A Crafty & Old Fashioned Retro Party Wedding

vintage village hall wedding http://www.stellafakiyesiphotography.com/



Music was an important element of Susie and Sean’s July wedding, with an Elvis impersonator and an eclectic 8 hour play list. They wanted their wedding to be an old fashioned party, held in a village hall and decked out in crafted touches.

Susie looked gorgeous in an original lace vintage dress with her mum’s veil, while Sean opted for a bespoke dapper suit by Gresham Blake. Such a stylish pair, i adore their wedding.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Stella Fakiyesi for sharing her photographs with us today.


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The Proposal… In San Francisco, on holiday after attending our friends wedding in Lake Tahoe. The proposal was due to take place on the Golden Gate Bridge but it was too windy so took place much later, after many cocktails in a bar!

The Vision for the Day… A good old fashioned party, filled with as many of our family and friends and as much music and entertainment, colour, craft and retro things as possible!

The Planning Process… The planning started around 7 months before our wedding day. We knew we wanted all our family and friends with us for every aspect of the day so we started with the guest list. This was around, 160 people and so it helped us shape what we would do next. After looking at various venues and options we decided that we wanted to get married in a location that was more personal to us, we contacted my local church from home and they were wonderful and very helpful. We went to a service and it felt right for both of us. The church did lots of really personal things to help us on our journey and one of the best things was a marriage preparation day. You attend the marriage preparation day with lots of other couples that are getting married. Throughout the day you do little quizzes together with your partner (a bit like Mr and Mrs!) based on you relationship to date and your hopes for the future. There was also a great talk on money by a finical advisor, which prompts you to discuss your accounts as a couple! It was fab to take stock and spent time in that way and focus on each other. It was very romantic and practical!

Once we had the booked the church we looked at local venues that could sit 160 people for the reception. We chose a village hall that was 6 miles away and where we had both been before for parties. The volunteers who run the hall were phenomenal and couldn’t do enough to help us. It was great as it was a blank canvas and we could decorate it, as we wanted. We then set about finding organising the other elements such as a caterer, bar, sound system and coaches to take people between the venues.

The Venue… All Saints’ Church Faringdon, The Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall Uffington, Oxfordshire.

The Dress + Accessories… Late 1950’s early 1960’s vintage gown, covered in floral lace, with sequin and pearl trim along the neckline. Silver court shoes with diamanté trim, mum’s wedding veil, 1950’s diamante tiara and floral hairpiece for the veil made by the florist to match the buttonholes and bouquet.

Finding the Dress… I had discovered Heavenly Vintage Brides while doing some research for a friends wedding and I would regularly go on line to have a peak at the lovely dresses! They have vintage gowns from most decades of the last century. I was thrilled when I got engaged and contacted HVB immediately! Helena at HVB was very helpful from day one, emailing me about dresses that maybe suitable. I was blown away when I went to visit for the first time, it is such a treasure trove of wonderful gowns and Helena made the experience thoroughly relaxing and delightful. I was absolutely spoilt for choice; there were so many beautiful dresses. Helena was fantastic, allowing me plenty of space and time to go through and select the ones I liked the best. I found my dress on my first visit and looked no further!

Groom’s Attire… Gresham Blake in Brighton. Sean had always wanted to have a suit made by the tailor Gresham Blake, so he opted for a tailor made sharp, navy mohair suit in the style of Sean Connery in From Russia With Love.

The Readings + Music… Readings: Song of Solomon and I carry your heart in my heart by EE Cummings. Hymns: The Lord is My Shepherd and Love Divine. Music: In the church our friend Matt played two songs on guitar while we signed the register, Matt played one of his own songs If Love Should Rise On The Winter Tide – he performs and records as Quiet Loner – and also a song he wrote with Sean about when we first met, Out Of The Darkness.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… We had my God Son Ernest as a page boy and Maggie our friend’s daughter as our flower girl.

The Flowers… I wanted a country garden feel and my colour theme was pastels with pink heaven roses, lilac freesias and sweet peas, lemon yellow carnations and mixed alstroemeria. The florist supplied us with sprays of flowers to pass onto the flower guild who decorated the church for us and a host of flowers for us to fill the vases for our table decorations. This included larger flowers such as antirrhinums, stocks and delphiniums.

The Cake… White square tiered cake from M&S with a home made cake topper. I had seen illustrations of couples used as cake toppers and thought I would make our own. So I found a retro looking photo of us and added some decoration to it in Photoshop! I printed it out, backed in onto cardboard and attached some cocktail sticks! It was very Heath Robinson but it got lots of good comments! My friend also made a gorgeous vegan chocolate cake so everyone got a piece of cake!

