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Vintage by Verity, a DIY Wedding… Part 1

Today we have a very special wedding from a Rock My Wedding reader, Verity. Verity told us how much she loved RMW and used it in her planning and we just had to share all the fabulous details she packed into their day that she found on these very pages – makes us feel all warm and fuzzy 🙂

Dean and I got married on Saturday 25th September 2010. The ceremony took place at 2.30pm at our local village church St. Marys and All Saints, Whalley. This was followed by a wedding reception for 100 guests at Bashall Barn, where we also had an evening party for 130 guests.

Fancy not Fussy

My dress was by Benjamin Roberts, design 1033 from his vintage collection. Before I went dress shopping I’d looked for styles online and kept coming back to Benjamin Roberts as I just thought the design were different, without being overly fancy (I’m not big on fuss!).

I found trying on wedding dresses a very weird experience indeed! My dress sense in general is usually fairly quirky, and I had every intention of doing something different, either in colour or shape or fabric, but as soon as I started trying them on, all I could think of was “What will Dean want to see me in?” It was then that I knew it would have to be something fairly traditional (for Dean) and something stylish and unfussy (for me).

I bought the dress from Emma Hartley Bridal in Colne, Lancashire. I loved it for the stylishness, the wonderfully simple and luxurious soft taffeta, the gorgeous detailing of the crystals and pearls, and last but not least the internal corset which gave me the most amazing shape on the day!

Birdcage Beauty

Even though our wedding didn’t really have a theme, there were lots of vintage elements to the day, and Dean and I are obsessed with art deco furniture and paintings, so I wanted to have a vintage look with my hair and jewellery. Birdcage veils have always appealed to me but there are pretty hard to come by – most dress shops I visited didn’t stock them. In the end I turned to Etsy and found there were loads of lovely handmade veils to choose from. Mine was called Lolita from Velvet Owl and was an ivory net with a silk Gardenia which attached with a pin.

Jewellery-wise, again I wanted something simple and elegant. My dress had some gorgeous pearl and crystal detailing at the top, so I wanted something to match. My pearl and crystal necklace was called Opulent Heirloom by Katzi London. I also wore some pearl studs which were my ‘something borrowed’ from my Auntie Glenys.

Well, how could I resist? As soon as I saw a lovely bride on RMW wearing Ms. Westwood’s Lady Dragon Hearts, there really was no other choice for me – I simply had to have them! I tried some on in the Vivienne Westwood boutique in the Trafford Centre, but unfortunately the colour I wanted was no longer in stock. Luckily, I found a pair on ebay – never worn – I was so excited when they came, that I even showed a few of my girlfriends, despite me wanting to keep everything a secret. The oohs and aahs just confirmed what a great choice they were and everyone on the day commented on them.

The best thing about my shoes is that they are totally wearable after your wedding. They look just as stunning with a pair of jeans as they do with the most important dress of your life! Love them.

Relaxing with the Regulars

I was so lucky when it came to hair and make-up. My regular hairdresser (and good friend) Lois Pickup is also a freelance hair and makeup stylist for magazine shoots so she has an abundance of style, talent and the appropriate equipment to create the perfect look for me. It meant that everything could be done at home, so we had a lovely relaxed morning on the day of the wedding.

We had a few trials and knew the general look we wanted – soft, romantic tones for the face; dramatic eyes, and a forties up-do, but in true girly fashion, we were still making final tweaks to the hairstyle at midnight the night before the wedding!

Lois was busy from 6.30am getting us all looking stunning and then she had literally minutes to do her own hair and make-up before racing to the church to join us as our guest. I can’t thank her enough, though; the final result was truly amazing.

Bridesmaids in Blush

My bridesmaids were my very gorgeous (and oh so skinny!) cousins, Natasha and Olivia. We spent a long and tiring day shopping for their dresses, a task which if I’m honest I thought would take a lot less time than it did. It ended without joy, but then a few days later Olivia tried on a dress in Karen Millen as a potential prom outfit (yes, she is that young!). We went back en masse and the deal was done. The dresses were exquisite and the matching shoes were to die for – all my friends have been asking about them ever since the wedding.

And a Groom in Grey

So, with the bridesmaid dresses sorted, we now had a colour scheme. Our flower girl Eleanor had a dress from Debenhams which matched the bridesmaids perfectly and the boys (who didn’t much fancy anything pink) went for a complementary grey.

