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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PHOTOS: The Cake & Bake Show 2013 – Part 2

Here are a few more shots of yet more lovely cakes from The Cake & Bake Show at London’s Earl’s Court on Sunday 15th September:

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Time for tea!

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Hungry yet?

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Stylish & Girlie!

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Red & Romantic

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Rosettes!

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Chocolate... Mmmm!

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Ruffle-icious!

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Stairway to heaven...

PHOTOS: The Cake & Bake Show 2013

I saw some cracking cake designs at this year’s Cake & Bake Show at Earl’s Court on Sunday 15th September – great inspiration for your wedding cake!

From vintage to abstract, there was every conceivable design to view. Here are a few photos of my favourites:

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Stained Glass Window Design

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Elegant Yet Modern!

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Vintage Elegance

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Colours & Petals

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Helter Skelter & More!

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All Wrapped Up!

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Feathers!

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Black & White!

Etsy UK Brings A Little Magic To London

This weekend saw Etsy UK’s first ever wedding event in London – an interactive, vintage-themed exhibition for those looking for creative ideas for their big day.

Held at Gallery Soho, the intimate setting boasted two floors of gorgeous fashion, stationery, jewellery, home furnishings and craft workshops. There was something for everyone, from Hollywood-siren oppulence in the form of a show-stopping, sequin-covered, gold, vintage gown to the endearing charm of handmade cushions, adorable wedding cake toppers and button-decorated, pastel-coloured bouquets.

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For vintage lovers like myself, it was an intoxicating way to spend my Saturday morning, putting me in a joyful mood for the rest of the day.

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The downstairs showed off a range of wares from Etsy sellers and there was a free hair consultation and styling session for any girl wanting to see which vintage look would be the most flattering at her pending nuptials. Like a magpie, I found myself drawn to the sparkly antique hair pins and rhinestone combs being used to create the beautiful styles. Art deco hair accessories are definitely the most impressive but, let’s face it, if it gleams and sparkles, you can’t go wrong!

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The upper level of the gallery heaved with gushing future brides eager to try their hands at the craft workshops being offered by Parapluie Events. Armed with a fabulous free cocktail from St-Germain – a light, breezy concoction blending the French liqueur, Prosecco and club soda – I got to try my hand at making clay wedding favours and place settings as well as frilly, paper doily pom-poms to use as hanging decorations. The cackling heard from the photo booth provided by LookLook was testimony to how much fun was being had by all the guests.

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The entire session was a blast and I walked away with not just a renewed love for vintage but also the uplifting sense of accomplishment; showing my creations to family and friends triggered a gush of compliments and admiration. Not bad for a mere £5 entry fee!

Parapluie Events are definitely worth booking for hen-dos and parties – get all your bridesmaids to help craft your wedding favours and you’re not only quids-in, you’ve also managed to involve your nearest and dearest to help create the most special day of your life!

Hopefully, Etsy UK will repeat the event next year, perhaps with a few tweaks to help drive more revenue sales. That said, everyone at the event received a fantastic goody bag – which included a special code for 15% off buys on Etsy. Given the wonderful stuff we saw on display, I imagine many will go on to use the generous discount. Etsy UK deserves to do well from this first foray into events – it was awesome fun and the quality of handmade and vintage goods on display were genuinely breathtaking.

To see more pictures and news from the event, social media users can search for #etsywed on Twitter or check out the Facebook page for EtsyUK.

More Bridal Shoes In TK Maxx

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I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again… Don’t spend full whack on bridal shoes you’ll only wear once when you can snap up a perfectly gorgeous pair from designer discount haven TK Maxx. Check out the gorgeous strappy heels from designer Pedro Garcia that have now arrived in store, featuring a sparkling diamante ring (pictured above right). These ivory heels are simply stunning – classy, understated and timeless glamour. Also in store are a luxuriously good-looking pair of gold stilleto heels from Dune (pictured above left). Embellished with golden rhinestones around the back, this stunning pair of shoes would be perfect for modern brides seeking heels that they can wear again and again. Perfect party wear, you can christen them at your wedding before rolling them out again for your work’s Christmas party!

Wedding Cakes of The Vintage Variety

Rosalind Miller certainly knows how to create a show-stopping cake; you’ll regularly find one of her designs gracing the pages of a magazine or showcased on a TV show. Her creativity and vision seem to know no bounds, using icing and sponge to create not just beautiful cakes but genuine works of art. My favourites are, as ever, the styles which draw upon the best of the past to create something current in the present. Nothing beats a vintage inspired wedding cake. I’m biased, of course, but it’s plainly obvious. Just look at the creations below and then you tell me… am I wrong?

