I think that this could be an incredible process and one to develop and learn from.

My first passion was and always has been design of dresses. I started drawing ideas under the table at school aged 14 and haven’t stopped since.

I remember being at college and being in awe of one of the successful, sophisticated fashion lecturers. She seemed so cultured and creative and in control of her life. I described her as “rich” as in having lots of wonderful qualities. I said to myself “I want to be rich one day” but not in the usual way!

Oh I just love that Dana is so creative in walks of life. I’m so envious of her talents!

If you like what you see here and want to see even more, then please do visit the Once Upon a Time website and Facebook page where you can see lots more dresses and real brides. You can also see Dana’s dresses in the Fifties Wedding Shop.

Have a lovely day everyone!

Charlie x ♥

Fifties Wedding Blog’s First Birthday and Flossy & Dossy 50s Style Dress Giveaway!

It’s not my mum’s usual post today, but that’s because we’re bringing you something extra special instead. It’s our birthday!!


Happy birthday to us :) Yippee!

Not only are my mum and I marking our first birthday for Fifties Wedding, but in honour of the occasion we’re also giving away a ‘Lace Kelly’ dress by the wonderful Flossy & Dossy. Now how fabulous is that! Read on for more on that…

It’s very strange to think a whole year has passed since the start of this little blog – although not so little anymore! I am still shocked that so many people read it. Only last week we had a record number of visitors in one day, and every time we break our own records my mum and I get very excited :) . Over 63,000 of you visited last month alone, which frankly blows my mind! My mum and I only do this as a hobby so it’s pretty amazing for us that we get so many readers. Over the last year the blog has gone through many changes – particularly as I have become more tech savvy! We’ve gone from a few posts about my own wedding to even adding a Shop and have sponsors. Gosh – I never in a million years thought we’d get sponsors! People say it all the time about their own wedding blogs, but it’s so true – you really never expect anyone to bother reading it when you start these things. I’ve really been blown away, and in the last year have made some wonderful friends within the wedding industry which has been an unexpected bonus as you would imagine that everything’s online. However, there have been numerous events that I’ve been lucky enough to along to when I’ve had the time, and I’ve had a right laugh with some lovely wedding people (including brides).

I just want to say then, a huge THANK YOU to all of our readers, sponsors, Facebook likers and all you lovely Twitter followers. Everyone of you who has ever left a comment, liked a post, emailed me or even featured on the blog have made doing this wedding blog such an amazing experience and have really brought so many smiles to my mum and I. Oh I’m all soppy now!

As well as toasting to a very successful year for Fifties Wedding, to celebrate we are also giving away this gorgeous 50s style dress made by Flossy & Dossy. It’s known as the ‘Lace Kelly’ and the perfect prize for a 50s style bride, or indeed a 50s/Grace Kelly loving gal who needs a gorgeous frock for a special event.

© Flossy and Dossy

This gorgeous handmade dress is made from taffeta with a lace overlay and full 50s skirt, and I think would look even extra stunning with a petticoat underneath. With some vintage accessories to match, you’ll look a million dollars!

© Audrey Russell Photography (accessories – Modiste Hats)

© Audrey Russell Photography (accessories - Modiste Hats)

For a chance of winning this dress, all you need to do is this…

♥ Visit the Flossy & Dossy Shop.

♥ Leave a comment below saying which is your favourite item from the shop.

That’s it! When you leave your comment you will be prompted for your email address. Wendy from Flossy & Dossy will pick a winner who will be contacted by email. She’ll get your dress size details and the dress will be posted out to you.

Competition closes midnight 13th November 2011.

Get commenting and good luck!!

Have a lovely day everyone! Oooh and happy Halloween! Don’t forget to get some treats on the way home from work for those trick or treaters :)

Charlie x ♥

Candy Anthony Dresses & Other Highlights from the Luxury Wedding Show 2011

This Saturday just gone I went to the Luxury Wedding Show in the very glamorous Saatchi Gallery in an exceedingly posh part of London (think Made in Chelsea). Now I know the majority of readers might wince and think ‘luxury = for rich people”, but I was pleasantly surprised to find gorgeous dresses and accessories that weren’t just made for millionaires. Vivienne Westwood dresses aside, the dresses were in the expensive category (most I saw were around the £3k mark), but they weren’t in the £15k bracket at least which is what I was expecting!