Your Photographer… Stella Fakiyesi who walked into my life by chance when I needed a wedding photographer the most, she was a gift from the Gods of good fortune! Stella did an amazing job, she totally understood what we were looking for and her vision was superb. The moments she captured sum the day up beautifully and we could not be happier with our shots.

The Details + Decor… This was the fun part and the best bit about doing it all ourselves we could do whatever we wanted! My mum and I enjoyed collecting things to decorate the hall. We collected glass vases from charity shops, for the flowers on the tables. I brought more vintage table cloths than was required from ebay from all over the world! I also went over budget on balloons and crepe paper streamers! My mum made lovely floral bunting and I hand printed our own bunting with our musical heros on it; Morrissey and Rod Stewart! (I love Rod Stewart). We had a stage, which we brought gold shimmer curtains for and I sewed crepe paper strips into the curtains to give them a bit more depth and colour and we had a glitter ball, which I had luckily found in a charity shop. As well as the flowers on the table we also added black and white portraits of our heroes and named our tables this way, including Roger Moore, Prince and Columbo!

Music plays a big part in both our lives and we really enjoyed putting together the music for the day. At the hall we prepared an eight-hour play list to listen to while we ate and it was then played in the bar. That sounds like a lot but it was good fun putting it together and we had all sorts of music on there including lounge ballads, 60’s pop, rock’n’roll, soul, indie and even the theme tune to Are You Being Served!

We designed our invitations based on an old Buddy Holly concert poster and at our reception; Matt and our friend Mark brought along their guitars and played some old country and rock’n’roll songs. It meant a lot to us to be able to have live music. Our headline act was Elvince – a Sicilian Elvis! He was great and performed two sets – ’68 Comeback Special and ‘70’s Vegas.

We had an Italian style buffet with four different deserts and our caterer was such a find. Talia and her team at Cotswold Cooks were just fantastic, everyone loved the food and we had compliments from the heartiest meat-eaters and vegans alike!

The Honeymoon… UK Honeymoon: 4 nights on the Isle of Wight at the Priory Bay Hotel, visiting Sean’s relatives. With a blessing at Sean’s mum’s local church with a tea party afterwards to meet Sean’s family and their friends who could not attend the wedding. Followed by 3 nights in Bournemouth at the Burley Court Hotel with my parents catching up on the events of the wedding day! We go on holiday together to Bournemouth every year so it was nice to take my husband there! US honeymoon: a trip to Reno and LA to visit friends.

Memorable Moments… Our Vicar’s sermon in the church, which was full of good humour and laughs. The cheers and standing ovations we received throughout the day, at the church and on being announced into the hall by our best man were phenomenal. The speeches were amazing a classic mix of laughter and tears! The weather being hot and sunny took me totally by surprise, it was fab to be able to serve the food, drinks and cut the cake outdoors. Everyone on the dance floor at 7:30pm, dancing to Elvince. Dancing with my Granddad to Elvince! Seeing chosen members of our  family and friend performing with Elvis as his backing band, his dancers in hola skirts and ridiculous quiffed wigs. Basically Elvince was a total winner! Brian and Brian from the local football club who did the bar and managed to get a mention on BBC 6 Music on the Monday morning as part of a shout out from the best man!

Advice for Other Couples… The best bit of advice I was given was that as long as the person you are marrying is perfect for you, then nothing else needs to be! As obvious and clichéd as it sounds that is the only thing that truly matters. Organising a wedding involves a lot of hard work but before you know it, it has happened so aim to enjoy and savour every moment of the preparation.  Even if you are tired with tons to do, take stock and think I won’t be here again and try to enjoy and laugh through those moments utter of panic and fear because you will have the best day of your life! I didn’t believe it when people said that to me but it turns out, it is true! Then you can look back and enjoy your day and think ahh we have done all this and I didn’t even lose my cool! (Good luck!)

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photographer:  http://www.stellafakiyesiphotography.com

Hall: http://www.thomashughesmemorialhall.co.uk

Caterer: http://www.cotswoldcooks.co.uk

Entertainment: http://www.lemonrock.com/elvince

Sound system: http://www.daveseamer.co.uk

Florist: http://www.ivflorist.com

Tailor: http://www.greshamblake.com


Bride Tiara: http://www.rubyrosevintagejewels.co.uk

Brides shoes: http://www.beyondretro.com


Just brilliant, and a mention on radio 6?! Super jealous. Thanks so much to Susie and Sean for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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