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Amanda Wakeley

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Serious Style In Somerset.

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Today my loves we are going out-and-out glam. Ali and Trevor’s wedding is a stylish feast for the eyes. From the antique pink roses, to Ali’s slender Amanda Wakeley gown, from the candelabras to Trevor’s Tom Ford suit – everything about this wedding is elegant and beautiful. Ali has styled her gown with a gorgeous gold cuff and fabulous Jimmy Choos – she really does look like a supermodel. Babington House is a truly exceptional venue and I love the fact that Ali and Trevor managed to spread their celebrations across three days. Are you ready for a big dollop of glamour this Tuesday? Thought so…

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Smart But Relaxed

Ali The Bride: We held our wedding at Babington House in Somerset. We’d heard about the venue and knew that being part of the Soho House group that it would set the right tone for our wedding, smart but relaxed. It also has 32 rooms allowing many of our guests to stay overnight which was really important for us. When we visited we were simply blown away by what a gorgeous a venue it is. The staff work really hard to maintain a perfectly chilled atmosphere which we loved. We couldn’t wait to go back!

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The Wow Factor

I used Sophie McMullan for my make-up and Claire Urquhart for my hair. I was recommended Sophie by a friend’s sister who event manages a lot of high-end weddings so my expectations were high but Sophie was fantastic, as was Claire who she in turn recommended. I wanted a really natural look with a bit of wow factor which sounds like a contradiction in terms but she achieved the perfect look for me. Claire was also brilliant not only at perfecting my relaxed side bun but keeping the flower girls and page boys occupied at key moments like the registrar arriving for her pre-ceremony checks!

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Glamification

I don’t wear a lot of lipstick and wanted a nude look. Sophie recommended a lovely combination of a No7 lip liner in ‘Nude’ and MAC gloss in ‘Fulfilled’ which achieved the perfect glossy pout. I also wore eyelash extensions by Flutter Eyes which were pricey but so worth it – instant glamification! I also wanted to achieve perfect nude nails but found it almost impossible to find a nude shade which goes on without looking streaky, despite a recent move to New York and being inundated with nail salons at every corner! In the end I plumped for a French polish on my fingers and Essie Primaballerina on my toes, which is nice and opaque, perfect for not so perfect toenails. Sophie and Claire even stepped in to help me sort out my pedicure when I realised I’d smudged the varnish the night before!

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Nothing Too Fussy

My dress was by Amanda Wakeley. I can’t recall exactly how I came across her, but looking at her designs online I felt that her dresses really stood out from the gowns that you come across in most bridal shops. I’m not the sort of bride who has been mentally designing her wedding dress since childhood and I came to the process with as much trepidation as excitement. I was especially worried about wearing anything too fussy.

Amanda’s designs are as stunning as they are elegant with simple lines and shapes and beautiful materials, rather than a lot of fussy detailing which just isn’t me. In the end I chose the first dress I tried on – in some ways it utilises shapes I’m used to wearing, such as a silk georgette boat neck – but is still extraordinarily glamorous, with a satin bodice and peplums over layers of silk georgette to form the full length skirt and train. I never anticipated wearing a train but it was rather wonderful!

Trevor will kill me if I don’t mention his suit was by Tom Ford and that the buying the right suit was almost as important as getting the right dress (apparently!)

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A Dollop Of Glamour

Having recently moved to New York I was at a bit of a loss where to start to look for accessories to go with my dress, which I had ordered in London before I left. My friend Nadya flying over for a very long weekend was the perfect opportunity to shop with that ever valuable second opinion. We searched seemingly endlessly for shoes in the big name department stores. I was looking for the perfect heel height as my groom is the same height as me and he wasn’t too keen on me towering over him, but flatties and even kitten heels just didn’t have a big enough dollop of glamour.

In the end I decided on a sparkly gold pair of Jimmy Choo sandals which I had spotted in Saks, but when I went to the Jimmy Choo shop to get them, this incredible pair of nude metallic sheen snakeskin peep toes screamed out for me to buy them. And I did. So glad I checked out the boutique as well as the big stores.

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I was inspired by the way that Amanda Wakeley styled her dresses on her website with a number of models being styled with statement gold jewellery. Wandering down West Broadway in NYC I spotted my fabulous cuff in the window of Robert Lee Morris’s flagship store. He is an iconic New York designer with a lot of his designs based on his originals from the 1970s so this was the perfect jewellery for me as keepsake from both the wedding and my time in New York. Plus it’s too fabulous not to wear again!

I wasn’t sure whether to invest in a shrug for my spring indoor wedding but was so glad I did when winter weather hit again for Easter! I found my shrug originally in a New York department store although it was from the UK brand Coast for well over £150. I decided to check online on the UK website and it turned out to be a good call as it was much cheaper and in the sale for only £45. Fantastic as I didn’t want to spend a lot on something I wouldn’t wear for long. My lovely hair comb was made to order by the designer from some gorgeous designs at Regina B.

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Twinkling Candles

We didn’t select a colour scheme, I wanted to keep thing simple and preferred the flower girls in gorgeous little white dresses from John Lewis. The colour for our wedding was introduced by the antique pink roses that have always been a favourite of mine. The best men wore their own suits, although we requested navy blue to go with the page boys and we treated them all, plus the Dads to silver silks ties from Ties.com which toned brilliantly with Trevor’s silver grey tie, despite us ordering them online without checking! They also do mini ties for the boys – super cute.

Babington House really do have their décor nailed, we didn’t have to do anything at all, which is why we chose them. Flowers by Passion looked after the table setting for us, creating a gorgeous scene for dinner with mini flower displays in vintage bottles, towering candelabras and tea lights. It really was magical as the light started to fade during dinner and hundreds of candles twinkled around the room.

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Antique Roses

We used Flowers by Passion for all of our flowers – the team behind the every day flowers, and many of the weddings at Babington, so they really knew what they were doing. From our initial conversations and follow up they got exactly the look I was hoping for and then some. We had antique pink roses with hydrangea and ranunculus, displayed in antique bottles and jars. My bouquet was made with roses softened with senecio and the flower girls carried smaller simpler bouquets. The page boys had gorgeous little button holes. We also had candles in storm lanterns down the aisle and glass globe tea lights hanging in the windows.

