Uh oh… look where we are again – London Town!
I ♥ London with a capital ♥. So when we heard that RMW friend and follower Louise from notonthehighstreet.com was marrying Ant, we knew it was going to be a wedding we’d want to show you lovely folk in blog land.
So here it is. And it’s a corker.
The Big Smoke.
Our wedding day was 30 July 2011, the ceremony was held at One Whitehall Place, near embankment in London. As soon as we saw it and the high ceilings, chandeliers and beautiful views of the River Thames, we knew it was where we would get married. Our reception was at The Union, a listed Georgian town house in the heart of Soho. It is such a unique venue with lots of character and style and a beautiful dining room that was perfect for our intimate wedding breakfast. We had a big party in the evening and with the run of the entire venue, we were able to cater to those who wanted to spend the night on the dance floor as well as older guests and relatives happier on the deep sofas next to the cheese table!
This Is The One.
My dress was by Louise Selby. I came across Louise when I was exhibiting at the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea, the October before our wedding (I work in the Wedding team at notonthehighstreet.com – handy!) I hadn’t tried on any dresses at this point and while I was at the show I noted down all the designers I liked and wanted to try on later. When I discovered that Louise Selby was based in Kew, nearby our offices and also down the road from my parents house I booked an appointment straight away.
Louise’s studio is a beautiful, light and airy room in her home. The whole experience of visiting her was just so lovely and I loved the fact that she creates each dress herself. I tried on all of her designs and, honestly, I loved each one, but when I tried on Iris, I literally had that ‘this is the one’ moment. I didn’t really believe that happened in real life and so was very excited when it did! I don’t know how to describe it other than the dress felt ‘me’. Some of the others, though beautiful, felt a little too grown up somehow, but Iris felt totally right with it’s beautiful, sheer lace back with tiny beads that glittered so subtly and stunning flowing shape. It felt truly unique, it was love!
These were the first dresses I had tried on and I had another couple of appointments booked elsewhere so, more to confirm what I already knew than anything else, I went along. Plus I wanted to enjoy trying on lots of different styles and generally play at dressing up as a bride a little more! And I tried on some beauties! Ones with massive skirts and sparkly bodices, or interesting poofy bits around the neckline; they totally didn’t suit me but were so much fun to flounce around the shop in! There was one other dress that became a very strong contender and that my Mum and Godmother loved, but my thoughts were still being brought back to the lovely Iris, I knew she was the one.
Working not only in the industry, but also at notonthehighstreet.com was definitely a huge bonus in the planning of our wedding. I come into contact with so many amazing suppliers everyday – usually of the extremely pretty variety so I was spoiled for choice when it came to choosing my accessories. I knew from the start exactly what I wanted for my hair: Gillian Million. I had seen her beautiful headbands and clips on notonthehighstreet.com, and also in the flesh when we’d featured them in last year’s Wedding Press book. Then, Gillian was also exhibiting at the Designer Wedding Show last October, so I paid a little visit to her stand (on my break, honest!) and tried on a beautiful Labrinth headband. It was the type that is designed so that it looks like a clip rather than a headband, and made up of vintage brooches and beads. It was just right and exactly what I had in mind for my big day.
I chose a veil from Louise Selby to go with it too; you can read about about my veil ‘moment’ here.
I left making any decisions about my jewellery surprisingly late for me, I’d already decided that my dress didn’t need a necklace and with my spangley hair band I didn’t want to wear earrings that were too showy.
I thought it would be lovely for my ‘something borrowed’ to be from my Mum and remembered the pair of earrings that she wore on her own wedding day; tiny little gold bells that would be perfect. Wearing them on the day felt very special.
For my eighteenth birthday my godmother gave me a beautiful gold and sapphire ring that her husband had given her many years before, the ring has some very special memories attached to it and is something I felt very privileged to receive for my eighteenth, it was the obvious choice for my ‘something blue’.
Gillian Million gave me some very good advice: wear bracelets. Your hands are in photos more than you think – holding your bouquet, wiping away a tear during the speeches and they add a point of interest and, most importantly, look pretty! When my Mum and I dug out her jewellery box for the bell earrings, I spotted a beautiful rose gold bracelet, it is actually an antique watch fob and so, so lovely, the perfect ‘something old’!
I teamed that with a little pearl bracelet that my sister had given me for my birthday and on the morning of the wedding I opened a gift from Ant, a delicate gold and amazonite bracelet with a little diamond encrusted wishbone charm! If that didn’t make me weep, the letter and the lyrics to a song that accompanied it certainly did!
I found choosing my shoes very difficult. I always thought I’d buy my first pair of Louboutin’s for my wedding day but sadly our budget didn’t stretch to this. I looked at so many but couldn’t find any that were quite right and so had a period of feeling quite disheartened, which then became panic when Louise Selby needed them so that she could take the right measurement for my heel height.
On the Saturday before the Monday on which my fitting was scheduled I took myself to the shops with the intention that I wouldn’t come home until I had found my shoes. A daunting task – I was tearing round the shops like a woman possessed! By this point I pretty much knew I wasn’t going to find anything white or ivory that I liked. Plus any beading, sequins or diamond-y bits were out because I didn’t want them to damage the lace of my dress. LK Bennet came to the rescue with a pair of dusky pink satin slingbacks. Initially, I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to wear pink shoes but they were so gorgeous – something I’d wear again – and really a very nude-y pink, (plus I had run out of time) I went for it.
