Vintage elegance for a fun Midland Hotel wedding

How to add some Vintage va Va VOOM!

© beanphoto.co.ukGuest post by North West wedding photographer Jonathan Bean.
I recently photographed Cheryl & Chris’ wedding at a great Lancashire wedding venue, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe. A beautiful wedding with a real WOW! factor. Chris and Cheryl fell in love with the Midland, which is truly one of my favourite venues to shoot at and being only a 10 minute walk from my front door it’s one of the handiest too! For their styling they hired Itsy Bitsy Vintage to provide bunting, table centrepieces and authentic vintage china for added vintage va Va VOOM!
I’ll be blogging the wedding in full later, but for now I wanted to take the opportunity to big up Itsy Bitsy Vintage, which is my amazing wife Carol’s business as we had the lovely fortune to be working together on this gorgeous wedding, and the pictures of the ceremony and breakfast room showed just what a difference she can make to a wedding. The guests could not stop talking all day, and through into the evening (when the candle lit tables and the Morecambe Bay backdrop looked so beautiful) about how amazing the tables and room looked. I know because I was there throughout the day, camera in hand to capture it all!
Carol set up Itsy Bitsy Vintage several years back with her then business partner Carole Hunt after noticing the boom in vintage and an increase in weddings with a vintage theme. A mutual love of collecting retro and vintage items was one of the things that brought us together as a couple 30 odd years ago. Back then my flat was full of sixties hat stands, fifties curtains, kitchenettes, vintage TV’s and Doris Day posters (no change there then!) Nowadays we have a new purpose to the bargain hunting and car booting, me with my fetish for vintage cameras and Carol for her ever-growing props and china cupboard (actually not a cupboard at all, but a whole basement room!)
Carol and associate stylist Carole Hunt absolutely transformed The Midland’s function rooms for this event.  Itsy Bitsy worked closely with Jane at Blackpool Florists Flower Design to integrate the flowers into the overall look. I’d love to repeat what Lee, the hotel’s wedding planner said about it, but it’s before the 9 o’clock watershed! Instead, feast your eyes on these pictures (there will be more later), and imagine whatItsy Bitsy Vintage could do to wow your wedding guests!© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk
© beanphoto.co.uk
© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk© beanphoto.co.uk


Our popular styling services and some great publicity for Itsy Bitsy Vintage!

Well 2014 has got off to a cracking start with a growing interest in our bespoke styling services and lots of new bookings for the year. We're currently taking bookings for 2015 and even have our first enquiry for 2016! We'll be visiting some of our favourite venues again and saying hello to several new venues for Itsy including our neighbourhood and incredibly beautiful Ashton Memorial at Williamson's Park. Both Carole and myself are lucky enough to be able to walk our dogs here almost every day and it's simply stunning.

The Midland Hotel again features large in our bookings calender with several of you booking our new range of prop centrepiece packages alongside our gorgeous china. As always we work with each couple individually to create something truly bespoke. Itsy were once again invited to a Wedding Showcase at the Midland Hotel in February to showcase our styling and to meet with those of  you who have already booked this Iconic Art Deco Hotel for your big day. Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to be treated to an overnight stay and an evening meal at the Midland in celebration of turning fifty (now I'm truly vintage!) and I can personally vouch for just how special this hotel really is.

We made an acquaintance with the very unique Forrest Hills, a little gem in the countryside just a stones throw from Lancaster University when we took a very successful stand at a wedding fair in March. We worked with several local suppliers including We Bake Cake and Queen of Hearts Crockery Hire to style a retro spring table showcasing how fun and unique a few kitsch props, patterned table runners and some bold colourful tableware can be. We were also able to theme a red 1950's summer picnic display.

An eco building set in the countryside with a private lake as a backdrop, Forrest Hills is perfect for anyone thinking of a festival, boho, retro or country vintage themed wedding. In this very playful venue it seemed apt to mix up our styling a little and to showcase a broader range of props. The current wedding blogs show the growing popularity in retro as brides seek a more individual vintage style.

Last month saw us offer our beautiful china once again for the very successful Mother's Day vintage afternoon tea events organised by the Nice Bar and Restaurant at the Storey in Lancaster. February also saw us supporting Lancaster Women's Aid with a fundraising afternoon tea. For a special treat it seems we just can't get enough of tea, cake and vintage china!

Itsy Bitsy Vintage have been growing in reputation since we established three years ago and we were delighted to be asked to have our work featured in the Spring Edition of the Westmorland Gazette Good Wedding Guide, with images of our styling work courtesy of Jonathan Bean Photography. The extended article on Vintage weddings is proof that we're not tiring of this trend, and that the more adventurous and fun loving amongst you are embracing it with some unique and hand made twists. For us, it's all about style and fun, and with so many periods or vintage themes to choose from you can really stamp your own personality on your big day or celebration.

Finally Itsy have been invited to style the centrepieces once again for the 1930's Torch Club Ball at the Midland Hotel in September as part of the extended three day vintage festival, 'Vintage by the Sea'. Curated by Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway as part of their nationwide events (www.vintagefestival.co.ukhttp://www.vintagefestival.co.uk) this event was hugely popular last year bringing in tourists from across the UK. We can't wait for this amazing festival to hit the Streets of Morecambe even bigger and better than last year, so stay in touch with us on facebook where we'll be posting information about the festival throughout the year.

