Essense of Australia

Intimate Wedding at Le Petit Chateau in Northumberland with Tattooed Bride in an Essense of Australia Mermaid Wedding Dress by Carla Blain Photography Pin Image

Tattooed Bride in an Essense of Australia Mermaid Wedding Dress for an Intimate Family Wedding

BUDGET £12.5 – 15K

This adorable family unit have completely stolen my heart today. From the gorgeous getting ready portraits with mother and daughter to the family portraits with the groom throwing the baby girl in the air. There’s also a wonderful tale told by their ten-year-old son. All the heartfelt moments have been captured beautifully by Carla Blain. Plus our fabulously inked tattooed bride and groom increasing the heat and style stakes tenfold with their fashion choices and seriously hot portraits.

Hourglass Essence of Australia Wedding Dress for a Sophisticated Wedding at Combermere Abbey, Cheshire Pin Image

Hourglass Essense of Australia Wedding Dress for a Sophisticated Wedding at Combermere Abbey, Cheshire

Beautiful bride alert! Laura looks absolutely stunning in her hourglass Essense of Australia Wedding Dress, it fits her like a glove. The sweetheart neckline, lace bodice and embellished waist detail are truly exquisite. And lucky for us, Carla Blain Photography has captured it from every angle so you can truly appreciate its beauty.

The location for this sophisticated wedding was the lovely Combermere Abbey in Cheshire. Both timeless and classic and filled with the dreamiest light.

If you want to rock your bridal gown like Laura, then you should definitely check out our guide to choosing your wedding dress post.

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Sophie & Pete

This adorable couple, and their baby girl Imogen, not only had the perfect rustic wedding at The Gilbert White’s 16th Century Hampshire Barn but they also have the cutest love story, and tales of their relationship to match. I mean, who else can say they resolve an argument over a can of cherry coke?!

Opting for an intimate Afternoon Tea wedding breakfast and oven pizzas for the evening, and adding their personality to the venue with hanging paper lanterns, flower stems in vases, plus a naked wedding cake and calligraphy ‘on the day stationery’ from our very own gal Alice.

All the love and attention to detail was documented beautifully by Joasis Photography, who featured on these very pages only last week with another beautifully captured real wedding.

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Dominique & Phil

After some really lovely Autumnal sunshine it’s really rather dreary out isn’t it? All the more reason to transport you all to a gorgeous wine farm, Quinta de Sant’Ana in Portugal. Dominique and Phil had the most beautiful wedding, the lush greenery and decor for both the ceremony and the reception is spectacular. And I love the fact the pair had a “first look” – such a sweet moment.

Dominique’s gown is stunning, as if it was literally made for her and the backdrop of the bright yellow brickwork of the location buildings just says “summer”…..also the cakes though. Because, why just have one when you can have more?

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An Elegant Autumnal Wedding At Shottle Hall.


It’s Friday afternoon and the sun is shining here in the UK! A weekend of BBQs and ice cold wine is definitely in order.

We’re rounding things off today with a gorgeous Autumn wedding, featuring our favourite Autumn wedding accessory – a faux fur jacket. Bride Ann-Marie just looks so snug and stylish.

I’m also coveting her glittery Miu Miu’s which she managed to find on eBay…I know!! What a bargain.

Ann-Marie and David travelled in a vintage Jag for their big day, which makes for some great photos. As does their gorgeous page boy Marcus in his oversized suit. Such a cutie!

So here’s our final bit of pretty for you for the week. Have a lovely weekend everyone and if you’re getting married in the morning…enjoy every second and breathe a sigh of relief, because the sun has got his hat on!

Elegant Vintage Inspired Wedding At Shottle Hall In Derbyshire With Bride In Essense Of Australia Gown With Miu Miu Shoes And Groom In Ted Baker Suit With A Vintage Jaguar Car 1

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Rock Your Real Bride Style… Naomi, the Modern Glamour Bride: Part 2

Welcome back for more of Naomi’s style and our take on glamorous modern Bridal. Each of the girls wore two dresses so we could play with some different looks and with Naomi we made two very different choices….

Look One – Frill Fabulous

First up, we love a frill so we tried Naomi in this Essense of Australia figure hugging dress with a frill fabulous mermaid bottom. Not only did it LOVE her curves but it was feminine, sexy and romantic all rolled into one, whilst being undeniably modern.

With her soft waves and curls this look was all about feminine glamour, with the soft waves complimenting the flowing lines of the dress.

We used the main staircase in Hampton Manor for getting some shots of the dress full length and fabulous and enjoying those a.mazing frills, before we headed out into the garden to rock it up a bit.

