Tags: Norfolk

A vintage obsession

14 Jul 2011

A vintage obsession

Looking for a quirky prop for your wedding reception? Love the idea of miss-matching crockery but can’t face hours trawling through charity shops? Look no further, A Most Curious Party has the answer.

Vintage enthusiast Rebecca Hoh-Hale spent two years collecting all sorts of weird and wonderful Objet d’Arts for her own wedding in 2008, and when her big day was over, she decided not to let them go to waste.

“I love the clothes, hairstyles, make-up, home-ware and design from the Victoriana age to the 50s,” says Rebecca, “and I knew my wedding day would need to have a quirky look, harking back to a bygone-era of Alice in Wonderland-style tea parties, faded glamour, V-Day celebrations and an old English country fete!”

Rebecca sourced all the pieces to create the look and now hires them out for weddings. A most Curious Wedding Party was originally set up in London, but Rebecca relocated to Norwich at the beginning of the year.

“We lived in a pokey little flat in East London, full of boxes of crockery and props,” she says. “When I found out I was pregnant we didn’t know how we would afford a bigger place that could accommodate A Most Curious Party and a new baby, but luckily this also coincided with my husband being offered a transfer to Norwich.”

Rebecca was surprised there was such a big vintage scene in Norwich; on her first visit she found a vintage clothes fair, a vintage textiles fair and a craft fair, with lots of vintage-loving designers and makers.

“There are lots of good quality vintage clothes shops as well,” she says. “In fact, it’s a little better than London as you still get a sense of finding something special, whereas in London everyone is doing it. I think people here seem to be particularly into 50s and rock and roll style, whereas in London it’s more about the 30s and 40s, but then skipping to the 80s.”

Items to hire include home-made bunting, chintzy crockery, strange and beautiful vases, fabric, peacock feathers, wallpaper, ornaments, music from the 20s-50s, artwork and other vintage decorations. A Most Curious Party can also come to the wedding venue and style the occasion too.

“No matter what people are like in their everyday lives, every bride wants a fairytale element to their wedding and I think old styles are associated with this,” says Rebecca. “There is something wonderful about pieces which have history, from a dress you know a bride had the happiest day of her life in 60 years ago, to quirky props like having a 40s typewriter instead of a guest book. It shows you have put in a little more thought into the big day and creates a talking point for guests.”

Some of the items in the collection are particularly precious to Rebecca, including crockery that belonged to her great grandma, and a 1930s silk dress that she wore on her wedding day with the Chinese side of the family in Malaysia.

“I have quite a lot of Victoriana pieces, from stuffed animals to a wind-up gramophone, which people either turn their nose up at or it’s the exact thing they were looking for,” she says.

Adding to the collection is verging on a personal obsession for Rebecca, but luckily that means if you would like to have an event that has this kind of style, all the leg work is done for you, no more scouring car boot sales, antique shops or eBay. Rebecca can even source vintage style items on request, no matter how obscure.

“I would have loved to have found everything I wanted in one place and to have someone on hand who understood the look I wanted when I was planning my day,” says 28-year-old Rebecca. “Now I am that someone!”

A Most Curious Party also puts on its own events, such as hen-do tea parties with vintage make-overs, and she is also currently organising the Most Curious Vintage Wedding Fair on Saturday, April 16 in the historical setting of St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich.

As for the future, Rebecca is certain the vintage look is here to stay. “Vintage classic style goes so well with the wedding aesthetic,” she says. “But it has already evolved from the countryfied, chintzy look from a few years ago, to more daring statements such as using larger old props from set eras, like Victorian times or Great Gatsby style, not just a general vintage look.”

For more information call Rebecca on 07852 150285 or visit www.amostcuriousparty.co.uk.

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