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Heartfelt And Fun

Our ceremony had just the right mix of gravitas and fun and our registrar was fantastic. My sister, Helen, read a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which was really romantic and our friend Derren read his own creation put together from the titles of songs – sounds crazy but it worked really well and gave a lovely personal touch to our ceremony.

We also wrote our vows so that they were personal to us whilst keeping them very simple but heartfelt. We had the Urban Soul Orchestra string quartet who played our selection of upbeat and contemporary music before and after our service. As I walked down the aisle, they played their interpretation of “A day like this” by Elbow. As we were signing the register, “It must be love” by Madness, both of which were simply gorgeous.

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Leave Right Now

We chose to have a DJ in the evening rather than a band for a more intimate feel and used Nigel Peirce, who is the resident DJ at Babington. He was also good enough to let a couple of our mates who are experienced DJs on the decks, so a good time was definitely had by all. Our first dance was “I think I’d better leave right now” by Will Young. Possibly not the greatest sentiment for a wedding but our song so it had to be! An amazing benefit of Babington is that their license doesn’t finish at 12 like many venues so we had dancing right up til 2am and the party carried on for some time after that!

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Bring Me Food

Babington House offer exemplary food with a ‘Bring me food’ family style menu, which meant we got to choose 3 starters, 3 main courses a dessert and cheese. All three dishes for each course are brought to the table on platters and everyone helps themselves which proved to be a fantastic ice breaker and really meant every got chatting around the tables. You can view a similar menu here.

We offered Mojitos as well as champagne during the drinks reception and I drank champagne all day! Our beautiful cake was created by my cousin Carolyn Knight who creates incredible sugar flowers and scrumptious cakes.

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Not Drowning In Details

I didn’t want to waste too much time or money getting bogged down in details. A friend of mine recommended Paperless Post to me and it was perfect for getting out invitations to guests in the UK and elsewhere from our location in New York. Babington created the place names for me, Passion created gorgeous table names by using vintage mirrors and my lovely friend Rob created our table plan and fantastic ‘thank you’ frames – we had our photo taken with these and are using the photography to create our Thank You cards, hopefully physical ones this time.

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Drag It Out

Relax and enjoy it. Don’t sweat the small stuff because you won’t even notice it on the day. Like us, drag the whole thing out to 3 days with friends and family if you can, as it’s over all too quickly. A perfect moment for me was a friend of ours Rita getting Trevor’s 87 year old Grandma up on the dance floor. Absolutely priceless!

And of course there must be a special mention for our wonderful photographers, the girls from Dottie Photography who did the most wonderful job of capturing those special moments, right to the bitter end.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Babington House
Make up – Sophie McMullan
Hair – Claire Urquhart
Bride’s dress – Amanda Wakeley
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s suit – Tom Ford
Cake – Carolyn Knight
Florist – Flowers By Passion
Invites – Paperlesspost.com
DJ – Nigel Peirce
Photography – Dottie Photography

Doing your wedding shopping in NYC?? This is the stuff of dreams people!!

Ali’s advice of using shapes you are used to wearing to help choose your wedding dress is great – you only look good when you feel comfortable. Also those eyelash extensions look amazing – definitely worth a spurge for your wedding day.

I’m in love with the candelabras too – there is no other way to create such a magical atmosphere than with lots of candlelight.

Lots of love,
Fern x

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You’ve Got The Love

Jemma and Ollie married at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset this summer. Their wedding was all about the personal touches from twinkling fairy lights to imports from Thailand. There are vintage roses, peonies, birdcages, a killer Vivienne Westwood suit and games.

So sit back and feast your eyes on the gorgeous images below captured by Lucy Davenport.

Oh, and please can more brides hold their dresses up? You can never see too much shoe. Ever.

Badminton anyone?

Delicate Details

I bought my dress from Beautiful Bridal Boutique. It was Amanda wakeley. It had really delicate detailing on the straps. My shoes were from Next and complimented the detail on my dress perfectly.

Simple Vintage

For my hair, I wanted a simple vintage look to show off the detail on the back of the dress. I bought Some hydrangeas for my hair from Etsy and finished my look off with a vintage brooch cuff, also from Etsy and some simple vintage droplet earrings from Beautiful Bridal Boutique.

Bombastic Blooms

My flowers were from Ena’s Florists and were a mix of soft Bombastic vintage roses, Sandblast, Amnesia roses and Peonies.

Brogues And Button Holes

The Groomsmen wore burgundy and cream polka dot Vintage bow ties by Peckham Rye. Ollie wore a Vivienne Westwood suit from John Anthony clothing, teamed with Crockett and Jones tan brogues, a Vivienne Westwood shirt, braces from Mr Porter and a vintage amnesia rose button hole.

A Chance Meeting

Our photographer was Lucy Davenport. We actually met on holiday after the engagement!

Coconut, Strawberry And Vanilla

Our cake was from Foxes cupcakes. We had a top tier and a selection of cupcakes that were a mix of lime and coconut, strawberry and cream and vanilla with soft butter icing with vintage rose and pearl decor…yummy!

Florence And Funk

We had Bob Povey playing funky house with Cass on the bongos which was fun and a great way of getting people up to boogie! We also had The brightside Band playing jazz funk. Our first dance was to Florence and the machine’s ‘You’ve got the love’.

Lucky Favours

Our favours were tiny peuter buddahs in bird cage favour boxes imported from thailand. We travelled there many times and Thai people consider them lucky!

Vintage Finds

We had a few special items in our décor including a handmade wishing tree and birdcages filled with silk flowers and fairy lights. Our card box was a vintage suitcase. We also had a vintage steamer trunk dress up box. These were collected from car boots and ebay. The candy bar sign and photo booth were both handmade and from Etsy.

Personal Touches

Our wedding was full of individual pieces that we put time into making. It was the personal touches like the Buddhas and the photo booth collection that made our day special.

