Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue …
Brides now can try to find the something they are looking for at Grandma Darling’s Antique Mall, which unveiled it’s Happily Ever After bridal room Saturday.
The upstairs space, which has a dressing room, features more than 50 vintage and modern bridal gowns and bridal accessories, with some dresses sold on consignment. Antique wedding cards, cake toppers, tiaras, teacups, garters, clutches, jewelry and more are for sale. And, the area boasts some designer suits for women as well as items for bridesmaids or the mother of the bride.
“I’d been collecting these dresses for years,” said Karen Capo, a longtime vintage clothing vendor who had the vision for creating a bridal room. “I’d find these beautiful, one-of-a-kind gowns at garage sales and secondhand stores.”
Photos: school formal dresses
Something that most women only wear once, before the dress goes into a box in the closet for a lifetime, Capo said she loves the idea of finding a use for old bridal gowns, which are more affordable than buying new.
“I sold my mother’s dress, actually,” Capo said. “When the girl chose it I got sentimental and almost took it out of her hand. But what was I going to do with it? It didn’t fit me, but it was a beautiful, short dress that someone else could enjoy again.”
Capo’s own wedding dress, however, is off-limits. Purchased more than a quarter-century ago for $35, the dress reminded her of her mother’s dress, but it fit her right off the rack, and she’s holding onto it for now.
Meanwhile, Capo and other vendors at Grandma Darling’s have been busy painting the walls blue and white and arranging veils over vintage mannequins. They created a changing room and seating area and put together everything wedding-themed that they had collected through the years.
One of those vendors, Karen Braverman-Freeman, has her own wedding portrait and her mother and father’s portrait, too, hanging in the changing room — she specializes in selling vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry, including wedding jewelry.
Another vendor, Ann Hocking, who sells an eclectic mix of items, plans to hang up her same-sex wedding portrait on the wall, and noted that there are several designer pant suits for women, not just traditional wedding gowns.
Several more of Grandma Darling’s 60 vendors have portraits hanging in the bridal room, and many vendors decided to include photographs of their parents or grandparents saying “I do.”
Grandma Darling herself, business owner Debbie Vasquez, who started the business about 15 years ago with her husband George Willard, said the antique mall’s bridal room is unique in the Long Beach area.
“Nobody has anything like this,” she said about the vintage bridal room. “We’re excited to see people come in and try on these affordable, vintage dresses. We’ve got some really gorgeous things in here.”
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