Style your Wedding with Darby & Joan

Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire

Hello D&J’ers hope you are well and ready for your next dose of  wedding inspiration. Today’s post is a little different.  We usually write about different themes or colour inspiration which hopefully gives you loads of ideas to incorporate into your big day, but this time we thought we’d focus our inspiration a little closer to home. Right here in Derbyshire in the treasure trove that is Darby & Joan HQ. I don’t know if any of you have ever had the pleasure of stepping inside Karen’s beautiful home and exploring the Aladdin’s Cave of vintage wedding fabulousness but I can assure you it’s something pretty special.

Today I thought I’d focus on specific items that you can hire from Darby & Joan for your upcoming wedding and give you a few ideas too!

In case you missed it, Karen won the Best National Venue Stylist Award for 2014, as awarded by the National Wedding Industry Awards.  So if you needed some help with the planning and styling of your day…

Right, let’s get on with show, queue the pretty…

Lots of Love, Mirlah xox



Table Runners, Linens, Doilies & Napkins

When Karen styles a wedding it all starts with the blank canvas that is, the table. Often a tired old trestle the first thing to do is give it a new lease of life with a table cloth. Crisp white linen is the perfect starting block to build your theme on and is practical too. From there you can start to add a bit of character, a runner is great way to add some colour or texture without it getting the way of your guests. Darby & Joan have got an array of lace edged hessian runner that work so well with rustic style weddings, or, if you wanted to go for something a little more classic then a simple white lace runner would look stunning and adds just a subtle hint of vintage without being too overpowering.

To add some more interest, doilies are great for building layers of colour, pattern and texture and they’re not pretty for the sake of it, they’re practical too and are great for putting underneath vases and jars to mop up any spills. Karen literally has hundreds of those little lace beauties, all a little bit different.



Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire | Table Runners, Linens, Doilies & Napkins

Moodboards by: Best Day Ever

Image Credits: Top to Bottom

Lumiere Photography | Christie Graham Photography | Matt Brown Photography

Drinks Dispensers & Jam Jars

Ohh I love these! I think they should be made mandatory at all weddings. Visually they’re fab and you can really go to town creating a beautiful drinks station and they’re just perfect for creating a bit of interaction on your big day. Guests love the fact they can happily serve themselves and come back for a top up. You can fill these guys up with anything from Pimms, Lemonade, flavoured sparkling water, the world’s your oyster! Still going strong is the humble jam jar, now you could decide to buy tons of jam on every shopping trip, but an easier way would be to hire them and team them with their best friend, the stripy straw – of course!



Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire | Drinks Dispensers & Jam Jars Perfect for Pimms

  Kate Henderson Photography | Christie Graham Photography | James Melia | Emma Cleveley Photography

Vintage Suitcases, Palettes & Crates

Just look at these beauties! I lose count of how many suitcases Karen has in her studio but they are all drop dead gorgeous and just perfect for a vintage wedding. A really popular way of incorporating a vintage suitcase into a wedding day is to use as a place to collect cards and gifts. Open it up and hang a little sign showing your guests where to pop they’re cards of congratulations and you’re sorted, it’s a really simple way of using up those empty corners of your venue but sis still in keeping with your style. They also look great stacked up, filled with flowers or, for the smaller ones, you could even use them as centrepieces. The crates and palettes are spot on for rustic style weddings and provide a bit of pretty storage space for cutlery, serving food or adding height to your displays.



Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire | Vintage Suitcases, Wooden Palettes & Apple Crates

Image Credits: Top to Bottom

Matt Brown Photography | Kathryn Edwards Photography | Emma Cleveley Photography | Matt Brown Photography

Vintage China, Cake Stands, Trays & Crockery

The star of the show and where it all began for Karen at Darby & Joan, vintage china! The ultimate way to pretty up your tables with layer upon layer of mismatched plates, cups and saucers. We’ve often had the conversation that goes “couldn’t we just do it ourselves?” And in truth, of course! In fact it would be lovely to know that by the end of it you have hunted down and collected all the china pretty yourself, but the beauty of hiring is the sheer quality and amount of pieces that D&J has to offer, plus it includes the washing up!

