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Nestled in the heart of central Brighton, Leonie Claire is a designer boutique showcasing a stunning collection of bridal gowns and accessories. With a firmly established reputation for outstanding customer service and a list of designers including Claire Pettibone, Sassi Holford, David Fielden and Pronovias, Leonie Claire is a must visit for the individual, stylish bride looking for that something extra.
The dress is Justin Alexander style 8530 and it is from Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique in Brighton. It is a lace, satin and silk gown and it was the first dress I tried on. In total I tried on 8 or 9 dresses which I am told isn’t much at all but I kept going back to this one. It was my mum who made me realise this was the one. Each time I put it on she had tears in her eyes.
A Perfect veil
The gown came with a lace veil and as soon as I tried it on I knew I wanted it. It seemed so perfect and completed the look I was going for. In terms of jewellery I was only going to wear my engagement ring and a brooch from my lovely bridesmaid which was attached to the bouquet as my something borrowed. I ended up however wearing a small locket too which was a present from Alex on the morning of our wedding.
I had a silver satin sash added to the dress with crystals sewn onto it in a floral pattern. I knew I wanted to add a little bit of colour to the dress and after a few tries I asked the bridal salon to make the sash and to make it in silver/ light grey shade. The dress took 4 months to make and it was a very exciting 4 months! I couldn’t wait to try it on when it was finally ready and that really was the moment when it all became real to me. I was getting married and this was the dress I was going to wear.
I wore skyscrapers! 4 inch heel and a small platform Badgley Mischka’s Babette slip ons that I first saw on Pinterest and I knew those were the ones. When they arrived they were perfect, dazzling white with satin and suede and a little bit of sparkle!
I found the hair style I wanted on Pinterest. Really I don’t think I could have organised the wedding without Pinterest, it’s full of so much inspiration! Because the wedding was English countryside set in the middle of the Downs I wanted a darling look with plaits and soft waves. The make up was going to be quite simple but with a little bit of glamour and so I asked for false eyelashes and an eyeliner flick on the eye.
It took a few tries to get the look I wanted. The first make up artist and hair stylist made me look completely different to the pictures I showed. I was so disappointed it was really hard to look for someone new and hope that this time they would do what I asked for.
Becky from Beauty Call responded to my email in 3 minutes late one evening. I was so impressed I knew I was onto something good. She was an absolute diamond and I could not believe how beautiful she made me look and that was just the trial. On the day of the wedding she was fantastic again making the bridesmaids look gorgeous and being completely calm. She was great to have around because you really need someone to calm your nerves! Once again she made me feel beautiful and was so much more than I could have ever asked for!
A Rustic Look
Ali Ball from Gobotanica was the wonderful florist behind the brides and bridesmaid’s bouquet’s and groom’s and groomsmen buttonholes. I asked for peonies and ranunculus and she delivered them beautifully.
The church and reception venue were decorated with flowers by the groom’s mum and her friend. They even went to a wedding flower arranging course a few months before the wedding. We went shopping together at flower markets in Brighton 3 days before the wedding aiming for pink and purple blooms.
They did an amazing job! We also spent hours making the flower jars, sticking on lace, hessian and string to make them look rustic.
Grey And Purple
Alex’s brothers were his joint best men. They both wore their own grey suits and purple ties which were part of our pink, purple and grey colour theme.
The bridesmaids chose their own dresses from Karen Millen and Dorothy Perkins following in the theme and matched them with stunning hot pink Carvela open toe stilettos. I wanted them to choose their own dresses to make sure they felt fabulous!
Crisp White Shirt
The groom’s suit was Ted Baker. Alex knew he wanted a grey suit and a crisp white shirt. The shirt was Italian and Alex wore his granddads cufflinks with it. I tried to sneakily get him to buy a silver tie that would match my sash on the dress without reviling the secret of what I was going to wear. The first time Alex saw my dress was when I walked down the aisle to him. We kept it a complete secret wanting to make the moment as magical as possible.
A Valentines Shoot
As soon as we got engaged I was researching a photographer. We knew that it was going to be very important because the day would go by in a flash and we would have the pictures forever to relive the moment. I started following Jo Brown’s blog and a few weeks later I noticed she was doing a Valentines photo shoot for couples. I emailed immediately and we got in (woohoo, spaces were limited!).
Alex was a little nervous about having his pictures taken so this was a perfect opportunity for him to break the ice before the wedding so to speak. Jo turned out to be wonderful the minute we met her! She made us laugh and giggle so much and she even managed to make us do perhaps a little peculiar things like lie down in a corn field in February (haha!) but the pictures turned out great! We knew her style of photography would suit us and our venue completely and she was such a pleasure to be around. We couldn’t imagine asking anyone else.
Gorgeous And Personal
Our gorgeous and talented friend Clare from Little Bear Cakery made the cake as a gift to us! The top tier was a fruit cake which we’ll keep for the christening of our first baby (one day!) and the bottom tier was a vanilla sponge with vanilla icing and jam. We wanted a classic white cake and Clare matched the lace on the cake to the lace on my dress exactly! She is so talented; the cake was gorgeous and personal and tasted delicious!
We looked at band after band on the internet but couldn’t find anything we really liked – lots made us laugh but none were exciting! In the end we stumbled upon a chap called Nick Lipton at a friend’s party, he plays sax and clarinet beautifully. He played whilst we had our meal and afterwards we had a jukebox.
The jukebox was hired from Jukebox On The Night and was a fantastic Wurlitzer! The little children at the wedding loved the bubbles and lights in the side which was an added bonus. We were allowed to add our own CDs and even had the index cards printed up so that our guests could pick some of our favourite tunes in addition to the classics the jukebox already came with.
Falling In Love
Our first dance was to Florence and The Machine – Cosmic Love.
We looked for ages as our “falling in love songs” were all from The XX which is a little too chilled out for a first dance. We chose this song because the lyrics are beautiful and the song is quite dramatic and atmospheric.
Homemade jams were our favours. We collected jars for months and the groom’s mum and dad made raspberry and plum jams to give to the guests. Happily everyone has told us that they are absolutely delicious.
Pretty much everything was homemade. We ordered pink and purple paper lanterns to decorate the venue and hung them with lots and lots of fairly lights. Twigs were collected and bunting was made. Table runners were sewn and place tags hand stamped and punched with a little heart hole puncher. The entire wedding was a family affair with friends and family chipping in and crafting together. Our friend Kat prepared the lovely Italian feast and she and her husband Nick were making the chunky boards to serve the antipasti on two days before the wedding. Guests who wanted to contribute to the wedding brought desserts. We had the most amazing selection of crème brulee, tiramisu, heart shaped brownies, cheesecake and lots more. They were all delicious and very personal!
We are planning on selling lots of bits and bobs from the wedding and even offering to hand make luggage tag place names for people – our Etsy store is nearly open.
A Final Thought
Follow your heart is the best advice I can give to any bride. Use wedding blogs and sites such as Pinterest for inspiration. There are lots of beautifully talented people out there who will inspire you no end.