What Rebecca Did… Started The Charity Shop Hunt, Collected Some Brooches, Oh & Got A Dress!

The One

That’s right ladies, my search for the one is complete!

So you’ve all heard the story right? Girl spends all her time drooling over pictures of pretty wedding dresses, tries on dresses in a number of few bridal boutiques and decides on her favourite style. She has her list of dos & don’ts, knows the style she likes and the styles she definitely doesn’t like. And then, yes you’ve guessed it, she falls in love with a dress that is nothing like she expected!!!

I feel a little bit like a cliché but yup, that’s what happened to me. Obviously I can’t say anything about the dress – I still want some surprises for Dave – but I can say it was everything I thought I didn’t want and nothing like I thought I wanted.

As many others have said, the service at a bridal shop definitely makes all the difference. I have also had my share of awful places – the worst being a place where the sales assistant had decided that I was probably not going to be buying any dresses that day. She only saw fit to let me try 3 dresses on and was rude to a friend (needless to say I never went back there!). But for every bad shop there is a wonderful boutique, and mine was to be Signature Brides in Hythe, Kent. I can’t recommend the place enough, we had the whole shop to ourselves and I was allowed to try on as many dresses as I wanted. By the time we left for some celebratory bubbly (it would be rude not to) we had spent 2 hours there. The assistant made us feel so welcome, and the shop… Well it had a gorgeous glamorous sofa and a stunning full length mirror – what more does a girl need? The nicest part was that my mum was over from France and so was there to see me find my dress 🙂

Everybody Needs Some Feathers…

So, I can’t give you a picture of my dress but I can give you a sneak peek at my veil…..

yup, those are feathers on my veil 🙂

Thanks to RMW I have discovered a new love of feathers, I even made myself a feather headband for the Diamond Jubilee because I so desperately wanted a feather crown!

Anyway, seeing as the venue has an art deco feel I decided that I must have feathers in my hair in some way. Then RMW mentioned a sample sale happening in London in which HT Headwear were planning on selling off some stock, so I called my bridesmaid Claire and off we went on a veil hunt! I tried on every feather headpiece on sale (and the token non-feather piece, just in case) and after much deliberation and a lot of staring in the mirror, seriously I was stuck between two pieces for ages, I chose this piece. It is actually just a feather and bead clip but Helena from HT Headwear gave me a birdcage veil to go with it. So that’s another thing ticked off the list.

And A Bit Of Bling

As mentioned in my original entry, I am planning on making my own bouquet from a mixture of fabric flowers and brooches. Well, I have to admit that until going to the sample sale I hadn’t really done much on this, in fact I’d done nothing! But, while there, our inner magpies spotted that HT Headwear were also selling off some pretty sparkly brooches, one of which had an art deco feel. Perfect! I got chatting to Helena about my plans for my bouquet, and to my delight she said she had a number of pieces back at her studio that I might like. She wasn’t able to sell for full price due to defects but was willing to sell to me. We e-mailed a few times and Helena sent me photos of all the pieces for me to pick from. When she sent them to me she even included a few older pieces for me to take the diamantes from, how lovely is that? Oh and she’s also said she’ll let me know if she has any more art deco inspired pieces! So here is my brooch collection so far…

Now all I need to do is to start to put it together! This is quite a daunting process. As you can probably guess I’ve never had to make a bouquet of brooches before, so for now I have just been searching for inspiration on how I want it to look. Here are a few of my online favourites…

So…..any of you having/making a fabric & brooch bouquet?

What do you feel about not being able to toss it to your lovely girlies afterwards? Catching a bride’s bouquet actually had quite an important role in our engagement – firstly I didn’t even think I was trying that hard to catch it, but the pictures say otherwise! Secondly as much as Dave got some stick for my catching ability he has said that this set his wheels in motion, and so operation ‘get Rebecca to say yes’ began!

It makes me sad to think I might not be passing on the baton (or bouquet!), so now I need to work on how I can get round this. One suggestion is to have a separate ‘throwing bouquet’, but I thought the bouquet needed to have gone down the aisle with you, or am I wrong? Another option (my favourite) is to have a little detachable part to my bouquet, but don’t even ask how I’ll make it detachable – I’m clueless!!

