Vintage Flair: beautiful porcelain china hire for your wedding

I’m a vintage and mismatched china lover so much so that I regularly set up some cream tea style snacks for my kids as a treat {even though instead of freshly made scones and homemade clotted cream, it would be shop-bought biscuits and eclairs, cadbury’s mini-rolls and the odd tart that would be proudly sitting on the tiered mismatched plates that I’d constructed}. Earl grey tea is an essential part of it though and the kids love it {I serve them the decaffeinated version}. My husband only found out about this last Easter when we went out to eat and they all asked for earl grey tea much to his surprise and amusement.

This was one of the reasons why I was very pleased to meet Ellen of Vintage Flair at the National Vintage Wedding Fair in Greenwich. They not only have the most delicate collection of china you can hire, more importantly they are local! They serve London, Kent, Essex and the South-East which means your china does not have to travel very far at all!

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Ellen kindly agreed to be interviewed so we can find out more about how their business started to where they are now – featured regularly in wedding publications such as Rock n Roll Bride, Love My Dress and various wedding magazines, as well as what is different about them.

What inspired you to be in the wedding trade / industry?

My business partner, Elizabeth, married in 2008 and she hired vintage china for her wedding. When it arrived it was of a pretty poor quality – not as beautiful as the suppliers website had suggested. Shortly after and during my wedding planning, the idea came to us that each guest table should be as beautiful as the bridal table, styled with premium quality vintage china. One year later Vintage Flair launched on my wedding day in August 2009.

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What / who would you say your main influences and inspiration are?

Elizabeth and I are both fans of dining out for afternoon tea and have been to most London establishments such as Claridges, Browns, Savoy etc and we love the refined elements in every aspect. We wanted our collection to reflect this to allow clients to bring the ‘Ritz’ look and feel to their wedding.
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Who are your favourite icons / personalities in the industry you are in and why do you look up to them?

We are both big fans of Emmy Shoes for their pure elegance and beauty and love working with Claire from Lily and May on her beautiful floral creations she makes in our bone china and glassware items.

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What advice would you give to brides when preparing for their wedding day?

We always tell the bride to think about how they want their tables to look when their guests first walk in (before the caterers bring our the cake stands, teapots etc). We also relay the importance of hiring the items specifically required for their menu rather than hiring package deals – this is the reason we price our items individually as not all brides want the full works and not all menus are the same.

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Do you love what you do and why?

Yes! We love our job as it involves LOTS of antique shopping and being involved in weddings – the happiest industry to be in.

What is your dream regarding your business?

It’s been a lot of hard work building up Vintage Flair for both Elizabeth and I as we’ve each had two children during the past seven years which is a lot of sleepless night and school runs to fit our work around. As of this September my youngest will be in preschool which gives me so much more time to build up our client base. We’ve spent the past year building up our stock in preparation for this and hope to expand further into London, Sussex and Surrey. 

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What is your dream regarding your personal life?

For our children to grow into polite, courteous little people and to have as many family holidays as possible. It’s the one time you truly get to all be together and not be distracted by the household chores and work e-mails. Family time is very precious, especially as they grow up far too fast!

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Lastly, a huge thank you to A Question of Thyme Catering for providing yummy treats at the fair.

You can contact Ellen and Elizabeth via their website, or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter @vintageflairltd, Instagram @vintageflairchina and on Pinterest as vintageflairltd.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @lilyrsawyer, Twitter @lilysawyerphoto and Facebook for more creative and wedding features coming up!


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