Wedding Inspiration From the 1970s

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The Marriage Book: A Must-Read

One of the best books I can recommend for all of you about-to-be wed couples is The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen Adler (Simon & Schuster, $35).
This 514-page tome, filled with fascinating comments, observations and advice about married life, will keep you thoroughly engaged. The authors have done extensive research and cite historians, politicians, philosophers, playwrights, celebrities and more on the state of matrimony. There are references to TV shows, movies and plays. Love letters from the famous and not-so famous are included, as well as beautiful illustrations and photographs. The chapters include categories such as Children, Fidelity, Friendship, Jealousy, Passion, Secrets and Sickness and Health. It is, in turn, enlightening, humorous and incredibly moving (read "A Miner’s Wife Letter, 1914," written after a mining accident in Whitehaven, England, page 96).
According to the authors — married since 1988 and “planning to stay that way” — one of the most important things they learned about marriage is, as stated by Lisa Grunwald, that “couples have faced so many of the same issues through time — fidelity, honesty, independence, fights, in-laws, keeping passion alive, or letting it go.” And, as Stephen Adler notes, “We also saw that marriages don’t fare well as love affairs when they become too routine, domesticated, comfortable…couples need to bring freshness, distance, even wildness to their relationships in order to remain lovers as well as friends.” But above all, the authors say, there has to be respect. “Marriage is a long conversation,” says Lisa. “And you have to be prepared to talk to one another for the rest of your life.”
One of my favorite sections is a 1939 “Marital Rating Scale” for husbands and wives listing “50 Demerits” and “50 Merits” for each. Check out some of the demerits for a wife. You’ll be grateful that you’re a 21st-century bride!
  • Fails to sew on buttons or darn socks regularly.
  • Wears red nail polish.
  • Squeezes toothpaste at the top.
  • Eats onions, radishes or garlic before a date or going to bed.
  • Is more than 15 pounds overweight.
  • Shoulder straps hang over arms or slip is uneven and shows.
  • Wears pajamas instead of nightgown.
  • Visits mother too often — a spoiled child.
  • Insists on driving the car when husband is along
  • Walks around the house in stocking feet.
(Well, I think I’ve earned just about every one of these demerits!)
Treat yourself to this fabulous new book and give The Marriage Book to friends or family members. It’s a keeper! Available at book stores nationwide and


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You may want to let people in on your engagement as soon as the ring is slipped on your finger. Or you might want to keep the moment private a bit longer. However you share the information, even if you veer from tradition, you should tell your parents first, then other family and friends. You'll make phone calls, of course, but you can also send email or a letter or use a service like pingg to send an announcement. You could even throw a party.  

  Photography: Johnny Miller

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Once the word is out, expect lots of questions, including "When are you getting married?" Reveal a date if you have one, or let curious friends know plans are in the works -- as they should be, especially if you want to hold your wedding at a popular time of year, such as June or over a holiday. Locations, photographers, caterers, and other professionals book up early, sometimes a year in advance.

Photography: Courtesy of Delphine Press

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Envision the type of wedding you both want -- maybe it's the event of childhood dreams or one that reflects your grown-up tastes. Even if you are set on a formal event in a ballroom, considering other possibilities, such as a seaside ceremony or a Sunday brunch, may change your mind or reinforce your choice. The same holds true for selecting the time of day and mood of the wedding.

 Photography: Lisa Lefkowitz

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Prior to making any decisions about the style, location, etc., figure out what you have to spend and whether your families will contribute. Make sure you and your fiance are in agreement about your priorities before talking to your parents about budget and logistics.

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As soon as people find out about your impending nuptials, presents will likely start flowing in. It's never too early to register, not only to help ensure you get something you like and need, but also to make it easier on friends and family who are pondering what to purchase. Even if you don't select everything right away, at least go to one store and decide on some things for your list. Try to limit your registry to three places. This way, it'll be easier to manage. And, in case you don't get everything you put down, many stores will keep your registry active for as long as a few years.

Photography: Bryan Gardner

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Make sure you talk to an insurance agent about coverage in case your ring or its stones ever need to be repaired or replaced. First, get an appraisal by a certified independent gemologist; most jewelers will provide this service upon purchase and make sure you understand all the terms of the policy. Find out whether you are covered if the ring is lost, stolen, or damaged, what stipulations there are, if any, and how long the claims process takes. You might be able to add a jewelry rider to your existing homeowner's or renter's policy; if not, set up a separate policy.


Top event designers (with a combined 121 years working in weddings) reveal the blunders, pitfalls, and missteps many couples make during the planning process. Read about them now—accompanied by photos of real weddings that got it right—so you can avoid them later!

