Style Like it Downton- Wedding Dresses and Flowers

Rachel Simpson

Posted on September 09 2019

Style Like it Downton- Wedding Dresses and Flowers

Style like it Downton Abbey Vintage Wedding

Downtown Abbey Themed Wedding Vintage Wedding

In the second part of our Style it Like Downton series we're looking at the all important dresses, as well as exploring a few ideas for which flowers work best with them. Although we do a wide variety of styles now, at Rachel Simpson we're originally known for our vintage inspired wedding shoes and this distinctive twenties period is one of our absolute favourites. 

Keep it Simple

There is a certain simplicity to the dresses of this period, where the understated cut and beautiful materials take centre stage, creating a stunningly elegant silhouette. As Downton’s award-winning costume designer, Caroline McCall explains, ‘When you think of the fashions of the 1920s, you immediately think of the Jazz Age and flapper girls'. Indeed who can forget the glitz and razz-ma-tazz of the costumes in Baz Luhrman's remake of The Great Gatsby? However as McCall explains, 'the 1920s of Downton Abbey has a very different mood’, it’s much more ethereal and romantic; a soft, draped silhouette that actually lends itself very well to weddings’.

Lady Mary Downton Abbey wedding dress

Photo: PBS

Lady Mary's gown was a stunning silk dress, layered with lace and embellished wth Swarovski crystals and tiny, delicate pearls. The beautiful long train completed this masterpiece- the most expensive costume ever made on Downton Abbey at around £4,000, and that's only the cost price! 

Lady Edith Downton Abbey wedding dress

Photo: PBS

Another favourite of ours was Lady Edith's Grecian style gown, made of beautifully draped silk with an asymmetric gather at the hip, finished with a intricately embroidered motif. The train was decorated in silver embroidery and crystals, and we especially love how her tiara perfectly matches the gown's motif. 

Costume designer Caroline McCall has a top tip for brides wanting to achieve this elegant twenties look, and suggests making the choice of fabric a key consideration. As she explains, 'The key to both Lady Mary’s and Lady Edith’s wedding dresses is that they are so soft, they drape so beautifully.’ We reckon someone who has created such incredible designs probably knows what she's talking about! 

Add a Cape

Another distinct look of the period is the wedding cover up, and we're really happy to see these back in fashion. Whether a cape, bolero or dress topper, they're the perfect accessory for adding some detail whilst keeping the overall look understated- and of course they're a lot easier to wear again than the dress itself! 

For a wonderful range of bridal cover ups with a truly period feel, check out Silver Moon. Based in Chicago, we've worked together for a number of years and their collection works perfectly with our shoes, as you can see!

Silver Moon Chicago Iona beaded vintage dress topper

For more vintage style cover ups, click here to view Silver Moon's collection.

All the Pretty Flowers

Whilst flowers were important, they tended to be small to medium sized posies and certainly didn't overpower the look.- think demure rather than dramatic. Ivory and white mixed with plenty of foilage works really well, or if you want to add colour keep it soft and muted- blush pinks, greyed off lilac and romantic peach tones work well. A simple hand tied ribbon finishes this style of wedding bouquet perfectly.


Ask your venue if they can provide a small vase on the top table so you can enjoy it whilst you have your wedding breakfast. 

Vintage wedding bouquet in mason jar


There's loads of inspiration for Downton Abbey style wedding dresses online and I'm sure we're not the only ones eager to find out if the long awaited movie will bring us any new ones to fall in love with!

If you missed our feature on Downton Abbey inspired hair ideas, click here to check it out and click here to see ideas for vintage wedding shoes and accessories.

Until then,

Rachel x

More Posts

1 comment

  • Agustini Tampubolon: September 16, 2019

    Such a detail explanation. No wonder you are a Professional in clothes design.. :)

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing