What Céline Did… Met Sassi Holford.

Hello lovelies,

I can’t believe I’m writing my fifth blog post for RMW already – where has the time gone?!?
With less than 5 months to go, the pressure has definitely mounted and it feels like I’m carrying out wedding tasks every weekend (sometimes every day!). Some of it is really fun (shoe shopping!), but some of it has become tedious and tiring. Yep, I’m feeling a little wedding fatigued and am looking forward to it actually being the 21st July.

Nonetheless, there have of course been some great highlights this past month, mainly my mum finding a beautiful MOB outfit (we still have the hat and shoes to find, but one step at a time!), buying accessories to complete The Outfit and, last but not least, my toile fitting.
Just in case you were wondering, a toile is basically the dress but in a cheaper material. It is altered directly on you before being used to make The Dress. The ladies at Sassi Holford were a little amused (bewildered?) when I told them that I felt quite glamorous in my toile and black slip, but hey, how many other times in my life will I have a toile??? Plus I got to meet Sassi herself (who by the way is very relaxed and down-to-earth!) who made doubly sure it all fitted perfectly.

So, in terms of self-indulgent moments, I’d say that my hour spent prancing around in a corset is high up there and, despite some very mini-wobbles, I’m still massively in love with my dress!

Over the past month though, most of my energy has been dedicated to wedding invites and the bridesmaids’ dresses (and the gym!), so let me tell you all about my trials and tribulations (and successes!)…

Invites

I debated whether to post our invites since you’ll see them before our actual guests but honestly, I’m just too excited about them to keep them to myself (I’m generally terrible at keeping good surprises…)

They are being printed as we speak and I have to admit I’m really quite proud of them! Not that I had anything to do with the actual design of it… No, no. All the credit goes to Melissa and Amy from Atheneum Creative. Not only are they incredibly talented, they are also some of the most patient, flexible and understanding people ever!

So, let’s rewind a little here, and tell you how I found Atheneum Creative. After we sent our save-the-date postcards, Tom and I decided we wanted to keep the travel-theme running through our invites too. Google spurted out a whole plethora of invites at me, from the old-school letter style to the boarding pass and even to passport invites! In fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to travel-themed wedding invitations…. Me, obsessed? No…

017 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

In all of them, there was just something slightly missing: while they perfectly fitted a relaxed exotic destination wedding, they just weren’t quite formal enough for us. So we kept looking until I found the perfect invite on a blog called Nothing But Bonfires (which I recommend in general):

029 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

A couple called Holly and Sean created this invite for their wedding in 2009 and, whilst I couldn’t copy it, I did study it in detail to narrow down what it was I really liked about travel-themed invites:

  • Maps needed to be included
  • he invite itself should be traditional with just a little bit of added flair

Nailing those two aspects actually really focused my research and it was only just a few days later that I came across Atheneum Creative’s take on map-themed invites on the US stationery blog called Oh So Beautiful Paper (yet another blog I recommend!):

037 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

And the rest is history.

Uhhh, well, actually, no.

This is where the real hard work started…. The first thing to do was have the map designed. I was tasked with sending Melissa an outline of the map we wanted illustrated, and a list and pictures of the places that had meaning to us. I had to seriously get my thinking caps on for that one! But look at how amazing the map looks now:

046 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

The second task was combining French and English. For our save-the-dates, we kept the two languages completely separate but both of us wanted our invites to be bilingual, as that has become a strong part of our identity as a couple. I’ll spare you the details but this was definitely one of the hardest problems (I’m so not looking forward to planning the ceremony!!)!
Melissa and Amy remained cool as cucumbers when presented with this additional challenge and suggested having one side in English and one in French. To add a little colour to the whole design, we went for one side in pearl white with letterpress and the other side in pink digitally-printed.

The final task was choosing the green, the pink and the white. Up until now, I’ve been quite proud to call myself the ‘anti-matchy-matchy bride’ and I insisted that our wedding would be all sorts of pinks and greens and whites.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have fallen from my pedestal and the experience was painful (for everyone involved). I spent a week looking at different pinks: one was a little bit Barbie, but then the other one didn’t look quite romantic enough and the dark one just felt a little too modern. I was not a pretty sight and, after receiving about 40 emails, Tom banned me from sending him anymore that mentioned the word ‘pink’! And let’s be honest, will our guests really comment on the choice of pink?! Uhhhhhh…. Nope.