The leather was a last minute addition (and who can blame us – she was freezing!) but just looked so totally rock’n’roll we had to make a feature of it… Just goes to show, in a bride this pretty with such a feminine look, a tough edge brings the look up to date and make a great prop for your portrait shots.

For accessories we kept this look super pretty with a side band from Liberty in Love’s own brand, the Cristalle Side Tiara band which is an absolute steal at £80.00. Here at RMW we don’t do Matchy-matchy so instead we looked for something co-ordinating and picked out the marquise shaped stones in the band and went for small drop earrings and a matching bracelet both called ‘Boucheron’ by Stephanie Brown.

Look 2 – Rocking The Big Dress

One of the things we see all the time is the dilemma of a modern bride wanting to Rock a big dress and that is totally do-able. Naomi was super keen to try on a big dress so we chose this simple style, by Essense with floral detail and a Grace Kelly natural waist which stays modern by keeping the silhouette clean and the details pared back.

And how do you keep what is essentially a classic look modern? Why you add a rock star hairstyle complete with quiff and a slick of a statement lip! We then added a Deco-style comb and earrings to complete the look with stand out but chic bling, both from the Nova collection by Stephanie Brown at Liberty in Love.

THE Shoot.

Of course, we couldn’t let the moment pass without hearing from Naomi about her day with us. So here she is, with her side of the shoot story…

I could not believe my luck when the email asking Real Brides to model dropped into my inbox. I was sooo buzzing about the idea that I immediately knew it would be more than worth the 600 mile round trip.

After batting away a few obstacles that tried to prevent me from making it to Birmingham (with the help from the girlies), I landed on the Friday night. The next morning I stepped out of my hotel to a particularly bouncy Charlotte, followed by Rebecca waving her hands mentally from behind her steering wheel. The excitement was palpable.

Pulling up to Hampton Manor was gob smacking. From the minute we walked in I was perving every detail. Lime green and purple furnishings teamed with rich natural wood and jaw dropping light fixtures. The bridal suite was no different, the room was gi-normous! After unloading the cupcakes, bubbly, gems and dresses, everyone started to arrive!

Everything after that is a blur of hairspray, fake eyelashes, bulldog clips and camera flashes. I L.O.V.E.D. every tiny minute of it. It evoked so many feelings. I felt gloriously pampered at the hands of Catherine, our superb make up artist. I closed my eyes and covered my Champagne glass as Sev doused me in hairspray and for a few seconds indulged in the “this is the morning of my wedding day” fakery. I giggled with Charlotte and Rebecca as I was pinched, squeezed, prodded and jiggled into delicious pieces of wedding pretty. I rocked a leather jacket with a wedding dress. I posed my little wannabe model heart out for Chris the photographer and delighted in the cupcake making skills of his hilarious wife Dani. I tried to convince everyone to let me slide down the banister in a big princess dress. I gazed in wonder and awe at the transformations of Mahj and Julie. I pulled dodgy faces and evil laughs for Aaron the videographer. I sported a platinum mohican. I learnt how to perfectly apply fake lashes. I convinced Adam that a curry is the best hangover cure. I laughed so much and above all… felt totally rock & roll.

Indeed, Rock and Roll Baby. Thank you so much Naomi – you were a complete STAR!

Gowns – Essense (Style D1170) and Essense of Australia (Style D1174) both at Mamfii Bridal

Accessories – Liberty in Love.

Make-up – Catherine Hughes at IvyClara

Hair – Severin Hubert at Hepburn Collection

Photography – Dani and Chris at CBMedia

Styling – Rebecca and Charlotte

Want to look this hot, fancy making waves or rocking a statement quiff? Well, tomorrow we have the most awesome DIY hair special for you plus some real wedding perfection.

Yours Truly,


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Country Garden and Games… Part 1

Todays wedding is everything a wedding should be – fun fun fun! The subject of our Sneak Peek this week, the couple in question managed to put a big fat Fun stamp on the day with tons of personal touches that really reflected them as a couple. Now thats what we like to see.

Many thanks to Guy Collier for submitting this to us and providing all of the brilliant images.

Choosing a Venue…

Our wedding was held at Gate Street Barn in the Surrey Hills on 25th June 2010. We chose Gate Street barn not only because it is a stunning venue based in the Surrey Hills where Tom and I have spent many weekends walking, but the barn gives you a blank canvas to work with so we could completely add our own personalities to the venue. The barn also gives you a choice of caterers and they don’t charge corkage if you wish to bring in your own drinks. Gate Street Barn ticked all our boxes.