As the Festival recognises, ' Oh! We do like to be beside the seaside', and one half of Itsy will be moving to Morecambe shortly just in time for the summer sun. Our business will retain a base in Lancaster and we're excited by the opportunity to grow our partnerships in this vintage loving and increasingly popular resort. Client meetings will be offered with the sound of seagulls overhead!

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


2013: A review by Itsy Bitsy Vintage and our styling predictions for 2014!

 The fun and colourful wedding of Matt and  Leentje at the Storey, Lancaster, September 2013. Photos by Jonathan Bean Photography.

Many thanks to all our lovely brides, grooms and clients that we had the privilege of working for in 2013. We really enjoyed working with you and helping to make your weddings, parties and events as special as they were. Some of you were DIY brides who chose to hire and set up or style yourselves, whilst others chose a more complete service, where we provided and styled china table settings, prop centrepieces, guest and ceremony tables, hung our bonny bunting, dressed chairs and made bespoke decor.

The afternoon tea party wedding of Aaron and Hayley, Beeston Manor, Preston, April 2013. Photos by Jonathan Bean Photography.

We saw our working relationships with the Midland Hotel in Morecambe and the Storey Institute in Lancaster grow in 2013, and we are now preferred vintage suppliers for both venues. Working with the Nice Bar & Restaurant, we provided vintage china for two vintage afternoon tea events in the restaurant, and we now have a vintage tea party wedding package available at the Storey in Lancaster offering high tea catering, china hire and styling, aimed at making your planning and budgeting as easy as possible in this uniquely creative building.

Vintage afternoon tea served at the Nice Bar and Restaurant, The Storey, Lancaster. Photos by Jonathan Bean Photography.

Our styling work continued to go from strength to strength in 2013, starting with an amazing 1920's themed Prohibition wedding in May and culminating in a prestigious styling commission working for the Vintage Festival curated by Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway in September.

Styling details for the 1920's prohibition themed wedding of Alison andAndrew at the Midland Hotel, May 2013.
Details by Jonathan Bean Photography. Photos of the bride and groom by Tobiah Tayo Photography.

 Vintage by the Sea Festival, September 14th 2013, Midland Hotel, Morecambe. Photos courtesy of the Vintage Festival website.

We loved being part of Vintage by the Sea festival last September and the creative independence to showcase a wide range of our props and accessories from the 1920's to the 1940's at the amazing Torch Club Ball. We now carry a wide range of period 1920's and 1930's props and china which perfectly compliment an Art Deco theme or period building such as the iconic Midland Hotel.

Our work also garnered attention from the local and  national wedding media last year with features on our styled weddings and balls in Wedding Ideas magazine,  Love My Dress wedding blog, Radio Lancashire, Morecambe Visitor and the Vintage Festival website. We were also recently interviewed by the Westmorland Gazette for their forthcoming Spring Wedding Guide. Grab a copy in venues around North Lancs, Cumbria and North Yorkshire soon or alternatively look out for a virtual copy on their website.

Styling details of Cath and Russell's wedding at the Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Sept' 2012 featured in Wedding Ideas Magazine (2013). Photos by Tobiah Tayo Photography. 

 Andrew and Alison's 1920's prohibition themed wedding at the Midland Hotel, Morecambe, May 2013 featured in 'Love My Dress Wedding Blog'. Room styling and vintage china by Itsy Bitsy Vintage, ostrich feather centrepieces by Events by Design. Photography by Tobiah Tayo.

Vintage china hire and styling was a very popular and on trend theme for weddings last year and continues to be so for 2014 with a slight change in emphasis from shabby chic to the more dramatic. Some of you chose a pretty afternoon tea party in muted pastel colours, some celebrated with a period theme, with 1920's and art deco styling being a popular choice in the year of the Great Gatsby film release and the anniversary celebrations at the Midland Hotel. Others went for a more festival theme with lots of personal touches, DIY creations, bright home grown flowers, and live music. We will see a few changes in vintage styling  in the next few years and we hope these images will inspire your planning for 2014 and beyond.

'Classic styling in the future will be reinvented, with subtle references to vintage antiquities but with a much more modern twist to make it more meaningful and personal for couples. We see the rustic/shabby chic style of old giving way to drama and opulence as a more sophisticated aesthetic comes into play' (Pocketful of Dreams guest article for Love My Dress wedding blog.)


We're calling this move towards a more sophisticated aesthetic 'Vintage Drama' with key vintage statements such as bold coloured vintage china, large accessories and bouquets, stand our props and lots of glamour! We just love the move towards bold colours and personalisation. The 1920's as a theme remains popular, and we'll see the influence of the 1960's and 70's continue to move through into Glamping and Festival weddings. Come on release that inner Diva and be vintage brave in 2014!

There's nothing more exciting than seeing a creative vision come to life and being able to anticipate the look and feel of your celebration. Itsy Bitsy Vintage styling services aim to take some of stresses out of your wedding or party planning by guiding you in your styling decisions, giving you peace of mind on your big day so that you can just kick back and enjoy every moment.  Contact us now with your styling enquiries at itsybitsycarol.co.uk, tel. 01524 848566, or for general enquiries, china hire and diy collections contact peggyabrams99@gmail.com.