Wedding Supplier Spotlight: Heavenly Vintage Brides
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.
I think many brides are a little hesitant about the whole process and I try and take the fear out of it and give them confidence. Having said that some of my clients know exactly the look they want and it's a matter of me listening and learning, and then finding it and fitting it.
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.
What trends have you noticed within the bridalwear sector and do you see any particular changes that may take place due to the postponement/cancellations due to the current COVID-19 pandemic?
Last summer was very Boho, lots of airy, floaty, off-the-shoulder 70s dresses getting a chance to shine on my lovely clients. I find trends change each year of course but some of the classics like the slinky, bias cut, satin 30s dresses and the lovely, elegant, A line 40s dresses are always in demand. Each era has it's fans and deservedly so, the vintage features are different for each decade. Some girls have an era in mind, others just want a dress that reflects their personality and is unique to them. I am not sure how Covid-19 will affect my client weddings but if couples are having to rebook they may actually end up marrying at a different time of year to what they originally planned, so that will affect what they choose to wear.
What have you been up too during the lockdown period?
I really wish I could be more helpful to be honest, I volunteered to help people self isolating through the NHS volunteer scheme, and have been collecting and dropping off prescriptions mainly. There seem to be an lot more volunteers than needed so the volume of contact is quite small ! I also have offered to paint a portrait for a doctor or nurse or carer, and I am enjoying preparing a portrait of a young doctor. You may have seen some the portraits on Instagram that have been produced by artists and keen amateurs (like myself). I have always loved painting so it's nice to think that the gift of a portrait can be some small way of saying thank you to the frontline heroes.
I am keen to get back to work once it is safe and fingers crossed that will be soon. When I do I want to help those who have been on the frontline of battling this virus so want to offer any nurses, doctors or carers are in need of a beautiful vintage wedding dress I will give a nice discount of 25% off the dress. Simply contact and quote "CW25OFF" in your message and 25% will come off the dress itself (excluding any alterations) simply bring your work ID with you to enjoy a large saving. You can also use this code on my Etsy shop HERE. Valid until July 31st 2020. Call it my way of helping out!
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's stock and work you should visit her website HERE and don't forget the 25% discount for all caregivers out there!
Also why not follow updates on:
- Website: www.heavenlyvintagebrides.co.uk
- Instagram: @heavenlyvintagebrides
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/heavenlyvintagebrides
- Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/HeavenlyVintageBride
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