Jess The Bride:
As soon as we got engaged I knew exactly where I would find my perfect wedding dress. I am incredibly lucky that my friend and business partner Laura is also a super talented designer and dress maker (Laura Fray Bespoke
). I decided to try on some dresses in a few wedding dress shops first, I found it really useful, although I couldn't find anything perfect for me it gave me the chance to pick out particular elements I liked from different styles and give Laura an idea of the direction I wanted to go in.
From the start I had my heart set on a 2 piece wedding dress, I really wanted something unique, not a traditional wedding dress. I found myself struggling to decide between a long lace skirt and a simple tea length skirt. My mum suggested having both skirts, a long lace one for the day and a shorter one for the evening.
Laura and I picked out some stunning blush toned silk and ivory scollop lace overlay. we went for a heavier ivory silk for the shorter evening skirt. Laura designs and hand-makes every detail of every dress, including embellishment, I went for gold embellishment flowing from the shoulders and down the the v back. The whole process was just a dream, totally stress free, Laura knew exactly what I wanted, and it was amazing to see the design develop from initial sketch to final dress, not many brides experience that! She also made a gorgeous veil trimmed in the same lace as my dress with matching embellishment and a garter with navy trim. I went for simple gold stilettos from ASOS to finish the outfit off.
I really couldn't have asked for more, It is the most beautiful outfit I have ever worn, it made me feel amazing, and so comfortable because it was designed especially for me and fitted me perfectly, I really am so lucky to have such an amazingly talented friend.
We decided on a deep navy and gold colour scheme for the wedding, with bright flowers. So the suits had to be navy, we found the perfect 3 piece suit in Slaters
, the quality was great and the shade of navy was exactly what we wanted. Stuart and all of the groomsmen wore matching suits, crisp white shirts and we found some lovely gold ties in Slaters too, perfect!
Laura (who was also one of my bridesmaids) also made 3 of the bridesmaids outfits and an embellished sash for my little sister’s Monsoon dress. We went for two piece outfits in a beautiful rich navy lace with gold shoulder embellishments. We found some fab glitter shoes in the sale at Kurt Geiger
. The girls all looked stunning on the day.
My cousin Helen (John Gerard hairdressers) did hair for myself and the bridesmaids, we decided to go with a different style for each bridesmaid. They all had plaits incorporated into their styles. I had simple natural curls, a style I know suits me. Helen did a fantastic job, I can't recommend her highly enough! Another friend Laura Delooze did my make-up, I wanted it to be really natural because I don't tend to wear a lot of make up, however I do love a red lip. She did a great job, I wish she could do my make-up every day!
I designed our rings myself and they were handmade by Jon at Manchester Craft and design, We went with a leaf theme, mine was designed to fit around my engagement ring, it was engraved with two leaves, Stuarts was brushed/matt finish on the outside and shiny inside with leaves engraved inside and the wedding date incorporated into both designs. We also asked Jon to make bracelets for the bridesmaids and necklaces for our mums each with a small leaf pendant and the date engraved on the back.
The venue was a very easy decision for us. I had actually seen the plans for Healey Barn
years ago, just after we’d got engaged, and I knew that it was going to be beautiful. So it was the first and only venue on our list to visit. It was exactly what we wanted, in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, the ceremony room is just stunning and we felt that we’d found it the perfect balance, beautiful, cosy and intimate with a casual feel and amazing food (an important factor for us!) So we had one viewing and booked it straight away. The staff were really supportive and helpful thought the whole planning process and on the day everything seemed to flow seamlessly.
The flowers were a very important element of the overall look of the wedding for me. I paint flowers day in day out so I have a slight flower obsession! I have always bought flowers from my local florist Flourish
, so I thought they'd be ideal for the job, they certainly were! I put together a board of my final ideas for Grace. She translated my inspiration perfectly, in fact the bouquets were even more amazing than I imagined. We also calculated how many bunches of flowers and foliage we would need for table arrangements, myself, friends and family got together in my hotel room the night before the wedding and arranged the flowers into random vases I’d been collecting from car boot sales.