Abigail’s Vintage Bridal Christmas window 2016

We are delighted to unveil our window for Christmas 2016.

Huge thanks to What Katie Did  for the loan of luxury vintage style lingerie and to Miss L Fire for simply fabulous shoes.

You can vote for our window as part of Oakham in Bloom’s Christmas window competition here:

2016 Christmas Window Voting Form

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Kat in late 1950s/early 1960s Jean Allen strapless dress

Kat fell in love with his dress that we then leveled to Ballerina length. It is a tricky dress to date as Jean Allen worked over quite a long period, but the styling clues lead to late 1950s or just possibly into the early 1960s. Kat sourced her bolero from The Couture Company, her hair piece from Fur Coat and No Knickers and all photography by Nick Archer Photography. Hair and make up by Lulu’s Vintage Beauty Parlour, flowers by Jim Shaw at the Reuben Shaw Garden Centre and those red shoes from Phase 8.

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Amazing Victorian lace

Daniella wore this extraordinary Victorian lace dress that had been re-modeled in the 1930s. The elegant butterfly sleeve was set off by a bespoke silk slip from Abigail’s Vintage Bridal.

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Fabulous 50s with Abigail’s Vintage Bridal accessories

Rebecca wore this Fabulous 1950s gown with it’s portrait neckline and bracelet length sleeves with the most brilliant blue shoes. The fur and hair piece with pearls and crystals are both from Abigail’s Vintage Bridal too. We think she looked super!

Photography by Jaye at Tux And Tales Photo

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Guest Blog Post: A Country Wedding

When one of our recent brides offered to write up her own wedding I obviously jumped at the chance (especially as it has owls in it!). Maddy had a beautiful wedding and writes wonderfully as well, so I shall hand you over to her:

A Country Wedding

Last summer, I went to the wedding of two of my very good childhood friends. The dress had been kept a secret – the only thing I knew about it beforehand was that my friend had found it during a rather last-minute but successful trip to Abigail’s Vintage Bridal. When it was revealed on the day, it could have been made for her; it fit like a dream and she was obviously so comfortable in it that she was able to relax and be a serene, happy bride.
So when it came to finding my own wedding dress a few months later, Abigail was my first port of call. Originally I thought I wanted a short dress, as ours wasn’t going to be a traditional formal wedding – the ceremony was held in Norwich registry office (which moved to Norwich Castle shortly before our wedding, so ended up being a rather grand setting!), with the reception in a marquee in my parents’ rural North Norfolk garden.
In the end, though – and following a fascinating series of beautiful dresses brought to life by Abigail’s knowledge of their place in sartorial history and her ability to suggest just the right alterations – my eye was caught by a rather ethereal Edwardian lace number with the most beautiful three-dimensional flowers. It required a floor-length slip to make it decent, as the lace was sheer, and a fair bit of imagination to realise its potential but my interest was definitely piqued.
Now, cream – or ivory or champagne – makes me look a bit ill. The stunning handmade lace on this Edwardian dress was in two parts: the skirt was cotton lace, and had stayed pretty white over the intervening century; the silk lace that made up the body and arms, though, had become a ‘biscuity’ colour. Abigail did a great job of lightening this without damaging the fabric but the colour of the silk slip was also very important – I wanted something that would make the lace felt fresh and bright. We settled on a very pale duck egg greeny-blue with a peacock blue sash. Abigail also shortened and slimmed-down the sleeves, to show off the pattern in the lace, and neatened the waist, appliqueing lace onto it from the sleeve off-cuts with amazing attention to detail.

