Lifestyle Magazine

My Grandma’s Real Vintage Wedding Day

By Claire

Grandma was married in 1949, only a few years after the end of the second world war. She was 26 and Grandad was 27. They were together for 37 years and I have the loveliest memories of playing in the garden and feeding the ducks as a little girl in Buxton where they lived. My grandparents’ wedding was all about the marriage itself: no fuss, just a very personal celebration with family and friends. Rationing was still in effect in the UK at that time so budgets were pretty tight, but my grandma still has fond memories of her wedding day to share…

Grandma’s wedding was an intimate affair, with about ten people at the church service and then a reception at my Grandad Dave’s parents’ home. They invited closest family and friends: there was no need for distant relatives to travel; it was a simple, intimate and personal celebration.

Grandma wore a navy blue dress suit she’d borrowed from a friend (something borrowed, something blue!) as clothes were rationed in 1949. She had a hat, her hair was perfectly done and she wore a buttonhole. I think she looks fabulous – the photograph shows the strong, and proud lady I’ve always known: wonderfully independent and never one to follow the crowd if there was a better way of doing things! My Grandad wore a suit and a huge smile. They had buttonholes – Grandad’s was a single rose; Grandma’s more of a corsage with a few roses. Grandma didn’t remember carrying a bouquet: “the wedding was in April so there wouldn’t have been many flowers out yet”.

How times change – these days even for a December wedding we expect to have a huge variety of flowers available: roses, lilies, you name it: we import it from Africa or wherever we can, just so our weddings look just right! I think if they’d been around in 1949 my Grandma would have loved a sparkly and alternative buttonhole bouquet!

Grandma told me a little more about her wedding day: she remembers the wedding breakfast was a lovely roast joint of beef, and they had a wedding cake to cut afterwards. My Grandad’s nephew, who was six years old, handed Grandma a silver paper horseshoe to carry instead of flowers.

This is something that both my Mum and my Grandma had at their weddings: a silver horseshoe to carry with or instead of the bouquet seems like a lovely touch to incorporate in a modern vintage-inspired wedding – and must be easy enough to craft with card and silver spray or glitter!

There was no official photographer at my Grandma and Grandad’s wedding, although a family friend took some photos for keepsakes. We’re very lucky to have found these pictures  – Grandma wasn’t one for sentimentality or for hoarding old memories: but she has kept the most precious of all: some photographs of family and the beautiful wedding photograph above, as well as this portrait.

Grandma in 1944

I’m sharing this today because my Grandma died on Saturday. I will miss her so much.


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