Rather than give a round up of the whole event, which I doubt would interest most Fifties Wedding readers, I’m going to show you a few vintage and 1950s style highlights (caught on my iPhone as my camera battery died – oh I love modern technology).

First up, I have to give a special mention to Luella’s Boudoir who had the most beautiful collection of original and vintage style dresses, along with the prettiest display of stunning accessories.

© Fifties Wedding

© Fifties Wedding

I particularly loved the hair accessories – a beautiful selection from Magpie Vintage and Emmy. All of these are available to buy online via the shop section of their website too.

© Fifties Wedding

One of my favourites was this beautiful ‘Freya’ dress. Just look at that collar!

© Fifties Wedding

The biggie was of course the catwalk show, which was truly fantastic. The music and lighting was perfect, and it was such a treat to see such an eclectic mix of wedding dresses. I got a real buzz from seeing so many interesting ‘statement’ designs. Many had vintage influences and, while not completely to my taste, were really beautiful.

© Fifties Wedding

© Fifties Wedding

Admittedly I couldn’t imagine any Fifties Wedding readers in some of the more ‘unusual’ creations. Sorry Vivienne – this just didn’t do it for me…

© Fifties Wedding

The highlight absolutely was Candy Anthony’s fantastic collection. I was in 1950s heaven. Those Jane Taylor Millinery accessories were to die for too. Right up my street. I just love those nipped in waists.

© Fifties Wedding

© Fifties Wedding

In fact one of my favourites was this beautiful gown that skimmed just above the ground. Simply stunning.

© Fifties Wedding

I also loved this strapless number with spotty tulle for the skirt. The gloves really finished it off, and that splash of pink is so pretty.

© Fifties Wedding

© Fifties Wedding

I bumped into Sara from Shabby Chic Bride and Natasha from Harlequin Fox which was lovely too. Unfortunately my flu got the better of me which meant I missed out on the lovely lunch with other wedding bloggers and industry peeps, but it was a fab show and I am already looking forward to next year!

I always feel a little bit wary of wedding shows – I suppose I just don’t know what to expect and always avoided them as a bride-to-be thinking that I’d be forced to spend lots of money I didn’t have. However, I think after this one I really am converted. You can get heaps of inspiration from these shows, and the exhibitors (at least at this one) are so friendly and don’t try to force sales upon you.

Roll on next year!

Happy wedding wednesday everyone.

Charlie x ♥

Ideas for an Audrey Hepburn Inspired Bride

I’ve said it before but in case you’re in any doubt, my style icon is the fabulous Audrey Hepburn. I only wish of course that I was as beautiful and effortlessly chic like her, but hey we can’t have it all. What we can do though is copy! Today’s post is about ideas for those of you who are Audrey Hepburn inspired brides. By this I mean all the fabulous influences from this legendary icon – the hair, the dress, the style, the make-up and of course the glamour. Let’s start with the dress – as always!

The Audrey Hepburn Dress

Left (source) and right (source)

Audrey Hepburn’s wedding dress in her 1957 film ‘Funny Face’ has been replicated many times, and it’s easy to see why so many brides are drawn to this classic style. It’s so graceful and without being fussy.

There so many fantastic dresses out there that have drawn on the style of Audrey Hepburn. One of my favourites is this gorgeous Joanne Fleming wedding gown below made with ‘antique ivory’ silk duchesse satin. I love the simplicity of it.

© Joanne Fleming Design

With a bit of detailing too, you can really turn a simple style into a dress that wows. Just look at the neck detail beading in this other Joanne Fleming creation.

© Joanne Fleming Design

For some more of my favourite Audrey Hepburn inspired wedding dresses, I’ve found some beautiful ones below.
Left – © Joanne Fleming Design, Right – © Once Upon a Time 

Left - © Lizzie Agnew, Right - © Alexandra King (model wears ‘Christy’, £1590)

Left - © Lizzie Jayne Wedding Dresses, Right - © Honeypie Boutique (dress listed as £140 – yes really!)

The Bow Veil

You’ll notice in Funny Face Audrey also wears a little veil with the cutest bow on top.


For a black version I’ve found a fabulous veil on Etsy which has an adorable little  velvet bow. Some scattered swarovski crystals give it that extra Hollywood sparkle too. At $46USD (£30ish) it’s a real bargain.