Anyhow, I made it out of this dark dark place and I’m really excited about seeing the result. Here’s a preview of what it will all look like:

056 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

Bridesmaids

The final big item I’ve been working on has been The Bridesmaids’ Dresses. This process is ongoing but I thought you might enjoy a little taster of where my mind has been wondering.

First things first, here are my four lovely ladies that have accepted the precarious task of getting me to the church on time and in one piece:

065 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

Alia and I met on the first day of French sixth-form back in 2000 and have been besties ever since despite living in different countries for the past nine years. Frances, Simone and Sophy are, quite simply, my been-through-it-all and couldn’t-live-without university friends. All four have been amazing and really supportive so far, in particularly just listening to me ramble on and on and on about dresses and pinks.

So it’s only right that I find them fabulous frocks to show them off at their best on the big day. The question is though, which frock will they all rock?! Regardless of their different heights and skin tones, they all have very different personalities and styles, so this was always going to be a challenge.

I’m not a big shopper on my best of days, so I decided to make this effort a collaborative one (delegate, people, delegate!). In terms of likes, my own googling showed me that

  1. I preferred cocktail/ tea-length to full-length gowns.
  2. I really liked the traditional ivory/ white dresses with some sort of coloured sash or accessories, though I would be perfectly happy with pink dresses too.

With this in mind, we started out with Dessy, just because they have soooo many dresses! Well, it turns out that bridesmaids’ shops can be just as awkward as bridal shops… When we went for our appointment, not only were we left out in the cold (on the coldest day of the year) for 25 minutes, the sales assistants made no effort to advise or help us! Lucky for me, I have four very stubborn bridesmaids and they weren’t going to be easily deterred. So they went ahead and tried on every knee length dress available in the shop! The girls must have tried on about 20 dresses, and, fortunately, we finally came out with ONE winner:

076 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

As a general rule, though, I’m never satisfied with just one choice so I have continued searching high and low for dresses, and here is the current selection of favourite dresses:

085 What Céline Did... Met Sassi Holford.

For any one interested, the current favourites are all catalogued on a Pinterest board. Naturally.

I also have two more appointments lined up over the next month at The Dress Consultants and Maids to Measure (they literally didn’t have an available Saturday appointment until May!!!!). At this point, I’ll probably have too many choices to choose from and it’ll all start merging into one, but hopefully, the girls will all like one dress and that’ll be that.

I would be very curious to hear how you all got on with bridesmaids’ dresses. And if anyone has spotted some cool-looking dresses for me to check out, please let me know!

Well, as usual, I’ve rambled on for way too long. By the next post, we’ll have made our final trip to Brittany (via a romantic mini road trip in Loire Valley – woo-hoo!) and we should have a whole bunch of to-do’s completed…. At least that’s the plan.

Céline xxx

Key Words .

21 Responses to What Céline Did… Met Sassi Holford.

  1. Becca says:

    Hi Celine,

    I’ve seen both the dress consultants and maidtomeasure. The quality of maidtomeasure is awful if you’re planning a lighter colour. The chiffon (if you go for chiffon) isn’t the best quality and the seams are puckered. The dress consultants are fantastic but they didn’t have the right chiffon (only a crickle chiffon).

    Saying that, pretty much my entire office has bought non chiffon maidtomeasure dresses and love them.

    Your invitations are FABULOUS

    x

  2. FrenchCharlotte says:

    The left corner dress is really cute! (my favorite)
    I really understand the “fatigue” feeling, it stressed me out when the wedding seamed to be the only thing people wanted to talk to me about!
    Anyway, just keep thinking you’re going to love every minute of it on the 21th of July!

  3. Amanda Champness says:

    Celine Celine Celine that little white number with bow in the middle, with lady with arm in the air for no good reason…. is AMAZING!!!!!!
    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!

    Your invites are looking AMAZING TOO!!!! Love the flip side SUCH a great way of doing the two language thing!!!!

    LOVE your: “feels like I’m carrying out wedding tasks every weekend (sometimes every day!)” I have been on everyday tasks since well the begining!!!! I am ordering, paying, DIY’ing every ruddy day…. I’m going to be VERY bored when I come home from honeymoon!!!

    Oh and one last thing! you are just TOO cute, how lovely is your dress in the pic with your maids!!!! I’m still not over your gorgeous green number for the hen party!!!

  4. Jenny says:

    Céline, I always love reading your posts as our weddings are both travel-themed, so many of your ideas I’ve already implemented *wedding twins!*

    Our invitations are so similar. My designer friend drew a very similar map (I’m getting married in Ibiza) and I love it so much. I really want to do something interesting with the envelopes, maybe map-lined? But need to figure this out.

    As for bridesmaid dresses, that Dessy one-shouldered is gorgeous. I’ve also got one-shouldered BM dresses. Full-length, from TwoBirds bridesmaids. Basically a soft, silk-jersey dress that you can wrap 15 different ways, from strapless to sweetheart-neck to one-shoulder. They’re amazing, and really suited all four of my girls. The colour is ‘rosewater’, a kind of nudey-blush colour. They do shorter ones though, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    Completely understand your wedding fatigue, but keep going, it’ll be so worth it! xx

  5. Aimee says:

    I ordered my bridesmaid dresses from the dress consultants, they were fab :) the amsale bridesmaid dresses are gorgeous!

  6. Charlotte says:

    Helloo! I had the very same VoH dresses in floral but with a black background and black petticoats and they looked AWESOME (if I do say so myself…!)

    Plus the ladies really liked them and are planning on wearing again over the summer :-)

  7. Alex H(K) says:

    LOVE your invites! They are gorgeous, tres chic!
    My bridesmaids dresses were Grecian style full length gowns from Alfred Angelo. My sister-in-law is getting married at Easter and she has chosen the above Dessy dress in Mosaic. I haven’t seen it in the flesh but the picture looks lovely.
    If we had had the money I definitely would have chosen TwoBirds. I just love the fact you can have them all in the same dress but it’s slightly different depending on their personality.
    Good luck, hope you narrow it down!
    X

  8. Celine….

    LOVE your stationery pet. And can’t wait to see you in your dress – also that is one uber attractive line-up of ladies you have there Madame, are you organising a wedding or a beauty pageant? ;-)

    Charlotte xxx

  9. Celine says:

    Hello ladies,

    I’m always a big fan of the RMW love! :-) I actually hadn’t told my bridesmaids about their picture going up, and one of them received an email from a friend of hers to tell her she was on the blog!

    I appreciate the advice on bridesmaids’ dresses, that’s very very helpful as it is definitely my hardest wedding decision currently (these come in waves).

    @Becca – that’s really useful to know. My appointment with them isn’t till mid-April which is annoyingly far (I just want to decide!). I haven’t really decided on chiffon vs non-chiffon but I’ll be sure to avoid it if I go with them! Also, your entire office is getting married?!?!?! Wow!

    @FrenchCharlotte – I LOVE that dress (may have to just buy it for myself….). Thanks for the encouragement!

    @Amanda – I love your enthusiasm, it’s always the perfect pick-me-up! If we go for that dress, I plan on having the bridesmaids take that pose for a picture. It would have to be done. Hmmm I think you’ve done WAY more wedding planning than me, and seriously, I don’t know how you do it!! Thanks for the dress compliment, it’s Vivien of Holloway, it is definitely one of my favourite summer dresses!

    @Jenny – hurray for wedding twins!! I want to know more now! Map-lined envelopes were definitely on my list of things I’d like, but the colours just didn’t quite work so I gave up on them eventually so please please make them happen! The TwoBirds Bridesmaids are soooo pretty, but i think they may just be out of my price range unfortunately…. though they are still in the back of my mind!

    @Aimee – oh good, I’m glad they have pretty things! I’m looking forward to the appointment now!

    @Charlotte – VoH is THE BEST. Seriously. In fact, I think i need to stop telling people how great she is because i want it be my little secret… (too late for that…)

    @AlexH(K) – Yey, i’m glad someone else has got the same Dessy dress, i feel like that’s a vote in their favour! I may go check out Alfred Angelo now….

    @Charlotte – haha thank you yes they are allllll gorgeous and they’re amazing fun too!! Thanks for the stationery love, i suddenly felt a little self-conscious when they went up!

    xxx

  10. Faye says:

    Wow Celine actually meeting Sassi! that must have been so exciting. I love your invites and it is really interesting seeing the inspiration behind it…. must get designing! X

  11. Amanda Champness says:

    Ooo Celine this advert just popped up on my computer:

    http://www.inoneclothing.com/product/multiway_bridesmaid_dress/

    Looks like a cheaper version of the Two Birds dress!

