Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Vintage Inspirations: Is 2011 the year of the vintage style wedding dress?

So I’ll admit in posting this I am slightly bias… (okay I’m very bias) given that I’m planning a wedding myself but while researching wedding things it has become apparent to me that the trend of having a ‘vintage wedding’ is on the rise.

Vintage weddings have always been popular, as evidenced by websites like Rock N’ Roll Bride and consistent wedding features in VintageLife Magazine. But these days it seems that even the more main-stream wedding has been leaning towards the more vintage-y feel.

In Spring 2011 the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was seen by millions of people in the UK alone. The event was celebrated with street parties and pub parties, in-fact many shops shut during the ceremony so staff could watch!

While the day was not exactly vintage, the day was steeped in tradition and had a very old fashioned feel to it. In particular Kate’s dress:

The very traditional dress designed by award winning designer Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and had a distinct vintage flair- with many parallels drawn between this dress and Grace Kelly’s:

Kate with Grace

Image source: eonline

My favourite aspects of the dress are the beautifully fitted lace sleeves and the sweetheart bodice that shows a small amount of decolletage while still remaining very classy- perfect in a wedding dress. Overall the gown managed to look traditional without looking frumpy and is steeped in sumptuous detail. I get the impression people will be asking for replicas of this dress for many years to come!

Speaking of replica gowns the dress was kept under wraps until the moment the future Princess stepped out of the car! However replica dresses have sprung up form several places including high-street store Peacocks. My favourite of the ‘inspired by Kate dresses’ are the shortened versions like The Cambridge sold by Dolly Couture- for the bride aiming for a more 50s swing dress look.

Of course William and Kate was not the only big wedding this year!

The other wedding I am referring to is that of vampire Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from this years Twilight franchise film Breaking Dawn Part 1. Twi-hard fans have been waiting to see Bella’s wedding dress since the books release in 2008. The dress is very well described in the book as a 1900s vintage dress with lace features and modern twists and the final design for the film was kept just as secret as Kate’s!

Bella’s Caroline Herrera designer gown was recently valued at $35 000 and made with satin and Chantilly lace. The dress had a distinctive 20s feel to it, with the plain front, deco lines and again, lace features:

Beautiful lace details
 Image source: HeyUGuys

Although the wedding itself was very quaint its strong rustic feel and use of flowers help to give the ceremony the traditional feeling. However the wedding was filled with some quirky touches that made it seem a little bit different, my favourite of these being Bella’s decision to wear her white sneakers under the dress.

Several replicas of Bella’s dress have surfaced already- in particular this version by Alfred Angelo.

Now I’m not the first to draw parallels between these two weddings, I even found one article suggesting that Pippa Middleton’s dress was the inspiration for Bella’s! However I feel that the similarities in the retro choices of the brides reflect a greater general trend towards vintage styling, as seen in the high-street with 40s tea-dresses, 70s colours and 90s jumpers, but that’s just my humble opinion…

…and in case you were wondering vintage styling will be something I will be considering with my choice of wedding dress ;) but I can’t share details on that yet!

So for now,
Happy Dresscapades!


  1. So beautiful.. Makes me want a redo wedding!! :) you've got some great inspiration here for your special day!

  2. Although I'm not *officially* engaged, the boyfriend and I have started planning our wedding, and I've already bought my shoes. Now I have to find the perfect retro dress to match :)
    When are you getting married? I can't wait to see what you wear.

  3. That's amusing, the first thing I bought was my shoes too :) I've had some dress disasters since I started looking about 6 months ago (at a very leisurely pace mind you!) but I have since had a few appointments with a great designer in Brighton and just need to book my slot on her schedule :D Its so exciting!

    I'm getting married in September next year, and there'll be sporadic posts about the prep here, after all, surely a wedding dress is the fanciest dressing of all!


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