Dean had a few suit wobbles in the week leading up to the wedding. I think he wished he had gone for something a bit different from the ushers and best man, but he needn’t have worried. They all looked very handsome in their Lingfield morning suits from Moss Bros and Dean in particular just looked lovely. He accessorised with ultra cool black Chatterbox Brogue from Ask The Missus, Paul Smith heart cufflinks and stripy Paul Smith socks (with secret matching pants). Who said it was just girls who were shoe mad? My man has more pairs than I do!

Vintage style Floral fancies

My future sister-in-law Nicolla Moran used to be a florist and is an über-creative lady so I knew my flowers would be fabulous. She didn’t let me down. They oozed romance and the table decorations had a vintage twist as she’d used teacups and biscuit tins (that we’d all been collecting from charity shops for months) instead of vases. It had a wonderful effect.

I literally cried when she presented me with my bouquet at the wedding rehearsal the night before. It was so stunning and the colours just hit you. We’d decided on a mix of Victorian lilac tea roses and Juliet peach David Austin roses (the lovely papery peach coloured ones which I adore). This was then supplemented with lisianthus and alstroemeria.

Chic eh?

Wait until you see the DIY style in Part 2.

Yours Truly,


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What Julie Did… Decorations, plates and don’t forget cakes!

An old post from the Real Bride archives, but a handy DIY nonetheless. We’re working on updating this post soon.

In the meantime… Enjoy a bit of Retro RMW DIY-ing.

For our most recent and stunning do it yourself inspiration, visit our Wedding DIY & Tutorials section.

We have just approached Big Day- 8 months, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty organised and relaxed. We have sorted most of the big things such as the church & venue, the dress (FYI I’m not giving anything away on this one!), the cars, the band, the piper and the photographer. Not bad I think! Oh and for those of you keeping up with Jp’s duties you will be pleased to know that after almost 1 year of deliberations he has officially booked our wedding cake! He has organised it all on his own, so like you, I will have to wait until the big day to see it! I’m still trying to convince Jp to take on the honeymoon project but for some reason, he’s not too keen, I can’t be that hard to please……can I?

Now my thoughts are turning to the smaller details, the finishing touches that will set our day apart from the rest! These are the creative bits I’m most looking forward to. It’s easy to send someone a cheque then tick something off your list but putting your heart and soul into the details of the day you are creating is much more time consuming, and will achieve results money just can’t buy.

I have always loved the delicate and pretty patterns on vintage china tea sets. As a result, I have accumulated a large collection of ‘orphan’ cups and plates. These have been picked up in charity shops and boot sales over the years. When planning the wedding I knew I had to incorporate my treasured items, or perhaps just find an excuse to buy even more!

With some of my odd plates, I decided that it would be a nice idea to make some cake stands to serve the food for our evening buffet. I thought these would add a pretty and decorative element to a part of the wedding that can look a bit dull. I have seen vintage cake stands for sale in many places; however, I really want everything about the wedding to be so personal to Jp & I so it didn’t feel right to just buy them. Each item I have collected has a memory attached to it, an all those memories and events are a part of me and made me who I am today.

I found plenty of cake stand handles on eBay, the best deal I could find was 10, 3 tier cake stand handles for £28 including the postage, This was a bargain too good to miss so I went for it. I now needed a drill and a drill bit suitable for drilling through the plates. I found a basic drill in B&Q for £10.48, and a Bosh tile & porcelain drill bit for £10. This was expensive for the drill bit; however, I was too excited to wait for one to be delivered!

The first stage was to mark the centre of the plate. To do this, I turned the plate upside down on top of a piece of paper. Then I drew around the plate and cut the circle out of the paper. Next, I folded the circle in half, then quarter, and with scissors snipped off the point of the folds to create a small hole exactly in the centre of the circle.

I placed a strip of masking tape roughly in the centre of the plate; placed the paper circle over the plate, and using a pencil marked the centre spot on the masking tape, through the hole of the paper.

I now secured the plate on a piece of scrap wood. Holding the plate securely with one hand, I placed the tip of the drill bit on the centre mark and manually turned the drill a few times to scrape the top layer of the glaze. Then I turned on the drill and push gently down. It does take a few minutes for the hole to go completely through the plate, but you can always stop and start to give your arms a rest. If you are going to try this wear eye goggles for protection.

