Vintage Inspired Wedding at the Battersea Arts Centre

Abi Bansal Photography

November 24, 2021

Lydia and Nico met through Bumble – “Not the most glamorous of relationship starts,” she laughed, “but I’m sure similar for a lot of couples these days! I was known as ‘Lydia ?’ in Nico’s phone for at least a year – which had a double meaning when it came to designing our invitations. I used the iconic bee from the mosaic floors in the Battersea Arts Centre, our venue, but one bridesmaid thought it was to represent Bumble! A happy coincidence.”

The beauty of Battersea Arts Centre was all the couple really needed when it cam eto deciding on a theme for their July wedding. It was also important to the bride to have as much vintage in the day as possible – her outfit was a picture of vintage and family heirlooms, and all of her bridesmaids wore vintage dresses in gorgeous sunset colours. “The floral embroidery in my 1919 jacket provided a starting point when choosing the flowers for my bouquet, the bridal party and the decor on the day. The jacket was originally worn by an English gentleman marrying his Indian wife, which was more than appropriate as my husband is half Indian! Too perfect for words.”

Lydia’s tiara has a unique story, too – it was her late grandmothers, and they found it in a vanity case looking a little worse for wear at the back of a cupboard the same month that they got engaged. On a whim she decided to apply toe the BBC’s The Repair Shop to have it mended, and couldn’t believe it when they were accepted into the show. “The transformation was outstanding, and I was utterly thrilled to wear it on my wedding day.”

As Lydia works as both a graphic designer and a vintage small business owner, she wanted to do as much of the wedding as she could herself, and also support her friends and family’s businesses wherever possible. too; her Maid of Honour is a pastry chef who baked their cake, and their photographer is a friend, as well. 

Lydia designed the stationery for their day and made meal place cards from recycled leather and tassels. Instead of having a guest book, she designed a guest board; everyone wrote their messages on post-it notes and stuck them within a big outlined heart. The couple have since framed the board and they now have it hanging in our kitchen. Nico’s influence, by her own admission, came from reigning Lydia in – “I’m a maximalist and he’s a minimalist, so it was important to meet somewhere it the middle. Colour was certainly an aspect I wasn’t going to compromise on – I’m not one of those brides who likes twee, girly decor; the bolder the better, in my eyes.”

Their ceremony was held in the Octagonal Hall, a beautiful bright room with a stained glass ceiling. This really highlighted the glorious flowers Pinstripes and Peonies had provided, which lined the aisle. “We had 36 guests, with more loved ones across the globe watching via a live stream. I walked in with my dad to Led Zeppelin’s Thank You. Nico and I wrote our own vows. He’d threatened to upstage me by saying his by heart, which is why I started laughing when he apologised and produced a piece of paper from his pocket (I knew it!). My best friend read a beautiful reading called Maybe, which perfectly represented our feelings for each other.”

One large expense for their day was the light curtain that they hired for their reception. “It was a sneaky way of transforming a hall meant for 200 into and intimate venue for 36,” Lydia explained. ”But it created a fairytale glamour which all our guests loved.” They saved money on their outfits. Dig for Victory made Lydia’s dress at a fraction of the cost it would have been off the rack, and Nico bought a suit online then had it tailored. “I really wanted to have a piece of all my family with me on the day, which I’m pleased I managed – albeit with three outfit changes! My outfits included a lace bolero worn by my mum when she married my dad, my paternal great-grandmothers’ brooch and of course, my Nana’s wedding tiara.”

When it comes to feeling like yourself on your wedding day, Lydia has one piece of advice. “Be YOU! Make your day a representation of the true you, starting with how you look. Bin the pre-wedding weight loss plan, restricting underwear or make-up that makes you look like a different person. Just aim to be the best version of you, and you’ll be so much happier.”