Contrasting Colour Palettes

My advice would be to go with your heart. Research around online to find colour palettes to contrast your bridesmaids and flowers (sometimes colours you think won’t work and they really do when you get them together)

Boutique – Beautiful Bridal Boutique

Hair – A’Courts Hair Salon

Shoes – Next

Grooms Suit – Vivienne Westwood from John Anthony

Photographer – Lucy Davenport

Live Music – The Brightside Band

Venue – Larmer Tree Gardens

Florist – Ena’s Florists

Cake – Fox’s Cupcake Co

So there you have it folks. I love Jemmas advice on being adventurous and trying things that perhaps in your mind won’t work but when put together in reality look better than you could ever have imagined.

I’m off to meditate after all this talk of Buddahs.

Love and wishing tree dreams

Becky xx

 

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Determination, Strength And Above All Love.

What do Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin and Vivienne Westwood all have in common?

Well… Apart from all being fairly super swanky designer type people, they also all feature in Elio and Carly’s big day.

Elio and Carly married in June 2012 at St John’s RC Cathedral Portsmouth and then had a reception at Farbridge. Photography today is all by the lovely Laura Babb.

Simple And Elegant

I always wanted a bespoke gown and as soon as I found Joanne Fleming’s website I knew that she was the designer for me. Lace was always my fabric of choice as it has such romantic connotations and I envisaged something very simple and elegant. As I immersed further into the planning of my dress I felt like I wanted to create drama for the ceremony so that is where the concept of the two-in-one dress was formed. For the ceremony I had a tulle overskirt that fixed over the simple lace dress beneath, the silk tulle was so light it created an almost cloud like affect especially in the very windy weather! One guest commented that it was so light it looked as though fairies had created it. I loved it so much I almost didn’t want to take it off for the evening.

My evening look allowed the beautiful lace to shine and also gave me the perfect dress for dancing! I loved the versatility of the dress – that I could wear two completely different looks without changing. I could not recommend Jo enough, everything felt so special even down to the labels in her dress. Jo is as amazing as her dresses!

Crystals And Jewels

I wanted the dress to take centre stage, therefore I kept the accessories really simple. I had a full length two tier silk tulle veil with scatter crystals created by Joanne Fleming to match my dress. I wore a pair of my mothers diamond earrings as my ‘something borrowed’ and a Dior bracelet that as my ‘something old’ as it is really delicate. For the evening I wore a jewel embellished sash to create a different look.

Greedy Heels

Because of our height difference (I’m 5,3” and Elio is 6,5”) heels were a must, I was greedy and opted for two pairs. I had surprisingly comfortable skyscraper Christian Louboutin Fifi’s in gold for the day. In the evening I swapped for a pair of Vivienne Westwood x Melissa Lady Dragon’s in as an extra ‘something blue.’

Natural And Understated

I decided early on that I would do my own hair and makeup and as a trained beauty therapist I used the money I would of spent to enhance my own makeup kit, I knew what I wanted (natural and understated) and I enjoy what I do so it allowed me time to relax and have some time to myself whilst my bridesmaids and Mum went off to the hairdressers.

Dainty Metal Baskets

I wanted the flowers to be a feature of the wedding and my florist was AMAZING! I had a very strong vision of what I wanted to create and I was able to take this to Jo McNamara and let her create it. She was so passionate and excited about our wedding and I felt completely relaxed with her. With everything else so neutral the flowers provided an injection of colour and Jo sourced beautiful pastel blooms to tie everything in.

For my bouquet I wanted to incorporate my Rosary beads as they are really important to me, Jo was able to wrap them around my long stem lilac roses. Elio wore a button hole with a matching rose. For the bridesmaids they had pale pink bouquets and the flower girls carried dainty metal baskets with hydrangeas and roses weaved in. The centrepieces at the reception incorporated all of the bridal party’s flowers in tightly packed arrangements placed in the glassware I had provided. I had set up the day before so thought I knew what to expect but when I turned up on the day the flower arrangements had transformed the venue and completely blew me away. Her attention to detail is amazing and I particularly loved the pearls she had threaded through the bear grass. After the wedding we followed a family tradition and took the leftover flowers to the graves of family members who weren’t there so they could be part of the day.

Peter Pan

We chose soft pastel colours (pink/lilac/peach) and I knew early on that I wanted a blush or a nude colour for the bridesmaid dresses. Luckily the highstreet was full of choice and I managed to find the bridesmaids dresses from Anushka G in House of Fraser. I loved the pearl detailing on the neckline and the Grecian shape was very flattering. For the younger bridesmaids I found their dresses in Debenhams and as I bought them on an event weekend so they were an unexpected bargain.

The groomsman sourced their suits from Next as we wanted something modern and there wasn’t much choice in the rental shops if you deviate from the traditional wedding attire but it worked out costing only a little more and they could keep the suits! They teamed the suits with white shirts and black skinny ties to complement the Groom. I fell in love with the old-fashioned pageboy outfits on the Little Bevan website so Max wore Ivory knickerbockers with a Peter Pan collared shirt and cummerbund. He was not to be out done on the shoes and we were able to hire their black patent, buckled pirate shoes… adorable! (He might not think the same when the photos resurface in his teens)

Something Purple

Elio wore a Hugo Boss suit teamed with a silk knitted tie. I bought him a pair of Alexander McQueen velvet slippers as a wedding gift and he rocked them with his suit. They were part of a box I put together for him to open on the morning of the wedding. I did my own spin of something old (Samuel Johnson Dictionary that was over 200 years old as Elio used one of his quotes for a piece of Graphic design) something new (shoes) something borrowed (his late Nonno’s cufflinks) and something purple (it’s his favorite colour so I put in a pair of pants!) Elio was keen not compromise on his style and I think he looked gorgeous!

Dedication

I found Laura Babb our photographer on twitter of all places, she had made some funny tweets about being left waiting for quotes by wedding vendors that I could relate to, so I checked out her website and was blown away by her work. I couldn’t believe it when she said she was available! What convinced me that she was the one for us is her dedication to her clients and her business, full up with flu and barely able to talk Laura called me to confirm my email enquiry, which proved she is a lady of her word!

She not only made two very camera shy people feel at ease in front of the lens but her and her lovely second shooter on our big day (her future husband Pete) felt more like friends than strangers. She also has a habit of sending chocolate with the packs she sends out which is always a winner in my book! We could not be happier with our beautiful photos.

Cake

Elio’s Mum always makes the most amazing cakes and neither of us are keen on icing so she created a larger to tier version of the cake we always have for our birthdays. White chocolate cigarillos with a syrup soaked sponge, topped with fresh fruit… yum!

Music

We love hip-hop but it is not a genre widely catered for; also we didn’t want to alienate our guests by having music that they didn’t recognise. I searched high and low for a compromise. In the end we settled for chilled out J Dilla beats and our favorite hip-hop artists such as A Tribe Called Quest and Mos Def intertwined with RnB classics on an iPod during the reception drinks and meal. For the evening we managed to find a band that played a set list that included Beyonce, Outkast and Estelle with a twist that catered for everyone! The Chandeliers brought along percussion instruments that our guests loved playing and got everyone up on their feet!

The Light

Our priest allowed us to have John Legend, Stay With You read whilst we signed the register so in keeping with our love of hip-hop we chose Common – The Light as our first dance. We had always loved the song and the words have become very poignant after Elio’s accident so it was an obvious choice.

Lemon Liqour

As Elio is of Italian heritage we decided to create homemade Limoncello which we bottled and labeled ‘Limoncello Di Trapani’.

As the favours were alcoholic we also had a sweetie table for the children and those who prefer not to drink.

A Labour Of Love

The wedding décor was a labour of love that I spent months collecting and putting together. I wanted to incorporate things that I could use again in our home and represent our style, it also meant I could justify spending a little more on some pieces. I was heavily influenced by a lot of American weddings I had seen online and knew I wanted the emphasis to be on old-fashioned romance and elegance. I focused on collecting mercury and Venetian glass pieces such as our table plan written on a mirror and mixed them up with glass heart vases and crystal tea holders and silver mint julep cups.

We were able to hire candelabras and I bought crystals and hand threaded each crystal to create a chandelier affect, it wasn’t the most exciting of wedding tasks but I think the outcome paid off, especially on the two large candelabras we had at our entrance. The venue had a smaller barn for dancing and I wanted to ensure it still felt part of the styling so I draped tulle in pastel pink and lilac through the beams to soften the room and to add a bit of sparkle I hung a crystal ‘Love’ sign at the entrance to create a focal point.
As I studied English Literature at University I also included a few nods to my favorite authors. At the end of our order of Service I used the quote ‘Reader, I married him’ (Jane Eyre) and I included a selection of romanticist poets including Keats in a bundle of books I displayed with the wishing tree.

Not to be left out our puppy Dante sent a message in the best mans speech and we found a Westie silhouette to display in the smaller barn so he be part of the day without fear of him chewing our shoes!
Another feature was our desert table, I have a massive sweet tooth so one option would never be enough, instead we opted for a selection of deserts including our wedding cake and cheeses.

Gangsters Paradise

Elio sustained a head injury two years ago and as a Graphic Designer he wanted to put his own stamp on the wedding somewhere. He suffers from terrible fatigue and his concentration is affected, (he even fainted during the wedding!!) but throughout his rehabilitation he worked tirelessly to create the table names using our favorite ganster films that we liked to watch whilst he was recovering. They might not be the most romantic of names and it was difficult to decide who would sit on ‘Scarface’ and ‘The Departed’ tables but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. For me each postcard personified the struggle and determination Elio showed to fight back to health.

Ultimately we wanted our wedding not only to represent our love for each other but also use it as an opportunity to thank all our family and friends for all their love and support throughout Elio’s recovery. Planning the wedding brought a bit of happiness during a very sad time and the fact that it was able to happen at all was the best blessing of all.

Dress – Joanne Fleming Design

Headpiece – Amanda Wakeley

Shoes – Christian Louboutin and Vivienne Westwood

Band – The Chandeliers

Florals – Jo McNamara

Photography – Laura Babb

A really beautiful story of love, determination, strength and staying strong in times of trouble.

I’m sure you all join me in wishing Elio and Carly success, hapiness and good health as they start their future together.

Adam.

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These Are The Days.

Scarlett and Tom married in June 2012. The venue they chose was Endsleigh House in Milton Abbot, near Tavistock, Devon.

I love a Rock My Wedding first… And today I think I am correct in saying that this is the first RMW groom to wear a bowler hat. If anyone can prove me wrong I’m sure I can find some sort of “prize” in amongst the RMW HQ clutter to send out to you ;)

Anyway – Tom rocks the bowler. Fact. And as per usual when someone wears a headpeice of distinction it manages to find it’s away amongst the masses. See how many times you can spot it!

Photography today is by super sleek, super cool Nick Tucker.

I Want To Be Grace Kelly

The best wedding dress inspiration for me was an exhibition of Grace Kelly’s clothes at the VA. My Mum bought me the book as a memento and there was a particular dress in that which eventually inspired my own wedding dress.

Chanticleer have a very talented designer, Tracey, and team of seamstresses who helped me create the dress exactly the way I wanted by making it from scratch. This way I was able to choose every little detail; the length, type of lace, buttons… So there it was; a 7-layer floor length tulle skirt, guipure lace covered bodice, lace jacket, an ivory silk sash, pearl buttons and lace halterneck as an alternative.

I was SO happy with my dress on my wedding day – I felt like me (and a bit like a 1950’s movie star!). We decided It was a mixture of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s – no wonder I couldn’t find it in a shop!

Something Borrowed

I decided I wanted a short, plain two-tier veil and found one on Ebay, exactly the style and designer I liked for an absolute steal.

I wanted my dress to speak for itself and for a while considered a plain, ivory satin covered hairband (like Cinderella) but couldn’t find one anywhere. A friend suggested that I borrow the headband from Amanda Wakeley. I decided it could be my something borrowed and fitted perfectly on my veil (which my mum kindly sewed together for me). I didn’t actually try them on together with my wedding dress until the wedding day.

I wore no jewellery other than replica pearl stud earrings, with a small diamante on top that I found in a gift shop in my Mum’s village.

My vintage wedding ring, a beautiful platinum band with 22 carat gold edges, engraved with tiny bows, was originally my grandma’s and then my mum’s when she married my dad. It fitted me perfectly and just needed a polish.

I had Tom’s wedding ring made to order in solid silver by Lilia Nash, a very talented jewellery designer in the Cotswolds who uses ethical and recycled materials.

Cinderella

My shoes were Isabella, by Rachel Simpson; a classic, pretty style in ivory satin with a small heel, pointed toe and large satin bow. They were instantly comfortable and I bought them a year in advance at a vintage wedding fair. My little bit of Cinderella.

Natural And Vintage

I was a little nervous about having my hair and make-up done for the wedding as I wanted to look like me and feel comfortable. I had a few issues trying to find a make-up artist so far from where we lived and decided that I would rather spend the money on buying beautiful make up that I could keep. In the end I went to a Chanel for a bridal consultation. I asked for a natural, vintage look with red lips and they did me proud. I found that applying my own make up on the morning of the wedding was a really calming distraction and received lots of compliments on the day.

I usually wear my hair in a bob, so didn’t fancy anything too fancy but wanted the bridesmaids to have statement updos. I (luckily) booked Lyndy Ewings just over a week before the wedding and decided I would have a vintage style blow dry.

Lyndy was incredible and lovely to have around. I didn’t really know what I wanted and she created stunning styles on all of us. I would highly recommend her.

Alice In Wonderland

I always wanted a mixture of vintage garden style flowers to form the main decoration for my wedding without a particular colour scheme or theme but that were completely different to any I had seen before. I went to see Emma Vowles in Totnes – she is extremely creative, she seemed to ‘get’ me and I trusted her completely. So I basically left her to it… And I knew that she would surprise me…

As a very stressed bride to be, with a million and one things left to do, I dropped in on Emma the (very rainy) day before the wedding to deliver my vintage vases to her. It just so happened that she was working on our bouquets at that very moment and there they were, sitting in little cut glass vintage vases on the counter. Mine had a nest of nude coloured garden roses on one side, each totally unique, and big velvety off-white peonies on the other, interspersed with scabious, wild mint and an array of gorgeous nude/off white flowers. The bridesmaid’s bouquets were similarly natural and soft with more peachy tones and darts of deep blue delphiniums to complement the blue of their dresses. This was the first time that I actually felt like I was getting married and I became excited rather than stressed about the wedding. It was such a special moment and I just knew that Emma would out-do my expectations.

I couldn’t resist Emma’s huge vintage swan vase to sit in between two vintage Dartmouth planter vases for the table and she filled them all with blue/green hydrangeas, gold toned roses, scabious, deep maroon dahlias and off-white peonies (to name a few). They were so stunning – classically vintage mixed with Alice in Wonderland.

Emma provided a selection of nude roses and blue delphinium heads which Tom’s mum made into buttonholes on the morning of the wedding. They were tied with satin ribbon in midnight to match the bridesmaid’s bouquets.

We also hired two 6ft hawthorn trees from Philip Nieuwoudt to decorate the courtyard. They made quite an entrance and were well watered from the torrents of rain that fell in the evening!

Wooly Tie In

We didn’t want the traditional look of matching suits/bridesmaid dresses; we had no colour scheme but just wanted everyone to feel comfortable.

We let the boys wear their own suits/shirts/shoes but Tom decided he would like them to wear vintage wool ties and tie clips to bring the look together slightly.

It took us one single shopping trip in London to find the bridesmaid dresses. The dress was the first they tried on that day, they had a vintage look to them, were simple and flattering. They looked SO spectacular and keeping the dresses simple meant that the hairstyles and flowers had more impact. I was SO pleased with the result and so it turned out that the bridesmaids themselves were my something blue!

My sister found some beautiful nude coloured, Italian leather, slingback shoes with a peep toe and finished with a bow. I bought them without the bridesmaids even trying them on and they fitted them all perfectly on the day.

Flannel Grey

Tom quite enjoyed having one element of the wedding that was a complete surprise to me on the day. He went to Vietnam the year before our wedding and had a bespoke suit (and shoes) made to his specifications when he was out there. He chose flannel grey suit with faint pinstripe and collared waistcoat. He ordered a white, vintage style collarless shirt with separate starched collar, vintage tie pin and found a pale green wool tie and bowler hat in a vintage shop. His shoes were traditional looking dark walnut leather brogues. He really looked the part. I kept giggling at him wearing his bowler hat during the day, but I must say it looks fantastic in the photographs and made his outfit extra special.

It’s A Kind Of Magic

Tom and I spent a long time looking for the right photographer for our wedding. It was really important to us that they captured the atmosphere of the wedding and we wanted our guests to feel relaxed. Being quite camera-shy, we didn’t want to spend our day posing for photographs. A close friend recommended Nick Tucker, not only on his amazing talent as a photojournalist but also on his genuine, approachable demeanour. To say Nick was fantastic is really an understatement. He was focused but calm and a true delight to have around from start to finish. The photographs speak for themselves, and, as nick put it himself, are ‘kind of magical’.

Home Baking

I liked the idea of having an array of home-baked cakes at the wedding and my very talented Mum stepped up to the wedding cake challenge baking two tiers of the most delicious fruit cake I have ever tasted, steeped in sherry and loving cooked in her trusty AGA. I made the marzipan and iced the cake in a simple ivory icing. It was finished with an ivory satin bow and small bunch of garden roses from Emma Vowles.

My very close girlfriends each baked and decorated a cake or cupcakes (with home-crystallised flowers) and they were proudly displayed on vintage glass cake stands. They tasted even better than they looked!

No Need To Shout

Tom and I chose to create a playlist of songs on our iPod for the ceremony and evening as we wanted to create a relaxed, fun atmosphere without having to shout over a live band or feel forced to dance prematurely in the evening.

Easy To Dance To

We never liked the tradition of a first dance and for a long time we thought we wouldn’t have one. But whilst making our playlist we thought it would be nice to have a song that got everybody on the dancefloor. We chose ‘These Are The Days’ by Jamie Cullum as it was a song often played in our kitchen when we first got together at university and is happy and easy to dance to. We briefly danced with one another before getting parents and siblings involved and it worked as a nice point to get people in the mood. It was quickly followed by the Specials ‘A message to you Rudy’ which got everyone dancing… This was one of our favourite moments of that whole day.