Once I had drilled the holes in the three plates I had chosen, all that was left to do was screw the cake stand handle together securing each plate between the handle pieces.
This is soooo easy there is no excuse for not giving this a go! 

The only thing I have to do now is to work out what to do with all those leftover cups.


Julie x

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Coquette Paper and Press

One of the things I still get really excited about when it comes to wedding style is Paper. Stationery has always been a bit of an obsession of mine and one of the many things I think the US streaks ahead in when it comes to designs and variety. I’m always pleased to see the UK keeping up in terms of creativity and unique inspiration and this particular company is doing exactly that. And when Katy introduced herself and her company I was really really excited :). This is what RMW is all about…

Coquette Paper and Press offer a variety of wedding stationery designs that, for me, suit almost any wedding style, encompassing our current love for all things retro vintage and reminiscent of days gone by, right through to more modern or romantic text based designs with gorgeous fonts. Katy, the lady behind the designs, has written a little bit about Coquette Paper and Press so I’m going to hand you straight over…

Coquette Paper & Press was born when a lifelong obsession with stationery collided with sisters and friends who were getting married and discovering that their wedding stationery options were as limited as they were uninspiring. As a self-confessed font-geek, hopeless romantic and lover of all things stationery, I couldn’t help but get involved in making sure they found their heart’s desire.

When Coquette Paper & Press began, I had just given up my job as a graphic designer and was on the brink of retraining as a make up artist, so while my days were filled with lipstick, powder and paint, my evenings were consumed by paper samples and typography. Like a kid in a candy store I have continued to explore and develop my two loves, make up & design and the two now sit side by side quite happily, inspiring & motivating each other.

The current collection features 10 invitation suites, all heavily influenced by the US ‘Indie’ wedding and letterpress trend, along with a special design called Kitty. Named for the bride it was first designed for, the scrapbook style ‘folder’ wraps around a traditional or bespoke invitation, and gives guests all of the info needed for the special day, while featuring bits and pieces from the bride and groom’s life together, symbols of a first date, postcards from the ‘proposal’ holiday, letters and poems shared by the couple.

Alongside letterpress, thermographic, lithographic & giclee printing, I also offer “Print at Home” designs for brides looking to save on the pennies.

It is so good to see a product as good as this available on a more cost effective basis for those planning brides who don’t have the biggest budget to stretch around. It just goes to show, you don’t have to compromise on DIY paper with a smaller budget. And for those of you who can afford a bespoke option, such as the Kitty, the sky’s the limit in terms of the creativity you can show off. I would be so impressed to receive an invitation like these, I think I’d have to sit down and just gaze at it. For me, every wedding invitation sets the tone for the wedding and my brain would literally explode imagining what was to come in a day that started with aCoquette Paper and Press design!

Tell us your favourite… text based, retro graphics or scrapbook style?

Yours Truly,


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The Vintage Draw – Vicky Trainor Designs Fairytale-Worthy Stationery.

Once Upon a time there was a lovely stationery designer lady called Vicky Trainor who decided that the world of pretty paper needed something new. And by something new what she actually meant was something new created out of many unique shiny items of old.

With a selection of vintage linens, appliqued ditsy florals, buttons, beading and embroidery Vicky was able to make some the most delicious invitations and favours in all of the land, suitable for the very fairest of them all…… the discerning fairytale bride.

Vicky Trainor :The idea behind our new little collection ‘made with love’ arrived one day whilst sorting and organising my endless boxes of collected haberdashery. At the bottom of this box was my little sewing case that I made when I was 7 years old. I spent hours, when I was younger, collecting and making endless pieces, some useful some not so useful, pressing flowers, organising my grandma’s button box….

We were starting to work on ideas, at the time, for new collections for 2011-2012 – we wanted to create something very different to our current printed collections and we had been researching embroidery and haberdashery from the 40’s and early 50’s and, from this, ‘made with love’ was born. This collection is the first to be created from our new ‘Vintage Drawer’ label.

A little collection of linen booklet invitations, favour sewing cases, embroidered table numbers, lavender bags, linen and ribbon place ties and named chair back ties and still more to be created. Each individual piece made, here in the studio, will be a bespoke one-off item, made from new and vintage linens and haberdashery finds.

‘Made with Love’ will be available from January 2011, although images can be emailed through to anyone who may be interested in these early stages. We wanted Rock My Wedding to be the first to see the new collection and let you, their readers, have a little sneaky peak first.


