“Mum, can you help organise a vintage, shabby-chic, casual yet classy, cheap but not obviously so, intimate sophisticated wedding?”

Cover of Style me vintageBy the time you read this Valentine’s day will have passed for another year and those of us who missed this craze as youths will shake our heads and wonder at the nonsense of it all.  As Joan Rivers said “Don’t talk to me about Valentine’s day. At my age an affair of the heart is a bypass!”

However this year I cannot be quite so sanctimonious as we are embarking on wedding planning  for our daughters’ upcoming wedding, which makes Valentine’s day look like a modest affair.

I am now immersed in the world of  “favours” (apparently it is no longer enough for guests to come along and eat and drink copious amounts, they now have to get a gift as well).  My daughter wants  a vintage theme and no doubt this also means ‘Shabby’ and ‘Chic’.  There are flowers  and bows, bunting, tags and cute little signs galore.  Then there is THE DRESS!

Luckily for her I’m a bit of a dab hand with a needle and thread, (excluding aforementioned wedding dress), so the bunting is cut and ready to be sewn, and there is even talk of doilies….crocheted for goodness sake, and candles in pretty cups.  Secretly I’m rather enjoying the whole thing (apart from the expense) but hopefully with my skill at op-shopping we should be able to keep costs down with an eager eye for vintage cups, lace and whatever fills the definition of Vintage Chic.

The library has also come to the rescue with some great titles:

Cover of Scenes from an impending marriageThankfully we are avoiding the big meringue look of the Gypsy wedding and oddly enough my daughter has rejected my offer of the full on crochet extravaganza that this book encourages!

One little book however has proved to be a keeper. Scenes from an impending marriage: a prenuptial memoir is a graphic novel by Adrian Tomine that manages to capture the amusing  and absurd moments leading up to his wedding.  It gave me hope that we can do this, and keep a sense of humour!

Vintage style fabrics

I have to say I have always been a sucker for the whole shabby chic movement with the gorgeous vintage fabrics.  This lust is being kept well fuelled by some new offerings by the library  such as Rachel Ashwell’s  Shabby chic interiors and Cathy Kidston’s Sew! and her not so new Tips for vintage style.

Given the reserve lists on these items, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who drools (chicly of course) over the glossy pages.  My biggest problem with it all has been my inspiration has often been curbed by trying to find the right materials – in most cases the material itself.  Imagine my joy when I was introduced to a wee treasure trove of a shop in Tarras that had beautiful jewellery, second hand shabby chic furniture and even wonderful vintage style fabrics.  Great for when I’m down in Central Otago but what to do when at home?

Last week I finally checked out a local offering: Femme de Brocante.  If you love fabrics and like me have trouble sourcing vintage style fabrics, this place is fantastic.  Now if I could just get the hang of sewing…