What do you lovely ladies think? All ideas welcome 🙂

The Charity Shop Hunt Is On…

Apart from the dress shopping, the most exciting aspect of planning the wedding is definitely the decorations! Well, it is for me! The Gatsby is already quite grand looking and so, to my slight disappointment, needs little decoration. Also the fact that the room cannot be decorated until the morning of the wedding (when I should be beautifying myself) has had a huge impact on my decoration plans. So for now I have decided to concentrate on table decorations. The plan is to have tables decorated with candlesticks, tealights, strings of pearls and various glasses with flowers, all of which I think this will fit in with the glamour of the venue.

So where does one start to look for these things… They head to the charity shops of course! Dave and I have become avid charity shop hunters – it helps that we have 3 a stone’s throw away from our place! Most weeks Dave will come home from work and tell me of another perfect item he’s gazed upon in the window (and sometime he’s right!). We love it, although be advised it is a dangerous hobby… If we weren’t being so strict on saving then I can guarantee our flat would be full of charity shop bargains! Only the other weekend we were both drooling over the most amazing globe – everyone needs a globe with countries made of precious stones, right?!

Anyhoo, here are a few of the items we have collected so far…..

So that’s it for now! Would love to hear about all your bargain purchases or any tips on where to get the best vintage pieces for not too much.

Here’s a last pic to leave you with – a ‘must have’ charity shop purchase – not sure of its use yet but it WILL be involved in the wedding somewhere!

Rebecca xxx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

39 thoughts on “What Rebecca Did… Started The Charity Shop Hunt, Collected Some Brooches, Oh & Got A Dress!

  1. Oooh Rebecca – I admire you bouquet making ambition! I wouldn’t know where to start either, but the one you’ve marked as your favourite is also my favourite – I love how big and ruffly it is!

    I also love a bit of bargain hunting in the charity shops, me and Al can’t resist a wander round if we pass one 🙂

    Great post as always! xxx

  2. Ah Rebecca, I do love your little brooches and ideas for bouquets – Toni Poni and Clare HLV from QBB are great go-to gals for some fab DIY tips. We all love a good DIY tutorial of course so I reckon that needs to be on your agenda 😉

    I’m hopefully passing my bouquet to my Nan so am also in the non-toss crew. You HAVE TO THOUGH, seeing as it was such a big moment for you and Dave.

    Maybe make a second, mini one for tossing?

    I spend half my life in chazzer shops and loving the purchases. I’ve been doing the same and building quite the collection of glassware (depsite Lee secretly smashing them and hiding the evidence)

    Loving the post and yes, your dress is TO DIE FOR.

    It’s so… Fetch!


  3. Oh yes, a word on Rebecca’s dress!

    It is divine and she looks AMAZING in it! That doesn’t ruin any surprises does it? 🙂

    I’m going to say no to throwing my bouquet too – it seems a shame after spending all that money/time on it. I’ve actually found quite a good way of keeping hold of a real flower bouquet, but I think I’ll save that for my next post 😉

  4. EPIC! Rebs would love to see you tell us how you get on making your bouquet we definitely need a tutorial! 🙂 need a bit of diy action, i could threaten to make the buttonholes if you inspire me!

    I was thinking about the toss/non toss dilemma the other day! (oh the inner workings of a bride’s mind – NEVER actualy admit all the random things you are thinking of!!). I’m staying in Cornwall for a week after our wedding and kind of want to keep it with me to admire in our loveshack carriage!

    There is an antiques market up the road from me, i’m obsessed – come to London for a day and we’ll go bargain hunting! I had a good haul on old cut glass crystal at Simon’s granny’s which i think will be cool with candles in them as will reflect the light well. Have you also tried ebay? I’ve been emailing sellers for impefect items if i’m just using them for flowers/candles rather than to eat off.