Photography: Delbarr Moradi

Picking a dress or wedding venue prior to establishing financial parameters is a lot like shopping without glancing at price tags and then strolling up to check out with your fingers crossed. You risk falling for a gown or location that breaks your heart when you realize that to afford it, you’d have to cut your guest list in half—or cancel the honeymoon. “The three initial hurdles are budget, guest list, and venue, and they should be tackled in that order,” says planner Lynn Easton of Easton Events in South Carolina and Virginia. “Your budget defines your options and drives your decisions.” While drawing one up, “include charges for overtime, gratuities, and car services from the start,” advises New York City planner Marcy Blum. “By doing so, you avoid throwing money at things you weren’t prepared for.”


Photography: Corbin Gurkin(uk bridesmaid dresses online)

If yours is an outdoor event, rain on your wedding day isn’t just ironic, it’s a game-changer. Too many people are tempted to just hope it won’t happen, which is the planning equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling, “I can’t hear you, Rain!” Bicoastal planner Lyndsey Hamilton of Lyndsey Hamilton Eventssays, “People don’t want to put the deposits down for tents, umbrellas, and golf carts they might not need—you pay 50 percent and lose it if you don’t use them. But if you don’t book them early on and are marrying during peak wedding season, tents might not be available when the weather starts to look iffy.” Meet with the tent company six to nine months ahead and think of the deposits as an investment in your peace of mind. “We believe that if you have a good Plan B, it won’t rain, but if you haven’t considered ‘what if,’ it will undoubtedly pour,” says contributing editor David Stark of David Stark Design and Production in New York City.


Photography: Elizabeth Messina

Just because the setting may be breezy doesn’t mean the planning is going to be easy. “With alfresco affairs, people think we’re just putting a tent in a field, and it’s going to be beautiful,” says Hamilton. “They don’t realize all the logistics necessary for a tented event to go off without a hitch.” Bear in mind you’ll need to rent bathrooms, kitchen facilities, lighting, fans or heaters, and generators.


 Photography: Elisabeth Millay

It’s the event of your lifetime, but it shouldn’t feel like it lasted a lifetime. “It’s tempting to get so excited that you map out a marathon celebration, with pre-vow drinks, a lengthy ceremony, another cocktail hour, a multi-course dinner, three hours of dancing, an after-party, and more,” says planner Calder Clark, owner of Calder Clark in Charleston, South Carolina. “But industry insiders agree that a five-hour reception is the tip-top of what people can enjoy and still exit laughing. The evening should have a natural end.” It should also have a comfortable beginning: Be sure to supply chairs so attendees can sit for the vows (a five-minute ceremony becomes a painful 20-minute wait if you run late).


Photography: Erin Kunkel(Party dresses for women)

You want your wedding to feel chic and elegant, not “crowded elevator.” “Being cramped makes meal service and dancing difficult, and it really inhibits the guest experience,” says Hamilton. Ask your venue how many attendees can comfortably fit, then reduce that by 10 percent, she suggests: “You don’t want to get to the max of what your site can accommodate.”


Schedule your ceremony to get the best photos. “Figure out when the sun goes down, then chat with your photographer about the ideal start time,” suggests Easton. “There is a ‘golden hour’ just before the sun sets that photographers love to take advantage of.” Think of it as nature’s airbrushing; you just have to make an appointment for it.


Photography: Jillian Mitchell

No one likes feeling confused, and your guests won’t know the wedding locale the way you do. Offer suggestions of things to do and information on getting around, “and if you’re having a destination event or weekend-long celebration, hand out itineraries telling everyone where they need to be and when,” says Hamilton. “That way, the buses won’t be late to the vows because no one knew when or where they needed to be picked up.” Speaking of buses, give the drivers their fair share of need-to-know info too. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told a transportation company what the address is, and they still get lost,” adds Hamilton. “Now we print out directions describing exactly the way we want them to go so we can estimate how long it will take to move guests from place to place.”


 Photography: Ingalls Photography

Drawing a map for the bus drivers is a great idea. Plotting out bathroom breaks and a second-by-second schedule for your coordinator, waitstaff, and DJ? Not so much. “Folks forget they’re dealing with seasoned professionals who can forecast—down to the nano-second—how the party should go,” says Clark. “Be clear about what you want, but know that offering trust and creative license to your team produces a better end result for all involved.”

 Photography: Echard Wheeler Photography

Yes, the movie version of your big day will go months or even years between viewings, and videography is a tempting place to cut costs. However, “Nothing compares to being able to relive your wedding in real time; it goes by in a flash,” says Easton. “Our clients always call us to gush over the details the next day, and it’s hard to hear when their only regret is not having hired a videographer.”


