{Wedding Wednesday} Beth & Antonio’s ultra modern urban engagement shoot!

We’re half way through the week and Christmas is creeping up on us! Over the festive season, we’ll be taking a break here at A Vintage Wedding Guide but cannot wait to be back in January to hear all those Christmas engagement stories! Eeeeep! We love hearing from brides, grooms & photographers about engagement stories, so were thrilled to receive this fabulous e-shoot from the super talented Paola De Paola! I love this ultra-modern engagement shoot of Beth & Antonio – the colours are just so bright & vibrant! Here’s Paola to tell us more about this loved-up couple!

I first met Beth at Miss Vintage Wedding Fair in Battersea Arts Centre on 20 October 2013. We started talking and we immediately clicked, even though she said that ‘at her wedding she did not need a photographer’ as a friend will be covering the event. Well, I’m obviously very happy that Beth and Antonio (her fiancé) changed their mind and booked me as their wedding photographer.

Paola De Paola Photography

We had an initial meeting to decide the when and where of the engagement shoot. The street art of Shoreditch was the chosen location. As I always do, I created a Pinterest board called Beth and Antonio. I’m a visual person and completely in love with Pinterest.

urban engagement shoot London

Their engagement shoot was decided on Saturday 23 November. I did a recce a few days before to pinpoint where the most interesting murals were located. I sometimes forget how wonderful and resourceful London is.

We met up early despite London Underground not working,(no Northen Line or Overground line) there was just a bus replacement. The day was sunny with a wonderful blue sky, but cold, freezing cold, so much so that their pug puppy couldn’t join us for the photo shoot.

London engagement shoot

Antonio Terreno is an Italian born System Developer now working at MailOnline, Beth is a freelance journalist. Obviously they have a very artistic flair. We gelled well together they are really friendly and Beth is very photogenic

I can’t wait for the big day! April is just around the corner.

How amazingly cool is this? To see more of Paola’s fantastic work, head over to her website!


{Themed Tuesday} It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas…

Hello there, you lovely people!

Having started a spot of Christmas shopping this weekend, I began to be filled with inspiration over Christmas weddings. Ah, Christmas; my favourite time of year. I love the festive spirit that everyone gets into, purchasing the tree and decorating it, hearing those classic Christmas songs, mince pies, mulled wine.. Ok, you get where I’m going here. I was once lucky enough to be a maid of honour at a friends wedding just before Christmas. It was truly beautiful and it even snowed! So, if you are getting married over Christmas, how can you create something rather magical that avoids the stereotypical Christmas wedding, retains tradition yet makes the day that will leave people talking about for years to come…? Well, let’s take a look and see!






Are you having a Christmas wedding? Tell us all about it, if you are, we love hearing your inspirational stories!

Until Next Time xxx

{Wedding Wednesday} Kimberley & Jamie’s Engagement Shoot at Hylands House!

Today, we’re delighted to be showcasing a gorgeous engagement shoot from a self-confessed anti-bride! Believe it or not, planning a wedding isn’t everyone’s idea of fun and this couple epitomise those who walk down that aisle only for the right reasons – for love. Not being a fan of the spotlight, the idea of an engagement shoot was, for Kimberley & James, an uncomfortable idea. But, of course, we all know that a good photographer can easily banish that awkwardness and get the best from a clearly very happy couple – and that’s just what Emma from Bloomwood Photography did! Over to the bride & groom-to-be for their story!

Bloomwood Photography

Jamie and I met at 16. We were both at the same college and had no intention of settling down. 8 years, 2 houses, several faraway holidays and a dog later I was stood at the top of the Burj Al Arab being presented with a diamond ring on the sly. No down on one knee, no rose in the teeth, no string quartet. No fuss. No muss – much  like the rest of our relationship, but perfect for us. 

