Decades of Vintage Inspiration: Styling Ideas Part 1

The Highs and Woes of Pinterest.

Downton Abbey and the Edwardian Age

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage typewriter, props and china top two across)

The Highs of Pinterest: I love Pinterest, it's such a wonderful tool for finding inspiration for all your weddings, parties and celebrations. It also allows me to keep all the wonderful photos that Jonathan Bean Photography and other kind photographers have taken of my work, and to put them in boards which are easy to find and inspire you. I can also pin images into boards with my own vintage theme which I can draw on at ease.

During the course of helping you to plan your wedding or parties, I can also create a private pinterest board into which we both share ideas. It's always a starting point for discussions and to build a shared aesthetic of your day. I get to know you a little better from the images you share and it's easy for those of you who feel you don't have any creativity. In my experience everyone can be creative if given the right starting point and it's fun!

I've created the period collages here from some of my favourite images on my pinterest boards. Love vintage but not sure where to start? Perhaps one of these period collages speaks best to you. With styling inspired from the turn of the century right through to the Eighties, weddings by Itsy Bitsy Vintage can be as glamourous as Downton Abbey or as fun as the disco filled Seventies and Eighties. Each of the collages include photos of my own work, I wonder if you can spot them?

The Roaring Twenties

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: underwood typewriter top right corner)

The Woes of Pinterest: getting started on your own visual quest can be a bit tricky however since you're bombarded with thousands of images representing both budget and blow out celebrations. Surrounded by so much pretty and an abundance of creative ideas, especially from styled shoots, it's easy to think that you need to have all the details. Yes, details matter, it's what I do, but stylists cannot always replicate the looks you see unless you have a budget to match.

Most of my styling happens within the logistical constraints of a venue, so usually I have between two and three hours to set up, sometimes working on my own and sometimes working with helpers. The gorgeous top tables you see on Pinterest have been styled for a photoshoot and have probably taken two hours alone of a stylists time, working with florists and caterers, let alone the time it takes to style an entire room! I try and choose images which are achievable rather than aspirational, and which can be adapted to different budget constraints. I will discuss themes and styling dictated by the venue and location of your choice in my next post.

Glamourous Art Deco c.1926 - 1934.

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: top table styling,
top left corner)

1930's romance and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

( guest table styling with sewing machine and vintage shoe centrepiece by Itsy Bitsy Vintage)

Homespun 1940's

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: tea settings and vintage crockery, top left and middle right)

 1950's Rockabilly

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: spotty china and props, top left: cream suitcase and styling, bottom right)

 1950's Prom

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage:pink rose teacup and floral teapot)

1960's Mod 

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: Retro camera and colourful binding centrepiece)

 1960's Mods and Northern Soul.

(Itsy Bitsy Vintage: yellow teapot and 'Jacky' top table china and styling)

  Retro Boho: the colourful 1970's

 Eighties glitter disco.


A Vintage Wedding Showcase with some Great Gatsby Styling.

The Art Deco Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

I'm delighted to have acted as vintage consultant at the recent Vintage Wedding Showcase at the Midland Hotel in my home town of Morecambe, to help them showcase a fantastic array of talented local suppliers who all work in a vintage style for modern vintage and design aware couples.

Hot on the heels of the incredibly successful 'Vintage by the Sea' Festival I wanted to help create an event with a real understanding of  the vintage scene and the architectural heritage of this Art Deco gem of a hotel. Suppliers showcased work inspired by a variety of decades from the 1920's through to the 1950's, and the hotel itself payed homage to it's own seaside nostalgia with two new giant Midland Hotel deckchairs! There were lindy hop dancers, vintage singers, a beach hut photo booth, a gin bar, canapes and cocktails, and of course a catwalk show of swoon worthy vintage wedding dresses and accessories. Photographers including Jonathan Bean Photography, florists, stationary designers, cake makers, and an illuminated letter and lighting company all took part to make this a special and fun day. I hope to be part of the team that helps to grow this event year by year.

Photos of the Midland Hotel

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside..

I was there to promote my styling services, prop and china hire collection with a top table inspired by the Great Gatsby with co-ordinated floral arrangements by Katie at Made in Flowers. In shades of peach, pink, blush gold, silver and ivory, with orchids and 1920's accessories, and a little bit of bling from a sequinned table runner, I hope I recreated some of the opulence and glamour of the 1920's and Great Gatsby period.

Vintage Glamour!

(All table and model images by Jonathan Bean Photography)

As part of the build up to the showcase I was interviewed by the marketing team at English Lakes Hotels: why I love vintage, where this passion came from, and how I'm part of a creative bunch of vintage lovers and artists trying to regenerate Morecambe with innovative and quality led events and festivals. The Midland Hotel is at the forefront of this regeneration with it's incredible Modern Vintage designed interior by Urban Splash and it's ongoing collaboration with Wayne Hemingway and the Vintage Festival. I'm so proud of this town and what we're trying to do.

