In our vintage bridal edit, Sandra Hagelstam, founder of fashion blog 5 inch and up, styled our beautiful model to represent a vintage bride.
Born and bred in Finland, the influential blogger moved to the UK in 2010 to study at London College of Fashion, where, a few months in to her studies, she began her fashion blog.
Inspired by the idea of having a visual diary and a closet full of shoes, Sandra enjoyed the idea of sharing aspects of her own personal style – providing her with the opportunity to wear all the beautiful things she had accumulated for a purpose while supporting her degree.
We caught up with Sandra to learn about her style and grab a few tips on how to create the most beautiful vintage wedding.
To begin, you have a really unique style, how would you describe it?
Oh thank you. I’m from Finland so I would say I find myself quite comfortable in dressing Scandinavian; neutral, dark colours; suits and separates; leather jackets. These things feels very natural to me. It is a mix of classic and modern with a bit of a masculine twist– I enjoy following trends so my style is ever-changing. The shoes, and especially heels, are what I build the outfits around – hence the name of my blog.
You have styled our vintage bride today, so what would be your key tips for someone who is looking to have a vintage wedding style?
My first thought was to start to break it down. Forget about it being costumey or following the theme too literally. Look at historical bride pictures if you feel like it, but make sure to bring it into the modern era. We don’t want it to look like you’re going to a 1920s costume party. It’s your wedding day; it should be very personal. Styles like a cat eye and a red lip are still being used every day, they’re very strong but have a classic vibe about them. Wearing a red lip can be quite bold but if it’s something that you feel comfortable in, then go for it. Maybe you want a unique, beaded, vintage inspired gown that works like a piece of jewellery. Pick and choose what feels right and what works for you.
Would you ever say stick to one era for inspiration or mix?
Definitely mix it up, you don’t want to look like you’re going to a theme party. It all depends on your hair length, hair colour, your preference in make up, your body shape and the dress. Opting for a modern gown will go well with a cat eye or a red lip even though you’re mixing a lot of styles. It’s all about the subtle details and overall combination that makes it work personally for you in the end.
In terms of accessories and jewellery for a vintage look, are there any key pieces you would advise a bride to look at?
It all starts with the jewellery, with the engagement ring symbolising the start of planning your wedding. Your wedding doesn’t have to stick to the theme of the ring, but you can use it as guidance for the direction you want to go in. Cuts that we think of as modern are often vintage – such as the emerald cut and a diamond halo.
Pearls are elegant and a great investment that never ages. Depending on the styling, you can either make the look classic, trendy or vintage inspired. The way to wear pearls nowadays is to mix them in with your other jewellery and not go for a full pearl look. Maybe have pearl earrings, or a pearl bracelet and style them with your diamonds. The combination of pearls and diamonds is timeless but has that retro vibe. So, build the look around the jewellery and take it from there.
Would you say that there is an ultimate vintage bridal icon? Or even a style icon that someone can take as a starting point?
The make-up I used while styling the vintage bride was inspired by Marilyn Monroe. I then took reference from the 1920s, flapper dress era and added an element of a Rita Hayworth vibe.
Referencing old Hollywood glamour is a very good idea when starting to look for inspiration for a vintage wedding and there are a lot of pictures to be found.
For a vintage bride, how would you tie in the old adage, “Something old, something new…” while complementing the theme?
For “something old” you have an amazing opportunity to wear something that would be your mother’s or grandmother’s, something that’s been in the family and holds a special meaning. Maybe it’s the earrings, maybe it’s the veil. The vintage bridal look is quite accessorised, so don’t be afraid to mix and match. There is a lot to play with when it comes to finding something old. It could even be a vintage dress or maybe an amazing bag found in a vintage shop.
For “something new”, I don’t think you need to overthink that because almost everything on your wedding day is going to be new. If not the dress, probably some pieces of the jewellery, especially the wedding band.
“Something borrowed” could be something from a friend perhaps, or something thaty goes hand in hand with “something old”. It could be an element that brings good luck, something that you will pass on.
Personally, I really love the idea of wearing something blue on your body, like a garter. Alternatively, you could choose jewellery that features sapphires to bring out a rich-toned blue.
What is your experience with a gift for the bride from the groom and should it be done for the groom from the bride?
In Finland, the morning after the wedding the husband gives you a gift, which is usually a memorable piece of jewellery. My mother got a coloured stone ring that I inherited from her. It’s something that symbolises the joyful start to a life together. I also love the idea of giving the husband something that can be worn forever, such as a watch or a piece of jewellery, or cufflinks that you can have engraved. You can choose something quite personal that can be passed on to your children one day.
Are there any wedding traditions you have in Finland that we don’t do over here?
We have something called “kidnapping of the bride” on the night of the wedding. I’m not sure if this is purely just a Finnish traditions, but I know that many people have never heard of it! Basically, at some point in the night during the wedding party, the groomsmen steal away the bride and the husband has to complete a task to win her back. It is usually something a bit embarrassing like a confession. It’s quite a fun tradition that usually takes place after people have had a few drinks. It is also quite common to have a winter wedding in Finland because we have such beautiful snowfall every year. it’s a wonderful opportunity to get married in a cosy castle and have a winter wonderland themed wedding
Finally, do you have any top tips to anyone who is or is thinking about getting married to set them off on the right track?
Something I have learnt is to not leave things to the last minute, try and finish things as early as possible because on the day it will go by so fast – you want to enjoy every minute of your special day. The worst thing would be to have tasks to complete or too many things on your mind. Take enough time to get ready; lay out the jewellery and hang the dress the night before as the visual details play a key role on the day.
Special thanks must go to the world class team of contributers who helped us to create our vintage, modern and bridal themes.
Sandra Hagelstam for styling our vintage look: http://5inchandup.com/
Isla and Smith who styled the shoot – http://islaandsmith.com
Eternity Bridal who supplied the dresses – https://www.eternitybridal.co.uk
Laura Kingston flowers – https://www.laurahingstonflowers.com
Pyne’s House – https://www.pyneshouse.co.uk
Crombie for the men’s suits – https://www.crombie.co.uk/suits.html
Vivienne Edge Photography – https://www.vivienneedgephotography.co.uk