Brighton Vintage Wedding Fair

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. This checklist is a “must” for many brides-to-be, and for me, the trickiest one to nail down was the “something blue”.  I ultimately scrapped this checklist in the end, opting for a simple beach wedding sans something blue. Though I suppose you could count the Hawaiian sky for that one.

The Corn Exchange is a Grade I listed building in Brighton.

The Corn Exchange is a Grade I listed building in Brighton.

The brides wanting to stick with the old brief were able to nail down the “something old” portion at the Brighton Vintage Wedding Fair on the South coast of England last weekend. The fair was held at the Corn Exchange, a beautiful Grade I listed venue that is part of the majestic Royal Pavilion Estate, completed for the Prince Regent in 1805. Though I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, the show had everything I could have hoped for:  beautiful vintage wedding dresses, sugary pastel cupcakes and floral arrangements with names like “The Gatsby” or “The Dolly”. The unexpected gem came in the form of a Voodoo-inspired games booth, which elicited an exciting and slightly darker feel.

Ultimately, the devil’s in the details – especially when it comes to weddings – so here are my favourite picks from the fair:

Display booth from Big Bead Boutique

Display booth from Big Bead Boutique

Big Bead Boutique

This Brighton-based shop displayed a wonderful booth with all kinds of handmade hair clips and headpieces. Though the traditional veil regularly makes an appearance on most wedding days, many brides opt to forego the veil (myself included). This shop’s accessories provide a plethora of unique options to decorate your noggin when you say your vows.

Zenzero performer

Zenzero performer

Zenzero Events

Of all the booths I visited, this one reached out and grabbed me (literally) the most. Zenzero, founded by performance artist Hannah Auden-Gandolfo, will cater to all of your vintage wedding performance wishes. They pride themselves on being able to tailor-make an experience, depending on your tastes. Some of the themes in their box of tricks include: Alice in Wonderland, Venetian Masquerade, Hollywood Red Carpet or The Underworld. If you fancy something interactive and memorable, this company will cater to your imagination.


The Tea Set

The Tea Set booth

The Tea Set booth

Even if the bride has starved herself to fit into her gorgeous vintage wedding gown, eventually a girl’s gotta eat! This company provides a range of services including styling, china hire, cake creation and even ice-cream bike hire. The booth at the fair was presented in a classic British picnic style, complete with bunting. All of the food is homemade and extends beyond the lovely Victoria sponge and carrot cakes I saw at the Corn Exchange. The company can also provide dainty sandwiches, salads, puddings and even hog roasts. (£20 to any bride who can maintain an air of glamour while feasting on hog!)

The fair provided a lovely view into all the options a vintage-inspired bride can discover. But, dear reader, this blog is not intended to simply promote local businesses, so I shall leave you with a few quirky wedding tradition facts that aren’t so widely known:

1) Peruvian Cake Pull

Rather than fighting to catch the bouquet, single female guests at some weddings in Peru participate in the cake pull. For this tradition, each single woman grabs a charm connected to ribbons baked into the cake. One ribbon contains a fake wedding ring, and the woman who wins the ring will supposedly marry next.

2) White Dress

This wedding fashion staple hasn’t always been the norm for brides in Western cultures. Most brides wore coloured dresses to express their joy and excitement about their wedding day. After Queen Victoria wore white on her wedding day in 1840, the Western world jumped on the white wedding bandwagon, and these dresses are still most widely chosen by brides today.

3)  Bridesmaids’ Dresses

It would be an absolute faux pas these days if bridesmaids were to wear the same dress as the bride. But in the past, the friends of the bride wore identical dresses in order to confuse evil spirits trying to trample on her happiness. What’s more, it was a good way to confuse other suitors who may want to abduct the bride on her wedding day.

4) Honeymoon

I’ve often wondered about this term. Apparently long ago when marriages were a result of being captured rather than choosing a partner, the man would kidnap his bride and take her to a secret place to hide out. During this time, the couple would stay low for about a month – while the moon went through all of its phases – during which the couple would drink a concoction made from honey.

5) Luck

One wedding tradition that some brides still incorporate today involves carrying a horseshoe down the aisle. If she carries the horseshoe upside down, she’ll collect good luck and happiness as she walks past her guests. If carried the other way around, all her luck will spill out! Since my husband has roots in New Zealand, I decided to incorporate this tradition. One year later, I still feel very lucky!



One Response to “Brighton Vintage Wedding Fair”
  1. Sacramenta says:

    Some very quirky traditions indeed. The two that stood out most were the Peruvian ring pull (far less of a bloodbath than the catching of the bouquet) and the bridesmaids dresses. These days I don’t think anyone would even consider a matching dress to the bride.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: