Sharing the latest collection from Halfpenny London always makes my heart skip a beat. Kate’s ability to create a line of bridal wear that is unique, ahead of the curve but still gorgeously wearable is second to none and there really is a dress here for every (stylish) bride. Inspired by the fabled lost city of Atlantis, this collection channels the asymmetric splendour of rugged coastlines and frothy waves caressing a sandy beach. It’s also hugely versatile with a selection of lace tops and slips/dresses to combine plus a stunning shaggy jacket that is set to be the must have accessory for all winter brides.
We have the pleasure of Kate sharing her favourite pieces from the collection on the blog this afternoon so grab a seat and get comfortable, I have a feeling you’re about to find your dream dress…
The latest collection from Halfpenny London is designer Kate’s most diverse yet, just looking through beautiful gown after beautiful gown you can see influences from almost every era and every aspect of nature. But while there’s something in this collection for every bride, Kate’s distinct, inimitable style is clear to see throughout – every gown is Halfpenny through and through. I feel like this collection is the older sister of Kate’s previous collection, Standing In Stardust. Slightly more classic, slightly more worldly and with a little more sophistication than the collection inspired by the 70s New York club scene (which in a word – was effervescent). This collection on the other hand, is inspired by an English country garden and the verdant glow that follows the rain. It’s evocative, elegant and stylish and if you love a splash of botanical thrown into your British bridal design, then you’re going to love The Garden After The Rain…
I love this inspiration shoot from John Barwood and Kirstie at Ruby & The Wolf because it’s thought provoking as well as being beautiful to look at. There’s a huge amount of fuss and frippery that can go into creating a stylish wedding day, but this shoot cuts all of that out and just presents a couple of gorgeous elements in a really elegant way. The ‘Clemence’ gown in blush pink by Halfpenny London for example, is so striking it doesn’t need to be drowned out with lots of accessories and florals.
If you are trying to chose where to allocate your wedding budget and also the actual time on your wedding day, then grab a cup of tea and settle down to read John’s words – there’s a lot to be said for trusting in a just few creatives to bring your wedding day to life.
Oh and hello gorgeous venue, The Forge, totally going on my ones to watch list for gorgeous weddings…
Halfpenny London gowns are always ahead of the fashion curve. When received these images in October last year, we were seriously excited to share them with you all, but we had to keep our lips sealed until now. Previewed at last years New York Bridal Market, as part of Halfpenny London’s first stand alone showcase, they’ve been making waves across the global wedding industry ever since. But then as far as we’re concerned Kate’s dresses always do, we’re proud to have Halfpenny London in our Look Book, where you’ll find bridal collections from some of our absolute favourite designers.
The Standing On Stardust collection is inspired by the hedonistic club scene of 1970s New York (we know, how achingly cool)?! These gowns are bold with intricate beading, powerful silhouettes, feathers, a gorgeous blend of fabrics and textures, think sumptuous silks, satins, organzas. Sheer vs heavy, creating a perfect balance. If you follow Kate Halfpenny on Instagram, the first thing that comes across, apart from great style, is her love for fabrics and textures. It’s instinctive to her, which is why her designs are so recognisable.
Kate Halfpenny is truly one of a kind in the wedding industry – her designs are instantly recognisable, her collections always evolve and yet stay true to her classic style and all of her dresses are made in the UK. Kate designs dresses for real women that are made to be worn, and if you’ve ever tried on wedding dresses you’ll understand that unfortunately that’s not always the case.
Some of the Rock My Wedding team visited Kate’s gorgeous Bloomsbury boutique recently for a lovely chinwag and a good old nosey at the stunning dresses. I was green with envy that I couldn’t attend as it looks like an absolute treasure trove of Bridal prettiness. We’ve got lots of images, if you fancy having a look…
This shoot featuring divine Claire Pettibone and Kate Halfpenny dresses is just so dreamy…the soft colours, the embellishments, the soft sweep of fabrics, the ethereal tone of the images…just heavenly.
The concept, loosing based on Titania from A Midsummer Nights Dream, was dreamt up by Chloe who owns gorgeous Sheffield bridal boutique, The White Room. And if you fall for any of these gowns, they are hosting a trunk show featuring the Gothic Angel collection by Claire Pettibone on the 27th and 28th November at their boutique in Sheffield. There is also 10% off all gown purchases at the event, so it’s the perfect time to invest in a piece of art for your wedding day!
As I write this, I’m looking out of my window at the torrential rain that Mother Nature has decided to gift us on this very grey Friday in April. Technically I know I/we should be grateful; the plants get a thirst-quenching drink and I’m sure that bluer skies will probably be on their way next week. I can’t help feeling a bit miffed however…I mean it’s the end of April and frankly I still feel that we’re in the depths of Winter at times.
Come on Summer!
