The modern 1940’s bride: make do and mend…

Are weddings just pure vanity these days… Did I really say that out loud!  Certainly, if you wanted to get married in the 1940’s the chance  of there being any possibility of choosing a beautiful dress was pretty rare.  At the height of the war, in total contrast to today, weddings would be organised in days not years to allow sweethearts to marry while on short term leave.  Ration coupons would often be donated to allow a celebration cake to be made – considered a luxury at the time and gardens would be raided to provide flowers for the bouquet.  What garments there was would be shared among family and friends until there was little left to preserve or re-use today and it wasn’t uncommon to hear of silk and nylon parachute’s being turned into wedding dresses either.  In fact I recently heard a story from Anna of Lilly Bridal wear a Danish designer and she told me her Grandmother started their bridal business and the first dress she made was from a silk parachute.  I really find these beautiful stories, so poignant and if your the type of person to love this too then there is a good chance you will love these styles.


This beautiful shoot was styled using upcycled original 40’s gowns gowns from BexBrides a low hem was added to bring the look more up to date and she crafted belts to match the lipstick colours used.

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Joined by a fab team of professionals to create this authentic 1940’s look.  Photographer – Kendra Eastwood; Hair – June Shippey; Flowers – FlowermaidenMakeup Madelaine Janes; Gowns – BexBrides.

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The two girls who modelled really are friends and this was a great twist as the friendship came through quite naturally and added to the authenticity of the shoot.  Women in the 40’s would rely on each other massively for support and friendship, often sharing what they had to help each other out.


Bex’s studio is an eclectic mix of gowns – I think of it like an Artist’s box of paints the dresses are all her colours to be used to create the perfect picture.  Every bride is individual and you certainly wouldn’t get a high street retailer with the courage to remove a sleeve or change a neckline to create your perfect gown.

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Flowermaiden followed the brief of providing trailing bouquets incorporating mainly greenery, asparagus fern and delphinium flower heads were used to create this wispy and delicate display that would have fitted perfectly in this era and is so on trend right now.


June specialises in Vintage hair styles and gets the look to a T and Madeleine compliments the look accentuating Natasha’s porcelain flawless complexion adding the iconic eyeliner and deep red lipstick.  Makeup was a real luxury and often girls would have to improvise with whatever they could get their hands on – Imagine absolutely no MAC!!






Models: Jade Bell and Natasha Wardman


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