Kimberley & Jamie-12

                        As a die hard anti bride the thought of planning a wedding filled me with dread and nausea in equal measure as well as much eye rolling and sighing, but within days I was up to my eyeballs in venues, centre pieces, favours and flowers and to my surprise, ( and everyone elses) in my element!  
                   The one thing I didn’t waver into my manic wedding planning was an engagement shoot. As a bridal virgin I had no concept of what it entailed let alone if it was ‘me’ (or ‘ us’ should I say! ) but when Emma at Bloomwood photography called to say that I had won an engagement shoot, courtesy of a flippant competition entry one sunday afternoon ( who knew people genuinely gave such extravagant  prizes away!) at non other than our wedding venue,  the gorgeous Hylands House, I felt myself getting excited at the prospect of formally remembering our previously casual engagement. 
Kimberley & Jamie-14
                  Emma made us both feel incredibly comfortable and encouraged us to embrace the spotlight, something previously avoided by the both of us. Thank god we listened and went for it as we were left with an array of both fun and formal images to keep forever, reminding us in the best possible way of our pre wedding celebrations. We framed as many as we could and have never received so many compliments from our family and friends, most of whom nabbed some pictures from the shoot themselves. Our next dilemma will be replacing Emma’s engagement pictures ( a tough act to follow) with our actual wedding collection, courtesy again of Emma of course. 
Huge thanks for Kimberley & Jamie for sharing your beautiful pictures and, of course, to Bloomwood Photography for your gorgeous work, as always!
Do you have an engagement shoot planned? Were you nervous about the idea at first? Let us know your experiences too!

{Monday Muse} Do I need a colour theme?

Happy, Monday, one & all! We’ve had a whole weekend of wedding wonders, with the last of our Essex Vintage Wedding Fairs at the Essex Indoor Vintage Festival! It was lovely to meet lots of brides & grooms looking for inspiration for their big day and some familiar faces who met some of our fab suppliers at previous events!

Today, I wanted to discuss something often talked about when in the initial stages of planning a wedding – a colour theme. Some brides have a very definite colour scheme they want to run through their wedding day, tying together all the little touches and ensuring everything coordinates.

Every year, wedding magazines and blogs rush to predict the hottest colours for the following year – with navy & teal standing out amongst the blush pastels tipped to be favourite for 2014. Yet, apparently, wedding themes are no way near as popular as they used to be – with themes replacing colour trends.

Colour trends

Others (like me!) stumble across one accidentally while choosing items like the bridesmaid dresses or the groom’s suit. Navy blue ended up being a predominant colour in our wedding, but we also opted for a colourful cacophony in other aspects such as the bouquet and the tableware. So, does it matter?

Long gone are the days of having wedding receptions looking like corporate Christmas dos. For me, organza sashes really have had their day, and a floral or brightly coloured chair cover or sash looks so much neater and unique than a piece of pastel fabric wrapped round it in a messy bow! Why not go bright & bring out those polkadots?!

Calamitea Jane's Vintage Tea Parties Polka Dot Sash

Calamitea Jane’s Vintage Tea Parties Polka Dot Sash

Brides are definitely getting much more confident at standing out & being daring when it comes to colours. Pastels are surely a favourite with Spring & Summer weddings and I love a winter monochrome affair too! Tying your colour scheme in with the seasons seems a logical way to go, as your flowers can often set the tone and if you’re getting married in Summer, sunflowers can be the perfect way to inject a splash of colour to your big day.

My bouquet (427x640)

Don’t be afraid to mix it up! I adore this brightly coloured wedding of Tabitha & James, photographed by our very own Kerrie Mitchell. It perfectly illustrates how a whole rainbow of colours can be created without looking messy or confused. The attention to detail is just incredible and I love the addition of black and white to bring some order to the table layout too! Genius!

(c) Kerrie Mitchell Photography

(c) Kerrie Mitchell Photography

So, what’s your colour theme? Or don’t you have one? Let us know your ideas & plans!


{Monday Muse} Vintage tea party wedding & a fab offer!

Happy Monday, folks! It was a chilly weekend so what did you get up to? Wedding fairs? Wedding planning? We love hearing your stories about how your plans are coming along so be sure to share!

