SPOTTED: Gorgeous Vintage-Style Wedding Dress by Caroline Castigliano

Walking past bridal gown designer Caroline Castigliano‘s Central London store on Berners Street is always an exciting experience.   The dresses in the window always make me stop and stare but, being a lover of vintage bridal designs, I often find her elegant gowns too modern for my tastes. Until today.

The vintage-inspired gown seen below took my breath away. I love lace, sparkle and sleeves and this one has all three (thank you Princess Kate for starting the sleeved trend again!)… Despite the fact that marriage will never be in my future, when I see a dress like this one, I feel a wistful pang (sad and pathetic, I know):

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Caroline Castigliano Bridal Gown - Berners Street Window Display

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Caroline Castigliano Wedding Gown - Vintage Style

The dress was difficult to photograph through a glass window but I’ve blown up sections of the image and added colour effects to try to bring out some of the gown’s intricate, gorgeous detail:

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Caroline Castigliano Gown - Amazing Detail!

The above images don’t do the dress justice but I tried my best! Whichever brides may get to wear this stunning gown are very lucky indeed. Wishing you all a beautiful wedding and a blessed future.

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Antique Engagement Rings

Vintage 1.56 Carat Old European Cut Diamond. Circa 1935.

 

I adore antique and vintage engagement rings – especially if they include diamonds! It’s not just the cushion cut of the rock that makes them sparkle brighter than Angelina Jolie’s teeth, it’s the the incredible style of the actual bands and stone settings that make them stand out from the rest. It’s so boring to see modern rings with their plain bands; I want detail, height, filligree, engraving – you name it, I want to see it! If you’re looking to buy an antique ring, check out this link to the current offerings for sale on Etsy. If I won the lottery I’d scoop the lot, and wear a different one every day for the rest of my life. OTT? Maybe. Obssessed? Definitely. And very proud!

The stunning ring pictured above is on sale through the Erstwhile Jewelry Co. on Etsy. The listing for the ring can be found here. It will set you back $10,000 (so if any UK folks have a spare £6,000 lying around that they don’t know what to do with … Hi! Please buy this ring for me and make a stranger soooo happy.

 

North London Wedding Venue: Vintage Glamour

London’s ethnic minorities have been leading the way in vintage themed weddings for decades, but most of them haven’t even realised it. With a need for venues capable of seating hundreds of guests, London’s Greek, Turkish, Italian and – more recently – Eastern European communities have been flocking to The Regency Banqueting Suite in North London for years:  http://www.regencybanqueting.co.uk/gallery.html

Venues for big numbers are hard to find – especially at a reasonable price. Many Central London hotels have lovely suites on offer, but the cost can start from as much as £60 per guest, for food alone! Some couples turn to local community spaces (church halls, school gyms etc.) but these are usually very plain in their decor and you’re forced to be extra creative with table decorations and other accessories, just to transform the space into a romantic vision.

That’s why The Regency Banqueting Suite is a saving grace in the mid-priced wedding venue sector. As its name suggests, the interior is styled in the oppulence of the Regency period, offering a luxurious, vintage themed backdrop for loved up couples to either tie the knot or celebrate their union.

There’s even a huge drinks reception room for cocktails or champagne ahead of the main party in the banqueting room. Thankfully, the catering is good, too. They even provide a choice of Meditterean appetisers (like tangy humus, delicious salads, refreshing tzatziki), ahead of your actual starter, helping you to provide a four or five course meal at a reasonable price!

Admittedly, the outside of the venue is not much to look at and the limited parking at the rear of the building isn’t perfect but, once you step into their banqueting suite, it immediately fades into insignificance. All you feel is the splendour and glamour you’re suddenly cocooned within. What more could any couple want on their big day?

Vintage Style Wedding Cakes – From Kitsch To Classy!

You all know that I adore anything vintage and bridal themed. I love looking at the different styles of vintage wedding gowns and wedding cakes. The detailing is usually splendid, casting a look at the skills of the old world experts who painstakingly crafted their goods to absolute perfection. Finding modern day versions gives me such joy because I love the thought of the best parts of yesterday being repeated tomorrow; what was great once can always be great again. Amen.

Today, I’ve been admiring the different styles of wedding cakes from two separate companies; Zoe Clark Cakes and Dunn’s Bakery. So many of their creations have caught my attention but here are some of my particular favourites:

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Zoe Clark’s Pink Vintage Lace Cake above is breathtaking. The icing looks intricate and pretty, creating the delicate lace effect which could match many a bridal gown in its simplicity and grace. In contrast, Dunn’s Bakery have the even more vintage looking Cameo Cake below, which could rival any Regency decorated wedding venues for a showstopper award! And if you’re lucky enough to serve your wedding meal on Wedgewood china, this cake is a must for you…

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For a more ‘girlie’ gloriousness, I love the Ivory Ruffle creation below, from Zoe Clark. She gets top marks for evoking my nostalgia for ’50s prom dresses! I desperately want to run my fingers through the ruffles like I would across a frilly prom skirt! Of course, that would completely destroy the stunning visual effect, but I suspect licking the icing from my hands afterwards would more than compensate 😉

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You’ll find yet more Hollywood glamour in Zoe Clark’s Bow & Brooch Cake, which is a favourite coupling amongst cake makers. It’s amazing what a bit of bling and ribbon can do to not only jazz up an iced cake but also give it that ever-beautiful vintage appeal:

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If 1950s ruffles aren’t your thing, and you think brooches are for grandmothers, there’s always the 1970s if you want brighter inspiration. ’70s wedding cakes were famous for their high tiers and colourful accessories – from edible flowers to vibrant ribbons. It may sound kitsch, but these cakes can still look stylish in today’s modern world. All it takes is a little imagination – and it looks like Dunn’s Bakery can probably find a perfect balance of colour and style to suit your tastes. Check out their Rosetrellis design below:

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Not for you? What about the regal looking Dunstan (pictured below) instead? Not as detailed as the Rosetrellis, you still get the impact of the separate tiers and a very eye-catching cake topper…

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If you’re veering back towards more ‘contemporary vintage’, Zoe Clark’s Broderie Lace Cake or Sweet Roses & Dots designs are both definitely worth a look-see:

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Alternatively, if they’re not quite vintage enough for you, but you still want something similar, there’s Dunn Bakery’s Cascade cake (below). With it’s pink roses and pipework icing, it may be the perfect compromise!

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Otherwise, it may be worth speaking to Zoe Clark about a more specific theme. I love what she’s created below – a dress inspired by a wedding gown design! This is her Caroline Castigliano Dress Inspired Cake and it’s beautiful…

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All this cake talk has made me hugry … it’s time to dig a gateau from the freezer or find a nice tea shop for a slice of Victoria Sponge. Yummy!