Heart Shaped Lavender

We never thought we would have favours as such, as we decided they could be very costly and largely unnecessary. However I liked the idea of place-names that could be kept and chose to have heart-shaped lavender bags made from hessian (by Tom’s mum) for the lunch. The lavender was from fields close to my mum’s house which made it sentimental. I used my 1940s typewriter to type each guest’s name and our initials and wedding date onto assorted strips of ribbon. These were stitched on along with random vintage buttons and loops of linen ribbon with ‘to have and to hold from this day forward’ printed onto it so that they could be hung up. We made similar lavender bags for the evening guests.

We have spent many holidays at my grandparent’s holiday home in New Quay, Wales and we decided that some gifts from the local honey farm would make wonderful favours. So we purchased a selection; miniature bottles of differently flavoured honey mead, pots of wildflower honey and Christmas decorations made from beeswax.

A Blank Canvas

One of the reasons we loved the hotel Endsleigh was that the staff were so professional and didn’t once try to influence our wedding. The stable block is a fantastic blank canvas with cobbled courtyard and beautiful pale green-grey walls. The shelves were already piled with oddly shaped/sized off white pillar candles when we arrived so I just placed some vintage bottles amongst them to add a bit of colour.

I wanted everything to look rustic but pretty;

For The Rustic

Our invitations and menus were made to order in brown card with a personalised hanging bottle motif, finished with twine bows. The brown envelopes I covered in assorted vintage stamps and typed the addresses on with my typewriter. I made up favour bags from brown paper gift bags that I found on the internet and replaced the handles with brown garden twine tied in bows.

Hessian was used to surround the hawthorn tree pots and cake board.

I used a vintage galvanised bucket, vintage wooden crate and rustic basket to hold the confetti cones and gift bags. We chose to hire traditional wooden folding chairs.

For The Pretty

I used ivory satin bows to tie luggage tags onto the chairs/basket/crate.

I stamped invitations and gift bags with ‘happily ever after’ in white ink, and we made paper pom-poms in different shades of white, cream and brown to hang from the ceiling of the stable block. The order of service booklets and favour boxes were decorated in embossed yellow and grey flowers, cake bags were decorated with white and yellow zig-zags

We dried all sorts of flowers to make the confetti, from roses to hydrangeas, and used cellophane cones tied with bows to hold them.

The flowers in the vintage Dartmouth pottery vases really helped to ‘pretty’ up the decor, I also used some of my grandma’s porcelain flowers to decorate the cake table. The hotel hung up our Mexican prayer bunting and white, lace bunting out in the courtyard, between the trees and just inside the bell tower.

Intimate With Meaning

Don’t let anybody influence the day that you and your partner want to create. We have sizeable families and large network of close friends but were really keen on having an intimate, meaningful wedding…small but perfectly formed. Of course we were sad not to have everyone there but it was more important to us that the day was relaxed so that we could spend quality time with our guests and I had always wanted to seat everyone around one long table. My Mum kindly held a lovely garden party at her house the following weekend for those we couldn’t invite on the day and this meant that I got to wear my dress again and have ANOTHER party!!!

Boutique – Chanticleer

Dress – Chanticleer

Headpiece – Amanda Wakeley

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair – Lyndy Ewings

Florals – Emma Vowles

Photography – Nick Tucker

Good Hat, will travel :)

Scarlett and Tom’s wedding just looks like massive, massive fun – and let’s face it, that’s what it’s all about.

That, and deciding to spend the rest of your life with the person you love… And the look on their faces gives away the fact that Scarlett and Tom are doing just that. With the full support of all of those in attendance on their big day.

Congratulations guys.

Adam.

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Junk Boat Joy.

Ok, prepare yourself (maybe grab a mug of tea and a biscuit). Are your ready? Ok…

Claire and Sheilen got married on a traditional Chinese junk boat with red sails. It sailed around Hong Kong Island and then dropped them off at the reception venue, a converted Pawn shop (now bar and restaurant) called The Pawn.

If that isn’t enough to make you want to read on then I don’t know what is!

The celebrations started with cocktails, photographs by Nick Tucker and games on the roof followed by dinner downstairs in the dining room. Then Dancing!

20 Dresses

Finding a dress (and also finding a suit for Sheilen!) was probably the hardest thing about the wedding! It’s so much pressure on one outfit to be this miraculous “one”. I must have tried on around 20 dresses in every shape or form and I had magazine and blog overload! In the end I had to write myself a checklist of things I wanted my dress to say. The tick boxes for me were something cool, sexy, relaxed, with a vintage vibe (since we were going down a colonial heritage route with our venues) and it was always going to be white.

The HongKongese have merged western wedding style with Chinese weddings so there are a lot of shops here selling traditional white gowns, the only problem is the women here ae a lot smaller than the UK and the sample sizes ranged from size 0 to size 4! After squeezing into many vera wangs etc I ended up buying my dress from Amanda Wakeley on a trip to London. I knew the Wakeley dress was the one for me because when I put it on the way I was moving around in it was different.

My posture changed and I really felt it. It helped my mum loved it too. The hardest part was trying to work out if Sheilen would like it, because really this is the only opinion that mattered to me, but of course I couldn’t show it to him and he didn’t want to know anything about it at all!

Laid Back Vibe

Because I wanted to maintain a more laid back vibe, I didn’t go for any accessories or jewellery except for a single gold band bracelet from Kate Spade. I also bought my bridesmaid a matching bracelet as a gift. I debated adding a veil but in the end I decided to let the dress speak for itself.

Ten Centimeter Heels

Well when else is a girl more justified to splurge on a pair of amazing shoes than her wedding day! Hong Kong is also the perfect place to shop for expensive shoes! It was a close contest between some white satin pointy-toed sling backs from Manolo Blahnik, some gold strappy Jimmy Choos and some nude coloured christian louboutin shoes.

I worried the strappy shoes would edge up hurting for such a long day and that the white shoes wouldn’t match my dress colour, so I went for patent leather, nude coloured, pointy toed, 10cm heel christian louboutin shoes. The pointy toes and nude colour elongate your legs so it was perfect since my dress had a large split up the front. I had to get 10cm heels which is very high for me because when my dress arrived it was slightly too long!

