Something old, Something new, something borrowed….something You!
Do you dream of having a vintage gown for your wedding day? If so then boy have you come to the right place!
Today’s supplier spotlight is the perfect read for all you vintage lovers as we chat to Helena Butler of Heavenly Vintage Brides. Helena focuses on adapting pre loved pieces as well as creating stunning up to date looks with a nod to the past. So without further ado let’s begin…
What do you do and why do you do it? What makes it so special to you?
I renovate gorgeous vintage wedding gowns dating from 1900 to 1980. I love the dresses they are so simple by todays standards and so romantic. I think a great wedding dress is about beautiful fabric and cut and really suiting the bride and giving her confidence. Bringing out what is beautiful about each girl not overloading her with detail and beading etc.
Having said that we’re definitely not anti a bit of well placed sparkle!
I think I offer a unique service I like to think of it as ‘modern vintage’ so I don’t aim to recreate how the original gown would have been worn, rather I work with the bride and my clever seamstress to update the gown and personalise it for my clients. It’s always done subtly though in keeping with the feel of the dress.
I tend to prefer the ‘girls’ to be the ones in the spotlight! Having said that my brides can be any age, I have lots of older brides too. I love working with the ‘girls’ and helping them look beautiful I am very proud of my previous brides.
Why do you think brides and grooms find that so special?
I think brides come to me for something personal and unique, it’s a very different experience to a high street boutique. I specifically work with them to find out how they really want to look and feel on their wedding day. Every bride is totally different that walks through my door and that the way I want to make them feel – unique and individual, this all adds the the bespoke nature of my work.
What sort of questions do you find that couples often ask you?
Brides love to find out more about the history of the dresses and sometimes I even have a photo of the original bride in the garment. Often though the dresses have become separated from their story, but I can still explain lots of things about the era that the dress originates from and talk through the structure and design of the gown and what would have been done to get the result when the piece was originally made. I also tell them about how it would have been worn originally. But I also like to give them lots of helpful advice about things like undies and shoes! I often organise headpieces being made or veils that will compliment the gown perfectly.
Tell us a little about the process you go through with couples – how do you start?
My main aim is to make the girls feel relaxed here and also make them feel that they are in good hands and will get the guidance they may need with their dress.
There’s no pressure to make decisions, it’s just about coming and having a look. If girls do decide on a dress I then arrange a follow up visit with my seamstress – most of the vintage dress are cut differently to modern clothes and need a bit of updating specific to each client. I work with a wonderful seamstress Grace who is very experienced working with vintage clothing.
What do you find the most rewarding part of your job?
To be honest love it all! I love meeting the girls and their mums or friends, and showing them some lovely dresses. The most exciting part of an appointment for me is when I leave them alone in the room for a while to have a rummage and see what they choose. It isn’t always what we ultimately try on but it’s so interesting, it’s very helpful to see what they are initially attracted to. I also love seeing the photos after the big day I am so happy to see them looking wonderful.
And Finally what’s you top tip when it comes to planning a wedding?
I only know my little corner of the wedding business really. But with many of my lovely clients I think the hurdle they have to overcome is the pressure of being ‘a bride’ and feeling that all eyes are on them, I try and give them confidence in the process. If I could offer them one piece advice I would say do not let pressure from outside effect you and just have the day that they want!
To check out more of Helena stock and work visit her website HERE
To see more of Helena’s work in person why not pop along to the London Chosen Wedding Fair this Sunday 10th March at the Islington Assembly Hall. We will be there from 11-3.30pm with over 40 suppliers who can help get your wedding planning well under way.
Tickets can still be pre purchased online with a 20% discount off our on the door prices and these can be purchased HERE