There aren’t any set packages when hiring from Darby & Joan so each ‘package’ is completely tailored to you. Need a few cake stands and teapots – you go it. Some silver trays and teacups – coming right up! If you’re styling a vintage wedding there’s no doubt a few pieces of pretty patterned china will set your theme off right.



Styling a Vintage Wedding with Darby & Joan | Vintage Prop Hire, Derbyshire | Vintage China, Cake Stands, Silver Trays, Cutlery & More

Image Credits: Top to Bottom

Kathryn Edwards Photography | James Melia | Matt Brown Photography | Light & Lace Photography

So there you have it a lovely list of beautiful vintage things you can hire from Darby & Joan, this is by no means a definitive list, oh no ladies and gents! There’s ladders, vintage books, custom chalkboard signs, bunting, easels, typewriters,mismatched vases and more! For more information, prices or to arrange a visit to the fabulous D&J HQ just get in touch!

Just a lil disclaimer, all of these images are 1. stunning and 2. feature props that belong to Darby & Joan.

8:14 26 June 2014

Wedding Colour Combinations

Vintage Wedding Colour Combinations

Hello everybody! I hope this post finds you well.  Today we’re looking at some favourite wedding colour combinations which can be adapted for just about any kind of day. So if you’ve recently got engaged – firstly CONGRATULATIONS! and secondly, cast your lovely eyes over these moodboards to kick start your wedding planning.

Love Mirlah xx

Blush Pink & Silver

Magical, Whimsical, Romantic and all kinds of pretty. If that’s the kind of style you’ve got in mind then Blush Pink and hints of Metallic Silver sounds perfect for you.

Add simple touches of blush by hand tying ribbon round the cutlery. Add beautiful blush roses or peonies to vintage mercury glass vases, you can’t get much more understated than that, but it’s certainly bound to make a big impression.

The idea of taking the trend a step further by wearing a coloured gown, seems slightly off the cuff and certainly not traditional but I think we can all agree, that the Jenny Packham Bride below looks exsquiste. Blush Pink is very subtle shade which works beautifully for a bridal gown but if it’s not for you then dressing you Bridesmads in pinky hues is a very popular choice.

Ah! These colour together just scream romance and you can continue the colour scheme through to your wedding bouquet. How stunning are the flowers below? Made up of Dahlias, Garden Roses, Parrot Tulips, and Dusty Miller it fits the palette perfectly, I love how the dusty miller gives a slight silver effect. Gorgeous.

Vintage Wedding Colour Combinations - Blush Pink & Silver

Moodboards Created By: Best Day Ever

Image Credits: Jimmy Choo Shoes: Lani Elias via Style Me Pretty | Silver Cutlery with bow: Home Town Girl | Jenny Packham Gown in Blush: Jonas Peterson via Once Wed | Mercury Glass Centrepiece: Heather Kincaid via Style Me Pretty | Blush Oversizded Balloons: Brumley & Wells via Style Me Pretty | Silver Wedding Cake: White Ivory Photography  via Wedding Chicks Blush & Silver Themed Wedding Bouquet: Simply Bloom Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

Navy Blue & Gold

From whimsical we move gracefully to bold sophistication. This Wedding Colour Combination is elegant, classy and just the right amount of moody. The  dark navy hues create a beautiful initimate atomsphere that just lends itself to an abundance of candles or golden twinkly fairy lights. This colour palette is very remincisent of the 1920s Gatsby days and I just can’t get enough. Those Wedding Table Centrepieces are just genius and very easily replicated with a stack of vintage books and a mix of vintage vases filled with your favourite flowers, you could even add a golden table runner to add a touch of glitz.

Vintage Wedding Colour Combinations Navy Blue & Gold

Image Credits: Wedding Bar Sign: Amanda Thomsen + Camilla Jørvad + Tine Hvolby via Love My Dress | Blue Biba Wedding Gown:  Sam Gibson via Love My Dress | Navy Blue & Gold Wedding Cake: Catherine Mac  via The Pretty Blog | Vintage Book Centrepiece: Erica B via Style Me Pretty | Champagne & Blueberries: Blue Rose Pictures via Ruffled Blog | Navy & Gold Wedding Couple: Our Labor of Love via Bespoke Bride | Navy & Gold Table Setting: Scheme Events

Peach & Mint

Finally we move from dramatic grandeur to fun and flirty with one of our favourite colour combinations. Peach or Coral with fresh mint. These colours would be perfect for a spring summer wedding and I’m not sure you can over do it with this colour combo. This palette works well when you don’t stick to one shade of each colour and mix and match different shades. Starting with your bridesmaids is a great way to mix the colours together and you can even mix styles and different textures. We talked about mismatched wedding styling and bridesmaids here in an earlier blog post.