I mean really – I would die for a favour as pretty as this.

And if not a gift for every guest how about a little something for your maids? a beautiful and undoubtedly useful keepsake.

Vicky Trainor is offering Rock My Wedding fairytale brides a very generous 10% off all stationery ordered before the 31st January, that includes the Made With Love range.

Just mention RMW when you enquire.

Big I can’t-even-tell-you-how-impressed-I-would-be-to-receive-a-vintage-draw-invitation-Love

Charlotte xxx

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Pretty Perfect… Part 1

Yay! It’s here – All about the Pretty week and my goodness have I got a stunningly pretty wedding to kick off the Real Weddings – I think you’ll all agree, it couldn’t have been prettier. Shot beautifully by Lisa Devlin, who is fast becoming one of my favourite photographers, and this Bride just happens to be a florist so I’m pretty much in heaven. *Sigh*

Lets get straight on with hearing what Nicola has to say about her big day with Daniel and all the planning details…

The Prettiest Venue

Our wedding was on the 30th March 2010 ( Tuesday- a bit weird) but it was two years to the day that we got engaged, at Buxted Park hotel in East Sussex. We (Nicola and Daniel) arranged it all within 6 months after falling in love with the venue.

The Prettiest Dress

My Dress was from the Bridal Outlet in Oprington- and was from an American design House called Forever Yours. Being petite (5ft 3) and a size 8 I wanted something slim/elegant but still girly and cute. Many of the dresses wore me- rather than me wearing a dress so at first felt like a little girl putting on my mums dresses!

I found a lace fishtail dress with a chiffon base, covered in sparkle- and I had to try it on. And it was perfect. Jan the shop owner said “ She learnt something new that day as she would never of thought that that dress would have suited me as well as it did.”

The Prettiest Accessories

I wanted to have limited accessories as my dress was heavily detailed. I had a short simple veil which I wore low from the back of my hair, fixed with a diamonte fan shape combe from Lucy in the Sky. I also chose a pair of drop diamonte earings from Lucy in the Sky.

The Prettiest Shoes

My shoes were my “something old” well I had worn them once to Daniels twins wedding last year, from Faith. They were high…as I said Im only 5.3 and used to wearing heels. In a vintage champagne satin. Peeptoe with a large diamonte on the front.

I decided to personalise them by having “ I DO” in studded diamontes on the under sole part of the heel, as well as adding a seam of studs down the back. They were a real talking point and at one point was on a sofa with my feet up so everyone could take a photo!

The Prettiest Make-Up

I decided to get a make up trial but honestly didn’t like it- not that it was a bad job or anything- just didn’t feel like me and Daniel was really unsure. So I went and hovered around the make up counters and got some expert advise and brought some quality products and did it myself. Estee Lauder Double wear foundation all the way!

My hair I wanted up and to echo the elegant vintage look of my dress. A family member’s gilfriend Nicole was coming to the wedding but is also a brilliant hairdresser who works at Daniel Galvin in London. She offered to do mine and the bridesmaids hair and was great. I was so pleased with how it turned out and was just what I had imagined.

The Prettiest Bouquets

Unusual…but this Bride was also the florist! I have my own company Florian and have been doing weddings for around 8 years. So knew exactly what I wanted. I did have a problem that my favorite flower peonies were out of season and thought I would be out of luck. It so happens that that morning when I went to market (Covent Garden) I saw them…not small insignificant ones but beautiful full ones called Sarah Bernhardt. Perfect.

I had a hand tied of them with blush pink roses(sweet avalanche), antique brown roses (amnesia) softened with lime green vibernum and blush colored lacey lilac. I bound the stems and fixed a diamonte brooch to the ribbon to add to the vintage edge. The girls bouquets were smaller versions of mine

The Prettiest Bridesmaids…

The girls wore satin dresses from Karen Millen in a mocha colour. They were cut on the bias and had a ruffled section down one side.

They had blush pink kitten heel shoes from New Look a real bargin at £18! The colour suited both of them even though they are different colourings, (and they are twins)


I really love this wedding and I think it’s a worthy contender for the title of Prettiest wedding. Such a timeless colour palette with a touch of vintage about it and a nothing short of perfect dress, all photographed beautifully by Lisa Devlin.

Pop back tomorrow for the rest of the beautiful flowers, gorgeous venue and a whole lot more pretty.

Yours Truly,