This 1950s style veil from Faulkner and Carter (£75) gives more of a retro twist with those polka dots, and of course it has the magic bow on top. Love it!

For a DIY version, add a little bow to your own veil. The Haberdashery Store have wide range of bows that are cheap as chips. MacCulloch & Wallis also have a great range of veiling if you fancy something other than ivory. Otherwise John Lewis do perfect netting at a very reasonable price (this is what I used for my own wedding).

Audrey Hepburn Hairstyles

As for the hair – well Audrey Hepburn had a wide range of hairstyles so there’s plenty to choose from.

My favourite is probably the Audrey up-do or the side bun. Both are easy to recreate with the help of a hairdresser. Both work really well with either wedding dresses with a very high neck or strapless gowns.

© Tiffany Irving Photography

© Mirrorbox Photography

Audrey Hepburn Make-Up

For full tips on Audrey Hepburn’s make-up check out our previous post here – How To Do Audrey Hepburn’s Make-up. In brief though, it’s all about the eyes and the lips. Think black eyeliner and red lips. Don’t go over the top though and keep your make-up products good quality. Last thing you want is smudged red lips – not classy. Here are the highlights of Audrey’s make-up look from make-up expert Kaz Fernando

♥ Eyebrows – Fill them in with a dark brown pencil, accentuating the shape with the arch, and the ends tapering off.  Tip: use a small hard angled brush and add a same colour eye shadow on top of your eyebrow pencil for even more drama to the eyebrows.

Eyeshadow – Audrey’s eyelids were always kept neutral so that the emphasis was on the liner. Apply a wash of neutral eye shadow to the lids taking it just above the crease. A little highlighter to the brow bone will give the illusion of opening up the eyes and will enhance the groomed brows.

Eyeliner – Individual eye shape will always determine how dramatic the liner should be. Options are liquid if you have a steady hand or a pencil worked into the top lashes for extra definition. Start just short of the tear duct and apply as close to the lashes as you can get, take the liner a little thicker at the outer corner of the eyes, and sweep the liner in an upwards direction to create a flick.

Mascara - While Audrey’s eyelashes were naturally dark and luxurious, in nearly all the photos we love of her, believe it or not, her lashes are false. The trick is to not have the fake lashes be obvious. Use individual lashes to supplement your own, particularly at the outside corner of the eye. The end result is so much more natural than a full strip. Practice makes perfect! Next comes lashings of black mascara.

♥ Lips – After applying lip liner, apply red lipstick with a lip brush - it will last so much longer. Audrey tended to use softer shades of red and tangerine too, and she rarely wore gloss opting for a matt look.

SO after all that you are ready and prepped to be an Audrey Hepburn inspired bride! At least you should be :)

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and huge congrats to all those getting married!

Charlie x ♥

Fifties Friday – 1950s Lace Wedding Dresses: A Lacey Affair

Today on the blog we’re talking 1950s lace – and lots of it. Here’s some real bride inspiration to get you in the mood.

Kim’s beautiful dress made by Dana Bolton of Once Upon a Time (click here for Kim’s & Alvin’s fabulous Las Vegas wedding)

© TSL Photography

Elisa’s gorgeous lace number by Morgan Davies (check out Elisa & Dan’s wedding here)

© Samantha Capitano

I’m fascinated by fashion history, and thought today it would be really interesting to do a little bit of research into the background behind lace and weddings. Actually it seems that we have Queen Victoria to thank for white lace wedding gowns. Previous to that women wore very heavy robes in varying colours, and I even read that for a time in 18th century yellow was very in vogue – in fact the colour to get married in. Hmmm…I’m not convinced.

1950s Lace Wedding Dresses

In the 1950s brides were flocking to wear lace on their wedding day. Think it all started with Grace Kelly? Think again. In 1950 Elizabeth Taylor wore a lace wedding dress on screen in the film ‘Father of the Bride’ (incidentally released a month after her first wedding), and it became the most heavily copied dress of the post war era during the early 1950s.  Love that Peter Pan collar.

© SNAP / Rex Features

In fact Elizabeth Taylor created a whole new fashion trend for proms with her strapless party dress she wore the following year in ‘A Place in the Sun’. I think this is stunning – great inspiration if you’re looking for a 1950s style floor-length wedding dress.