With dreams of warmer climes and balmy nights on the brain, the RMW team turned their thoughts to summer holidays this week…more specifically honeymoons. In fact some of you lovelies might already be ‘mooning as we speak (which actually makes me a very jealous girl indeed) but then I know there’ll be a fair few of you planning and scheming about your romantic holiday to come and which essentials to pack for the journey.
If you’re anything like me then you’re a veritable hoarder, squirrelling away the equivalent of a year’s worth of provisions for a five day city break. Ridiculous. Yep, you can guarantee that I’ll be the only one out of my family that will check in luggage for the hold rather than taking a carry-on…much to their dismay, but this girl can’t help it. Are any of you guilty of ‘travelling heavy’?
With this packing dilemma in mind we turned to our delicious Fashion Pack designers for a little bit of their divine wisdom and a helping hand and asked them which items they simply couldn’t travel without…
Kate Halfpenny is often regarded as an industry secret (although now she’s on these very popular pages not so much anymore!) and has worked with celebrities such as Rihanna and Kate Moss, creating show stopping gowns for high profile award ceremonies such as the Bafta’s and The British Fashion Awards.
Kate has a BA (Hons) in womenswear and combined with a Masters from St. Martins her bridal collection was finally launched in 2005 after Emilia Fox wore two couture bridal gowns designed by Kate to her wedding. Last summer saw Kate Halfpenny open her first flagship boutique “Halfpenny London” in Bloomsbury’s Woburn Walk, think glittering mid-century glass chandeliers, original panelled walls and an abundance of beautiful gowns hung from copper rails.
They wanted an English country house-party feel for their wedding with lots of accommodation for guests. They also wanted a venue they could book out and take over in its entirety. Hengrave Hall ticked all of the boxes
The chapel on site was just big enough for 100 guests and small enough so that Amy didn’t find walking down the aisle too daunting!
My ‘dress’ was actually a lace skirt with a camisole top and lace tee shirt, designed by Kate Halfpenny. I wore a pale pink sash during the daytime and swapped it for a handmade embellished belt for the evening, both of these were from Kate Halfpenny too.
Kate, her incredible designs and fabulous studio, made wedding dress shopping a really special and exciting experience. I loved so many of Kate’s exquisite dresses that the only slightly tricky part was narrowing down a favourite. The idea of a skirt and top really appealed to me though, particularly as it means I can wear the camisole and tee shirt again and I’m also planning on having the skirt taken up so that I can wear that again too. Kate’s designs are so beautiful, and I felt so happy wearing them, that I think it would be a waste not to wear them again.
Let It Shine
I wore a short veil, with lace detail, in my hair, which was also from Kate Halfpenny.
The ‘dress’ and belt are so beautiful and intricate that I decided to keep my jewellery simple and let the dress really shine. The only jewellery I wore (except for my wedding and engagement rings) was my grandma’s engagement ring that I had inherited. I wore it on my right hand as my ‘something old’.
Left At The Platform Shoes
I wore cream snakeskin effect heels by Stuart Weitzman for Russell & Bromley… Although I very nearly didn’t after leaving them on the platform at Bishops Stortford train station on the way to a dress fitting!
The Best Version Of Myself
Ferdia at The Lounge, Soho perfected my hair cut a couple of days before the big day. With short hair, all I needed was a good blow dry on the morning of the wedding. Tori from Finn Jordan in Cambridge did a great job and also styled my bridesmaids’ hair beautifully.
Katy of was my fantastic make up artist and a very calming influence on the morning of the wedding. I don’t tend to wear a lot of make up usually, and was worried about looking too heavily made up, but Katy was wonderful at making me look like the best version of myself. My mum, Simon’s mum and my bridesmaids also had their make up done by Katy and we all spent a lovely day before the wedding having make up trials and eating cake!
English Country Garden
Violets and Velvet created the beautiful bouquets, buttonholes, pew ends and flower arrangements for us, including the stunning arch at the church entrance. We asked for an ‘English country garden’ look, using local, seasonal flowers. The only flowers we specifically asked for were white roses to represent our Yorkshire heritage and the guys all had white rose buttonholes. We also wanted herbs to be part of the flowers and it was lovely to keep catching a scent of mint, rosemary and thyme during the day.
It was important to us that the flowers were reused as far as possible and not wasted. Following the church ceremony, the church arch was dismantled and arranged into pretty posies for our guests to take home.
Fluid And Unstructured
My bridesmaids, Tracy, Navneet and Ayesha, looked absolutely stunning in navy dresses from Maids to Measure in London.
Simon’s two best men, James and Rob, wore navy suits, white shirts and polka dot cockney chokers, all bought from Mr Start in Shoreditch, London. The chokers gave the suits a pretty fluid, unstructured look so the guys didn’t feel so confined and smart as you sometimes can in a tie. The dads weren’t so keen on the cockney choker and wanted to go for a more traditional look, so they had skinny ties in the same material. We used to live around the corner from Mr Start and Simon has been buying clothes from there for the last 8 years, so it made sense to have them involved. Chris and his team were fantastically helpful in sorting out all the details and making the boys all look very dapper.