Today, we’re sharing a very special offer for you from one of our fab suppliers: Calamitea Jane’s Vintage Tea Parties & Events! It’s hard to think back to those warm summer days with the weather it is at the moment but we think afternoon tea is a perfect way to celebrate for a Spring or Summer wedding! What’s nicer than sitting around a table together, sharing delicious food from beautiful vintage china! Calamitea Jane’s offer a really comprehensive service, from vintage china hire to catering, to planning & coordinating for the day itself! With fantastic links to other suppliers, they can take on the whole planning process & recommend other great wedding professionals too! Over to Calamitea Jane’s to explain more!

Vintage afternoon tea weddings Essex

Here at Calamitea Jane’s Vintage Tea Parties & Events, we specialise in vintage themed events. From beautiful china hire, cutlery, crockery & linens to event planning & coordination we will ensure your party or wedding is the perfect way to celebrate your special occasion. A sophisticated and elegant way to wow your guests, vintage afternoon tea is perfect for everyone. Working alongside caterers of the highest quality, you can be assured that your guests will enjoy every mouthful of the delicious afternoon catering we can provide.



With menus starting at just £14 per head, it is a cost-effective, yet wonderful way to entertain your special guests. Choose your own sandwich & cake options, add savoury canapes, cocktails and bubbly for an extra special treat – we are truly flexible when it comes to your event needs.

Jason bunting

We love nothing more than a vintage themed wedding & can cater for gatherings up to 250 people! Vintage crockery, vintage glassware, cutlery, linens, chair sashes, bunting & more can be provided to style your event to perfection! We invite every bride to meet with us over a FREE tasting to discuss your needs and join us on Pinterest to plan your styling to match your wedding colour scheme or theme. Perfect for those dry-hiring their venue, we provide our own styling, waitressing & event management staff to ensure your day runs smoothly and to schedule. 


For a beautiful vintage wedding, planning & executed perfectly, Calamitea Jane’s can do it all to the highest standard you would expect for your special day.



cake topper cake

We are currently offering a fantastic Facebook offer of 15% OFF all 2014 wedding bookings taken before 31st December 2013. All we need is a 10% deposit to confirm your chosen date!  Head over NOW to claim your voucher!

15% OFF 2014 WEDDINGS!

{Monday Muse} Baby, you’re a firework!

I’m loving cosy nights in at the moment, and watching the local firework display from the comfort of my lounge might make me sound like an old lady, but it’s one of life’s simple pleasures! As a child, we used to have fireworks in the back garden with sparklers a plenty too. Nowadays, it seems to cost a small fortune to have your own firework party but with a husband who’s obsessed with them, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing next weekend in the freezing cold, huddled around the bonfire!

Of course, fireworks at the wedding was something we reeeaallly wanted but, alas, apparently when you get married in the middle of the summer on a farm, fireworks are the last thing you’re allowed! Gah! So, we couldn’t have them at our wedding but I have seen some gorgeous pictures recently of couples who have managed to really end their wedding with a bang and light up the sky! I’m not sure if this is a photographer’s dream or nightmare but we love these images some amazing photographers have shared with us for today’s post! And don’t miss the gorgeous wedding film at the end including a firework finale!

Will you be having a firework display at your wedding? Let us know & share some pics if you’ve already done just that!


With thanks to:

White Gold Images

John Charlton Photography

Tracy Morter Photography

Reportage Weddings & Portrait


{Wedding Wednesday} Wellies, Games, Great Wedding Bake Off’s & Bright Colours: Gethin & Jo

It’s Wedding Wednesday!

So, that can only mean one thing; an inspirational real wedding for you.  Now, this one is particularly inspiring, as it includes a variety of fun outdoor games and competitions – all reflecting Gethin & Jo’s love for triathlons and athletics.  Fun is the name of the game with this wedding, the photographs evoke that perfectly, too.  Gethin & Jo’s wedding was sent to us by Rob Leon, a fabulous photographer over here in the Cotswolds.  Their fun-filled wedding took place on Saturday 8th June in Clanfield, Oxfordshire at St Stephens Church, with their wedding reception at Friars Court.