After all that, I forgot to take them with me for my fitting. Couldn’t believe it. (The joys of bridal-head-full-of-too-many-things). Still, I had my shoes sorted now and just had to schedule an extra appointment so not too much of a disaster!
From the start I knew I’d do my own hair and makeup. I’ve always loved make up and entertained the idea of being a makeup artist for a while, I even did a course in Cosmetics and Photographic work. I didn’t end up pursuing a career in the industry but my passion for the products lives on! I’d even like to wager that I rival RMW’s very own Charlotte in the beauty junkie stakes…
This was of course an excellent excuse to by lots of lovely new make up. I absolutely love a sales pitch, whatever promise of beauty the girl behind the counter tells me, I whole-heartedly believe. I’d read in a magazine about the magical powers of Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk foundation and so I booked myself an appointment at their counter in Selfridges and had a bridal make over.
I have to admit, I didn’t particularly like the end result, which I was fully prepared for – I never like it when some else does my make up – but I did learn a few new tricks (such as brush your eyebrows up, rather than out, for a fuller effect, so simple but who knew?!) and of course was sold on more than a few of the products. Did I mention that this was Armani? Ouch.
I booked a second makeover with Bobbi Brown, I’ve always used their products and they place a high importance on choosing the right shades for your skin tone which is great. I actually really liked the makeup they did on me this time, needless to say I bought more products (as did my sister who came with me and she didn’t even have a makeover!) I justified my purchases with the fact that I wasn’t spending hundreds of pounds on a makeup artist and hairdresser.
The wedding team at notonthehighstreet.com have been working with Benefit on a few exciting new projects (more on this to come!) and I was lucky enough to have a third trial make up session with Benefit’s Head Make up Artist, Lisa Potter-Dixon. You will be able to see the results on our blog soon!
For a little bit of glamour and to avoid any mascara-running-down-my-face mishaps, I decided to get lash extensions. I had read in Elle magazine about Groom in Selfridges and so went along a few months before my wedding to try them out. I got half a set and they were so natural looking, it looked like I was just blessed with an extraordinarily good set of eyelashes. Plus, I literally couldn’t tell I had them on at all! The one drawback (apart from the price) was that for about a week afterwards at some point in the afternoon my eyes would start watering – everyday! It was quite odd, but I put it down to the glue used to fuse each lash to my own and after a week they were absolutely fine. For the actual day, I got a full set for a bit of extra impact, curiously I didn’t have the eye water-y thing this time and they were still going strong four weeks later. It’s not something I’m going to keep doing on a regular basis, but for very special occasions they are a lovely treat!
I didn’t have any firm ideas in mind for the flowers, but Amanda from Flirty Flowers knew the venue and was brilliant at making suggestions that would work beautifully. We had lots of muted tones of pink and lilac to go with the bridesmaid’s dresses and also some little daisy-like flowers that were so pretty. I loved my bouquet so much; it was full of roses, the daisies, a couple of other lovely blooms and lots of mint and rosemary, so it smelled heavenly! My bridesmaids had smaller versions minus the daisies. The button holes were a rose that toned with the bridesmaid dresses, with a spring of rosemary.
We collected lots of jam jars in the run up to the wedding and these were placed around a larger center piece on the tables, which were filled with more roses, hydrangeas and a few others that I don’t know the names of but which were gorgeous!
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way everything looked, even with my slightly flighty umm-ing and ahh-ing, Amanda created exactly what I had in mind – without me even really knowing what that was myself – she is a genius!
A Dream Come True.
My bridesmaids were my sisters, one of whom lives in Australia so when she was back for Christmas we set ourselves a goal to find a dress before she went back. Both my sisters have very different tastes and I was happy for them each to choose a dress they loved, rather than make them wear the same thing and risk one of them feeling uncomfortable. On our first shopping trip Hazel (the one visiting from Oz) found her dream dress in Monsoon, a gorgeous dusky lilac with vintage-style beading around the neckline. She tried it on and it was perfect, so perfect that my other sister, Amy, tried it on too and also fell in love! As if that wasn’t enough it was half price in the sale – never have there been three happier girls!
Our ushers wore their own suits and we bought ties for them, and our Dad’s, in an oyster shade, to bring them all together with the rest of the wedding party.
Polka Dotted Tips…
I remembered Charlotte saying that Marks and Spencer were an absolute godsend when it came to her groom’s wedding attire and the same was definitely true for us. After trying on a few styles one was the clear winner; black and so smart, it could have been cut specially for Ant! He looked delicious! We then found a white shirt with subtle twill stripes and the oyster tie – all M&S and just lovely! He wore cufflinks that my sister had given him for his birthday the year before, little silver rugby balls in reference to his passion for the game. When I saw him at the top of the aisle I could have melted on the spot.
Photographer – Especially Amy
Venue – One Whitehall Place
Reception – The Union
Dress – Louise Selby
Accessories – Gillian Million
Shoes – LK Bennet
Groom – Marks and Spencer
Maids – Monsoon
Lousie had the luxury of the dresses coming to her… But with all that choice it must have been hard to settle on just one. She managed it though and the result is that she looked sensational.