Two busy ladies from the world of vintage events and publishing join forces to inspire brides on the south coast.
Alex Cvijovic and Helen Ruff met at a wedding fair in 2013. Both doing their bit for the wedding world; Alex was organising the fair (The Nostalgic Wedding Fair in Winchester) and Helen was distributing Doily Days magazine. From the outset it was clear the girls shared a mutual passion for nostalgia as well as the desire to promote their take on vintage to the wedding and events industry. Neither of them are into a specific era; although they’d probably admit to being drawn to the nostalgia of post-war decades, they’ve still been known to rock 20s Marcel waves and 40s victory rolls. They both love iconic 60s design, 50s barkcloth dresses for parties and pink lipstick and denim jackets reminiscent of the 80s and 90s. Their take on vintage is fun, playful and colourful.
Alex started her business, The Vintage Parade, in 2012. She’s organised her share of local vintage fairs as well as curating vintage villages for the likes of Carfest and The Royal International Air Tattoo. Her skills lie in seeking out the traders who make an event extra special; from fun florists who make floral crowns to ‘kitsch kitten’ entertainers and teachers who’ll get you mastering the jive stroll in no time. Despite camping at some of her events she always looks the part with a jaunty headscarf, original dress and bright lipstick (ditching the heels for flats as she usually has to run around the site like a mad person).
Helen has published the wedding magazine since 2013 but she also likes a good excuse to dress up and enjoy herself by throwing parties for her advertisers… and the wedding world sure know how to party! She’s had vintage salons at her events, photo booths, live singers, dance schools, vintage DJs… a temporary tattoo station! All captured by professional photographers and videographers.
The duo joined forces in 2016 to work on an event together; The Wonderous Wedding Fair. Having a huge exhibition/concert space to work with (The Pyramids), right on the seafront in Southsea, they were able to showcase more than 40 exhibitors, put on two fashion shows (compared by local vintage performer and personality Dawn Gracie), run a vintage tearoom and offer floral and burlesque workshops. Entertainment was in the form of incredible vintage singer Miss Amy Baker and a steel band who treated guests to an energising and uplifting performance reminiscent of a Caribbean beach bar. Vehicles included a 60s split screen campervan, a ‘gin emporium’ in a Citroen H van, a 1964 Ford Corsair and they had an authentic sweet shop in a fully-mobile hut.
This year’s show, set for Sunday 5th November, promises to be bigger and better with local company Ginger & Peach running the tearoom, Bubsie and the Beat Brothers performing folk classics, a 1950s ‘flying cloud’ Airstream setting the tone outside, a Tuk Tuk with Prosecco on tap, amazing goody bags for VIP brides and workshops (such as Brush Lettering with Little Old Goose, Flower Crowns with The Little Florist and Truffle Making with Choc & Truffle).