Without further ado, I hand you over to Jo…


Gethin and I had been together for exactly 12 years when Gethin proposed (he proposed on our 12 year anniversary).  We met in our first year of university.  I’d basically given up hope of Gethin ever proposing! Gethin proposed and got down on one knee in our hotel room just as we were about to go out for a meal at a Michelin star restaurant for our anniversary.  I said yes straightaway!


We started to plan the wedding pretty much as soon as we got engaged.  We worked together through-out – it was very much a team effort.  Our ideas for the day evolved as the months passed by, but we knew from the very outset that we wanted something fun.  I don’t think we would have predicted, at the start, quite how personal it would be and quite how much we would create ourselves.


We had just over 90 guests and no extra evening guests.  Our aim for the day was to have something really fun that all our guests enjoyed. We had a lot of big elements to the day, including ‘The Wedding Games’ in which our guests competed as teams to accumulate points towards our Wedding Finale relay race which decided our ‘Wedding Game Champions’.  We decided immediately that we wanted to play games on the day.  I am a competitive athlete and Gethin a competitive triathlete and are known for playing games and being competitive!

We also had the Great Wedding Bake-off in which we invited guests to bake and bring along cakes to be judged by the mums in three different categories – Presentation, Originality and Taste & Texture.

Friars Court was the perfect venue for us because it provided a blank canvas.  We could do whatever we liked (within reason) in terms of suppliers, decoration, activities.  This enabled us to create a really personal day exactly as we wanted it.


Some of our suppliers were based upon recommendations from Friars Court, otherwise we mostly found suppliers via wedding fairs or the internet.  We created pretty much everything ourselves so a lot of what we sourced was raw materials.

Our photographer Rob Leon was brilliant.  We felt really comfortable with him and he gave us an amazing set of photos that really captured the day.  Our issue has been picking the best photos to print out – there are too many! Rob very much blended into the background capturing some really great natural shots during the day, he also captured our wedding details really well. We would absolutely recommend Rob and have done so already to a few friends.

I had no idea what sort of wedding dress I wanted or what style would suit me.  I found my Chanticleer dress early on and knew it was the one, but it was over the budget we’d set so I spent three more months trying on over 30 more dresses, including trying on my dress a few more times! I knew I didn’t want conventional wedding shoes and were really pleased to find Irregular Choice. Because of the style of my dress, I didn’t need a necklace and don’t generally wear much jewellery.  My only accessories in addition to my shoes were some real flowers in my hair.

Gethin had his suit made by ‘A Suit That Fits’.  It felt wrong to us for only me to be getting a special outfit, so Gethin got one too!  I went along to the first meeting when Gethin was getting measured, choosing his suit style and colour, but Gethin knew exactly what he wanted and I didn’t provide too much input.  Gethin went to the fittings alone so it was a surprise on the day when I walked down the aisle.

Everything about the day was personal. It all kicked off with our Save the Date video which we sent out 14 months before the big day.  This was Gethin’s idea.  It did take a lot of effort, but everyone loved it and we were really pleased with what we’ve produced.  Gethin pretty much drew everything, apart from the sheep, birds, cat and sun which I drew.  Once we had started our wedding preparations like that we had to maintain that level for the day.



We made our Wedding invite from scratch, following the same style as the Save the Date, with everything drawn by Gethin. We (with assistance from family) made all of the venue decoration from scratch, including the 130 metres of bunting (using ribbon sourced and imported from China) and the signs for the games.  A lot of the wedding games were loaned to us by Gethin’s dad’s school

Once we’d decided to have our wedding tables set up as teams to compete in our Wedding Games we decided team names and then designed our team logos.  Given we were doing competitive wedding games, we themed our team nams around our favourite sports people which also led to the idea of buying celebrity masks matching our chosen sports people.  We designed scoring cards for the guests to carry round on the day so they could record their scores as they played the Wedding Games.