Photography: Andrea&Renata

Your brother may forget to bring the programs you spent last weekend hand-stamping, your mom may insist on leading a conga line at the reception, and your father-in-law may call your boss “honey” when they’re introduced. But who cares? You’re marrying the love of your life! “Too often we see couples get so wrapped up in the details that the focus shifts from the celebration of a marriage to a fixation on the ‘stuff’ of a wedding from,” say Maria Baer and Kelly Seizert, co-owners of Ritzy Bee Events in Washington, D.C. “It’s hard to have fun and be present in this once-in-a-lifetime moment if you’re worried the peonies in the centerpieces are one Pantone shade off.

Innovative Ideas for Your Wedding Stationery

Wedding Invitation

"Julie Song is the designer behind so many of the invitations I love most in the world. Her watercolor and calligraphy-centric pieces feel romantic, ethereal and purely beautiful."
—Abby Larson, creator ofStyle Me Pretty


"These custom save-the-date calendar stamps from Diva Gone Domestic on Etsy are adorable! They will personalize them with your wedding information and then you choose what material to stamp it on."
—Jen Carreiro, creator ofSomething Turquoise
Photo Credit: Diva Gone Domestic

Wedding Program

"This program by Anna Lou Avenue on Etsy, is unique and so useful: You can tuck tissues or a thank-you note inside for your guests — or send-off items such as confetti or a sparkler."
—Brenda B. Maille, creator ofBrenda’s Wedding Blog
Photo Credit: Anna Lou Avenue

Escort Cards

"I love when escort cards do double duty as favors, like this style designed by Invision Events, which is paired with mini bottles of one couple’s favorite spirits."
—Jess Levin, creator ofCarats and Cake
Photo Credit: Morgan Trinker

Menu Wrap

"Why not wrap your menu around a single baguette for each guest to enjoy? These wraps are from Mavora Art and Design on Etsy."
—Brenda B. Maille, creator ofBrenda’s Wedding Blog
Photo Credit: Mavora Art and Design

Wedding Signage

“I love the way that Laura Damiano Designsincorporated the shape of the signature cocktail liquor into her tray-passed signage!"
—Leila Lewis, creator ofInspired By This
Photo Credit: Laura Damiano Designs

Feel the Love at a "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Luncheon

“The bride asked for a color palette of all things pink, so we took that wish and ran with it. The flowers — particularly the ombré table runners and centerpieces — played a key role in bringing her wishes to life." —
A tufted antique couch anchors a cozy setting for the bride to bond with her future ’maids. Inside each balloon is a note that “pops” the “be my bridesmaid” question.

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‘Through the Flowers’ Ivy & Aster’s Charming Spring 2016 Bridal Collection

Whilst the name Ivy & Aster may be fairly new to me, the Atlanta based brand is renowned for its romantic-meets-bohemian style. Designing with a flowing femininity, sprinkled with sweet simplicity and a dash of whimsy, they create wedding dresses that capture a brides heart. And with this their latest collection, they have really taken romance to a new level!
“Why not be adventurous and let your dress speak the ‘Language of Flowers’?” asks Ivy & Aster founder and designer Jessica Brown “Our Spring 2016 collection is inspired by all things floral and the beauty that flowers symbolize in weddings.” As well as signature Ivy & Aster fabrics: Silk chiffon, silk organza, tulle, and lace; this season special hand picked laces were chosen to play on the floral garden theme. Showcasing gowns with timeless illusion necklines, flowing skirts, sheer long sleeves and portrait backs, the collection also features some of the key current trends with low backs, separates and even floral prints – which I just know you are going to love!
“Ivy & Aster brides know what makes them feel beautiful” says Jessica “and these cheap bridal dresses will let the bride be radiant on her wedding day.” So sit back, and imagine taking a stroll through the most lovely of gardens with a wedding taking place among the flowers, as you peruse these elegant delights…..

If you’re a regular visitor here,  you will know that when it comes to Bridal designers, I definitely have my favourites! Those with unique style and vintage flair, the likes of GwendolynneJohanna JohnsonClaire Pettibone and Jenny Packham, whose names appear time and time again on the pages of Chic Vintage Brides. Whilst I am simply unable to resist their glorious bridal gowns, you may also have noticed in recent months a few new names appearing, like Sally LacockMyra CallanCelia Grace and House of Mooshki, as each one has caught my eye with their latest modern-vintage offering. Well today I am addingIvy & Aster to that list, and you won’t have to scroll through much of their enchanting ‘Through the Flowers’ collection to see why!…..

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