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Norwich says I do to vintage weddings

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 February 2012

A Most Curious Wedding Fair comes to Norwich on February 11. Photo: Joanna Millington.

A Most Curious Wedding Fair comes to Norwich on February 11. Photo: Joanna Millington.

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Say 'I do' the traditional way this year as vintage-style weddings become more popular in Norwich. EMMA HARROWING finds out how you can create a wedding that takes inspiration from the past.

It’s shaping up to be another vintage year for fashion in Norwich. Along with the lady-like glamour of the 30s and 50s, the 60s revival is still going strong with colour-pop shifts and mini skirts.

And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner there is no better time to fall in love again with the clothes and accessories that were once adored decades before.

For those planning a wedding this year vintage and vintage-style weddings are gaining in popularity and so if he/she pops the question, you might want to join the fashion-forward crowd and take a little inspiration from the past.

There are a few wedding fairs on the Norwich calendar this year. All aim to help you plan your special day from the gown and the gifts to the flowers and the feast.

One of the biggest is of course the EDP Wedding Show, which takes place five times a year at various locations throughout Norfolk. The next one is at The Royal Norfolk Showground on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26.

It’s shaping up to be the not-to-be-missed event if you are planning your wedding day.

Although there are no vintage businesses exhibiting at the show, most of the dress shops have vintage-inspired dresses in their collections such as Love Couture in Pottergate and those showcasing the latest wedding accessories, such as Crystal Pig near Downham Market and Chair Covers and More near Holt have true vintage and vintage inspired collections. The latter has some gorgeous vintage-style chair covers.

Cupcakes are also on the menu from the many cake makers at the show which provide a great vintage-inspired touch to any wedding, and florists such as Timothy Green can make vintage-inspired posies and table centrepieces.

Norfolk venues have also seen an increase in the number of vintage and vintage-inspired weddings. The Assembly House florist Ali Calver believes that vintage pinks, whites and greens will be popular for weddings this year. Says Ali: “Over the past year, I’ve noticed a big trend for vintage-style roses in dusky pinks and pale lilacs.

“A lot of brides are using vintage styles, such as lace and pearl detailing, in their flowers and more of them are asking for a less structured look.

“I’ve done arrangements in vintage jugs and teapots that one of the brides sourced from a flea market – vintage teapots and milk jugs in different colours and in a variety of 30’s and 40’s styles, which I filled with pale pink and white roses.

“I also created a “Great Gatsby”-style bouquet – on a deep red theme, using roses and ranunculus, which is a very small, delicate, almost paper-like flower.

“This year we’ve also seen a trend towards swing music, big skirts, and lots of other details coming from the black and white films.”

If you are a big lover of vintage there is also a new breed of wedding fair especially for you.

A Most Curious Wedding Fair returns to St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich for the second year on Saturday and according to organisers Becky Hoh-Hale and Gemma Goodwin it is set to become one of the biggest vintage wedding fairs in the UK.

“A Most Curious Wedding Fair is for couples who are fashion-forward, trend hungry, vintage aware but importantly just achingly cool,” says Gemma.

Adds Becky: “The last fair had a 40s and 50s air and while this year’s still has that flavour we know that the fashion-forward bride and groom simply want ‘cool stuff’ at their wedding regardless of the era. “So we are placing an emphasis on handmade, daring, bespoke, fun and perhaps a little edgy suppliers with vintage as the theme.

“As we are catering for DIY loving brides there will be a number of ‘how-to’ sessions such as a lesson on creating your own bouquet from paper craft extraordinaire Moll and Mostin and making cute cookies for your favours from Victoria’s Kitchen.

“There will also be something for the groom-to-be with a Gentlemen’s Area with snuff, a wet shave barber and musicians on stage. If all else fails there will be a lingerie section in the fashion shows running throughout the day to keep them happy!”

A Most Curious Wedding Fair worked with some of their exhibitors to create this week’s Life Matters fashion shoot.

The look is a homemade modern day Victoriana style with a 70s twist (very Vogue-esque Florence Welsch) high necked gowns with boots and bare feet for the bride and braces and woollen waistcoats for the groom. “The look is reminiscent of old Americana, Daniel Day Lewis in the film Gangs of New York, with a bride inspired by Laura Ingalls from the television programme Little House on the Prairie,” says Becky. “The men were just as styled as the women. I had the image of Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on the Rumours cover in my head and we actually did a few images in homage to this.”

Get the look with lace detailing on your wedding gown (very Kate Middleton), pastel flowers such as the classic rose and wild flowers and feathers in your hair. For the groom choose a granddad style collarless shirt, waistcoat adorned with wild pastel flowers and a bowler hat.

It’s time to fall in love with the simple things in life.

A Most Curious Wedding Fair takes place at St Andrews Hall this Saturday between 11am and 4.30pm. Entry is £3 or £2 for brides-to-be. For more information visit www.vintage-wedding-fair.co.uk or Facebook A Most Curious Wedding Fair.

The EDP Wedding Show takes place on Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, at The Royal Norfolk Show ground. For details visit: www.edp24.co.uk

Credits: Vintage lace wedding dresses from Antidote on Upper St Giles and floaty ‘Florence’ inspired gown from Goldfinches on St Gregory’s Alley, menswear from Norwich Market, Paper Cut poster by Gemma Goodwin, Flowers including the head garland by Clare Robinson at Love Blooms, Cake by Victoria Gadsdon at Victoria’s Kitchen, Feather headdress by Amie Farr, Cake topper and labels by illustrator Kate Steward at I like Pens.

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