At RMW we are firm believers that a wedding dress is for life – not just for w-day. Your gorgeous gown deserves to be worn at every possible occasion!! And what could be more appropriate than at your first wedding anniversary shoot. (Yes, if you want to have one – that’s totes fine. Any excuse to get dolled up we say).
Bride Lucy was lucky enough to have Viola by Claire Pettibone for her wedding day, so we can completely understand why she wanted to wear it again.
Especially given that she got to wear it in the gorgeous Peak District, with sumptuous florals, sparkly shoes, a faux fur jacket and her rather dapper husband Stu…
Lucy The Bride: Stu and I met 6 years ago in Birmingham at a Halloween party and it was arguably down to fate that we met, given the circumstances. My friend lived in a shared house in the city at the time and threw a Halloween party there every year. As usual, the girls and I trundled up from London to meet everyone else there, expecting the same drunken debauchery we’d put ourselves through for the last few years. It didn’t disappoint.
However, upon arrival, we were told by our friend who was hosting that her housemate was bringing a friend, Stu, and that “he was quite fit if you’re in to the whole dark haired, blue eyed thing”. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, I was more concerned with making sure my ‘slaughtered lamb’ outfit (inclusive of external guts made from tights and jelly) was on properly. Stu passed me for the first time whilst I was applying my bright pink eyelashes (part of the costume, honest) at the top of the stairs in a mirror and sticking the last few cotton wool balls to the white pants I was wearing on the outside my tights (again, part of the costume, honest). He wasn’t yet in costume but soon re-entered as a ghoul. With face paint and all.
He’ll say I instantaneously fell for his good looks but to be honest, I didn’t see his face properly until the next day when he’d washed all the ‘ghoul’ off. During the party, he made ‘squashed frog’ shots (gross) for everyone whilst I, he says somewhat aggressively, questioned him about who he knew at the party and where his accent was from because “I just couldn’t figure him out”. Then it gets hazey but the photos say we all had a great time dancing around in the kitchen with feather bowers! He gave me his number and asked me to find him on Facebook, we discussed lasagne and the rest, they say, is history.
It was circumstantial that we met as my friend’s housemate (Stu’s boss at the time) had just applied for a job in Australia and had flown out for an interview there. He thought he’d booked his return flight to get him home in time for the Halloween party but realised once he was over there that he’d miscalculated and booked it for the week after, meaning he’d miss it. On a last minute whim, he changed his flights to get him home, meaning he, and his mate Stu, could make the party. Had he not done that, we may never have met!
Within 3 months, Stu had moved to London and we were living together. We got engaged in Thailand and got married in Sheffield (where we now live and I’m originally from) and we threw a party in a field in the Peak District as our wedding reception on New Years Eve 2013. We didn’t want a ‘venue’, we wanted somewhere that hadn’t been used before and possibly wouldn’t be again, so we hired a field. I designed and made everything for the wedding, from the invites, to the personalised tissues in church, to the favours, to the bow ties worn by the little page boys. We sourced the food ourselves from local farms, I provided slippers for the guests to wear at night and created all the signs and tables decorations. I have quite a keen eye for detail and knew specifically what I wanted so I had to make it all as it couldn’t be found! It was time consuming, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
My dress! THE dress! Before I even entered a bridal shop I looked online and spotted my dress. My mum had also looked online and found the same dress. I booked in to try it on and knew straight away that it was the one. Obviously, I went to several other places and tried on about 50 more dresses, but it wasn’t to make sure that the first was the right one, just more for the experience of being a ‘bride’. You only do this once, right? I LOVE my dress and have had many compliments about it. People have said that it’s not what you’d expect, it’d different from your standard wedding dress, that they’ve not seen one like it before and that is exactly the reaction I wanted. The back detail is what, in my opinion, makes it. A very wise lady once said to me many years ago that when you get married, you have to think about the back of your dress because that is what everyone is looking at for the majority of the time during the service. I think she had a point. As it is quite unique, it was expensive. In fact, I think it was the most expensive in Sheffield at the time and as such, I could re-sell it and get a fair price back for it, but I wouldn’t. It’s too sentimental to me and I still love it. I just need more reasons to wear it!
I was asked if I’d consider an anniversary shoot by Lauretta from Paeony Florals and didn’t really have to think twice about it. I was lucky enough to have my make-up done by Sarah Gray, a very talented Make – Up Artist, who has done my make up in the past and I would highly recommend. My hair was done by Laura from L.H. Professional Hair who is also very skilled and created a pretty and voluminous up-do which impressed me because my hair is shorter than it was on the wedding day yet it still looked full and thick. Stu just turned up, put his suit on and looked all handsome, as usual. The flowers were created by Lauretta and were beautiful. Lauretta did my flowers for my original wedding and this time created some Victorian inspired posies which were pretty and worked with my vintage – like dress, even though the colour scheme was different to what I had on our wedding day. I also really liked the belt she made from fresh flowers, I’m always on the look out for new, creative ideas and this was definitely one of them. She managed to recreate the button holes we had, which were, once again, different from the norm and look as though the flowers are growing out of the suit pockets. Our gorgeous stationery was created by the lovely Hannah at Bonny & Clyde.
The shoot was captured by Sarah Folega who is, in my opinion, what every bride could ask for in a photographer; She puts you at ease, makes you feel comfortable and snaps away without you realising that she is even taking pictures. Obviously, for some pictures, she gives direction but does so in a professional, non-intrusive and personal way. Her keen eye leads to a variety of great photographs to store as keepsakes.
Not only did I get to be a bride again for the day, I got to spend time with Stu, just being us and happily married, something you don’t really get to do so much of on your wedding day as you’re pulled in all sorts of directions. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would happily do it again.