Ok, here goes *exhales nervously*… I would have loved to get married when I was a fresh-faced, 20 year old size 8, but had already had my first baby boy by the time I met my perfect man, so I was never going to look like Kate Moss in my wedding photos.
I’m still only 27, but two more babies has certainly taken it’s toll on me, let’s say. I gained three stone with every pregnancy and when I accepted my now Husband’s marriage proposal, a very bloated 6 months pregnant with our youngest daughter, I wasn’t really feeling like the best version of myself. It was still utterly magical and we opted for a wedding date three years later, to give myself plenty of time to look ‘perfect’ on the big day.
I’m mostly a very excitable, smiley, positive and enthusiastic person and I’m pretty sure most people who know me think I’m full of confidence and self-worth. However I have a personality with two sides of pretty extreme contrasts and I don’t imagine many of the people around me actually realise the extent of the struggles I have also faced with low self-esteem, anxiety and depression as a Mum of three in her 20s.
I was always the ‘skinny girl’ at school. In fact I was bullied for it sometimes, being called Anorexic, despite the fact I had a massive appetite. My family would often joke that I had hollow legs! I didn’t mind at all though. I was very naturally slim and definitely took if for granted back then. When I had my first baby boy in Australia, I was only 19 and whilst my body shape definitely changed a lot, it was fairly easy to shift the pounds afterwards. Continue reading…
A gorgeous treat for you today readers, as we slip into December, with a trip back to a lovely warm memory from the summer. Meet Matt and Jude, who married in the Victorian splendour of Hexham Winter Gardens in Northumberland on the 2nd of July 2016. The couple met while at University in Newcastle and Jude is a woman I admire hugely, as she proposed to Matt herself while on holiday on the Isle of Skye- a stunning location for a proposal. Well done Jude- much as I loved being proposed to, I rather wish I had found the bravery to do the asking.
Capturing their beautiful day in her light and ethereal style was the fabulous Sarah Jane Ethan.
“Hexham Winter Gardens is a beautiful Victorian glasshouse with high ceilings, surrounded by trees, with a wood panelled hall next door. We wanted to be able to decorate it ourselves and to be able to choose the people who worked on the wedding so it was great as it is a venue-only hire. The style of the venue inspired the decoration. I used Pinterest to collect ideas and it evolved over a few months of planning. I think it’s fair to say there was also significant input from my family, especially my sister Meg who is an artist.”
On Wednesday, my husband (also my business partner and Creative Director at Love My Dress) and I took the train to London to visit the brand new Emmy London boutique on Fulham Road in Chelsea. For those of you new to visiting Love My Dress and the world of wedding planning – allow me a moment to explain briefly who Emmy London are – and highlight my absolute passion and very firm fondness for this brand.
Emmy London was founded by Emmy Scarterfield, a designer of beautiful, luxurious shoes for weddings and special occasions. I first discovered and fell in love with the brand way back in 2008 when I was planning my own nuptials, and knew in an instant that I had to save to invest in a pair of my very own ‘Emmys’. It really was love at first sight. I felt like a Hollywood star in my exquisite pair of shoes on my wedding day, and I have treasured that pair of shoes in the 7 years that have passed since.
And in those years, my fondness for Emmy London has taken deep root and grown into a very genuine passion for the brand and admiration for the woman at it’s helm. I’ve watched Emmy go from a small enterprise creating beautiful things, to a global brand supplying some of the most luxurious boutiques and private clients around the world. It’s one of those ‘women in business success stories’ that is hugely inspiring and shows just what hard work, determination and belief in yourself can do.
What makes this incredibly successful journey extra special for me personally however, is that I feel I’ve been by Emmy’s side for all of it and have witnessed for myself how grounded and kind and grateful throughout that time Emmy has remained. It’s easy to let success go to your head, but Emmy simply isn’t that kind of person – she oozes humility and downright loveliness.
Never ever underestimate the power and impact of beautiful lighting. That’s how I’d like to open this Friday feature, because in the past few days I’ve realised the very real truth behind those words. From climbing open-mouthed up the great stone steps of a Tuscan castle for our wedding tasting at the weekend, adorned with majestic lanterns and flickering candlelight, to repeatedly revisiting this image on Instagram from one of Team Love My Dress’ all-time fave photographers, Ed Godden (this gorgeous just-married bride is one of our readers and a member of our community Facebook group too) – it’s finally dawned on me that any space can be completely and utterly transformed by the glow of fairy lights, the dancing flicker of candles or the gentle warmth of festooned bulbs.
So yes, I may have just bought a tonne more fairy lights and asked our caterer to add a gazillion lanterns to our order and my fiancé may now be so sick of the word ‘twinkly’ that he’s about ready to kill me, but do you know what? Our wedding will be a lot more atmospheric. Without further ado, it’s my very great pleasure to introduce you to the lovely Ruth and Joe, who held their wedding celebrations on 23rd April this year in a relaxed, super cool warehouse venue in Deptford, London. I can’t believe this gorgeous place is just around the corner from my home in Greenwich and I’ve never heard of it.
