Vintage Travel Themed Wedding

Vintage Travel Themed Wedding

It’s gone super quick this week no? What with two bank holidays, i thought i’d better squeeze in another beautiful wedding to feast your eyes on today.

Gemma and Joe were married in May of last year, at the stunning Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire. They wanted their wedding to have a vintage travel theme whilst expressing themselves as a couple.

Gemma wears the most beautiful vintage wedding dress and veil, and doesn’t she look amazing?!

I adore the vintage travel themed stationery, the pretty flowers, the suitcase wedding cake, and those vintage feel wedding group shots. This is one super special wedding day.

Thanks so very much to the fabulous Dottie Photography for sharing their imagery with us today.



Names… Gemma and Joe

Wedding Date… 28th May 2011

The Proposal…
We initially met in a village pub, after Joe had finished travelling, and were introduced by mutual friends. Our initial meeting was not good, as I thought he was too full of himself, and he didn’t think much of me either (his actual words were fit but she knows it!! Shocking!!). So had we been told that we would be married now at that point, I think we would have both been rather mystified!

We met again at a party a year later, and got on really well, but with being at different universities at the time, we decided to remain friends. We always got on well though, and joked that we would be each other’s back up plan if we didn’t get married by 35! We first started dating in March 2007. Joe is a lovely caring person, and I think we complement each other very well, as I’m not the calmest, and tend to do things at a million miles an hour, while Joe is very laid back.

Joe’s proposal was very romantic. We had a day out at a farm, so had a good time, and then he made a picnic with everything he’d made himself. We went to his parent’s village, and had a picnic on the steps of the old manor which is no longer there, and has gorgeous views of the parklands. He then went a very funny colour, and started mumbling about how much he liked me… I thought he was either ill or breaking up with me(!!). But then he got the ring out. It was perfect, and a complete surprise. It was also very sweet as he’d got me a vintage engagement ring, had hidden it under the floor boards so I couldn’t find it, and had practised opening it in front of the mirror, as when he first got it, he had opened the box upside down. He’d also asked my Mum, as she was away in Oz at the time, and had also made sure that our parents met beforehand. He did very well!

The Vision… Initially there was no theme! However, after we spoke to Dottie, who also did our wedding stationary etc, we got really inspired, and had a vintage travel theme. As you’ve probably realised, I am a big fan of vintage and antiques, and we both love to travel, so it seemed to fit us both. Also, we felt the vintage feel really worked with the opulence of the castle.

We always knew we wanted a church wedding, but wanted something a little different. We also wanted something that expressed us as a couple. We also loved the grandeur of Belvoir Castle, and being lovers of history, it seemed to fit the brief very well.

We also wanted to use suppliers, wherever possible, who were local to us, or to the castle, and think we achieved this.

I much prefer older clothes, so I was very inspired by ladies of yesteryear, so used them as inspiration.

The Venue… The Chapel in Belvoir Castle. We chose the venue, as we had visited there when we’d lived in Lincoln, and just thought it a beautiful, magical place. It was the only place that we looked at, and were so thrilled when the Reverend said that we could be married within the private chapel.

We were very lucky, as the castle have an in house wedding planner. Kate and the team were absolutely fantastic, and just helped so much with suppliers etc, and providing us with such excellent catering. It was so nice not having to worry about any of the deliveries on the day, as the team took full control of that, and it was also lovely to have someone else moving our guests along, and basically made everything run perfectly.

Your Photographer…. We chose Dottie Photography ( We actually saw an album of theirs when we went to the castle to book our wedding, and in our opinion, stood head and shoulders above every other photographer that we had seen. And think the results speak for themselves! On meeting Mandy, we just felt really comfortable with her, she was very much our kind of person, and we loved all her ideas!

The Dress + Accessories… My dress was from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company When we had got engaged, as mentioned before, Mum was away, but I really wanted to go dress shopping! So my bridesmaid was very obliging, and we went to a number of local vintage shops. I knew I didn’t want a brand new dress, and never went into a modern bridal shop. I knew straight away what I didn’t want. I’d originally always though I wanted a 50’s ballerina length dress, but that was all wrong. So Mum and I booked a weekend to London, and booked a number of appointments. I actually thought I’d found my wedding dress the day before and didn’t really want to got TVWDC, but was convinced by Mum. When we went in there, it was really lovely, and she asked what sort of dress I wanted. I said that I’d already tried an Edwardian wedding dress, and that I really liked that era. The lady then gave me a huge grin, and came out with MY dress, and said it had only come in that week. It sounds very cliché, but I knew that was going to be my dress even before I tried it on. I was very lucky, as even though it was vintage, I didn’t need to have any alterations made, as it just fitted like it had been made for me!

