When designing a wedding I always have one goal in mind: make it unique. If everyone is pulling from the same pool of ideas and rental companies how different can you be? By infusing vintage pieces into your special day you can create a custom one-of-a-kind eclectic look that is all your own. Not to mention, add sentimental value from infusing heritage pieces such as grandma’s broach, grandpa’s pocket watch or especially vintage furnishings and decor.  Recently I was interviewed for a featured article in the Los Angeles Times about “All Things Vintage” that talks about just that.

All things Vintage

Some couples look to the past on their wedding day

Something old, something new…

Scratch that. Some couples are in love with just the old and want their wedding to reflect their appreciation of days gone by. From the engagement ring to the getaway car, many couples look to the past to create dream weddings that make for once-in-a-lifetime memories. And everything that is old is new again.

When Kimberli Partlow walks down the aisle on Saturday to marry Sheldon Samuel at Pasadena’s historic Cravens Estate, her gown will not be vintage, but nearly everything else will be. For months, she has been collecting vintage vases to hold flower arrangements and antique picture frames to display table numbers, and she will accessorize her Winnie Couture gown with period jewelry. “I love vintage,” she said. “It’s timeless and classic.”

Antique sparkle
All engagement rings are romantic, but an antique ring that has stood the test of time — and presumably the test of love — holds magic. “Those who love vintage jewelry want that energy of the past: the romance, the old-world charm — the glamour,” said Neil Lane, owner of Neil Lane Jewelry in Los Angeles, whose customers for antique and original designs include celebrities like Madonna, Reese Witherspoon, Courteney Cox-Arquette and Emily Blunt.

“When I started out in the ’80s, everyone wanted plain round diamonds,” he said. “The world has changed, and there’s a new appreciation for the handcrafted detail you see in antique jewelry.”

“Antique rings are timeless, and will last through all of the trends,” said Jennifer Ganda, who’s been managing Craig Evan Small Estate Jewelry, an L.A. antique and vintage jewelry store, for 14 years. She admitted some are more timeless than others, such as Edwardian and Art Deco pieces. A ring is considered “antique” in the United States if it is 50 years or older and “vintage” if it is 20 years or older.

You are invited …
While some couples infuse antique elements into their wedding, others want the entire event to be vintage.

When Vanessa Van Wieren and Cortnie Purdy of Lollipop Events & Designs in San Diego were asked to create a Great Gatsby-era wedding recently, they began with the invitations. “By sending Art Deco-style invitations,”Van Wieren said, “we were able to give guests a glimpse into what was in store for them at the wedding.”

A timeless gown
Not every bride is lucky enough to inherit a gown from her mother or grandmother. However, with the abundant selection of vintage wedding gowns in Southern Califor-nia, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Sue Lieberman, owner of Santa Monica’s Paris 1900 boutique, has been selling antique gowns since 1976. At the store she opened in 1981, she sells wedding gowns from the Edwardian period (1905) to the 1930s, as well as new gowns in vintage styles. “Antique gowns are incredibly fragile,”she said. “I’ve found that some brides want the look of a vintage gown, but aren’t committed to the care an antique gown requires.”

At Paper Bag Princess Vintage Couture and Contemporary Collectible Clothing in Beverly Hills, brides can choose from sleek 1940s gowns all the way up to 1970s bohemian-chic dresses. Catwalk in West Hollywood sells 1920s and ’30s slinky, slip-type gowns to brides.

Sites with history
For brides who want their wedding location to continue the vintage theme, the local choices include the Oviatt Penthouse, Greystone Mansion, Adamson House, the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, and Exchange LA, the newly renovated 1920s former stock exchange in downtown L.A.

Jeff Cooper, property agent for Hollywood Locations Inc., which represents historical properties such as the landmark Union Station, said that some couples take their vintage weddings even further, creating themes such as “A Night In Casablanca” or bringing in antique cars.

Classic cars
Speaking of wheels, any car will get you to and from the wedding, but many couples dream of making their entrance — and getaway — in style in an antique car. Partlow plans to have a vintage car pick her up from the Langham Pasadena, where she will be staying, to take her to the ceremony. “I’ve always dreamed of a vintage Silver Cloud Rolls-Royce for my wedding,” she said.

Down to the details
Van Wieren and Purdy like to incorporate vintage elements into the weddings they plan. “Vintage touches keep an event from feeling cookie-cutter,”Van Wieren said. A bouquet made from antique brooches or a cake stand crafted from a vintage plate and candlesticks are some of their suggestions.

Paradoxically, incorporating vintage elements into a wedding can be the perfect way to keep it from looking dated.

“When I look back at my wedding photos years from now, I want them to still be relevant,” Partlow said.

Best of all, infusing the past into the celebration of your future together is not just for looks. It’s also a reflection of your love: timeless.

— Jennifer Evans Gardner, 
Special Advertising Sections Writer


3 Responses to “Celebration to Publication: Los Angeles Times 'All Things Vintage'”

  1. Victoria on October 14th, 2010 9:45 am

    Wow quoted in the LA times, good job Van Wieren. Your work is amazing!

  2. lydia {ever ours} on October 14th, 2010 10:25 am

    nice job! yay!

  3. Wedding photos on October 20th, 2010 12:54 pm

    Hooray….good job i love it…

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