    Love your dress story and totally adore it! it really is the one, and can’t wait to see it in all its glam finery

    love love xxxx

  5. Definietly go for the brooch bouquet idea! I made one for my wedding & I love being able to keep it after the event, which you couldn’t do with a fresh flower bouquet. I had loads of compliments over it as well. There’s plenty ot tutorials online if you google for them. Mostly you’ll need some florestry wire (you can get it from eBay or Hobbycraft), florestry tape and a hot melt glue gun. You then wrap the wire around the pin part at the back of the brooch and cover it in tape. You can use the glue to secure the pin shut so you don’t get stabbed, but if you want to be able to use the brooches for other things after you don’t have to do that. It also means you can incorperate a brooch that means a lot to you without having to damage it. You’ll then end up with lots of “stems” with brooches on the end which you can combine to make the bouquet. I also made ribbon roses in my colour scheme to fill out my bouquet. You actually need a fair amount of brooches to make a decent size bouquet (I think I had about 20-ish) which can end up being expensive, so using fabric flowers is a good way to bringing down costs.

    As for throwing the bouquet, I didn’t throw mine as it weighed a ton & I was worried I might knock someone out! But you could make smaller bouquets for your bridesmaids and maybe throw on of them? That way it will have been down the aisle.

  6. I had a brooch and flower (pale and hot pink roses) bouquet for my wedding last week (!!) and it went down a storm. I didn’t miss not being able to throw it, although several girls did ask me, but as soon as I gave it to them to hold for a bit, they soon shut up (it was beautiful but quite heavy).

    Good luck with it – I’m a big fan :o)

  7. Thanks lovely ladies 🙂
    @Kitty / Karen / Miss Vix – yes, I promise I will do a ‘this is my attempt at making a bouquet’ post – although I have a feeling it will have alot of *&^**%$%&** in! (I’m not the most patient of people! haha)
    @Miss Vix – that does mean that you will have to make buttonholes though :-p

    Thanks for the lovely comments about the dress – fingers crossed I get to try the shop sample of it again this weekend! (well I’ve got to see if the veil goes with it, haven’t I?!)

    @Stephanie – thanks for the tips, I can see Hobbycraft making a fortune out of me! And yes, definitely want to have fabric flowers included so it’s not too heavy for my puny little arms! Bridesmaid bouquet could be an idea, thanks 🙂

    @Maddy – firstly CONGRATS! Last week eh, you must still have that post-wedding glow?! 🙂 secondly – hot pink roses! bet it looked ace! 🙂


    ps. Miss Vix – 1) YES definitely need to go to antique fair, went to a ‘vintage emporium’ last weekend with one of my bridesmaids – it was epic. We had to stop ourselves from buying sooooo much stuff…..anyone for a working loom? or maybe a gym horse!!!
    2) HAHA do you often think about tossing then! 😉

  8. @Charlotte – you’re making me blush! haha. Thanks 😀
    I’m sure I could probably divulge a little more detail about the dress to you! 😉 xxx

  9. Hi Rebecca

    I was reading through your post thinking your wedding sounds a lot like ours with the deco theme etc. I’ve been collecting vintage glassware from charity shops for our table centres for months. Now we’re getting married in a month so if you’d like any of it for your wedding then just let me know. I was hoping you were the real bride from Crystal Palace as that’s where we live but I can see you’re not. Anyway, the offer’s there so we just need to figure out a way to get things to you! Good luck with the rest of your planning.


  10. Have recently developed a little Ebay addiciton…which will not be healthy for the bank balance :s loving the brooch bouquet ideas, like the mix of the brooches, feathers and fabric 🙂
    Am no longer allowed near charity shops/antique shops as I end up buying stuff we dont really need…ooops!
    Looking forward to the bouquet tutorial 😉 xx

  11. Rebecca, I’ve just been on a charity shop spree with my aunt. In the first one one, she said, “I find it very difficult to come in here and not buy stuff for your wedding tables.” Bless her – wedding decor withdrawal!
    You should defo check out any car boots you can get to before the end of summer. I got so much stuff last year, and ridiculously cheaply too 🙂
    loving the brooches!! And that veil looks totes amazing!