Me, But More Awesome

I was really conscious for my wedding look that I wanted to still look like me. Of course a much more awesome version of my daily self, but I mean I didn’t want to lose myself with wildly different hair and make up to how I usually look. I wanted to be myself and to be able to look back on my photos and just see me as the way I am, not dressed up as a “bride”. So for a few months I tried out hair with a few stylists and make up with a few different make up artists but in the end I just wasn’t feeling like me.

The make up was always to heavy or too “bridal” and the hair would have too much product or too much curl, so after long debate with my bridesmaid the day before I decided to do my hair and make up myself. On our wedding day it was sooo windy that our hair got blown all over so it was lucky we went so simple with just a few sections pinned off our faces. I applied more make up than I usual for a day time as I was also conscious of the photos but it was very natural overall.

Tricky To Plan

I tried not to be too prescious about it because I didn’t know what we would get in season in November and most florists couldn’t tell me the flower names in English of what would be in season so it was tricky to plan. As all flowers here are imported from all over the world it turns out there is a lot of choice. I was so excited I found blue delphiniums which are my favourite flowers.

We wanted something very simple, wild and messy which is not something they do easily in HK for weddings so we decided in the end to do it ourselves for the reception. For months we collected a lot of coloured glasses and vases for the tables. Then day before the wedding I went with my mum and mother in law, to the flower market. and bought (as many as we could carry) white, orange and blue flowers.

For our bouquets and button holes we went to a professional because we thought they could make something properly to survive in the heat. We opted for variations of hydrangeas which I knew was risky because they don’t last long out of water, but they lasted through the ceremony and most of the reception before they started wilting so it was no problem because by then the jackets were off and bouquets tossed. My bouquet was blue, bridemaids white and organe and the button holes orange and white.

Blue And Orange

Our colour story was loosely blue and orange. We didn’t want everthing too matchy matchy so I got my bridesmaid a champagne coloured two birds dress from shopbop. She was in Australia so we had to choose something online I could pay for and ship to her. The dress was perfect and she looked amazing, almost too good in fact!

Sheilen is probably the only person I know more indecisive than me so it took a long time to choose the suits. He decided he wanted them all to match but we had a logistical problem of the best man in Leicester, the father of the bride in Newcastle and him in HK. The tailors here are amazing though so they managed to cut the suits and fit in a week, so all of the men were in blue cotton suits.

Orange Suede

Everyone knows Sheilen loves his bright colored shoes and he didn’t let anyone down on the day, wearing orange (his favourite colour) suede Tricker shoes. They were a cool contrast to the blue of the suit and totally him. He looked very dapper.

Part Of The Team

I’ve known Nick Tucker for years from a time when we both used to work with street art. Over the years I’ve seen him grow as a photographer and also shoot more and more weddings. He always shoots the coolest weddings, so after we got engaged we kept looking at his photos for inspiration.

His pics had set the bar high for our photographer search out here, but when we found out they are even more expensive than the Uk, we joked about just getting nick to come out and do it. So I asked him out of curiosity and he said he’d love to do it, I was blown away he was really coming out here and I was so excited he was hopefully going to make our wedding look more amazing. As he was here for the week we invited him along to all our wedding events including the stag do. He has some hilarious photos of that day!

A Low Priority

The cake was so low on our priority list because we couldn’t remember the cake from any wedding we’ve ever been to. So we just ordered 3 cakes, plain sponge, carrot and choclate, with white coloured icing from the baker in one of the supermarkets and we made our own little banner for the top of the cake. Then we bought 3 different height cake stands for them.

Simply amazing

We were so lucky to find our wedding singer Hayley. One Sunday we were in an Australian bar watching the Rugby and when it finished this singer came on and she was simply amazing. Hayley’s sound was very indie, but she was singing everything from lady Gaga to blur, just her and her guitar. We were dancing and singing and then we realised she’d be perfect for our wedding so we asked her if she would sing for us and she was genuinely excited to do it. She even learned a few new songs in addition to her already 250 long song list for us. Her 2 friends came and played persucssion.

Break-up Lyrics

Our first song choice wasn’t significant to us at all. This is one of the stupidest things about the wedding. All the songs we like are not really appropriate for the first dance, when we actually listened to the lyrics they’re mostly about break ups. Then the weekend before 2 friends came to stay with us and we were sitting on our roof top having drinks, listening to their itunes when “give a little bit” by Supertramp came on. I love that song, Sheilen also asked straight away what it was and I knew my step dad would approve, so at that moment it was chosen.

A Homemade Touch

Months before the wedding I saw some cool decorations on a blog, the strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling. I thought they looked easy…… but no. They took weeks, involved many trips to the hot local fabric markets and made such a mess of our apartment that I almost abandoned them half way through. However they looked so gorgeous in the end I’m happy I persevered with them.

Unique

Besides the quirky venues in an exotic vibrant Asian city making our wedding pretty unique, we also wanted to make our ceremony very personal. We wrote the whole ceremony ourselves including some funny vows in the middle, such as me promising not to nag and Sheilen promising to do the washing up. It relaxed the tone and made everyone laugh.

I think the thing that made our wedding so perfect was that we were really relaxed and we made sure we spent quality time with all of our guests. Weddings are all about people enjoying themselves and most importantly the bride and groom so we had to say to ourselves what will be will be on the smaller details. If anything goes wrong or we forget anything who cares, we had all of our family and friends there and that’s what matters. I think because we were so laid back then everyone else was and the vibe of the day was perfect.

Photography – Nick Tucker

Dress – Amanda Wakeley

Bracelet – Kate Spade

Shoes – christian louboutin

Maids – Two Birds

Erm… Wow. Some of the coolest photo’s ever, do you agree?

Sometimes we feature weddings because of all the beautiful intricate details, sometimes it’s because of all the perfect D.I.Y inspiration…. And sometimes we feature a wedding because you just HAVE to see it.

This was one of those weddings!

Adam.

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A Snow Queens Wedding… Part 1

I am very excited to be posting this fabulous winter wedding for 2 reasons. Firstly, I *met* the Bride what must have been over a year ago in the same online forum that I met Charlotte in and saw her planning what I was sure would be a truly beautiful wedding.

Secondly, Christian Keenan, the incredibly talented photographer behind the stunning images, is a photographer I have long admired for the outstanding images he produces. We had been working on getting something from Christian when I realised that he had photographed Pippa’s wedding and it was fate.

