22nd November 2014

The concept of bridal ‘trends’ have never really done much for me - whilst I enjoy fashion and reading fashion magazines, I’m just not driven or hugely influenced by ‘trends’ when it comes to weddings – I just know what I love and share what I love through these blog pages (luckily, a whole lot of you share my taste), but when it comes to bridal gowns, I’m drawn more to the idea of ‘timeless’.  For me, that ultimately means any design that will stand the test of time – that will still look as breathtaking and sublime in 100 years from now, or that still looks as stunning now as it would have done back in the era it was inspired by.

A perfect example of what I mean can be seen in the dresses you see on this page here today, by bridal wear brand Eliza Jane Howell.

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

Eliza Jane Howell is named after the company’s founder designer, Gill Harvey’s Grandmother.  Gill Harvey has actually been designing ever since leaving the Royal College of Art.  Originally, she enjoyed world wide success with her knitwear collection, but more recently, it has been for her beaded red-carpet style gowns which ultimately evolved in to a sublime wedding dress collection called ‘Eliza Jane Howell’.

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

Now whilst bridal trends may not be a driving factor for me personally, I do fully acknowledge how important trends are to the wedding industry and how trends in design can be influenced by popular culture, including films and TV programmes.

The Great Gatsby movie and TV series like Downton Abbey have cast a bright light on the fashions and styles of the 1920s and 1930s over the past two years and this has had a huge influence in the fashion world, which has filtered through to the realms of bridal fashion.   Intricately beaded gowns that would have been worn by the stars of the time, alongside short, sassy, beaded and tassled flapper style frocks are indeed back in fashion and providing a very glamorous vintage inspired option for the bride who appreciates the styles of bygone eras.

These divine gowns by Eliza Jane Howell so elegantly represent the timeless glamour of the Art Deco.   These are gowns that will never lose their sense of style, fashion or glamour…

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

I met designer Gill Harvey and the Eliza Jane Howell in New York last month when I was visiting for New York Bridal Fashion week.  Their exhibition stand was literally twinkling and sparkling with a sea of tiny, delicate beads and sequins and other delightful embellishments, and there was a genuine hive of activity and interest for these out-of-this-world gowns.

It’s easy to see why - elaborate and complicated beading techniques are combied to create the most glamorous wedding dresses that not only sparkle and shine but beautifully enhance the figure  - and – claim the design team, are of ultimate comfort too.

eliza jane howell, art deco weddings, beaded wedding dress, deco wedding

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21st November 2014

The days left on my wedding countdown app have reached the mid 200s, which means we still have a few months left to feel relatively relaxed before total wedding hysteria kicks in. Things started to feel very real after seeing the first ever Lovette wedding on Love My Dress a couple of weeks ago - if you missed Madeleine and Tim tie the knot in New York, stop reading my waffling and go and indulge your eyes in this instead!

bride on a scooter

Photography by Elizabeth Messina, via Style Me Pretty, source Bridal Musings

 I recently realised that we will be the last of the four Lovettes to be wed; it’s almost like being 17 years old again, when all of your friends turn 18 before you and have their first big night out while you are stuck at home waiting for your time to come. Fortunately, I’ve learnt to channel the energy I waste refreshing my countdown app into useful wedding productivity, so we have managed to get lots more things ticked off of the to-do list.

wedding reception details

Image sources: Intimate Weddings (left) + Bridal Musings (right)

One of the big jobs we finally got round to was sending the ‘save the dates’. This should be where I insert the picture of our beautifully hand-crafted, bespoke save the date cards, but after weeks of fussing about which thickness of paper to use and where to place the gold foiling, we scrapped all of our ideas and decided to just send a text! We had toyed with this idea initially, but I worried that I would be failing in some way by not having gorgeous save the dates that set the tone for a perfect wedding.

