Spring spells birds, bees…and all things bridal! It’s the season couples spend big on bubbly, bouquets and bridesmaids. Small wonder that there’s little cash left for THE DRESS. YLC checked out a vintage wedding fair to get the lowdown on how not to spend an arm and a leg…
While being a cheapskate on your wedding day is not recommended, tight budgets are forcing couples to get creative. From hand made invites, upcycled decor and roping in the family to do the catering – there’s an endless way to make your nuptials affordable.
But what about the dress you ask?! New ones cost a few thousands of crowns. If you’re lucky. If you’re not, best start selling a kidney or two to finance the thing. The whole shebang is enough to turn a girl into bridezilla in a flash of lace and beading.
So is there a solution? In the name of science, I swallowed my fear of excessive tulle and went to Beyond Retro’s Vintage Wedding Dress Fair to find out. For over a year, vintage experts scoured the length and breadth of North America to dig out the choicest bridal gowns across the Atlantic. Meticulously hand picked for their historical AND trend factor, 300 of these babies went on display at their Zinkensdamm store last week.
Theres definitely nothing Corpse Bride about the collection. The 300 gowns ranged from exquisite lacy offerings straight out of the silent film era to fun, flirty affairs that end above the knee. The cheapest cost no more than 400 crowns.
Turns out, you can look a million dollars without having to spend a million!
“April is the traditional month for trying on wedding dresses,” Anna Svensson, PR Manager, told YLC.
Despite sambo status being the norm, marriages are making a comeback in Sweden. According to Svensson, wedding dresses are even bigger here than in England where Beyond Retro’s flagship store opened. The idea is to attract the growing number of couples getting hitched.
Kicking off the 3-day-fair with a suitably girly evening of champagne and chocolate, over 200 brides-to-be crammed the store with their entourage of mums, girlfriends and even a supportive male or two.
“It was so inspiring to see strong, independent women looking at the dresses with their fiancées, who cares if the dress is not expensive,” said Kiara who works at the store.
Think one of a kind pieces, channeling old Hollywood glamour, flapper suave and gothic chic. There’s romance and style a plenty. Luckily, not a shred of crushed velvet in sight (told you they were experts). If you’re game, you can even buy their oldest piece from the 30’s and wear a bit of history down the aisle.
With vintage, there’s always an element of luck. Is it too long? Was it owned by dead royalty? Why were people so THIN back then (the answer is usually ‘war’)? But when you DO find your dress, you can be assured that it’s a one off.
While the fair is over for this year, you can still buy other bridal must haves. Lace brollies, gloves, flower garlands, embellished headdresses, vintage lingerie (still not sure about second hand underwear factor), feathers, faux fur, sequins and shoes. Its not all about the ladies either. Guys can suit up with their impressive bow tie selection, waistcoats and head gear. Whether you go vintage, retro or throwback you’ll impress the socks off the congregation. All that extra cash you save means more money for the wedding liquor fund! Who says we don’t look out for our readers?
Beyond Retro, Zinkensdamm
For other vintage gems, check out our guide to Stockholm’s second hand shops! There’s also a Vintage Fair going on in the city this weekend!