Why Wedding Couples Should Choose a Vintage Theme! (From a Wedding Photographer’s Point of View)

I don’t normally wax lyrical about weddings, but both my wife and I were wowed by our experience of photographing Ant and Charlie’s 1950’s vintage themed wedding back in June 2010. It was kind of an epiphany for us, and an experience that I would like to share with couples looking for a theme for their wedding. We had both covered many different weddings themes, but the vintage 1950’s theme really resonated with us. This was not only because of the understated but beautiful 50’s dress, but also the little details that really made the day special-these included 1950’s peep toe shoes, a stylish hair net, pearl necklaces and earrings, right through to the flowers, favours and even a Jukebox! The jukebox was a wonderful touch and a great alternative to a DJ or live band. It was wonderful to see guests going up to the jukebox and punching in their song selections. Elvis also made one or two appearances too!

The overall effect of the day was a wedding that felt homely, elegant and romantic all at once. It also helped that the setting for the wedding was Charlie’s childhood home, in Kent, the Garden of England. There is something very magical about a couple sharing their wedding vows at a family home, as it adds a whole layer of extra meaning to the day.

We did our homework by studying literally hundreds of portrait photographs from the 1950’s depicting legends from the era, including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly. The key features that are common to this style of photography is dramatic yet flattering lighting (often employing beauty dishes), and an emphasis on beauty, fantasy and romance. There is something about the photographs from this era that encapsulate the grace and elegance of the times. Its perhaps these qualities that brides currently find so appealing about the theme.

As a pro wedding photographer I hereby implore more couples to consider a vintage theme for their wedding- From a photographer’s point of view this kind of theme really fires our imaginations to come up with images that are creative, elegant and full of romance. Just look through the internet for 1940’s and 50’s portraits and you’ll see an array of inspiring and dramatic images. Not only are you sure to get a beautiful collection of wedding photos, you will also have a wedding that your friends and family will remember for years to come.

Creating a Vintage British Wedding Theme

Weddings are becoming more patriotic, combining British wartime patriotism and values with the vintage, minimalist look of past years. Customizing a patriotic vintage is all in the details, down to the vintage wedding invitations that clue guests into what kind of event it will be.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate a patriotic theme into the wedding is to incorporate the Union Jack flag. Have elements of blue and red in the vintage wedding invite and put a flag in the corner of the invite. To carry a vintage wartime theme, print the invitations on special paper that looks rustic and simple. Add twine for more of a vintage effect.

There should be hints of red, white, and blue all over the wedding. It does not have to be outlandish patriotic, after all this is your day, but hints of these Union Jack colours with balloons, paper decor, and table centrepieces is a lovely and subtle way to pull off this theme without going overboard. Bridesmaids can even represent all or one of the Union Jack colours.

The centrepieces for the table is another great way to incorporate a vintage theme. Mason jars used to be used for canning fruit and other food, but have made a comeback as a vintage chic element to home décor and weddings. Use mason jars to hold wildflowers that look handpicked. The jars can be painted the Union Jack colours as well.

Wartime details are perfect for the patriotic vintage look. Besides the mason jars, you can add empty SPAM tins and mustard jars on different tables or on the floor to hold other kinds of unique decor. Invitations can also reflect the wartime theme by having the couple’s names within the phrase “NEED YOU!” Couples could also incorporate the keep calm and carry on slogan.

Incorporate décor with a truly vintage look and feel to further the theme. Have chalkboards everywhere, or write on weathered plank boards with chalk. Have signs and old romantic slogans posted everywhere.

To incorporate a British and vintage sense, use a British designer who specializes in vintage wear. Since it is designed and made in the UK, it can be worn with pride to match the wedding. Emulate the look of Kate Middleton, whose dress is the perfect representation of this theme.

There are many beautiful venues in the UK to have your wedding, but couples need to choose one that matches the vintage theme. A country manor is a beautiful and vintage place to have a ceremony and reception. Castle venues provide a very old wedding look, bringing back memories of centuries old Kings and Queens.