'In preparation for The Midland Vintage Wedding Showcase, I met up with Carol Bean, co-founder and Director of Itsy Bitsy and discovered a wealth of knowledge about the Vintage era and what’s going on creatively in Morecambe. She is also our expert advisor for The Midland Wedding ShowcaseHere is someone to whom I would feel very comfortable handing over the style reins of any Vintage glamorous wedding or event. '

Click to see the full article here:

Wayne Hemingway at Vintage by the Sea Festival.

That's me still vintage loving after all these years.

Photos by Jonathan Bean Photography.

Photos by Jonathan Bean Photography.

Guest photograph by Tobiah Tayo.

Art deco styled weddings by Itsy Bitsy Vintage.

(You can follow the Midland Hotel on facebook:, get details of special events and offers on their website and follow their blog on )


Gorgeous vintage china hire and some beautiful cake stands!

     Selected china hire prices lowered in price!

Castle Inn Photohoot, Hornby, Lancashire.

I often write blog posts highlighting my popular styling services but did you also know I also carry a gorgeous collection of authentic vintage china from the Victorian period through until the early 1960's?

Rather than building my collection quickly through the purchase of china sets online or at auctions, much of my stock is individually chosen as a one off purchase. It's carefully sourced and selected to compliment the existing collection, or was chanced upon and simply too pretty to overlook! It's taken a while to build as individual trios but I'm sure you'll agree it was worth the effort.

All my stock is bone china in near perfect condition for it's age. Lots feature hand painting over transfer decoration (typical of the 1930's and 1940's ) and some even have 22 carot gold gilding. None of the sets they belong too are still in production so you can't find these easily in charity shops or carboot sales.

Afternoon tea party with food catered by Bevington Catering.

I particularly love my collection of two and three tier cake stands (and so do you judging from the bookings they've had) and I am now reducing the cost to you, so my two tier stands are now £3 each to hire and my three tier stands are now £4 each to hire. My sugar bowls and milk jugs have also reduced to 50p each. Just a little gift so more of you can enjoy the experience of an amazing afternoon tea party celebration!

All photos by Jonathan Bean.

Wedding of Leentje and Matt, Storey Institute, Lancaster. Food by the Nice Bar & Restaurant.

 Afternoon tea party wedding of Vertiy and Martyn, Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

 Afternoon tea party wedding of Vertiy and Martyn, Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

  Afternoon tea party wedding of Vertiy and Martyn, Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

 Afternoon tea party wedding of Vertiy and Martyn, Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

Vintage china for the wedding of Tammy and George, Trimpell Club, Morecambe.

 One of many cake stands for the wedding of Aaron & Hayley. Beeston Manor, Preston.

Teaparty wedding of Chris and Cheryl, Midland Hotel, Morecambe.

Wedding of Aaron & Hayley, Beeston Manor, Preston. 

Castle Inn Photoshoot, Hornby. Food courtesy of in-house chef.

Castle Inn photoshoot, Hornby. Food courtesy of in-house chef.

Wedding of Helen and John, Poulton Institute, Morecambe. Food by Bevington Catering.

Wedding of Helen and John , Poulton Institute, Morecambe. Food by Bevington Catering.

Macarons by Madam Chocolat, Morecambe.

Cakes by Madam Chocolat for Vintage Revival, Kendal.

Cupcakes made for a Jubilee photoshoot by the Yummy Cupcake Company.

Afternoon tea catered by Bevington Catering.

Wedding of Matt & Leentja, Storey Institute, Lancaster. Food by the Nice Bar & Restaurant.

Wedding of Matt & Leentja, Storey Institute, Lancaster. Food by the Nice Bar & Restaurant.

Cake stands for the wedding of Tammy & George, Trimpell Club, Morecambe.

Castle Inn photoshoot, Hornby. 

Castle Inn photoshoot, Hornby. Food courtsesy of in-house chef.

Castle Inn photoshoot, Hornby. Food courtsesy of in-house chef.

Macarons by Madam Chocolat.

Cupcakes by Madam Chocolat.

Details: For a table of eight guests I recommend one 2 tier and one 3 tier cake stand. Each three tier stand holds up to 14 small items (finger sandwiches, tarts or cakes), and each two tier stand holds up to 11 small items. For greedy guests 2 three tier stands are recommended or one stand for savouries and one stand for sweets. 

Overall hire cost for a party of 80 guests: £70.

All Cake stands available now to hire from Itsy Bitsy Vintage.