    Might be worth a look!

  12. Becca says:

    @ Celine – yes its great. As you can imagine no one gets ANY work done!

  13. Kelly Reds says:

    Bonjour, I love the white dress with the bow, get that for your Bridesmaids…I’m ordering you haha!

    So exciting getting THE dress, so cannot wait to see the pictures. I love you ‘pin’ boards of invites and your choice is simply stunning well done :)

    Big gym love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. Jenny Lane says:

    Oh Celine the invites are perfect!! Well done you :) also your bridesmaids are gorgeous, I excited to see which dress you pick! :) xxx

  15. Shirley says:

    Hi Celine, I love the original Dessy dress – simple yet chic. I’m sure all your girls would look fabulous in it. The invitations are brilliant and loving the combination of green, pink and white – I so almost went for that combo!!!

    Wedding fatigue brilliantly describes how I feel at the moment and what I was describing in my post last week! All anyone says to me at the moment is ‘how is the wedding planning going’ or ‘I bet you’re excited – not long now’ … uhh yeah all good but I do *have a life outside of the wedding too* (silent screams!) I wish we had planned a weekend away somewhere, just us two, for about 8 weeks before the big day. We did talk about it but never got round to sorting it, and with hindsight it would have given us a much needed break to gather strength for the last push of organisation. Something to consider!!

  16. MrsA-to-be says:

    Hello there darling girl!

    Great post my lovely – those invites are AMAZING! Pink and green is the way forward ;) and I love the travel theme, as you well know! The maps are divine. Well, the whole blimmin’ lot is divine – well done you two!

    Also, Charlotte is right – you BMs are a right bunch of lookers! The pics of you 5 will be sooooo pretty!

    Am totally with Amanda on the dress with the bow – it is awesome, and I’m tempted to purchase it for myself ;) That said, I also agree with Shirley (I’m sooo fickle!) about the simple elegance of the Dessy one! Tough call!

    J xx

    Oooh, and I’m so envious that you got to meet SH – too cool!

  17. Rachie says:

    Love your writing Celine however you have slightly scared me thinking about how soon your wedding is as mine is sooner than yours!!! Eek!

    Love that pic with you and your bridesmaids – you are all so beautiful and definitely have that french je ne sais quoi..

    Your invitations are really really gorgeous – love the colour combo and the font and that beautiful map – so stylish!!

    I shall let you know about bridesmaids as I am going shopping with mine tomorrow!! Whoop!

    Rachie xo

  18. Karissa says:

    Can I just say Thankyou, firstly currently at work earning money for the big day, This just made me laugh so much. Sounds like a fellow super organised loving mood boards b2b. When asked if I have a wedding book/ planner I have to response which one?! And the emails to h2b never ending centrepieces 1… Invites 27 etc etc have to love google searches. As for the bridesmade I like the dessy one perhaps with a corsage, maybe just a simple pink peony on the right wrist? I’m stuck with what to do with my bridesmaids I want them to be individual so far I’m thinking the same dress (long chiffon number) in different colours all pastel vintagey. Or same colour and all long chiffon but different styles…neck lines etc?

  19. Emma says:

    @Celine – I’m getting married a day before you!! 20.07.12 :)

    @Jenny – totally with you on the Twobirds dresses, my bridesmaids are going to be in Twobirds dresses too, they have been the easiest part of the whole process (shoes however is a different story) I have lots of Twobirds love!

  20. PrincessBride says:

    Omg totally with you on the Wedding fatigue! At one point I didn’t want the planning to end as I was enjoying it so much, but now I’m nearing the 7 months to go mark I just can’t wait to get things finalised and for the big day to roll round! Bridesmaids dresses have been my worst nightmare too, they’re really difficult. I looked at the Dessy ones in the stores and personally didn’t think the quality matched up with the steep price tag! My friend got hers from Jim Hjelm which are about the same if not cheaper than Dessy and they were beautiful! Xx

  21. Kerrianne says:

    Celine –
    I have gone for for the VOH Rosa dress you have posted, with a cerise pink suede peep toe and my bridesmaids look incredible in it! it is so fresh and pretty and it swirls beautifully! plus, really good value!
    x x

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