It’s worth mentioning here that, in total, I must have tried on 60 dresses in at least 5 places during the hunt for my wedding dress. I ended up being torn between two but Abigail’s dress won because of its history and ethics: it had already been loved by other ladies (rather than being manufactured in and shipped from China just for me) and would be adjusted by a craftsperson who was passionate, creative and highly skilled.
While Abigail got to work, I had to imagine the end result while I picked my shoes. I wanted something both pretty and practical (it was a British summer wedding, after all, with the risk of getting a heel stuck in the soggy lawn!) I considered getting a pair of dancing shoes, but was worried about ending up with an outfit that felt a bit like Downton Abbey fancy dress. In the end, during the hunt for shoes for my sister (my only bridesmaid), I came across some beautiful beaded Indian wedding slippers. Abigail had told me about the Edwardians’ taste for exotic fashions, so this seemed to fit well without being slavishly accurate.
They ended up being really comfortable and I’m so glad they were flat – no back ache, sore feet or towering too much over guests (at 5’9”, I’m tall enough without heels). I’ve actually worn these shoes to breaking point now, so have consigned them, full of holes, to the loft with the other wedding mementos.
My sister came with me to collect the dress, which was the first time I’d seen it in its glorious finished state. I was thrilled that it had all come together so well – and that it was so comfortable to wear. I was also grateful that my sister received instructions on how to dress me, as there were several ingenious hidden poppers and hooks and eyes to keep it all elegantly in place!
On the day itself, I got a huge number of compliments on my dress – one guest even told me it was the most beautiful wedding dress she’d ever seen (and I don’t think she was just saying it…) Our wedding was fantastic and a lot of fun. Being comfortable and confident in my dress was definitely part of that; it was a joy to wear and I treasure it. I’m already looking for an excuse to put it on again – would it be too much for Christmas?

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Suppliers – we were lucky enough to have very helpful and friendly suppliers, all of whom we’d recommend:
Hairdressing: Sarah at Alston & Brown (07771 822930)
Photography: Faye Amare photography (www.fayeamare.co.uk/cmwedding)
Catering:
-Weston’s of Blakeney for the fish (westonsofblakeney.co.uk/)
-Bread from Breadsource (www.bread-source.com)
-Cheese from West Country Cheese (www.westcountrycheese.co.uk)
-Meat from Papworth’s (www.papworthbutchers.co.uk)
-The wonderful Tracy Hindry for everything else
Marquee: Wedding Marquee Company (www.weddingmarqueecompany.co.uk)
Flowers: Tessa Papworth (www.facebook.com/tessa.papworth)
Crockery hire etc.: White China (www.white-china.co.uk)
Magician: Mark Daynes (www.markdaynesmagician.co.uk)
Bridesmaid dress: Bombshell (www.bombshellhq.com)
Bride’s shoes: Unze (www.unze.co.uk)

1912 “Titanic” Edwardian lace vintage wedding dress

Lizzie wanted a dress that was both fabulous, easy to wear and be relaxed in. This extraordinary dress from about 1912 (what our American cousins like to refer to as the “Titanic” era) perfectly fitted the bill.

This exotic and bold Oriental style blend of Guipure lace and silk brocade skirt was incredibly fashionable about the turn of the last Century. We highlighted the lace by the removal of the lining of the sleeves and then slightly slimming them down. We also sympathetically neatened the silhouette though the bodice.

All photographs courtesy of Jack at Firsthand Photography

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Hairdressing by Vicki at VM Hairdressing vmhairdressing.co.uk

Flowers by family friend Emma Walters and Pete’s Granny

Venue Arkwright Rooms at Nottingham Conference Centre arkwright-rooms

Belle Époque vintage wedding dress

Pictures (courtesy of Alexander Leaman Photography)  from this wonderful wedding have recently arrived and it is great to able to share them with you. One of the earliest dresses we have ever had in the collection, Charlotte got married in this dress from c.1895.
1895 Belle Epoque vintage wedding dress
Every now and again we find a dress that really stops us in our tracks. This extraordinary dress certainly did that. We have narrowed it down to 1895, which is an educated guess in reality, but we are confident that it is from no more than 2 years either side, a real Belle Époque era dress.
Fabric more than 100 years old can be in poor condition, those dresses that were truly loved and cared for though can turn up in amazingly good order; this dress was obviously cherished. The Duchess Satin and corded cut work over the Swiss Dot Tulle were supple, flowing and crisply defined even when we first saw it. Restoration required was minimal.
1895 Belle Epoque vintage wedding dress
The dress did need a little sympathetic remodeling however as the original wearer would have been tightly corseted for a quite extreme hour glass shape. Although this would have been perfectly possible to do, it is not to all tastes and Charlotte wanted to feel less restricted. You can see from the pictures taken of the dress on the stand prior to alteration and later of it being worn that we managed to achieve this without altering the intrinsic nature of the dress.
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Dress – Abigail’s Vintage Bridal
Photography – Alexander Leaman Photography www.alexanderleaman.com
Venue – Loseley Park www.loseleypark.co.uk
Hair & Makeup – Catherine Bailey www.catherinebaileymakeupartist.co.uk

Very special summer Surrey vintage wedding

We do actually go to the occasional wedding as well as just dressing the bride. Last summer we went to a very special one as my Brother In Law, Matt’s brother Adam, married the lovely Jo (www.jojocooperphotography.co.uk) in their garden in Surrey.

