Something Old is Something New: Vintage setups are all the rage at weddings for 2017

Photo by: Jovial Photography

BY: Nicole Caldwell

Brianna Pisani loves love.

     The 28-year-old loves it so much, in fact, that after she and her husband Chris tied the knot in 2015 Brianna didn’t want the experience to end. She looked around at all the vintage and handmade things they’d collected over the course of two years for their wedding, and Brianna saw a market.

                “It’s kind of funny,” Brianna says. “We were at Fort Bragg, and we were planning our wedding for Upstate New York. We were trying to find a company that would rent stuff for this, but we couldn’t find anything. So we built, found and brought all our own props and decorations to our wedding.”

                That’s when the light bulb went off. “I said, ‘If we were looking for this kind of stuff, then other people must be, too.’ I feel like I’ve always been creative, and I love pretty things. I love old things. I’ve also been to a million weddings.” She figured: Why not rent out the very things the couple had spent two years collecting?

                “When my husband and I moved back to New York, I wanted to do something big and challenging,” Brianna says. And as serendipity would have it, Chris was looking to start his own business. Just like that, Pretty Little Vintage Co. was born.

                “It just kind of works,” Brianna says—which may be the understatement of the year.

Photo by: Jovial Photography

The wedding scene is experiencing a veritable fit of vintage.

                When it comes to weddings in 2017, everything old has become new again. The “Anthropologie look” of all things lace and gently aged that spiked in 2010 is back with a vengeance—and a twist.

                Today, brides and grooms are looking to mash-ups of old and new for fresh takes on classic appearances. Bridal Guide has listed vintage setups as one of the hottest wedding trends for 2017.

                Vintage cars get paired with hip colors; while photographers now often use classic film (a top wedding trend carrying over from 2016) and photo booths get outfitted with flea-market antiques rather than dollar-store props. Whether a bride and groom go for classic, contemporary or follow a more specific theme like rustic, nautical or boho, they’re still likely to enlist the help of a service like Pretty Little Vintage for personalized, vintage touches.

A common-sense business plan can only breed success.

                No one needed to tell Brianna that vintage is back in. Pretty Little Vintage has been in business for less than a year and managed to be completely slammed all summer. And until Chris returns from his latest deployment sometime in November, his wife is moving things along where the company is concerned—they’re booked right up until he comes home.

                “I think especially with Pinterest, social media and all the blogs, everyone just sees it and it’s charming and it’s adorable,” she says. “It’s just so cute.”

North Country wedding plans require a New York state of mind.

                Brianna grew up in Bolivar, N.Y., just south of Buffalo. Chris is a north country guy, raised in Ogdensburg. Brianna has a background in service: She earned her degree at Niagara University, where she studied hospitality and tourism. As part of her curriculum, Brianna worked extensively on the setup side for weddings and catering. The planning part is what comes to her naturally.

                Chris’ service to the military has caused the couple to move around a lot during their courtship and young marriage. Most recently, the pair made the move from Alabama to Adams Center, where they worked to get their business off the ground.

                “People find us on social media,” Brianna says of Pretty Little Vintage’s marketing strategy. “Facebook and Instagram have been awesome.”

If you can’t find that perfect decoration, just call Brianna. 

Photo by: Anna Elizabeth Photography

                Pretty Little Vintage offers setups for literally everything. If you need a $5 prop that you can’t find at a thrift shop, call Brianna—she probably has it. She and Chris keep a big warehouse on their property filled with a multitude of couches, homemade farm tables they made themselves, guest book displays, props, lights, centerpieces and place settings.

                “We also do a lot of dessert displays,” Brianna says. “Usually I tell the brides, ‘Send me your Pinterest board before you come out so I can recommend pieces.’ I want to make their visions real for them.”

                The most popular retro setup for Pretty Little Vintage is the lounge: an interactive display of cool couches, chairs, tables and textiles that are great for pictures, but also comfortable respites from the sometimes stiff feeling of dining chairs.

                “We do a lot of lounges,” Brianna says. “They’re becoming more popular because they make your guests feel so special. I love to do those. We have two setups for lounges; one seats four to five, one seats seven to eight.”

                Brides and grooms can stop in Brianna and Chris’ warehouse to handpick personalized furniture arrays. “We have tons of couches, loveseats, sofas and chairs,” Brianna says. “And then we add pillows and things in their colors and décor to pull the whole thing together. We do a lot of sweetheart tables, too, in order to give the bride and groom a fun table just for them.”

At weddings, it’s all about the first look.

                Brianna says planning vintage designs and setups for weddings is extremely rewarding. But just as there’s nothing like a groom seeing the bride for the first time in her dress, there is nothing like the moment the married couple-to-be lays eyes on the layout of their own reception.

                “I just love the final setup, after we get there,” Brianna says. “We have the brides and grooms come out to our warehouse before the wedding and we go through the final planning process, and they always give me pictures of their venue. But the best is going and setting it up, then seeing their reaction.”

                So far so good—Pretty Little Vintage hasn’t had a complaint yet. “The actual look is always more impressive than what they think it will be,” Brianna says. “That’s my favorite part.”

                To learn more about Pretty Little Vintage Co., visit www.prettylittlevintageco.com or follow the company on Instagram: @prettylittlevintageco.