Think about introducing cream and natural colours to break up the brighter colours or even add touches of silver or gold, just a little sprinkle of something the cake or embellished necklaces work well. I love the use of doilies and wood in the tables setting below, it’s just shows how versatile these colours are, the dark wood turns quite a girly colour combination in to something a little more rustic.

Vintage Wedding Colour Combinations - Peach, Coral & Mint

Image Credits: Mint Wedding Cake: Love is a Big Deal via Ruffled Blog | Mint & Peach Bridesmaids Dresses: Shipra Panosian via Ruffled Blog | Coral Flowers in Mint Mason Jar: Bonny Berry via Style Me Pretty | Bridesmaids Bouquet: Nancy Ray Photography via Wedding Chicks | Cocktail: Bridal Tweet | Vintage Bottles: Etsy Leaping Gazelle | Coral & Mint Pinwheels: Charlie Juliet via The Sweetest Occasion | Peach & Mint Table Setting: Kaysha Weiner via Hostess With The Mostess

So which are you? Romantic and Whimsical, Mysterious and Intimate or Fun and Flirty? Shall we all just have three weddings, they’re all gorgeous.


13:39 13 January 2014

Coffee & Walnut Cake …

This cake is a winner because it will keep really well for a week when stored in an airtight tin.  I often find that with a coffee cake or a carrot cake, then are better a couple of days after they are made.  Flavours seem to settle better and the cake firms up – sometimes they can fall apart when cutting if they are eaten just after baking.  So for a tea room or any other kind of catering, this is a good choice.  We offered this cake when we did our first tea rooms at The Roundhouse and it was the first of our cakes to sell out.

The bitter-sweet flavours of this traditional cake make it an all-time favourite and I like to use Camp chicory & coffee essence for the coffee taste, but instant coffee dissolved in a little boiling water works just as well.


You will need

2lb loaf tin

225g • 8oz self-raising flour

225g • 8oz light muscovado sugar

½ tsp sea salt

225ml • 8fl oz groundnut oil

4 medium eggs separated

50ml • 1¾ fl oz cold strong black coffee or Camp coffee

50ml • 1¾ fl oz whole milk

75g • 3oz chopped walnuts


For the coffee cream 

125g • 4½ oz mascarpone

2 tsp cold strong black coffee or camp Coffee

1 tsp golden syrup

1 tsp icing sugar sifted


For the topping

100g • 3½ oz icing sugar sifted

1-2 tbsp cold strong black coffee or Camp Coffee

6-8 walnut halves to decorate

icing sugar for dusting

– Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line your loaf tin

– Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add the oil, egg yolks, coffee and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

– Whisk the egg whites until stiff in a large bowl using an electric whisk and fold into the mixture in two goes.

– Stir in the walnuts and transfer the mixture to the cake tin, smoothing the surface. Give the tin several sharp taps on the work surface to bring up any large air bubbles.

– Bake for 50-55 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

– Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn out on to a wire rack. Place it the right way up and leave to cool. If not icing it straight away, wrap it in clingfilm.

– To make the coffee cream, spoon the mascarpone into a bowl and beat in the coffee, then the syrup and icing sugar.

– Slit the cake horizontally, about two thirds of the way up the sides to account for the risen dome. Spread the cream over the lower half and sandwich with the top.

– To make the icing, blend the icing sugar and coffee together in a bowl and drizzle down the centre of the cake, smoothing it towards the sides using a palette knife.

– Don’t worry about completely covering the surface or about it trickling down the sides.

– Decorate the top with the walnut halves and dust over a little icing sugar.

– Leave to set for 1 hour.




Image credit – Daily Mail On-line 

9:56 13 November 2013

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