My shoes were a peep toe sandal and bought from Rachel Simpson I wanted shoes, that kept to the vintage ideal, but I find shoes that have been worn by someone else far too uncomfortable! I really liked the twenties vibe of them.

I look after a little boy with autism, and his Mum lent me her Grandmother’s ring for my ‘something blue’. As my dress was so ornate, I didn’t feel I needed any jewellery.

I had a very long veil, which I bought from Harrogate Vintage Wedding Fair It was in quite bad condition, and very dirty, so was really pleased with how white it came up when washed. The head dress was originally very large – almost like a halo! So that was made slightly smaller by my local hairdresser.

Groom’s Attire… Joe wore traditional tails, with cream cravat, waistcoat and handkerchief. He and the ushers for their suits from Moss Bros

Beautiful Bridesmaids… My bridesmaid outfits were from Jigsaw Again, I felt that they kept in with the vintage theme. I bought them both vintage charm bracelets.

Details + Decor…. As mentioned, our stationary fitted in with this theme. Our invites had pictures of us which were like passport photos. Our table names were places we had travelled to together, and were shaped like luggage tags. We had lots of compliments on out stationary, as nobody had ever seen anything like it. Our place names were airmail envelopes. Joe’s Mum has an old typewriter, so she typed everyone’s names on, and we got some stamps which made them look like proper letters. We also used old ordnance survey maps for the confetti cones.

Table names were places we’d travelled to together, while we had dated. Our table was the name of the place we travelled to on our honeymoon

We made sloe gin! Joe and I, and our parents all picked sloe berries on a very cold October day, which was then made into Sloe Gin. We presented them in mini glass bottles so that people could take them home. Our bottles came from  A friend has lovely handwriting, so she wrote our labels on them, with our names and the date of our wedding.

We made our own confetti. We moved into our own home in 2009, so dried all the roses in our garden, as well as pilfering from our parents gardens. I also dried and used a bouquet from when I’d been bridesmaid for Joe’s brother the year before.
We also arranged a tour of the castle, for while we were having our photos taken, which all the guests said were really good fun. It made the day flow really well. We also had cannons firing, which was fabulous! A great surprise for everyone.

The Flowers… Flowers by Jessica This was next door to my work at the time, and they were so sweet. Peonies, Roses, Stocks, and various other spring flowers. I was very vague, and just came in armed with a photo that I’d seen and liked. They were very accommodating. We kept the same flowers for the table places, and also smaller versions for the bridesmaids. I wanted pretty flowers, which would also smell nice. I’m not really a flower person, so the florist really helped.

The Cake… . Our wedding cake looked like a battered old suitcase at the bottom, and had labels on of places we’d travelled to together. We had a new suitcase on top, with our honeymoon destination as a luggage label. We were sat on the top, and they’d requested our outfits and hair styles. It was vanilla sponge, and the top layer was chocolate sponge.

The Music…. We booked a DJ . We also booked a string quartet for the ceremony and reception We didn’t have a first dance! We both work full time, and different hours, and just couldn’t fit in practise! Instead, Joe used to be lead singer in a band, so played 3 songs, including his Dad’s favourite which is Mr Bojangles, so I danced with him instead!

Memorable Moments…. Walking into the chapel and being completely terrified! I think the chapel was the most special, as it felt so intimate and personal. I think the whole wedding was a bit of a blur, so its only when you re live it through the photos, you realise what a great day it was. I also really loved getting ready in the castle, and felt so special.

Advice For Other Couples…. Enjoy it, as it all goes far too quickly! Use locally. We found smaller companies were much more excited and passionate about our wedding. Do what you can yourself – as well as saving money, it is much more personal.
Buy vintage! My veil, brand new, would have cost over £1500!!



Thanks so very much to Gemma and Joe for sharing their wedding story with us today, swoon!! XOXO Lou

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  • Lovely! Such a visually exciting wedding and great pictures, love the silent movie ones. Congrats! xx

  • WOW, its a year now since the wedding and now i have seen the images again it all come back to me. Joe and Gemma are a really lovely couple and had some lovely family and friends…it was really nice as they had choosen a really grand venue but went a bit more quirky on everything, which worked brilliantly!

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