  12. I’m having a brooch bouquet too but I’m lacking in artistic talent and patience so my lovely and talented bridesmaid is doing it for me! We’ve been buying art deco dress clips on eBay for a few weeks now and have accumulated quite a pile – they go for a couple of pounds each generally and are quite large in brooch terms so you don’t need as many – plus they’re all pretty and sparkly, I got a lucite and silver one in the post this morning and squeaked with excitement! eBay is also a good place for the tool – we’ve got a glue gun for about £4, a big pack of floristry wire for about £2 and 2 rolls of tape for £1 (miles cheaper than Hobbycraft!)

    I has also given some thought to the tossing etiquette (!!) and was thinking of pinching one of my bridesmaid’s bouquets – I haven’t run it past them yet though…x

  13. I’ve got my dress from Signature Brides too and I can echo everything you’ve said. They have been amazing, top notch customer service. Zowie has such an eye for what looks amazing!

    Also know what you mean about getting addicted to charity shops! I love a good rummage for vintage breaches, cut glass and china

    Your bouquet looks like its going to be epic! X

  14. I am having a brooch bouquet and I was originally going to make it myself however, I managed to find a local jewellery make who is going to put my bouquet together for me so after a year and a half of collecting brooches and beads, I have just passed them over and am very excited. While I was looking into making my own bouquet I came across a lot of blogs and video tutorials that offered suggestions on how to make the bouquet. In regards to tossing the bouquet my brother joked the other day that it would take someone’s eye out but haven’t decided on a solution to this yet x

  15. That is such a tease with your veil, it looks amazing though!!

    Those bouquets are beautiful, I like number 4 and your favourite number 6 🙂 I would just make a smaller one (and lighter) one to do the bouquet toss! That’s such a lovely story too, I’m usually the one floundering around on the floor after being trampled on!

    I know I can’t say much but your dress is stunning, I can’t imagine you in anything else, it’s perfect!

    The charity shops around me are RUBBISH! I can never find anything, but I’ll persevere! Found some great vintage and flea markets though!

    Lovely post Rebecca 🙂


  16. Sorry ladies, only just got in from work, so where to begin….
    @Helen T – thank you soooo much, I may just take you up on that! I actually live just outside London (Herts) so it might not be too much hassle – we’ll talk! Hope you have a fabulous wedding 🙂

    @Annie & Lou – definitely think I need to get back into e-bay, thanks for the tips
    & Annie – we always struggle not to buy loads of stuff we really don’t need! hee hee
    & Lou – we’re yet to see if I have the artistic ability! ha ha. I have tasked my fabulous bridesmaids with sourcing me brooches & I believe one of them already has a few for me!

    @Mrs A – I can imagine I’ll be exactly the same once it’s all over! My MoH is a seasoned car-boot expert so have her on the case for me! 😉
    glad you like the veil – I am getting a bit of a feather obsession (RMW have not helped! haha) and am soooo pleased it fits to have feathers 😀

    @becksy – awww they are lovely aren’t they 🙂 fingers crossed my bouquet lives up to expectations!!!

    🙂 xxx

  17. Love the brooch bouquet idea… Lisa at Sparrow & Rose in Glasgow does them – im not brave enough for that so Im just getting some lovely flowers from her but if your looking for more inspiration you could check her out.

    And if your looking for a bouquet that has walked up the aisle, what about the bridesmaids?? Or pinning some extras say from a table centre to your grooms buttonhole??

    Definitely post pics of it in the making though!!

  18. @Donna – thanks for the tips will have a nosey around online

    @Tabitha – thanks my lovely, you are too sweet 🙂 number 4 is lovely isn’t it! Definitely persevere I’m sure something will appear eventually! Went to a vintage place last weekend – it was immense!