2013-07-04_01982013-07-04_0199In the evening, we had the wedding rave DJ’ed by Gethin and his best men.  This was really personal as we chose the music we really enjoy (basically dance music from 90s and 00s).  The Wedding Rave was a massive hit, with our guests who loved the selection of glow wear we supplied, including glow sticks, glow bracelets, glow glasses and glow swords.



Our favours for the guests were sweets in little themed jam jars.  Every table / team had a different coloured sweet to align with their team logo and team colour.  The jars had personalised labels that Gethin had drawn and each had the team logo on it.


It’s really really hard for us to pick the most memorable part of the day.  We have so many favourite elements of our day. We both remember getting to the reception venue and seeing the wedding cakes for the first time.  We couldn’t believe how incredible they were – so inventive and professional looking.  More than 20 cakes were brought along and it was clear everyone had put in huge amounts of effort.  Everyone was discussing the ‘Burger and Chips’ cake all afternoon.


We both remember the launch of the wedding games when the first wellies were thrown.  We gathered everyone in the Welly Wanging zone and Gethin and I threw the first wellies.  There had been a big build up to this part of the day and a lot of excitement across all our guests.  I was just pleased to not have a mis-throw with everyone watching! 


Our Wedding Finale race to decide our Wedding Games Champions is also a highlight.  The top 3 teams took part in a relay race (based upon a triathlon theme – to link back to Gethin’s sport).  We’d had space hopper races at our joint 21st birthday party in 2001so thought it would be good for them to make a come-back.  The finale was hilarious and has provided some brilliant photos. The Wedding Rave was a real highlight for us – the dance floor was packed through-out and the glow wear went down a storm.  It was very disappointing when we had to finish at midnight.


Our first dance was, ‘You’re in my system’ by Nu:tone.  This is a drum and bass track so a rather unusual choice.  We wanted something different and really like the lyrics and Gethin loves drum and bass.  As you might expect from us, we had some dance lessons and performed a routine for our first dance.


We had a mini moon straight after the wedding in Devon.  We saved our full moon (as we have called it) until very recently once our race season had ended and went to Mauritius.

Top Tips For Brides-To-Be’s

Decide what is important to you and try to work together as a team to deliver it.  We absolutely worked on our wedding together through-out and ended up with a day which was everything we wanted it to be.

If you love Rob’s photography as much as we do, why not consider Rob as your photographer.  Take a peek at his website and be awed by his photographs.  You can look at his website by clicking here.

Until Next Time xxx

{Monday Muse} House of Mooshki Vintage Inspired Wedding Dresses

Gooood morning! Who saw our exciting announcement over the weekend? In case you missed out, there’s a brand new wedding boutique opening in February 2014, stocking THE most beautiful dresses in Essex! With exclusive designs not found anywhere else in the county, Rock The Frock is going to be a truly unique wedding boutique for brides who want something that truly reflects your personality! More details will be announced very soon, but for today, we’re giving you a glimpse of what’s in store, with the truly breathtakingly beautiful dresses by House of Mooshki!

Mooshki Darla Dress

Lashings of lace & delicate tulle make these dresses true reflections of vintage femininity and grace. Evoking images of Jackie Kennedy & Grace Kelly, I adore Mooshki’s beautiful necklines and calf-length skirts. And the best bit is that every design can be made in various colours and to the length you choose from tea length, to calf-length, ballerina skirts which stop at your ankle or full length with a train!

Mooshki Claire DressMooshki Kathryn DressMooshki Alexandra Dress

Mooshki Lou Lou Dress


Mooshki Rebecca Dress


SWOOOON! We hope you love Mooshki as much as we do! Head over to the website to see more amazing designs!


{Feature Friday} Chosen Boutique Wedding Fair

It’s Friiiiiday!

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY… Sunday 27th October 2013, Chelsea Old Town Hall!