Pippa really exercised her own style and made so many of the wedding details herself that I’m dying to share with you so I will hand you right over to hear from the beautiful Bride herself.

All images courtesy (and copyright) of Christian Keenan Photography.

A Perfect Winters Morning

Bruce and Pippa were married at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, on 23rd December 2009, in an intimate gathering of the couples closest friends and family.
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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

Accessory Love

My engagement ring has emerald cut diamonds in it, so I wanted to use that as a theme for my accessories. The collar of the coat presented a few challenges in relation to my earring choice (anything dangly was out as I feared they would catch on the collar). My Husband gave me some beautiful emerald cut diamond studs for Christmas last year, so I decided that they were ‘the ones’. I saw an emerald cut crystal haircomb in Caroline Castigliano, and my lovely friends gave it to me for my 30th birthday present.

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

The Broach I wore with the coat came from an antiques auction – it is an original art deco style with (again) emerald cut crystals and was exactly in keeping with the elegant and low key bling look that I was aiming for. I would have loved to wear a veil, but it was never going to work with the coat – more’s the pity!

Well heeled…

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

Again, it was love at first sight with my Choos – they were the first pair that I tried on and just knew immediately that they were the ones! My Husband is very tall, so I needed a bit of height which the 4in heels certainly gave me. The ground was very icy, so I wore white Hunter Wellies to get from our suite to the ceremony room – no winter bride is properly dressed without her wellies!

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

My clutch came from Gina, and was just so useful on the day, I can’t believe I even considered not having one! The ostrich leather lining was just the softest thing in the world!

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

Putting on the Ritz

I love make up and decided to do my own – I like having a bit of ‘me’ time while I do my make up and I really valued this time to myself on the morning of the wedding.
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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

My hairdressers came from Brother’s Hair Salon in Oxford and were recommended by the venue. When I had my trial in the salon, they made me feel completely at ease and I loved their work. I really recommend doing this, as when I mentioned which suite we would be getting ready in they already were familiar with its layout, where the plug sockets/mirrors were etc. It saved a lot of hassle on the day.
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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

Dressing for Winter

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

The Coat is by Amanda Wakeley, I saw it in a magazine and knew immediately that it was the one. I went to the boutique in London and as soon as I put it on, I was in love! Just to make sure, I did the usual round of designers, but nothing even came close for me. I didn’t really fell the love from Amanda’s selection of dresses, so she very kindly supplied me with some of the silk from the coat (at a remarkably good price) and I commissioned a local dressmaker to make the dress to my own specifications. I went into a local bridal shop and asked them for the details of who does their alterations for them. They put me in touch with Emma Smith of Exclusive Designs who was an absolute pleasure to work with.

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*Images are courtesy of (and copyright of) Christian Keenan at CKP Weddings.

Pop back tomorrow morning ladies to see the rest of this beautifully styled chic and unique affair, including all of Pippa’s DIY details.

I can’t wait to share!

Yours Truly,

Rebecca
xoxo

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Finding “The One?”

The main Amanda Wakeley “collection” in the Chelsea store is on the ground floor so while we waited for the bridal consultant to meet us my Mum and I had a good old look at all the fabulous evening wear.

I absolutely adored the shape and cut of the gowns, really elegant and contemporary and I immediately had a really positive feeling about the dresses that awaited us upstairs in Amanda Wakeley Sposa.

And they didn’t disappoint. For the first time I marvelled at nearly everything on display, these were really beautiful feminine classic dresses, not overtly fussy but with enough subtle detail for maximum impact.

I tried on several ….beaded, tulle, chiffon, strapless, backless ….. loved different aspects of every single one.

It was my Mum in the end who picked out “the one”, a mermaid backless beauty with straps and a long train – made from mikado panelled silk – AW 143.

I had looked at the website but not seen it on there, the assistant explained that particular rack of dresses were brand new and had not even been on the catwalk yet.

So I tried it on and loved it, and probably just as importantly knew that James would love it too. From showing him thousands of dresses in magazines (We played the “dress game” – as in “rate this dress out of ten please” – did anyone else play this with their H2B? I found it really facsinating – and useful!)…. I knew he preferred straps and a fishtail/mermaid shape and didn’t like lace or lots of decoration/sparkle and that he thinks flashing a bit of back is sexy so….I guess if I could have designed his ideal dress, this wouldn’t have been far off the mark.

Of course as I imagine everyone who tries on a sample – they don’t fit considerably well but I could see how it would look when it was was nipped and tucked and taken in and I just felt like ” me” in it but obviously an improved far more glamorous version of me …. just what I was after.

I didn’t put a deposit down straight away, I had made so many rash panicked wrong decisions over the last 8 months I was determined to sleep on it and definitely make an appointment to at least try it on again before parting with any significant $$$$$

The following week I had a look on the web for more local suppliers of AW, in reality trekking down to London was taking it’s toll and I didn’t fancy doing it several times leading up to the wedding for fittings and collection.

I found “Quello” bridal in Kenilworth, website was lovely and easy to use and the pictures of the boutique looked chic and sophisticated. I sent an email to the “info” link and received a speedy and helpful reply from Claire who turned out to be the owner of the store. We then spoke on the phone and she explained she had a wide selection of AW and that she would be getting some of the brand new collection in fresh off the catwalk in the next few weeks.

So I made an appointment and took along one of my best friends ( and bridesmaids) Melissa, who is brutally honest ( and one of the reasons I love her actually)

I tried on a few different types of gowns first for comparison and then tried on “the one” ….

Melissa was actually agog for a few seconds ( I was temporarily concerned by this reaction) but quickly said “Oh.My.God. that is the most stunning wedding dress I have ever seen in my life, when I eventually find the man of my dreams….. I am sooooooo getting an Amanda Wakeley!”

I know this should have nothing to do with the dress itself but I immediatley liked Claire as well, she was just honest and lovely and not at all OTT and as a result I felt totally comfortable ordering my dress from Quello and that they would do a great job of the alterations.

So I had the perfect man, perfect ring and perfect dress so….why was there something niggling in my sub conscious that made me feel like everything wasn’t rosy in Weddingville?

Some non-professional pictures:
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