Source – Fanpop

Today some brides opt for a lace bolero, but in the 50s dresses were still traditionally long-sleeved, as exemplified by Grace Kelly and mimicked by Sarah Burton’s creation for Kate Middleton.

Source – TV Crunch

After the war, French and Belgian lace gained popularity becoming the fabric of choice (especially Chantilly lace – named after the town of Chantilly in France). Brides in the US and in the UK imported European lace to create huge gowns (like this one below).

Magazine ad source – Old New England via Tumblr

If you’re after a vintage 1950s Chantilly lace wedding dress, I’ve found this tea length one on Etsy  ($525USD).

In 1952/53 tea length wedding dresses started appearing. How gorgeous is this tea length wedding dress.

Source – Budget Dream Weddings

Here’s one of my favourite tea length 1950s lace wedding dresses ($255USD via Etsy). This would look stunning with a petticoat underneath it.

I love the delicacy and femininity of lace – it’s just perfect for a wedding dress, or a little bit of lace detail can really add that wow factor. It isn’t all about doilies and your grandmother’s curtains (thank goodness). It just emanates grace don’t you think? I’ll leave you with one of my favourite lace wedding dresses – this is ‘Annie’ from Joanne Fleming Design. Isn’t it gorgeous?

So are you a 1950s inspired lace bride?

All that’s left to say is have a wonderful weekend everyone! This evening after work I’ll be stopping by to the Any Other Wedding party – if you’re going do say hello!

Charlie x ♥ 

Wedding Wednesday Feature – Flossy & Dossy 50s Style Dresses

Scottish-based designers Flossy & Dossy make one-off and affordable frocks inspired by the fashion of the fifties. Their designs are what I would describe as ‘retro glam’ – perfect for an extra special party or for bridesmaid dresses. This fab little business are one of our latest Fifties Wedding sponsors, and I’m delighted to have them on board as I just LOVE their handmade dresses. Such talents I’m sure you’ll all agree!
© Kristen Mitchell Photography
Wendy of Flossy & Dossy told me a little bit more about her business…
As Flossy and Dossy I design and manufacture vintage-inspired frocks, knitwear and bridal, influenced by the look and feel of the 30s, 40s and 50s and offer both bespoke and off-the-peg,
Flossy has existed as a business since 2008, although I’d been knitting and designing dresses for quite a few years before-hand. At first, making and designing clothes was more of a hobby, a chance to go out wearing something unique. But increasingly friends would ask me to make items for them, and I even started to receive admiring comments from strangers. My confidence grew, as did my understanding of the technical aspects of garment manufacture, and the idea of Flossy and Dossy began to take shape. When my sister asked me to design and make her wedding dress, I knew that I had something special.
© Kristen Mitchell Photography
Wendy also told me about the inspiration behind Flossy & Dossy’s designs (a woman after my own heart). I just love how she describes the research that goes into her dresses.
Ever since I was little I’ve adored old movies, and I’ve always been fascinated by the how almost every actress carries herself with such poise and sophistication. If it wasn’t for Audrey Hepburn I doubt that Flossy would exist; I’ve always adored her impeccable, individual style. Hers is the playful sophistication that inspires all of my clothes, from the ballet pump / full skirt look of Roman Holiday, to the glamour of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Behind all of Flossy’s designs is a great deal of research; not only on the technical aspects of, for example, frock design, but also how a certain look is constructed. I ask myself what makes a Hitchcock Blonde so distinctive? Therefore one of my greatest influences is Edith Head, who designed wonderful gowns for Hollywood films for over forty years. She was nominated for the Oscar for Costume Design an astonishing 35 times, and the list of actresses who wore her designs is a who’s-who of cinema.
© Kristen Mitchell Photography
And what does she love most about her job?
I love that vintage style clothing can flatter all shapes and sizes, Its all about picking the right accessories and being confident about what you wear. Lots of my customers have been reluctant to wear the full 50s skirt as they think its going to make them look larger than they really are, but once they’ve tried it on they realise the shape actually shrinks the waist it will give you an hourglass silhouette whether your slim and boyish or large and curvy. Every woman should own one.
© Kristen Mitchell Photography
Flossy & Dossy have also just launched a new vintage inspired bridal range, where you can have your dream 1950s dress made specially for you for your wedding day. Please visit the Flossy & Dossy website for more details.
© Flossy & Dossy
I do think that many brides-to-be often don’t think about getting their dress made for them. When you’re flicking through the magazines the mainstream wedding dress designers shout from the page, and sometimes it might feel like they’re the only option, but a local designer or dressmaker is often the answer if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
I shall leave you with Wendy’s one top-tip for all you brides-to-be out there…
I think the main thing to remember is that finding vintage accessories can take time especially if you’re on a tight budget. It’s also sometimes difficult to blend vintage and modern and you might have to bear this in mind when picking the venue. I’ve seen a lot of lovely vintage style weddings which are slightly let down by the hotel decor (especially in Scotland with the trend for tartan carpets!) To get round this I’d make sure you pick out a main colour and carry it through the whole wedding; if the hotel has a blue tartan carpet make sure you pick up the blue in the groomsmen’s ties, the buttonholes or a sash on the bridesmaids dress that helps tie the whole look together.
That’s really an interesting point about the venue – not one that I’ve thought of before!
Have a wonderful day everyone. Tomorrow we’ve got a fab DIY Thursday post for you, and Friday I am so excited to be showcasing another fab 50s style photo shoot. Here’s a little sneak peak – just because I’m so impatient I can’t wait!
© Rings n Veils
Charlie x ♥