Please, brides and grooms-to-be who may be reading, don’t let thoughts like these determine how you plan your wedding. We so nearly fell into that trap, and I imagine that once you’re there it is hard to get out of.

save the date 1

Image sources: Bespoke Bride (left) + Wedding Chicks (right)

Now, I’m not saying that having save the dates is wrong, or any other elements of a wedding which aren’t the absolute necessities, but we should have them because we genuinely want them and can afford them – not because we feel like they are needed to achieve an imaginary wedding standard. So far, none of our guests have complained that the save the dates weren’t up to scratch, and it means that we’ve got more to spend on the actual invitations, so it was definitely the right choice for us.

save the date 2

Image sources: Pinterest (left) + Style Me Pretty (right)

Another exciting development is that we now have somebody who will marry us. Back in my first Lovette post, where I talked about how Sam and I met, I mentioned a teacher who refers to herself as ‘Cupid’, because she put us next to each other on the class seating plan when we were in school. Well Cupid is a religious studies teacher, who also goes to the same church as Sam and I.

framed welcome

981225bd987e56e361c989478859b843

Top image by Paperlily Photography via Style Me Pretty
bottom image by Rebecca Goddard via Love My Dress

We decided to ask her if she would marry us, as we loved the idea of being married by somebody who was there right at the beginning and has been there to see us grow together. It was a rather teary moment for us all when we asked her, she really wasn’t expecting it as she has never done a wedding before, but has since been telling everyone that it’s the best thing that has ever happened to her! Seeing how excited she is has made me look forward to the ceremony even more, which often gets lost in the shadow of the reception.

I have no idea when you are supposed to start thinking about the order of service, vows, music and all that important stuff. If you have any tips, please send them my way!

roses and chalkboard

Wooden Guest Book Puzzle Size/Rustic Decor on Etsy (left) + Dreamy Wedding Ideas (right)

Over the last couple of weeks we have dipped our toes into the wonderful world of flowers. I really don’t know much about flowers and can probably name about 5 types, which is quite shameful considering my parents own and run a farm.

film photography, weddings shot on flim, ashton jean-pierre, london bride, quirky weddings

Image from this feature on Love My Dress, photography by Ashton Jean Pierre

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20th November 2014

Hello my loves, there is so much a-buzz on social media right now for the Perfect Wedding Magazine Awards – wish us luck! We’re up for ‘best wedding blog’ and whilst I can’t personally attend the awards in London tonight, our lovely Tamryn will be representing team Love My Dress. So, keep you fingers crossed!

This afternoon’s wedding was submitted by the uber-talented Claudia Rose Carter, whose photography I always find so atmospheric and full of emotion. These photographs from the wedding of Katie and Nathan are no different and capture the essence of a very special day, and indeed date just for two.

Katie who has her own style consultancy business, married Lawyer Nathan on 27th September.  Katie came up with the concept of the wedding being the ultimate date for two in the couple’s favourite city and Nathan planned the day, fitting in as much as possible that the pair love about London. This included a ceremony at Islington Town Hall, canapé at Broadway Market a wedding breakfast at Berners Tavern,  jazz/swing and cocktails at Cecil’s - a pop up 1920s Shanghai converted warehouse on London Bridge – and then cake at The Soho Hotel.  What an incredibly delicious flavour of the city all in one beautifully stylish and love-filled day…

“I presented the idea to Nathan of ‘what if we got married, just the two of us?’.  We had been back and forth on different wedding ideas ranging from 80 people to 50 people, to 30 people and nothing felt right. There were some politics surrounding the wedding and it completely freaked me out. It was almost like having a violent reaction about getting married in front of such a big bunch of people. Because of this, we took the brave decision to be selfish and have the day be solely about us – just as it is supposed to be.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Claudia Rose Carter

london elopement, elopements, claudia rose carter photography, karen millen wedding dress

“We love the mix of old and new, different people, and the buzz about London. We planned the ultimate date taking in pretty Islington in North London, the life and buzz of Broadway Market in East London, the glamour of Berners Tavern and Soho Hotel in West London and the dead cool Cecil’s at London Bridge in South East London. It was like the ultimate date and very romantic.”

