1950s Cocktail … Astred and Bob’s Wedding 17 October 2009

by | Inspired Weddings, Weddings



Bob and I met in October 2001 at an American swing band. We were both in the Sydney Rockabilly scene and even though we’d never met before, when he came up to ask me to dance that night I thought he looked familiar. It turned out we both went to the same design school! He was studying industrial design and I was studying graphic design. We have been together ever since.

Bob proposed on Christmas morning 2008 while we were still in our pyjamas and handing each other our gifts.

The main focus for our wedding day was to have fun. It was important for the wedding to reflect who we are in our everyday life; we didn’t want something that felt unnatural or overly staged. We collect and wear vintage clothing; our house is a culmination of 10 years of collecting vintage home wares and interesting industrial objects. Our friends are like-minded, so having a vintage style wedding was only natural.

Bridesmaids getting ready

Tony fitting my hat and veil

Astred getting finishing touches

Barber shop

The bridal party started the day at Sterling Hair Salon where vintage hair specialist, Tony styled our hair with the brief of: “BIG early 60s hair, please!” and celebrated make-up artist Martin Bray finished off the look with lots of black eyeliner, flash eyelashes and shaped brows.

I purchased my original 1950s cocktail dress on eBay in immaculate condition for $200. As an avid collector of 50s/60s fashion it is honestly the most amazing dress I have ever found.

My talented tailor fit the dress as well as adding intricately beaded layers of Swarovski crystals to the bust and lace trim of the skirt. He also studied 1950s Dior patterns and techniques to fashion a new petticoat out of 50 metres of pink and peach tulle, to create the perfect bell shaped skirt – a la Dior’s 1954 ‘new look’ collection.

My vision for the bridesmaids was to make them my own living posy, so I took colour inspiration from hydrangeas. As we were buying original 1950s fashions, there was no way that we could find 3 dresses exactly the same, so I decided to make a feature of the differences.

corsage and flowers

flowers and shoes

bridesmaids prep

everyone needs a little gaffa tape

dress detail

Bride and Father of the Bride

We arranged the flowers ourselves. A good friend of Bob’s is a flower farmer who helped us enormously by advising us and bought the flowers for us. It didn’t matter that we weren’t professional florists, because our vision was to have garden posies that didn’t look overly constructed but looked more natural and gathered with love.


My bouquet was a selection of large blousey, dark and light pink David Austin roses with pink hydrangeas, highlighted by green hellebores and hydrangea leaves. It was held together with a pink satin ribbon, on which I sewed a vintage pink and white flower-shaped diamante earring. The other earring from the pair was sewn on the matching ribbon wrist corsage my bridesmaid Tanya made for me.

The ceremony was performed on the patio of Rose Seidler House with the mid-century modern mural as the backdrop. We enjoyed the architecture and décor of this mid-century modern house, built in 1950, but at the same time we respected its role as a museum commemorating one of Australia’s most influential architects, Harry Seidler.

Beautiful Bridesmaid

bridal procession


bridesmaids detail

signing the registry


Image by David Johnson

admiring the ring

Bride and maids

Groom and Bride

Bob constructed the boutonnieres on the morning of the wedding, using a sprig of hellebores and incorporating Matuka fishing fly’s to add a very personal touch that represented his passion for fishing.

Groom and boutonniere detail

Bride and Groom

looking out, bride and groom

Wedding party

Happy couple and Rose Seilder House

For our reception we had a relaxed cocktail party at Clovelly Bowling Club with scattered chairs and 5 tables. Each table decorated with an Australiana tablecloth and vintage hardcover books in blue hues that supported tea lights in mini preserve jars. There was also a selection of vases and large preserve jars with arrangements of David Austin roses, blue, purple and green hydrangeas, pink ranunculus, and green hellebores. Scrabble racks displayed romantic words like: pillow talk, tie knot, lovebirds and pools of extra tiles were placed on each table to encourage guests to make up their own words – which they did and it was a source of much amusement all night!

scrabble tiles

Image by David Johnson

our wedding cake


Image by David Johnson

reception detail

reception detail


bridesmaids photobooth

photobooth images

Rockabilly guys at reception

Gorgeous guests

As my father gave his speech, my mother backed up him up with a gospel song while holding up Bob Dylan-style flash cards! It was a riot.

parents speech

Bob came up with the idea for our cake, based on my obsession with collecting a particular brand of 1950s plastic kitchen canisters. My canisters have white lettering on them to represent their contents, C for coffee, S for sugar and so on, but we chose to have the letters L O V E on four ‘canisters’ in graduated sizes.

cutting the cake

our first dance

Best man and bridesmaid dancing

Dessert table

dessert table detail

bye bye!

