Researching vintage wedding accessories allows one to get lost in beautiful fabrics, scroll estate jewelry pages and reimagine a wedding day straight out of rosy prewar Downton Abbey days.
A vintage wedding doesn’t have to mean old-school – it should involve a few select pieces that make all the difference in establishing a romantic and soft mood.
Three trends in vintage wedding accessories are hot right now.
Fabric flower bouquets have been around for centuries. They were used when flowers were scarce or when the empress wanted something completely new. Any fabric is acceptable, as long as you can manipulate it – satin, tulle, lace and brightly colored ribbons available at fabric stores.
The best part of a fabric bouquet is that you can also include vintage heirlooms from your family. Add a brooch passed on from a grandmother, pearls from an aunt or even photographs sewn onto the handle of the bouquet.
The secret to a gorgeous flower bouquet is infinite patience. A plethora of YouTube videos teach the step-by-step process. Try “How to Make Ribbon Rose Tutorial #1” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=53sVo-K6peg&feature=related).
For the impatient, Etsy.com is your best friend. A simple search yields hundreds of results, and many of the vendors are willing to work with you to make your fabric bouquet perfect.
Nothing says “This is my day” like being able to wear any headpiece you want and have everyone praise your beauty. Brides, express yourselves! The beauty of headpieces is that there is no correct answer. You can do flowers or a small pearl tiara, but remember one thing: Don’t overdo it. Your headpiece is like the dots on a peacock’s feather – a finishing touch.
Particularly interesting right now are flower pieces, because they can reflect the colors of the bridal party, the groom’s tie or a favorite flower. Use them as light touches, or go all out and make a statement.
Forever classic are the simple clip-on pieces you can reuse for a garden party or other weddings you attend. Twigs & Honey (www.twigsandhoney.com) offers a variety of headpieces that are simple yet sophisticated.
If you mention estate jewelry to your man, his eyes may pop and dollar signs may appear. Calm your honey down and assure him that “estate” doesn’t always mean expensive, just rare. Estate jewelry is making a serious comeback because it’s timeless, but also each piece is unique and not prefabricated in the back of Tiffany & Co.
If your budget is flexible, a favorite is Dianne’s Estate Jewellery, 2181 Union St. in San Francisco (shopdej.com), which specializes in Victorian, Edwardian, retro and art deco pieces. It’s the ideal spot to find that pair of earrings that will match your satin bouquet – and that you’ll surely wear again.
If your budget is a little more on the restrained side, you can never go wrong reproducing a piece you really like. Bring a few pictures to your favorite local jeweler and ask what they can do for you. Chances are you’ll walk away with a piece that’s uniquely yours that you will love for many years.
Just remember brides, you are your own snowflake, and all these accessories are only a drop in the bucket compared to your glowing inner happiness. Go forth and shop!
Florina X. Grosskurth lives and works in Mountain View. You can follow her on twitter @flojee.