There is a secret princess in all of us that wants to wear the perfect gown and get married in a castle. And Bride Alice did exactly that in a gorgeous homemade wedding dress to her perfect groom Francois. The whole Highcliffe Castle wedding is full of atmosphere and emotion, captured beautifully by Carrie Lavers Photography and featuring confetti and entertainment from Shropshire Petals and DiscoWed, both of whom are on our reccomended supplier directory The List. Keep your pinning fingers ready for the immense King Protea bouquet and wedding flowers too!

Homemade Wedding Dress

I went to numerous bridal shops but really struggled to find anything I liked or that fit properly – being tall I found that waists of dresses didn’t often sit where they were supposed to! Eventually having a dress made for me seemed like the best option, but this in itself was a daunting prospect... what if I didn’t like the finished product?! After all, the design I chose wasn’t like anything I’d ever tried on! Thankfully my Mum's friend, Barbara, was amazing in helping me make decisions on the dress and the end product was perfect, far better than anything I’d tried on, and to have something made to measure was fantastic!

Alice & Francois

Highcliffe Castle Wedding

Alice and Francois had been living in London for about 4 years but knew this wasn't where they wanted to get married. They both love the sea and were much more drawn to the south coast. After visiting numerous venues they finally decided on Highcliffe Castle. A Grade 1 listed Castle with grounds, right by the sea. Plus have you seen the grand hall where they held their wedding breakfast? The gorgeous high ceilings and stained glass window is an amazing backdrop for the top table and would have given me chills walking into such an atmospheric reception.

Styling And Flowers

The interiors at Highcliffe were already beautiful so there wasn’t really much we needed to do! Francois found Concept Flowers on Instagram and we both knew Lauren was the right choice. We loved her style – slightly untamed with beautiful use of colour, and when meeting with her she perfectly understood what we were after. Unfortunately all the flowers on my mood board were out of season but Lauren came up with some great alternatives, and suggested the king protea, to bring an unusual twist – this featured in my bouquet and the table centrepieces, which were supported by brushed metal box frames; very modern and unlike anything we’d seen elsewhere! For the dancing, we hired a big mirror ball and up and over fairy lights from Maria at Simply Flower.

Alice & Francois
Alice and Francois followed most of the classic traditions e.g. speeches, father of the bride walking the bride down the aisle, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue etc. They also added the French tradition of the groom being walked into the ceremony by his mother before the bride enters. This was quite important to Francois as he wanted his mother to have a role in the ceremony. Which is exactly how you should plan your day - your way! If you need any other helpful tips and advice on wedding planning, be sure to check out our Podcast. VISIT THE RMW ARCHIVE
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Featured suppliers

Wedding Venue: Highcliffe Castle | Decor: Simply Flower | Confetti: Shropshire Petals | Cake: Coast Cakes | Caterer: Beales Gourmet | Stationery: Francois Saintamon – de.bon.air | Band: Pete Sheppard | DJ: DiscoWed | Florist: Concept Flowers | Homemade Wedding Dress: Barbara Webb (friend of mother of the bride) | Rings: ECONE | Earrings: Missoma | Bridesmaid Dresses: & Other Stories | Groom's Suit: Dress 2 Kill | Boxers: Parachute Calcons

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