Vintage Lace wedding cake designs by Rosalind Miller

Fairytale Wedding Cake by Rosalind Miller

Tiaras For A Queen!

In honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I couldn’t resist shining a spotlight on one of the most girliest, yet regal, of hair accessories; the tiara. Any bride planning a vintage themed wedding should give serious thought to adding an opulent antique tiara to her get-up. After all, your wedding is effectively the time when you become Queen for a day; all eyes are on you, you’re the centre of attention and the focus of all your subjects (ok, we’ll go back to calling them ‘guests’ but you have to admit, the thought of them becoming your subjects for the day definitely enthralls…).

For the truly extravagant, check out Etsy for jewelled tiaras dating as far back as the 1800s. They’re not cheap, but they’re certainly breathtaking – and you’d easily check off the ‘old’ or even ‘something blue’ from your list of wedding day traditions.

The crown tiara below – yep, it’s actually called a ‘crown’ – is a French brass and gilt creation from the late 1800s. At £552.06, it’s a tad pricey, but a far better investment than a pair of designer shoes or a dress you’ll only wear once:

If that’s too colourful – and you don’t mind breaking the bank – the superb tiara below costs over £4,000. It’s a rare French crown (there’s that delicious word again) boasting an ornate, filigree design with mercury glass balls nestled in beautifully crafted flower petals. It’s more than an investment – it’s a bonafide work of art. Originally found in an ancient church, it would have once graced the head of a Madonna or Saint – and for a high price, it could adorn your very own temple. The seller states that it’s in pristine condition, but in case you still have doubts, you’ll be reassured to know that this crown was featured on a recent TV show in the USA, where experts confirmed the hefty valuation – it truly is worth every penny:

If your budget won’t stretch to an actual antique crown, dump your future hubby for a richer prospect. Kidding! All is not lost… you don’t need bags of money to look like a Queen on your big day. The 1930s were big on sparkly hair combs; rhinestone designs that sparkle like diamonds under the light. Ebay, Etsy and charity shops are great places to pick up some of these wonderful alternatives – I own several for the sheer beauty of them, not even for a wedding day! Here’s one currently on Etsy, which looks like a mini-tiara, priced for under £65:

It’s eye-poppingly pretty and would look beautiful nestled in front of a simple hair bun or any bridal hair style with some height. It’s definitely time to channel your inner Royalty and wear your tiara with pride; you are the Queen of the ball on your big day – and don’t you dare let anyone forget it!

Scrumptious & Sophisticated Wedding Cakes!

If it includes sponge and buttercream I’m usually a fan. I love cakes. Chocolate cakes, plain cakes, layer cakes, slab cakes… you name it, I can pretty much eat it in record time. When it comes to wedding cakes though, it’s absolutely shocking how many of them can both look and taste awful. On the one day in your life where you want everyone to ask for seconds, there’s nothing more embarrassing than serving a below average wedding cake.

Visually, I prefer a tower of stacked layer cakes. Individual cupcakes are cute, but you can get those at a bake sale. They’re just not special enough. At a wedding, I expect to see a pillar of beauty… literally. It has to be something that could rival an ancient Greek-built pillar in Zeus’ temple. I want beauty, height, glamour, detail and a moment where I am compelled to suck in my breath and say “Wow! Just look at that cake!”.

As a lover of antique and vintage styles, the retro look is more to my taste. Iced pipework, rosettes, lace strips and anything else that looks straight out of my grandmother’s era is a must. Those dames had style. And a lot of elegance. If it was good enough for them then it’s good enough for me. Now, there’s no need to go overboard; there are ‘modern vintage’ styles that you can choose from so you don’t need to go for the ceramic cake-toppers or edible paper flowers that your Nana may have selected for her big day. Your cake can have all the best of yesteryear with all today’s chic.

Check out The Abigail Bloom Cake Company in London for a selection of gorgeous wedding cakes. My favourites include the yummy looking ‘Tabitha’ below, which is classy and simple:

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I also adore the ‘Camille’ cake pictured below. The flower detail is wonderful and it looks so graceful…

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I’m also quite taken with this delicious looking tower:

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Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the above style is called (you’ll need to contact Abigail Bloom) but it looks divine!

You’ll be pleased to discover that Abigail Bloom’s cakes are available in a range of flavours, including chocolate, vanilla, banana, carrot and red velvet. For the full list of sponge and buttercream combinations on offer, please read through their cake menu.

Hopefully, this blog will inspire you to think not of the future but of the past. Cakes with vintage chic are something we can all enjoy… at any time, in any era.