london elopement, elopements, claudia rose carter photography, karen millen wedding dress

“I really wanted a vintage dress but couldn’t afford the price tag of a dress. I used to work for Karen Millen, so I put my discount to good use!  I loved the rose gold colour of the dress as it complimented the colour of my rings. The French lace is simply stunning and very light compared to other lace dresses. There is the right amount of detailed work on the dress with the beads. The high Victorian-style neck was very different for me as a normally go for something lower with having a reasonable chest!

However I loved the keyhole detail at the back and I could still wear a bra. The fit of the dress was amazing, it clung to my best bits (boobs and waist) and skimmed over the not so good (my legs!). I originally had a dress designed from a bridal shop where I grew up which was an amazing 1950s short white dress, however once I put my dress on, I knew that this was the one I wanted to get married to Nathan in. I felt glamorous, confident, quirky and above all me. I knew I wanted to spend the day in this beautiful dress.”

london elopement, elopements, claudia rose carter photography, karen millen wedding dress

“My second dress for the evening was a little harder to decide on. With the evening being 1920s inspired, I couldn’t decide on whether to do a nod to the era or go all out with the flapper style. I thought about what 1920s means to me, flappers, freedom for women and Coco Chanel who was one of my idols.

With this in mind my evening ensemble was a nod to a modern day Coco. A drop waisted cream pleated skirt dress from Coast.”

london elopement, elopements, claudia rose carter photography, karen millen wedding dress

“Our photographer was Claudia Rose Carter - she was absolutely amazing.  We couldn’t have asked for better photographs – they speak for themselves. Also, it was like we were with an old friend not someone we barely knew. We have had so many wonderful comments on the artistry of the photos.”

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20th November 2014

I couldn’t resist sharing these sweet photographs with you today – something about the childlike, whimsical nature of them, and those absolutely delightful dresses created by two of our sponsors and wedding world’s most talented designers, Claire Pettibone and Nicki Macfarlane (Nicki dressed the pretty little flowergirls for Prince William and Princess Kate’s wedding!).

These images were sent in by Lisa Adnitt of Serendipity Brides a beautiful Northants bridal boutique.  The photographs embrace the beautiful natural surroundings and open space inspired by Kenneth Grahame’s classic ‘The Wind in the Willows’ novel and feature woodland, a riverside and even a ‘Toad Hall’ inspired car scene. I just thought that little pale blue flowergirls dress was the loveliest…

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Niki Wright

serendipity brides, northants wedding dresses, wind in the willows wedding, nicki macfarlane, claire pettibone

The charming florals with a pretty pink accent were supplied by Fieldgate Flowers using only british grown and wild flowers/grasses.  And how cute are these little people? I love the little gypsophila floral circlet and bracelet and the darling little dress and page boy outfit by Nicki Macfarlane are just so very sweet.

“The mother and daughter team behind Nicki Macfarlane  has been designing award-winning outfits for bridesmaids, flower girls and pageboys for many years.  Their bespoke service allows a bride to introduce her own style into her big day – and the introduction of a ready to wear collection brings the classic elegance and exquisite styling of a Nicki Macfarlane design to a new audience.

But it’s not design alone that is the secret of Nicki and Charlotte’s success. The warm welcome, personal service, attention to detail and the peace of mind of working with people that really care – are equally important to the thousands of brides that have enjoyed Nicki Macfarlane dresses.”

serendipity brides, northants wedding dresses, wind in the willows wedding, nicki macfarlane, claire pettibone

I adore this cake! It was handpainted and topped with sugarcraft by Buttercup Tea & Cakes – clever people!

serendipity brides, northants wedding dresses, wind in the willows wedding, nicki macfarlane, claire pettibone

The setting used to create these ‘Toad Hall’ inspired images was Lyveden New Bield, a National Trust Property available for wedding reception hire. This unusual building was designed and built by Sir Thomas Tresham from 1595 to 1605. Lyveden was intended for entertaining guests, allowing them to gaze out over the estate. It lies virtually unaltered from when work stopped. Sir Thomas died in 1605 and his son, Francis, couldn’t finish it. He ended his days in the Tower of London following his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.