I didn’t expect to supply the dress, but Adam and Jo were visiting us in late 2014 and we ended up having a bit of informal dress consultation/afternoon of dressing up and she fell in love with a dress: a 1950s Chantilly lace.

The wedding day itself was amazing. There was so much goodwill and work that had gone on behind the scenes in the weeks running u to the big day that it all went perfectly. From home-made plum brandy in little bottles, cake for afternoon tea made by relatives, gardeners from Adam’s landscaping company (www.earthscapesltd.co.uk) making the outside look beautiful, to buckets and buckets of salad in the trailer fridge!

Hannah from Lifeline photography (www.lifelinephotography.co.uk) was on hand all day, all the following images are hers. We see a lot of wedding photography and we rate her highly.

The bridesmaids (both sets of family’s daughters) had dresses from Dig For Victory in Brighton (www.digforvictoryclothing.com) who also altered them to fit.

The amazing marquee, and the portable loos come to that! were from Carron Marquees (www.carronmarquees.co.uk) and the pig was smoked by Spring Bok BBQ (www.springbokbbq.co.uk).

On the day Jo was in the capable hands of Caroline Hart for her hair, with underpinnings by the ever reliable What Katie Did (www.whatkatiedid.com).

Adam and Matt both wore suits from David Saxby (www.davidsaxby.co.uk) and the dress code for the boys was as tweedy as they liked, despite it being July!

The wine was supplied by our local favourites the Bat and Bottle (www.batwine.uk), and the beer for the Petticoat and Tash bar came from the Tillingbourne Brewery (www.tillybeer.co.uk) with e cheese tower from The Cheese Shed (www.thecheeseshed.com).

Before the band struck up, The Blackfish Duo (www.blackfishduo.com), the marquee got invade by the East Surrey Morris Men (www.esmm.org.uk) which really got the party started.

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The first drink, in their own bar, all the way at the other end of the aisle!Summer vintage wedding
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Dress – Abigail’s Vintage Bridal
Photography – Lifeline Photography
Bridesmaids dresses – Dig For Victory
Suits – David Saxby
Wine – Bat & Bottle
Beer – Tillingbourne Bewery
Marquee – Carron Marquees
Smoked Pig – Spring Bok BBQ
Cheese – The Cheese Shed
Morris Dancers – East Surrey Morris Men
Band – The Blackfish Duo
Lingerie – What Katie Did

1930s Gold Satin Dream Team Wedding

Lizzie and Richard put together what amounts to the Dream Team from an Abigail’s Vintage Bridal point of view, using all of the suppliers recommended in our Black Book and a few more (that we rate highly) for good measure!
Lizzie wore 1930s Gold Satin (and an original vintage Japanese kimono) and they married in the centre of Leicester. Claire Shell of Pincurls and Pompadours was on hand for hair and make-up. Elli Dean was photographer. Shoes were Balboa from Remix Vintage via Retro Revival and What Katie Did supplied the underpinnings.
Elli supplied nearly 400 photos, so choosing a few to illustrate the day was a bit daunting; we did find one of Claire being DJ though.

The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal The Guildhall and Case restaurant in Leicester Hair and Make up Pin Curls and Pompadous Dress by Abigail Vintage Bridal

Vintage Wedding shoot in the Summer

We were asked to lend a vintage wedding dress to the team up at Peak Tipis over the Summer (Summer?!) for a shoot they were organising to promote their rather wonderful tipis. The images have turned up all over the place, which is rather nice.

vintage wedding dress on a vespa with a tipi

1950s vintage wedding dress

The original shoot is here: peaktipis.co.uk/spring-upcycled-styled-tipi-shoot

Also Featured on Rock n Roll Bride here: www.rocknrollbride.com/2015/09/upcycled-abstract-and-colourful-wedding-shoot

And on Mr & Mrs Unique here: www.mrandmrsuniqueweddingblog.co.uk/peaktipis-up-cycled-candy-tipi-wedding-shoot

If you have any comments or queries please do get in touch. Our collection of 1950s wedding dresses is quite large and we may have just the thing for you! If you are organising a shoot and would like to discuss the possibility of borrowing a dress from us please direct enquiries to office@abigailsvintagebridal.co.uk