True Vintage Inspirations

Finding vintage table settings and decor is like  treasure hunting.  It is a dedicated pastime which requires a commitment.  Not all of us have time to dedicate to the search.

For those couples wishing to add vintage elements to their wedding need look no further than Aroka Vintage.  Dawna Graham researched and collected for 2 years before opening the first Aroka Vintage in New Westminster.  Aroka Vintage is now located at 2231 Clarke Street in Port Moody in a beautiful old house that is a storefront for not only the incredibly tableware and vintage decor collection, but also a treasure trove of true vintage finds and local artisan creations.  This collection includes themes for 1930’s inspired weddings, place settings of fine bone china for up 150 guests, furniture, a harvest table, quirky novelty items such as antique bingo cages, chalkboards, table settings and more.

Aroka’s new website will be up in April 2012 with photos of this extensive collection.

Dawna Graham has a unique love of vintage and has a passionate, undying love for the past.  She is captivated by the stories that objects leave behind.  The store is still evolving but trust that only true vintage items are found in Aroka.  No reproductions and no claims are made on items unless Dawna is 100% certain.  Aroka Vintage will always offer authentic finds and this will never be compromised.

The few local artisans that Dawna carries in her store have vintage elements in their creations whether the jewelry be reworked or repurposed or items found made into new.  “Inky & Boots“, “Secrets From the Cove“, ” Whatever Lola Wants…” are a few of  the artists Aroka Vintage carries.  “There is no labour of love” without the upcycling and handmade element in the items she carries.

Dawna herself creates handmade treasures such as an updated 1970’s chandelier revamped with vintage piano sheets or vintage watchpocket faces sitting atop of pinwheels made from antique music sheets.  Everything she creates for the store must also include making something from something old.

By late spring and summer Aroka Vintage will be host to bridal shows, tea parties and small weddings.  With a working kitchen,bathroom and a large backyard along with Dawna’s vintage decor the space will welcome a myriad of visitors. 

Aroka Vintage only has wedding dresses that have passed inspection by Dawna.  All items in the boutique ‘bridal room’ have been scrutinized, are nearly flawless and are professionally cleaned.   Dawna specializes in her vintage finds and does not carry dresses that may compete with other bridal stores.  Her only compromise is carrying the vintage inspired handmade creations of Pure Magnolia.   

The lace gloves and stockings, purses, hats and feather fasteners are near mint. The bloomers, jewelry, handkerchiefs and pillows are all unique finds.  Aroka also has formal dresses which can be worn by the bridal party or simply because of a love of vintage.

For those couples who are truly inspired by history and a love of the past, vintage themed weddings are not merely ‘trendy’, but a true reflection of oneself.  For those who have a commitment to hosting a wedding that is eco-friendly and handmade, then take a visit out to Aroka Vintage in Port Moody or come and see the wonderful display Dawna will have on hand at the Mini Spring Grassroots Wedding Fair on April 21st, 2012!

article and photos by: Shona Dion,


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