You’re getting married in 2016. Your mum got married in the 1980’s. And your granny in the 1960’s. So what’s changed?

The wedding dress

Back in the 1960’s your grandmother may well have made her own wedding dress or got a clever friend or seamstress to make one to a pattern for her. Almost certainly the bridesmaid dresses would have been run up at home.

Only brides with a very large budget would have gone to a wedding dress boutique and there was little chance of finding a bargain. There where no Ebay or wedding dress fairs back then.

The girls working together on a frock ...

The girls working together on a frock…

In the 1980’s there was a bit more choice. Many large high street branches had concessions and well-known brands like Pronuptia had arrived, offering wedding dresses on the High Street.

The wedding reception

Back in the 1960’s you couldn’t get married in the evening (or in the 1980’s either) in a church and you couldn’t get married in a hotel either. Your only choices were a place of worship or a register office.

Most brides tended to get married in the morning and have a wedding breakfast around lunchtime, then cutting the wedding cake and leaving for their honeymoon around tea-time. Evening dances weren’t the norm.

customer shopping for hats

You would definitely have wanted a hat with your “going away” outfit

When you left for your honeymoon with your new spouse, you also changed out of your wedding dress into what was known as “a going away” outfit, which was usually a nice dress and a hat. This would have been a special purchase in addition to your wedding dress.

Now most brides are partying on with their friends until the small hours and staying at the hotel so going away outfits are becoming rather old-fashioned. If a bride does go off with her new husband, she’s likely to stay in her wedding dress (which is just what Kate Middleton did when Prince William swept her off in a classic Aston Martin car).

wedding styling in black and white

A wedding created by one of our stylists for a recent bride

Styling your wedding

Nowadays you have so much choice. You can have a vintage style wedding day, a festival wedding day, a country style wedding day. The list is endless. Ask us to help you style your wedding and we’ll get it looking the way you’ve always dreamed of at a very reasonable rate – and you won’t have had to spend time and money sourcing props like lanterns or glitter balls as our stylists have everything to hand. Get in touch, there’s certainly to be an Ambience stylist near you.

In the 1960’s it was very much one size fits all. You wouldn’t have found much around in the way of decorative chair sashes and wedding flowers tended to be formal. Now, just about anything goes classic roses or a higgeldy piggeldy posy of wild flowers in a jam-jar on every table.

Wedding flowers are less formal

Wedding flowers are less formal…

Wedding gifts

Back in the 1960’s you would have written down your wedding list and given it to your mother, who would have let people know what you wanted. And you really might have ended up with five toasters. Living together was very unusual so couples had to make a home from scratch, so they would have been asking for items like bed linen, towels, cutlery sets. Today many couples have lived together before getting married so they are looking to upgrade.

It was also popular to have the wedding gifts displayed on a table at the wedding reception.

By the 1980’s things were changing a bit. You could have a wedding list in many of the department stores so duplicate gifts were much less of an issue.

Today things have completely changed. Some couples ask for a contribution towards their honeymoon. Gift vouchers are very popular. Asking for money is still a bit of a no-no in many cases however.

So what’s better?

In the 1960’s a bride’s parents traditionally paid for the wedding but today most couples chip in a fair bit themselves so that they have the day they want. In addition, the groom’s parents may help too buying the champagne and wine for the wedding reception for example.

We think it’s good that brides today have a bit more choice although that can also be stressful. So our advice to you would be to make a budget, make a plan and stick to it. And remember that you’re marrying the partner of your dreams rather than stage managing the wedding Oscars!