“Our venue was One, Friendly Place in Deptford. It ticked the boxes of being near where we live, having a relaxed feel, and an ability to fit our numbers somewhere for the ceremony and reception. I spent a fair number of hours on Pinterest but overall just going for an informal and not over-styled look was the inspiration behind our day.”
In keeping with the laid-back style of their wedding day, Ruth did her own make-up and chose a gorgeously minimal dress from J.Crew, which she ordered from the US. I love the simple neckline and soft drape of the fabric, adorned with pretty buttons mirroring Ruth’s spine.
“My dress was simple and affordable. I wore shoes from Nine West, which I bought from eBay – there’s quite a big height difference between me and the groom so I needed to be comfortable but still wear a tall heel! In my hair I wore wax flowers from our florist.”Continue reading…
What an absolutely beautiful day – the kind I adore in the lead up to Christmas; cool but sunny, an air of excitement and seasonal warmth being offered by strangers, just perfect. We’re heading back from London on the train, having been in the capital to help the wonderful Emmy London celebrate the launch of her beautiful Chelsea boutique. Take a look at both our @lovemydress and my personal @annabelbeeforth Instagram accounts for a peak at what I’ve been up to.
This afternoon’s real wedding is the epitome of modern wedding-day elegance. City bank worker Beth married Economics teacher Alex on 2nd July this year with a ceremony at Christ Church Mayfair, followed by a reception at the Angler Restaurant in South Place Hotel. I adore the modern day cool vibe of this wedding; the all-white bouquet, that wow-factor gown and the overall feeling of ‘effortless’ that oozes beautifully from these images.
“We met going to the church that we got married in, so it was amazing to be married there, surrounded by the people that had seen us get together. We were only engaged for 5 months before we got married. We wanted our friends and family to be well fed, well watered, and for there to be lots of dancing.”
Hi there dear readers. I know that lots of you will have embraced it already but in my house Christmas prep doesn’t start until the 1st. Today while I finally start thinking about decorations, scented candles and all the lovely things that come with this time of the year, we’re treating you to a wedding with a gorgeous Charlie Brear gown and a mariachi band (yes, really!). The couple, Ashleigh, a primary school teacher and Dave, a commercial business manager at the University of Bath, also sometimes known as ‘Dashleigh’, have nailed the laid-back, fun vibe with games on the lawn and a summery, outdoorsy feel.
They tied the knot on the 23rd of July 2016 at St Andrew’s Church in Ferring, followed by a reception at the House on the Brooks in Hardham Mill, West Sussex. Photographic duo The Springles documented the day and are also making their debut on these pages.
“We take annual group trips (coined as mansion parties) with our amazing friends where we hire a massive house somewhere and just take the opportunity to catch up, eat, drink and be merry. This, in a way inspired our wedding planning.”
Ohhh little lovelies, I have such a delightfully pretty summer wedding to share with you today, all beautifully captured by Jessica Reeve Photography. Groom David is an energy trader whilst bride Kirsty is a social worker and the happy couple tied the knot on the 18th of June 2016 in a place famous for its outstanding natural beauty – the Lake District. Their service was held at St Andrews Church, followed by the reception in tipis by the lake at Bank Ground Farm. Kirsty donned an utterly exquisite Stewart Parvin gown she found via Love Bridal Boutique.
“My dress was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted. I had tried several floaty A-line dresses, but this one made me feel a bit more grown up, sophisticated and sexy. And I loved the fact that I could get two looks out of the dress – one with the sleeves for the church and then I could take these off in the evening for the party.”
“We both enjoy socialising with family and friends and therefore did not want anything too formal. As we loved the idea of tipis and the beautiful location on a farm by the lake, we decided to have a wildflower, fete and rustic theme using lots of bunting and hessian.
A little while ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a very special film premiere in London. Wedding dress designer Caroline Arthur had created the fabulous ‘Barley Sprites’ film (see below) and frankly, it made me quite emotional. This beautiful short film tells the story of a bride to be literally designing her own dress with the help of the ‘sprites’ who guide and assist her until she has the wedding gown of her dreams. Now, this might sound like something that can only happen in a film but with Caroline Arthur, you really can create your own wedding dress.
I’m going to say right at the start of this feature that I love Caroline Arthur. Meeting her and hearing her talk about her passion for wedding dress design and her commitment to helping brides create and wear a gown that’s truly theirs was an absolute joy.
For infectious enthusiasm, professional dedication and all-round brilliance, Caroline is top of the class. She’s also incredibly talented and has to be exactly the kind of person you’d like by your side when you’re designing your own dress.