“I spent a lot of time with Barbie dolls as a kid and I think this is just an extension of that,” laughs Melanie Peters, owner and curator of Halifax’s newest source for wedding attire, Honeybee Vintage Bridal. “I think I had more clothes than I did Barbies. And all I did was change them, and stage elaborate weddings. So this sort of makes sense.”
Peters has had a keen interest in weddings her entire life, but not because she was busy planning her own—she wanted to accessorize for other people. While taking a course to become a wedding planner, it came clear to her that she wanted to hone in on the fashion side of things, pair that with a love for second-hand and vintage shopping and you get Honeybee.
“I always preferred to buy vintage or at least thrift, I thought it was more interesting and I liked having things nobody else had,” says Peters, who took lots of advice from a friend who owns a second-hand boutique before opening her own. “I always had it in the back of my mind I wanted to do it, it was just a matter of working up the nerve to try.”
In late summer 2014, Honeybee made its debut, with racks of pre-’80s bridalwear, as well as vintage accessories and dresses—many of which are bridesmaid suitable—in a small bright space inside Gottingen Street’s Glubes Lofts. Aside from helping you stand apart from cookie cutter brides, Peters says shopping vintage will also help you get married on a budget (many of her dresses are in the $250 range) and lessen your environmental impact by giving a gown a second life.
She collects her pieces from thrift and second-hand shops across the province, carefully picking quality, timeless looks, and also takes clothing on consignment—adding to the nostalgia by having a face to put with the gown.
“Sometimes the person who wore it will bring it in and say ‘I got married here, and this was the year, and here’s a photo, this is the veil that goes with it.’ It’s fun talking to people about that,” she says. “It’ll be from 1960 or something and yet still in style, totally trendy and not costume.” Even better? Every single dress is one-of-a-kind.
“It’s nice because I don’t have to choose one dress,” says Peters. “I am not a bride so I don’t have to. I get to bring in all of the different dresses in all the different styles I like. And I can tell people, that dress was from 1945 and the bride’s name was Myrtle.”
Honeybee Vintage Bridal
2130 Gottingen Street