A Dress that Fits

I tried on dresses in various shops and had some friends with me to help me choose. I found it very confusing with so many opinions so I eventually took myself off on my own and that’s when I found “the one”. I chose a beautiful ivory dress by Essense of Australia, and I bought it from All that Glitters in Wimbledon. Even though the sample dress was way too big for me, as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one.

I love classic, elegant and simple clothes, which is why I think I was so drawn to my dress. I felt that the style was perfect for my figure and I could dress it up with accessories if I wished to. I was very lucky as the dress was discontinued shortly after I ordered it, so I got one of the last ones. The dress came with a vintage style brooch on the left hip, but I removed the brooch and replaced it with one which was more my style – a cluster of clear crystal daisies from Brooches and Pins.

Dressing your Hair

I decided to keep my look simple and elegant so did not wear a necklace or bracelet. At first I was adamant that I did not want a tiara, but after much internet research looking for hair combs I came across my “Daisy” headband at Starlet Jewellery . In the end I ended up wearing it as a side tiara rather than a headband, but I loved it so much and it worked so well with my hairstyle so I was very happy with my decision. My earrings were made for me by a lady called Paula, who is a friend of my now sister-in-law www.coco-ria.com. I sent her pictures of the tiara and she made me a few samples based on that. I chose very simple round crystal beads, and I’ve worn them on evenings out since the wedding, which is great. She also made earrings for the bridesmaids – violet crystal flowers.

Hair and Make-up Heaven

I got ready for the big day at a hotel in Godalming and didn’t fancy the thought of heading out to a hairdresser so I found a mobile hairdresser who came to the hotel. When I had my hair trial I had no idea what I wanted, other than wanting my hair all up. As Paula (the hairdresser) started experimenting we happened across the “half up with curls over the shoulder” look, and I loved it. I thought it was very glamorous.

I had been for a make-up trial at Lime Tree Beauty Clinic in Godalming, and the beautician also came to the hotel and did my make-up in the room while my hair was in curlers and the girls were getting their hair done. I had 6 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls, so the room was buzzing, but it was great fun. Like having a pyjama party with all my best friends.

Pretty in Purple

For the bridesmaids I went for an After Six dress (style 6531) in African Violet. I ordered it online from House of Brides in the US, but in hindsight I would have gone through All that Glitters. Once all the customs charges were added to the shipping the cost worked out the same and there was some stress about the dresses being completed on time.

Regardless though, the girls all looked stunning and the colour was beautiful. My two flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon.

Weaving a personal touch

The ushers, fathers and page boy all wore their own grey suits, white shirts and black shoes, but the waistcoats and ties were all made by one of the ushers who owns a weaving mill in Lancashire. Tom decided on the colours he wanted for them (lilac ties and ivory waistcoats), found a pattern he liked and sent it all through to Duncan who made them as a special favour.

Tom looked incredibly handsome in his grey suit, which he had made by Palmer on Northcote Road in Clapham. Tom’s tie and waistcoat were also made by Duncan, but Tom’s tie was African Violet, made from the same fabric as the bridesmaid’s dresses, and his waistcoat was lilac.

To jazz the outfit up he wore a tan belt and very cool tan Barker shoes. Very cutely, he wore striped purple socks!

Playing a personal game

Our cake was very special, as Tom’s mother made it for us based on our love of Scrabble. Tom and I are big games fans, as is evident from the theme of our wedding. Patti came up with the idea of making us a Scrabble cake and we think she did a perfect job. The cake was orange sponge and she also made square cupcakes and decorated then as Scrabble squares.

The main cake was a Scrabble board and she had spelt out “Melissa Thomas Together Forever”, which was very special. She also made a personalised cupcake for James, Kayla and Megan – our nephew and nieces and very adorable page boy and flower girls.

Garden Games

To keep our guests entertained we hired a selection of giant outdoor garden games, again tying in with our theme of “country garden and games”. This seemed to go down well with the guests and Tom and I managed to enjoy a few games too.

For the evening we had a DJ. We chose a DJ over a band as Tom and I love to dance and sing along to our favourite songs, and so do all of our friends. We used Chess disco, and they were great, playing all the power ballads I had requested beforehand!

Come back tomorrow for the beautiful garden style flowers, a ton more personal details and fun, fun, fun!

Yours Truly,


Guy Collier is a Rock My Wedding Sponsor, however all real wedding submissions are chosen on individual merit and no part of this wedding has been sponsored.