An Old Hollywood Nighttime Photo Shoot

I love those beautiful and glamorous images of the old Hollywood movie stars. There is something about those black & white photos that resonates with me. Maybe it’s the drama behind those actors eyes. This was my inspiration behind this wedding dress shoot I’m sharing with you all on the blog today. So excited! Of course I’m all about the 1950s, but I couldn’t do it without a nod to the 1930s too as I also love that era and it goes so well with the old Hollywood theme.

Tino & Pip Photography were so creative with these shots. Shooting at nighttime was terribly exciting, and it was fantastic watching them work together to get the light right and framing the shots. It was a stunning spot – on a decking area underneath a pagoda overlooking a pond, surrounded by plants, trees and woods. What do you think? Aren’t Tino & Pip just amazing?

I was lucky enough to collaborate with two fantastic designers on this shoot – Natalie of Madeline Isaac James for the 1930s look (queen of elegance) and Dana Bolton of Once Upon a Time (huge huge fan) for the 1950s style wedding dresses.

Below Annabel wears a stunning dress from Once Upon a Time which had these little polka dots all over, and a beautiful headband by Jo Barnes (‘Cassie’). I loved this headband so much in fact that I wore it to the Love My Dress soiree! Jack made the perfect 1950s groom in a tux.

And here’s my favourite photograph of the whole shoot. Now I’m no photography expert (though I do love photography & go to the odd exhibition when I can) but this shot is bloomin’ award-winning! I just think the way it has been shot is so creative. I love how the evening sky compliments the white of the wedding dress, contrasting with the black of the trees, the pond and Jack’s tux. The way the wooden pagoda cuts through the middle of the shot just tops it off (with those lovely lanterns too – fab). Awesome photo.

Now what do you think of this dress?

I think quite possibly this is my favourite dress I have ever featured on the blog (and that is really saying something). I love the unusual neckline and those sleeves. That champagne colour was just stunning too. I’ve not thought of that colour on a bride before, but I was blown away just how good it looked on Annabel. The Chez Bec birdcage veil & cuff bracelet really finishes it off. Gorgeous.

Onto 1930s Old Hollywood now, how elegant is this dress? It screams elegance and sophistication and I just love the back.

Speaking of details, I just adore this off the shoulder number. It really adds something unusual to a simple and glamourous dress.

Chez Bec provided the vintage style pearls and hair comb to complete the Hollywood look.

That dress is just sooo romantic.



Now aren’t you feeling inspired after all that?

For more on these wedding dresses please visit Once Upon a Time and Madeline Isaac James, and also if you’re a fan of Tino & Pip Photography as much as me hop on over to their website!

A huge thanks to Chez Bec and Jo Barnes for lending their beautiful accessories for the shoot too. It takes a lot of effort from a lot of people setting these shoots up, so I’m extremely grateful for all the support from everyone involved.

Please do leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Charlie x ♥




Have you been featured on Fifties Wedding? Email us for the code for our 'featured in' button...


Find Fifties Wedding on Facebook
Follow Fifties Wedding on Twitter
Resources Top Blogs