Old School Glamour…….part 1

This wedding has it all.

The glamour, the pretty, the unique and definitely the chic.

Prepare to be green eyed folks as I cannot possibly deny that this may cause some SERIOUS wedding envy.

It certainly did with the RMW team, I have been swooning for England ever since the images landed in my inbox……

Not to mention all the brides own planning and detail account – I laughed out loud on many occasions as her writing is so witty and honest.

Victoria married Nick on Saturday the 19th September at St John The Baptist Church in Danbury followed by a reception at Newland Hall in Roxwell.

All of the fantastic photography is by Paul and Jasmine at Paul’s Studio

……Over to the beautiful bride:

Dance Proof Hair and a Glowing Complexion

On a normal day I wear Nars hot pink Cheryl Cole-style lippy so it was only natural I wore something equally as striking on my wedding day. In fact ‘natural’ is exactly what it wasn’t. I decided that scarlet lips would go better with my “classic, glamorous and vintage” themes than neon pink so I booked Kit Hall and showed her a picture of clear glowing skin, simple eyes with a slick of liquid liner, luscious lashes and told her to modify it with “colour pop” lips. And she did! I looked just like the picture, but also still like me.

The woman is literally a miracle worker! My look was reflected in the bridesmaids’ make up who all had the same skin and eyes and she picked a glossy or translucent red that suited each of their skin tones and hair colour while still in keeping with the “old school glamour” theme.

With regards to hair, Kit and I devised a classic style with a bit of a modern twist that worked with both veils and complemented the dress, my overall look and the theme of the day. It had height, volume and drama but also looked classy and elegant. Most importantly it stood up to me rocking out to “Poker Face”, doing the running man to “Ice, Ice, Baby”, flinging myself around to “Supermassive Black Hole” and three people (2 of them sober) trying to take it all out at 2am so I could get in to bed! I think she used magic grips!

My very good friend Claire Wacey suppressed her nerves about singing Ave Maria at the ceremony by spending the morning with me and the bridesmaids and doing their hair! She created a different ‘do for each girl dependent on their personal style, the cut of the dress and how they felt most comfortable. They all looked gorgeous and she did a brilliant job tying their styles in to the theme while still making them all look individual.

She and Kit were both amazing!

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Suzanne Neville Perfection

My dress was from Suzanne Neville, and I purchased it at her Knightsbridge boutique. I started looking in August 2008 and took with me an entourage consisting of my mother, chief bridesmaid, one of the other four bridesmaids and a close friend. By the time I made the decision to purchase the first dress I’d tried on it was December 2008 (a week before Christmas), and all but one of the entourage had dropped out, I had visited three counties, 12 shops and tried on more dresses than I care to remember.

In the end nothing compared to the Manhattan and I decided that that was “The One”, much to my mother’s relief! I should have realised four months previously that that was “The One” as Manhattan is where Nick and I got engaged just before Christmas 2007, in the snow in Central Park It was a sign!

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The staff at the boutique made me feel like visiting royalty and offered not just flattery and compliments but helpful and practical advice about what I should and shouldn’t be looking at.

Then meeting Suzanne was amazing.

I was a bit star struck almost after seeing her creations on celebrity brides, X-Factor contestants and seeing her interviewed in magazines but she was so down to earth and really, really lovely.

And SO talented.

One minute she was ripping up pieces of calico and I’m in my underwear in the middle of the room the next minute I’m standing there in a mock up of my dress. My mum is a bit of a talent with a sewing machine and she was just in awe!

The first and final fitting was brilliant. I had been a bit worried that my dress was a bit plain and that I should have gone for something a bit more theatrical or over the top as I think everyone was expecting, but the moment I put it on I felt amazing. Made to measure was such a good choice – in Suzanne’s own words “it’s like it was sprayed on”!

I was one happy bride in that dress!!

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A Laboutin Love Affair

I originally wanted blue shoes as my ‘something blue’, but I fell in love with a pair of geranium red suede Christian Louboutin Ron Ron’s and they just had to be my wedding shoes – but I couldn’t help thinking “red shoes no knickers” the whole time I was prancing about the shop in them so I decided to go for the hot pink pair instead.

Ridiculously high and a danger to have around my delicate floor length veil, they caused a lot of damage to my outfit and the lawns of the venues, but thankfully not my tootsies.

They were so comfortable.

They are now ruined… but they were like magic shoes so I’m having them dyed dark purple so I can wear them all winter! Sigh!

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Gorgeous Girls

My bridesmaids looked gorgeous on the day, even if I do say so myself.

As well as subjecting my bridesmaids to the four month long wedding dress decision making process, I also subjected them to “The Great Hunt for the Perfect Bridesmaid Dress”. There wasn’t one. I had a 27 year old yummy mummy (my bestie from the age of 11 and Nick’s oldest girl friend), a 26 year old city chick (my other bestie from dance school and she works just the other side of Canary Wharf from me so a great lunch buddy), a 23 year old fashionista (sister in law the elder), an 18 year old fresh home from a summer inter-railing round Europe in nothing but casual-chic/student attire (my cousin) and a horse-mad 16 year old who lives in jodhpurs (sister in law the younger).