The ‘Papillion’ gown by Claire Pettibone features one of the most wow-factor backs I’ve seen, with pretty butterflies embroidered on to an illusion panel, the most wonderfully striking and feminine design is created. I just adore this gown…

serendipity brides, northants wedding dresses, wind in the willows wedding, nicki macfarlane, claire pettibone

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20th November 2014

Hello lovelies! Even after writing about so many different styles of wedding, one thing that never ceases to impress me is the attention to teeny tiny detail that so many of you display on your ‘I-do’ days along with how many of you can call upon uber talented family and friends. This is definitely one of those weddings – just take a look at these lovely photographs by London wedding photographer Annamarie Stepney for some truly elegant table styling, beautiful blooms and creative stationery ideas – I particularly love the use of succulents in the table displays.

Katarina and Allen married on 26 July 2014 at Kat’s family church, St Mary’s Roman Catholic in Blackheath, south east London, followed by a reception at Eight Members Club in Moorgate. This venue is not far from where the couple first met in a bar in the summer of 2007.  Allen is 6’8 – so he kind of stood out!

I think more than anything we both wanted our wedding day to reflect who we are, our past and our present.  I grew up in London and so, while we looked at a few places further out, I think we always knew we’d have a London wedding.  Allen grew up overseas in Africa and Papua New Guinea until he was about 10 so I wanted there be a bit of nod to that as well.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Annamarie Stepney

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

Part of the reason we chose Eight was its modern, yet colonial feel and we wanted to carry that through.  I was tearing my hair out in the run up because I wanted more than flowers, I wanted little touches too but there was no way I could have done it myself given that Eight would be open to the public the night before.  I had the idea of terrariums but couldn’t source them anywhere.  Eventually I came across wedding stylists, Boris and Betty and they changed everything.” 

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

A lady of obvious great taste, Kat chose to wear a gorgeous Kate Halfpenny gown comprised of two separate pieces – a delicate lace top and absolutely divine silk skirt.

Finding Kate was a huge turning point for me.  I really struggled with the whole wedding dress experience. I found that many were poorly made in cheap material but still incredibly expensive.  I really love Kate’s style and the fabrics are beautiful! I also really liked the capsule nature of the collection, you can mix and match different elements. She is also a wonderfully warm and straightforward person. I chose the dress because I loved the material, how it felt and how it moved. 

I just felt it was elegant. I hadn’t wanted lace but I fell in love with the top. I chose the dress well before we established the “theme” but realised it had a very Edwardian look to it which fitted in perfectly.

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

“I had an initial call with Sheena (Betty of Boris and Betty) when I explained that I loved things like little jam jars that were simply too rustic for the venue and just wouldn’t work. She suggested having similar elements but just making them a little more masculine: cut glass decanters, leather bound books, pocket watches.  She also suggested ferns and succulents instead of lots of flowers.

I loved this idea and from there we really built the adventure theme together. Each table was named after an explorer/adventurer and we had their books or books about them to ‘label’ the table.  The top table was Shackleton as he is my dad’s favourite!”

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

A friend of mine recommended a photographer who was not available on our date and she suggested Annamarie.  I knew from the second I saw her website that I wanted her.  We went to her house for coffee and cake and ended up just chatting for nearly 3 hours!!  I love her style, so warm and natural.  We are so pleased with the photos.  I think it’s so important to find the right photographer. After all that planning and love and thought, it’s the photos you are left with after all.”

eight private members club wedding, halfpenny london, kate halfpenny, annamarie stepney

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