We didn’t have any intention of having a navy colour scheme, but it just ended up like that!
My gorgeous groom, Simon wore a bespoke navy tux with black satin trim from Mr Start in Shoreditch, London. He teemed it with brown patent Oxfords from Mr Hare via Mr Porter for the day and swapped them in the evening for his trusty black Converse All Stars. This wasn’t really intended but Simon is well known for wearing Converse with every outfit and all the guests kept asking him why he wasn’t wearing his All Stars so he felt it was only right to give them what they asked for!
The look was inspired by a picture of Ryan Gosling at the premiere of Drive; Simon just took it into Mr Start and they did the rest for him. A crisp white shirt finished the look off; the tux was so beautiful that it didn’t need any accessorising really.
As Simon’s grandparents aren’t with us anymore, he carried their wedding rings in his inside pocket as a tribute to them, which was a beautiful if slightly emotional touch.
Mandy and Julie of Dottie Photography were our fabulous photographers. We felt at home with them from the first time we met and they were great fun throughout the day. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better! Although when they told us all to assemble in front of Hengrave Hall to do the conga, we did think this was too crazy even by their standards! The final shot is fantastic though and a great twist on the standard group shot!
We’d already had an engagement shoot with Mandy, which I’d really recommend as it definitely helped us to relax in front of the camera.
Sponge And Buttercream
Our cake was designed by Laura of Love Little Cakes. We had three tiers of sponge and buttercream, and each tier had a different flavour – cherry bakewell on the base, lemon for the middle tier and a rose and violet top layer which was specially created for Simon. Apparently it took a lot of attempts by Laura to perfect the recipe but the end result was fantastic.
The cake was decorated with fresh flowers for a ‘country chic’ look.
Our DJ was Darren at Dreamwave Events. We gave him a list of ‘must plays’ and then let him work his magic around them. He did a great job as the dance floor was packed all night!
We chose Bella Donna by the Avett Brothers for our first dance. It’s a beautiful love song by a brilliant band and the lyrics seemed to fit the occasion perfectly. It was a close call between that and Dean Martin’s “You’re nobody til somebody loves you” which is from Simon’s favourite film (Swingers) but we used that instead for our exit music from the church. It was great to fit in both songs.
Bags Of treats
I love sweets and, right from the beginning, wanted a sweetie table to feature in our wedding. For favours, guests were encouraged to make a treat bag to take home from the sweetie table.
As well as styling the sweetie table for us, Kate was a brilliant source of information, inspiration and ideas during our wedding planning and we’re very grateful to her for recommending Hengrave Hall, Violets and Velvet and Love Little Cakes. She understood the look we were aiming for perfectly and I really enjoyed our chats over coffee in Saffron Walden.
I have a thing for posh stationery and cards and Zoe was wonderful throughout our wedding planning, creating our Save the Date magnets, invitations, order of service and fabulous table plan.
For The Kids
Simon’s talented dad created our wonderful card hamper for us from scratch. We showed him a picture of one we liked and two weeks later he’d made one that looked even better!
We also arranged presents for all the children at the wedding. We know how stressful it can be for mums/dads to keep kids entertained during dinner/speeches, so we thought that providing a few gifts to open and toys to play with would help take the pressure off them. Simon’s parents kindly arranged the buying and wrapping and it was fantastic to see the children feel involved in everything that was going on.
Enjoy The Preparations
The best part of our wedding was being surrounded by family and friends who mean so much to us, some of whom had travelled across the globe to be there. We were humbled by the effort that everyone made and it was wonderful to see their happy, smiling faces on our wedding day.
My advice to a bride to be? Enjoy the preparations and use the time running up to the wedding as an opportunity to spend time with your nearest and dearest. Whilst there were a few stressful moments along the way, I have so many happy memories of time spent with my favourite people. Also, it’s completely true what they say – the big day flies by so be sure to enjoy every single moment.
Simon’s advice to grooms is: “take 2 shirts along for the big day. I stupidly sliced my chin open shaving on the morning of the wedding and had visions of spending a day next to a bloodsoaked collar! I would definitely throw in a spare white fitted shirt to your bag just in case of any accidents! I would also advise people to make very good friends with the bar manager/wedding manager on the big day. That way if you want to keep the party going after last orders they can provide you with all the necessary drinks for the after party!”
I’m not usually one for florals, but the English County Garden created by Violets and Velvet really is an amazing sight. Fresh, vibrant and I’ll bet that the integration of herbs made them smell good enough to eat.
I must also mention the “not” dress… Amy looks stunning and relaxed in her Kate Halfpenny creation. It suits the laid back country garden vibe perfectly.