You can see the dilemma.

What looked amazing on one, drowned another and what flattered one’s figure made another gorgeous girl feel uncomfortable.

I think we tried on samples from every bridesmaid brand in the country as well as a number of high street dresses. Eventually I found a tiny little shop in my parents’ village of Danbury called The Bespoke Wardrobe run by two lovely ladies called Mary and Regine.

They stocked Naomi Neoh bridesmaid dresses and also made them bespoke in the shop. So that was the plan. I went five times over budget and had to beg borrow and steal from other areas of spending (who wanted Great Aunt Maureen to come anyway?) but it was so worth it.

Regine and Naomi met with each girl, helped them pull together a dress design that suited their personal style, body shape and then set to work made to measure creations that made them feel comfortable and confident on the day. Having gone over budget considerably on the dresses, the handbags and shoes were a bargain find from Next, the hair clips were a bulk purchase from H&M (I bought one for my evening hair, and then a black one, green one and grey one for me to accessorise other outfits!) and the jewellery was virtually a steal from Primarni – it was such a god price!

After scrimping on the accessories I treated them to Tiffany necklaces (strategically purchased on trips to the US and through Terminal 5), as their gifts for being such a great support to me, again in different designs to suit their style!

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Equally Gorgeous Groomsmen

The groomsmen looked equally as lovely and scrubbed up pretty well I think. My oldest friend from primary school and now one of Nick’s besties and Nick’s oldest friend from primary school were the joint best men. My cousin and my younger brother put on suits for the first time in their lives and joined the wedding party as ushers!

We hired the suits from Pronuptia, where the girls spent a morning putting the boys and the dads in to a variety of colours, holding samples of the bridesmaids dresses against the cravats and making them walk up and down in an array of jackets. “We” (!!) finally decided on the classic morning suit to go with the vintage, old-school glamour/English tea party styling of the day.

Afterwards even the most collar-averse of the groomsmen said that they were quite comfy, and that’s saying something!

We bought the ushers Paul Smith cufflinks as a thank you and the Best men also got Paul Smith cufflinks and Romeo et Julieta cigars (but don’t tell their mums!).

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Not Forgetting The Actual Groom

My lovely, long suffering, highly supportive and hard-done-to groom… he was the best. He put his foot down here and there (hiring human statues, the string quartet from Britain’s Got Talent and human canapé trays) but let me get my way when I really needed it (going 5 times over budget on the bridesmaid dresses and turning a blind eye to my ridiculous spending on accessories and beauty treatments) and was actually very helpful… when given explicit instructions!

He also let it go when I came home with stupidly high heels that made me taller than him. Obviously he’s very secure, very scared or just loves me that much that he wants to make me happy. I hope it’s a combination of the three.

He looked lovely in his morning suit to match the rest of the groomsmen and dads, but I didn’t see him properly until I got to the end of the aisle as my entourage was ahead of me and the congregation was blocking my view as they craned their necks in their big flamboyant hats to see my delightful 15 month old god daughter walking hand in hand down the aisle with her mummy (a.k.a. Chiefy!)… though I like to think they were craning their necks to see me really. He he! When I finally reached him I couldn’t stop smiling… and I’m very conscious of my wonky smile and teeth so I NEVER open mouth smile… until now. I just couldn’t stop grinning. At him, at my dad, at the vicar, at the people behind me – I don’t think people have ever seen me smile that much.

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One of my friends said what made her well up was not the vows, or the soppy, but funny reading (A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton) but when he held my hand behind our backs and stroked the top of my hand with his thumb for most of the service.

We’re not a soppy, gushy, all over each other, lovey-dovey couple so I think that small gesture really stood out to the people that knew us.

Just so so lovely.

And you think the first part is stunning well…….just wait until you see part two…….details, details A.mazing details I tell you.

Lots of Glamorous Love

Charlotte xxx

p.s Anyone else having gorgeous non-bridal type shoes?

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

6 thoughts on “Old School Glamour…….part 1

  1. Oh No. I have complete wedding envy, I wasn’t sure about different style bridesmaid dresses but I think these look really good – like the same but not??!!!

    Anyway I love it all and am also jealous of the pink shoes.

  2. Wow! What a gorgeous wedding. Love the bride’s style, very stunning and the bridesmaids look beautiful. Getting me very excited for my wedding in 3 weeks! Can’t wait for Part II.

  3. Oh wow, Victoria very kindly emailed me some pics of herself and her bridesmaids a month or so ago as I’ve also booked Kit Hall for my wedding and wanted to see how amazing her work is – and it quite clearly is – so it’s lovely to read Victoria’s wedding story and see some more pictures….I can’t wait to read the next installment.

  4. Oooh a small world moment – your photographer, Paul, is the brother of a good friend of mine. Her wedding photos are also fantastic and for anyone else reading this he’s a great person too (which is pretty key for a photographer who’ll be with you all day.) Looking forward to seeing more love and glamour tomorrow.

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