Inspired by a combination 1950s illustrations and contemporary rock posters we created 3 colour (pink, black and gold) illustrations for the stationery. We designed and hand made all the stationery ourselves. It was all screen-printed using my Print Gocco (a little Japanese screen printing machine).

save the date


invites extras

Ceremony venue: Rose Seilder House
Reception venue: Clovelly Bowling Club
Catering: Katering
Hair: Sterling Hairdressing Parlour & Barber Shop
Make Up: Martin Bray
Bride’s dress: Vintage (ebay seller)
Groom’s suit: Meijo Exclusive Menswear, 39 Burwood Rd, Burwood, NSW 2134, phone: 02 97473403
Bridesmaid dress: Vintage (sourced from ebay.com and etsy.com)
Photographer: Marinco Kojdanovski –  mobile 0418 383 828
Cake: Polka Dot Cookies and Cakes
Music: Limpin’ Jimmy and the Swingin’ Kitten
Photo booth: Retro Photo Company

Ms Polka Dot says:Such a gorgeous wedding for you today, with many lovely vintage details to inspire you. Congratulations Astred and Bob on your marriage and thank you sharing your wedding day with us!

Astred says: I’m a red-headed book designer with a passion for vintage. After meeting my husband in Sydney’s rockabilly scene 10 years ago, we made a life together in a 50s red-brick house filled to the brim with 50s/60s home wares and clothing to match. No longer what I would call rockabilly, we still enjoy an early 60s vintage inspired lifestyle. We are both designers and used our skills and style to create a wedding that truly reflected our personalities. See her website – Astred Hicks here.

Images unless otherwise credited from Marinco Kojdanovski

Want more? Check out these posts from the archives:

  • Annie @ Marry You Me says:
    December 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    This is too fabulous! The dresses and shoes are a-ma-zing 🙂

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    December 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Johnson, polkadotbride, polkadotbride, astred, Clare Bear and others. Clare Bear said: RT @polkadotbride: The ultimate 1950s wedding from @astred http://bit.ly/gzvI0c […]

  • Tenielle says:
    December 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    *GASP* I ADORE 1950s everything!!!! Love to see people being themselves 100%, so beautiful. Wish we shot this wedding!!! 😉

  • Cathrin D'Entremont says:
    December 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    What an amazing wedding. Love all the details. Even the bridesmaids have matching nail polish. Pity that I wasn’t a fly on the wall watching it all.

  • Jenny says:
    December 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Wow, that is absolutely beautiful, the thought, the detail, the love, I got a bit emotional reading the descriptions and viewing the photos, must have been a magical day.

  • Alicia Larriera @ Form Over Function says:
    December 10, 2010 at 11:58 am

    This has got to be one of the most sensational, stylish, beautiful, creative, lovely and loving wedding celebrations I have ever seen. And did I mention I am green, greeen, deep shade of green with envy for it not occuring to me to get married at Rose Seidler House myself?! There is so much copying of copying of copying of vintage/retro that goes around, it is a joy to behold a wedding where there is genuine, playful love for the music, icons and design of another era. Standing ovation from this corner. Love it, simply utterly love it.

  • Monday Links to Love…Tuesday Edition « The Lemonade Stand says:
    December 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

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  • RawrPix says:
    December 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This was a extremely good post. I want to hear more. Perhaps your visitors will like my web site with rockabilly and skater pictures.

  • Wedding Inspiration from Australia | Just Weddings Blog says:
    January 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    […] Source: Polka Dot Bride […]

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  • 1950s Cocktail Wedding « VintageFeel says:
    December 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

    […] found a beautiful 1950s Cocktail Wedding on Polka Dot […]

  • Candy says:
    February 26, 2012 at 1:06 am

    What a gorgeous wedding! <3

  • Jayne says:
    January 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Looks great, love the 50’s theme without looking tacky which so many people do. fabulous cake!



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