    @Louloubelle – thanks for that, her bouquets look fabulous. Not a bad idea about the groom’s buttonhole

    Thanks ladies, you are giving me some fab ideas for the tossing bouquet! 🙂 xxx

  19. @MrsA – oh bless your Aunt. What the hell are we going to buy when there’s no longer any need for wedding bits?! I wont have a clue what to do with myself! xx

  20. @Rebecca – you could probably feature some of the other QBB bouquets in your DIY too! they deserve the love, cant wait to see yours now. Pressures on girl! 🙂 xxxx

  21. Great post Becca. I agree with Charlotte, I can’t help reading it in a girly voice (I just ignore the funny looks at work). I can’t stand the suspense now, need to see you in that dress! Hurry up, June! As for bouquet catching, at least it would be a bit safer now without ‘wild Whitney’ amidst the scrum. Still can’t get over that diving catch a couple of years back started it all! Keep up the good work, love you x

  22. Rebecca loving your post! I love your favourite bouquet in the pics you have up, its not too broachy its hard looking…has a more soft pretty look about it! I have been to 4 weddings this year and none of the brides have thrown their bouquet…I think its the kind of thing you just forget to do but as mine will prob be wild flowers in some kind of home made bunch im throwing it… and it will probably fall appart and shower people on the way down! Hey ho! A kind of confetti I guess! xxx

  23. @Lucy – thanks, pin away!
    @David Moore – awwww thanks xxx
    @Karen – I know! feeling the pressure! :-/ ha ha

  24. ps. there was no diving catch! I nonchalently put my hand up & what do you know the bouquet just landed in it!!! :-p x

  25. Number 1’s my favourite bouquet, gorgeous! I didn’t toss my bouquet (completely forgot about it to be honest) but I think it’s a lovely idea. Maybe you could just pull out 1 or 2 of the flowers. Would be nice if they had a brooch attached too, a little keepsake for the new bride-to-be that could go down the aisle with her too.

    Yes, I spent a fortune in charity shops buying vintage crockery for my wedding, it was well worth it though and I love very piece.

    Can’t wait to see the dress either.


  26. Hi lovely,

    Fab blog – it’s so exciting to see all the bits ‘n’ pieces and I love the fabric and brooch boquet idea!

    Looking forward to seeing you guys:)

    Much love x

  27. I’m totes not tossing my bouquet!! After spending so much money on it, I’m going to pop it in a vase during our minimoon in a cottage.

    Your fave brooch bouquet is also my fave, love how fluffy and girly it is!

    And a final self-indulgent bit now – OMG I get married this weekend!!!

  28. @Hannah – awww if it seperates then lots of people will be the next bride-to-be!!! 😀
    Yes, that’s what I liked about that bouquet, looks pretty & girlie 🙂

    @Keli – thanks my lovely – just got to get you bridesmaids kitted out now! 😉

    @Lauren A – YAY!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful wedding! 😀 We want to hear all about it!
    And yes I can imagine not wanting to throw my bouquet after spending so much money – I was shocked that I got to actually keep my friend’s bouquet when I caught it – I even put it in a vase for her & the reception so she could have it back!! ha ha – I did get to keep it though! 🙂 xxx

  29. I make a button, ribbon and fabric bouquet for my wedding in May. It now sits in the lounge in a vase reminding me daily of my lovely wedding!

    Top tip – it takes far longer than you think to make it so leave plenty of time!

    They are also quite heavy so certainly no tossing it or you will knock guests out 🙂

    If you want a rounded shape then an easy way to provide structure is to use a metal balloon whisk! Gives you a sturdy handle to hold and something to attach the wires to and once you’ve covered it in brooches and the handle in ribbon, no-one will know 🙂

    Good luck xxx

  30. As you said above it is so important to have a great service when shopping for dresses. It is one of the biggest fashion decisions you will ever make in your life. So it helps when you have helpful assistants make that choice easier.

  31. I love fabric/brooch bouquets, I was planning on having one as I didn’t want to pay silly money for flowers, as it happened, my lovely Aunt who is a florist wanted to do the wedding flowers as a gift! So I had my dream bouquet of huge pink peonies, and they smelt incredible. The problem with fresh bouquets is that they don’t last, my peonies only lasted the day, I dried the petals but it’s not the same, at least you get to keep yours! Forever! Will you add any fragrance to your bouquet? I didn’t throw my bouquet, it was way too delicate and way too beautiful! No-one seemed to notice and mind. If you do want to throw something maybe have a small posie made up especially? xxx Big love, can’t wait to see what you create!

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