We love a wedding fair, over here at AVWQ HQ, so we thought we would let you into a little secret.  Chosen Wedding Boutique Wedding Fair, is a “New Kind of Wedding Affair” and we are even exhibiting at it on Sunday 27th October 2013. “What makes it so different from every other wedding fair?” – I hear you cry. Well, we spoke to Kiki (the creator behind ‘Chosen‘) so we could find out more about this wedding fair…

Chosen was created with the sole aim of bringing a fresh and exciting stance on the average wedding fair. Our aim is to curate an event that showcases new and emerging talent and local designers who offer personal, bespoke and original idea services.


Ranging from individual hand-makers and designers, to bespoke design houses, presenting an event that offers a range of English Heritage options, items that become treasures, have stories and are passed through generations to come. An event that doesn’t necessarily sit within one lone category or style, that offers brides-to-be the opportunity to meet with the designers themselves, to have a personal conversation and discover what it is that could help them put their very own personality and design into their day.  An event designed specifically for YOU!

Chosen-Weddings-by-Nicola-and-Glen-104 We hold the belief that every wedding should be as individual as the bride and groom themselves, be that vintage styled, classical, contemporary or a lovely combination of many. What we hope to offer is a fresh and fun form of discovery. 


Its so important to us that our guests are put at ease, encouraged to discover and interact and generally experience the fun that we believe should be encouraged throughout every step of planning your big day.  


For our October Chelsea event our theme is ‘Love Letter’ and we need YOU to help this work! We are searching for your love stories – to be published at the event on our  ‘Love Wall’. We will also have a map for you to pin point where your romantic moments have happened around the city – and if you attend on the day to view your published letter and enjoy the event and entertainment, we will enter you into a draw of fab prizes, discounts and gifts! On top of all of that we will be publishing a love letter directly from Chosen to all Brides who visit on the day full of priceless top tips from bloggers and exhibitors in the wedding industry to help you with your planning.  Please email them to us here – 

 coth sept13 quarter page ad

Tickets are available to buy in advance here – www.chosenwedding.com/wedding-fair-london/

 We hope you’ll join us for a fun day of discovery and smiles! xo

Come and say hello, have a mooch around and be inspired!

Have a gorgeous weekend, lovely ones.

Until Next Time xxx

{Wedding Wednesday} Steffi & Ash’s Wonderful Woodland Inspired Wedding

YAY! It’s the middle of the week and we’re one step closer to the weekend….. Ok, we know you love Wedding Wednesday, almost as much as us, and that’s why you will love our featured wedding today.

We are delighted to share with you a wedding from one of our newest suppliers on A Vintage Wedding Guide, Clare from CTI Photography.  We’ve been a big fan of Clare’s work for a long time now.. so ‘WELCOME’ and enjoy the feature!

Steffi & Ash were such a lovely couple, very laid back, and when they told me about their wedding ideas, I knew I just had to photograph it. They were getting married at Basildon Park which is a stunning venue and has beautiful grounds, and then their reception was being held at Herons Farm which is a barn that is a blank canvas. They had such wonderful ideas to DIY it for a book themed wedding and make it personal and show off their personalities.

Steffi and Ash wanted to do a mini photoshoot with the books incorporated into it which was a lot of fun to do. They are creative people as well so it was nice to be able to bounce ideas. 

It was wonderful day. Everyone was so welcoming and it is always such an honor to be a part of someone’s special day and to be able to witness it and help them capture it. There’s nothing better than that.

My style is honest, natural and fun, and that’s just what they wanted. They wanted lots of natural shots of their guests enjoying themselves, as well as to have some fun, particularly with the mini photoshoot. Their wedding theme was quite quirky which fits in with my personality, and so it was just such a pleasure to photograph. I also had the wonderful Rachael Pereira working with me as a second shooter to help capture different angles and perspectives of the day. 

Choose someone whose work and style you like, but meet with them to ensure you like them as a person too. Engagement shoots are a great way to see how your photographer works firsthand as well. It is also helps you feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day so it’s one less thing to worry about.

How lovely – don’t you just love the excited look of the bride? It looks like everyone had a beautiful day. I also adore the woodland features in there, just divine!

If you’d like Clare to photograph your wedding, why not get in touch with her at info@ctiphotography.co.uk.

Until Next Time xxx