There are many National Trust properties that are available for weddings and will fit the vintage bill perfectly. If having the wedding in the capital, then there are options such as The Dorchester or the Tower Bridge that provide unique and truly British options.

Instead of having a cocktail hour, have a tea hour. Drinking tea is quintessential to being British and goes well with the theme. Provide guests with small portions of cake biscuits that are similar to those served in the past. Decorate with traditional bunting to make the tea time vintage look complete.

Britain is known for its spectacular rock bands. Hire a tribute band that plays the music and dresses the part of some of the best musicians in the history of music. Choose a band that emulates The Beatles, The Police, Queen, or Oasis. To stick with a wartime theme, hire a band that plays music from the 1940s in Frank Sinatra garb. This can be combined with a British themed photo booth.

Tips for Brides Choosing a Wedding Photographer

In this article we take a look at some steps to undertake when choosing a professional wedding photographer. This can be used as a guide for brides to help you understand wedding photography and what to expect from a wedding photography package.

1. Your budget

They say on average you should spend 10% of your wedding budget on a wedding photography package. By now you should have an understanding of what you are able to spend on your entire wedding. From this you are able to work out how much you can spend on your photographer. While this is no hard and fast rule its certainly a starting point. Photographs will last a lifetime and provide you with memories for ever, so do not be tempted to skimp on the photograph budget.

2. Select a professional wedding photographer

Don’t be tempted to book a cheap wedding photographer. They are cheap for a reason! Always book a professional and don’t be tempted either to let your “uncle bob” who has a “good” camera shoot your wedding! Whilst you may have friends or family that produce excellent quality photographs of cars, children or landscapes; shooting a wedding is entirely different and the pressures involved in producing a high quality set of 500 + wedding photos can be quite intense if he or she has never managed a wedding party or controlled wedding guests before. Weddings during the dark afternoons of winter or when it rains require professionals that know how to still produce a consistent high quality photos despite the weather conditions! Ask yourself if your friend or uncle bob could do this?

3. Select your style of wedding photography

Ask yourself if you would like a traditional wedding photography package with formal portraits or a more relaxed candid approach. While the candid or reportage style is probably the most popular at the moment please be aware that some wedding photographers will just do this all day long and not take any group photographs at all. You will need to select what is right for you of course, so if you do want a few groups done you will need to find one that does a good mix of traditional and candid photos throughout the day. The same goes for the way the photos are edited, ask yourself whether you prefer the vintage look to your photos or do you prefer photos to look as they are supposed to look. Some photographers offer a range of options on your photos in the way they are edited; giving you not just colour but black and white; sepia or any other vintage filters on your key shots throughout the day. While other wedding photographers may just give you a vintage look on every photo. You will need to decide what you prefer.

4. Search for your wedding photographer

By now you should have a good idea of what you are prepared to spend and the style of photography you like. Now its time to select three of your favourites from the many websites or wedding fayres you may have visited. Please understand that most professional wedding photographers will be happy to make an appointment with you one evening and come and see you for a chat to show you more of their work. This will allow you to meet them in person which is an important part of the selection. You may see some fantastic wedding photos on a website but does their personality match what you’d like from your wedding photographer?! You will be working with this person through the most important day of your life so its equally important to have someone you and your family are happy to be around. They should be friendly, easy to get a long with and deal with as well as being a great and professional photographer.

5. Questions to ask

Ask to view a full set of wedding photos from a wedding day, most wedding photographers will be happy to show you a full set of photos, possibly even from your venue if they have worked there before. Ask about insurance; a professional will have public liability insurance as well as being insured to provide emergency cover your wedding if he or she were to fall ill or have an accident the day before your wedding.

Find out if your wedding photographer will allow you to keep all the edited photos from the day on a disc or memory stick to re print as you wish without any copyright or watermarks. Some wedding photographers will allow you to do so, some still only allow a select few to be printed. Again this may be reflected in the price of the package so choose which method bet suits you.

By now you should have an idea of who you would like to be your wedding photographer. Remember its not just about the quality of the photos! Personality, price and the all round package of what you get all play its part. Take all this into consideration and you should have your answer.