Todays Rock My Wedding Bride looks just lovely in lace – I’m such a sucker for it and boy does she have the figure to totally rock the frock. Tim and Laura had a beautifully relaxed day with lots of family help to make it all run smoothly – the absolute best kind I think!
And check out the blinging accessories ladies, including (and I never thought I’d say this…) some to-die-for flats!
Originally I had envisaged getting married near my parents’ house in Surrey, but there wasn’t really a venue that I felt a particularly special connection to. Exeter University – where Tim and I had met seven years ago — came up in discussion as a possible setting. After we returned to view the breathtakingly simple chapel and the gothic looking grounds of Reed Hall, we knew immediately that it was the perfect place. The location instantly brought a sense of “us” to the wedding… and guests could even stay in the very reasonably priced halls of residence because we were booking out of term time! On the Friday night before the wedding, the arriving guests all gathered in the hall bar for beer and pizzas… a real student-style pre-wedding party!
My dress, a Constantina creation by Benjamin Roberts, was the first dress I tried on. I’m so fickle and never really believed that I could fall in love with just one dress, but the second I squeezed into it, I felt so glamorous. It was a fitted drop-waist gown with a fairly long train; tulle with a lace overlay. I tried on a few others just for fun, but I only felt treacherous. Mum wanted me to go for a slightly more traditional princess gown, but I wasn’t swayed… and I’m glad I stuck to my guns. There’s so much pressure on a bride to wait for the one that makes your mum cry… but it’s not her that has to wear it!
I certainly recommend shopping around once you’ve found your dress, because prices can really vary from shop to shop. When I originally found the design I wanted, it was in central London and miles out of my price range, but I did my research and found that Surrey Brides in Weybridge stocked the same gown for a whopping £750 cheaper! I couldn’t believe the inconsistency in price.
A friend recommended Glitzy Secrets, a fabulous online emporium selling vintage-looking jewellery without the extortionate price-tag, and I found a beautiful tiara in a dull silver colour. They also made smaller versions so I bought those for my bridesmaids to wear. In need of a bit more bling to jazz up my sparkle-free dress, I went for a chunky cuff bracelet from Mikey at Topshop.
I loved the idea of a lace veil, but with my dress I knew I could be heading for overkill. In the end I opted for an almost cathedral-length number from Surrey Brides, with small sections of lace embellishment and beading. I had always imagined I’d go for a short veil, but I loved the extra drama that was added by the longer version.
I’m 6ft tall and wasn’t keen on towering over everyone on my wedding day, so assuming there wouldn’t be many options available (there never are for me!) I had resigned myself to looking for cream or pink ballet pumps. After a quick window browse in French Sole one lunchtime though, I fell head over flats for a pair of super sparkly ballet pumps, and knew that I’d found a shoe that would do my dress justice.
They have a great range called Pirouette, suitable for tall brides with large feet – they actually go up to a size 44 – so I wasn’t destined for clumpy classics! The bridesmaids wore super skyscraper heels from Faith – so they were almost the same height as me on the day!
I am very fortunate in that my sister Julie (also a bridesmaid) is a professional hair and make-up artist, and I completely trusted her to do a fantastic job on the day. She knows my style and I was able to do a couple of trials with her beforehand. I wanted my hair to look very natural and a little unkempt, so she created loose waves and twisted a few strands around my tiara. We also had a very fun girly shopping trip to Mac where we spent far too much money selecting the perfect products!
It was also very entertaining to conduct some “pretend” hair trials while Tim was in the house, when I’d come out of the room with bird’s nest hair and ask him for his opinion in front of my sister. Genius!
I had seen very few bridesmaid dresses that I actually liked, and I knew I wanted something a bit different and not overly “weddingy” for my very stylish ladies. I found these dusky pink dresses in Karen Millen and thought they had the wow-factor. They had the beautiful, faded colour that was continued throughout the stationary, but they were still very cool and contemporary.
We hired the suits from Moss Bross, and since our colour theme was so varied, we kept the mens’ suits simple with ivory waistcoats and ties. My 3-year-old nephew Aidan was my page boy, and he walked ahead of me down the aisle looking very grown-up in his Moss Bross suit and cute converse trainers!
Tim has always insisted that you can get a perfectly good haircut from the six-pound a go barbers, but for our wedding he was finally persuaded to visit a decent hairdresser! We both love the fashions of the 30s and 40s, and he asked the stylist to cut his hair “a bit like a bad solider cut in WW2”. Amazingly the hairdresser understood just what he meant, and he looked completely gorgeous with his slightly graduated cut and quiff!
And the skateboard?
We were a bit nervous when the reverend at the university chapel told us that he was leaving shortly before our wedding, and drafted in a replacement for us — a retired vicar who hadn’t conducted a wedding in ten years!
But we needn’t have worried; Reverend Francis Coles was an enormously fun old chap who was very keen to bring a bit of humour to the wedding. He rang us the week before to ask if any of our friends would be prepared to skateboard into the chapel. He had a bit in his sermon which went along the lines of “marriage is like a skateboard… it can be a bit tricky when you first start”… so one of our ushers kindly agreed to demonstrate for him! The congregation was split into bewilderment and hysterics!
Chapel – Exeter University
Photography – Andrew Hawker
Accessories – Glitzy Secrets
Cuff bracelet – Mikey at Topshop
Shoes – French Sole
Suits from Moss Bross
Are you not jealous of those curves? Lots more homespun pretty coming right up in Part 2 soon lovelies.