20th September 2014

Hello you Saturday lot! You know, I’ve always wanted Love My Dress® to be a place that showcases a diverse style of bridal wear, from the short to long, hot-off-the-catwalk cutting edge new to full of charm vintage old,  high street thrifty to bespoke couture.  Providing the look and feel oozes that Love My Dress style elegance and sense of glamorous, then it’s perfect for these pages.

It’s not often however, that a bride marries in an above-the-knee high street purchase (most brides are pulled to the tradition of having a full length or fuller skirt gown, aren’t they?), but I can’t think of a dress that would have suited bride Ali more than her choice of dress from high street store Reiss.  It was perfect for her intimate, fuss-free, classy and city-chic wedding held earlier this year, when Ali, a PA, married oil and gas company contract specialist Gareth.  The couple tied the knot on 11th July with a ceremony at Mayfair Library in Westminster followed by lunch at Claridge’s and their wedding was planned in just three months.

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Marianne Taylor

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“We were set up by mutual friends in February 2013 – it was Gareth’s first (and last) blind date!

We didn’t really get traditionally engaged, just had a couple of Martini’s at Dukes Hotel and decided we should get married. We looked into it and organised it, and then Gareth asked me at my birthday dinner to marry him (the registry office was booked by this point), although friends happened to be in the same restaurant at the same time which made it quite funny. We’d been together officially for a year and a day on the wedding day!”

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“My dress was from Reiss!  I panicked that we only had three months and found the dress online but not in my size, and Gareth tracked it down from a department store and bought it for me. It was just very elegant and simple and I loved the sheer top and arms.

I wore a pair of dark blue suede stilettos from Whistles – my favourite shoes which I’d had many good nights out in, and thought they’d be perfect to wear and my something old and blue!”

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“A friend recommended our florist, Scarlet and Violet, as they do all their flowers for work occasions, so I went along to their shop in North London with a friend and it was amazing!  I told them what I wanted (only knew blue sea thistles at this point) and they just built a bouquet in front of me!  I liked that it looked rustic and not too ‘done’!”

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“I did my own make up (bought products from Estee Lauder and Bobbi Brown) and hair was done by Charli, from Rush Victoria who has cut Gareth’s hair for a couple of years and we both know her quite well!

I wore Jo Malone’s ‘Peony and Blush Suede‘ perfume.  A friend introduced me to it and as she was one of our witnesses, she gave me it as a present on the day.”

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“We Googled ‘London based photographers’ and Marianne Taylor came up and we  instantly loved her work and style so just dropped her a line. We met first at the wedding, and she was fabulous. Everyone has commented how good the photos are – how they captured the day, and you didn’t really know she was there, which we think is the sign of a great photographer!

Marianne knows what works and what photos appeal to whom (i.e Grandparent friendly photos etc).”

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19th September 2014

Oh Friday, you are always far too quick for my liking – slown down a little will you – it’s nice to have you around! And hello readers, I hope today is being kind to you and that the weekend offers the prospect of a well-earned rest, even if you are working in between.  Victoria and Tom tied the knot on Thursday 15th May 2014 at Ellingham Hall in Northumberland and we’re delighted to be sharing their relaxed and elegant wedding with lots of sweet little handmade rustic touches on Love My Dress® today.

“We wanted a hand made, rustic, relaxed theme with a natural colour scheme and as much as possible being done by myself or family members. Tom and I both made the decision to get baptised before the wedding so a religious, church of England wedding was something we really wanted and something that we took very seriously.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Rachel Rose

“Tom and I both work in a hotel in Northumberland (this is where we both met).  I am a conference sales executive and Tom is a golf Customer Services Manager.

We chose Ellingham Hall in Northumberland as our wedding venue as it offers full exclusivity.  With working in hotels, we both wanted something different and Ellingham ticked that box! It’s a beautiful location and set in stunning grounds and the resident peacock was an added bonus. We also wanted to marry in a church and Ellingham Hall is in a quaint little country village. The local church is walkable from the venue which is exactly what I wanted to do – walking to the church with my dad is a lovely memory I will never forget.”

“I fell in love with my Paloma Blanca dress after spotting it on an internet search engine. Sadly the dress was an old design and I was unable to find one anywhere, but then spotted one on the Preloved website, which specialise in selling second hand wedding dresses.  I bought it immediately.  It was a fraction of the cost, perfect and it made me feel good to save some money.  The dress had a round neckline with little capped sleeves and a dipped waist – I knew it was ‘me’ as soon as I saw it and it didn’t disappoint. I had a new sash made for it from GJ Boyles on Etsy and had the train shortened to make it look a little different from the original.

I had one bridesmaid who was my eldest niece, Faye. Her dress was from Debenhams and looked incredible on her.”

“My extremely generous brother in law Paul took charge of the cake. We wanted a cake of cheese, which Paul created perfectly. He purchased various cheeses from many different websites and assembled the cake (with help from Ushers and best men) the day of the wedding! It was beautiful and delicious! Exactly what Tom and I wanted.

The cheese was stacked and decorated with fresh figs, grapes and topped with little fabric mouse cake toppers that Sylvia, my mother in law made for us! The cake was served with artisan crackers and homemade chutney (my father in law made the chutney to an old family recipe).”

“My handsome page boy was my Nephew Seamus and his outfit was from Marks and Spencer.

Tom’s mum, Sylvia Lynch is a very talented artist by profession and also has a bespoke stationary business called Speckled Robin. Between us we designed the stationary and then Sylvia brought it to life. Sylvia did all the stationery from the table plan, place cards, order of service, door hangers for bedroom doors and table names to name a few – she  also made the beautiful hangers for mine and the bridesmaids dresses.”

“My flowers were by the fabulous Hannah at Wildflower Florist I was keen to have an unstructured bouquet with pale colours. I wanted it to look rustic and almost hand picked! Hannah brought my thoughts to life with a sweet smelling, simple, pretty and elegant bouquet.”

“Our photographer was the uber talented Rachel Rose, who also just happens to be Tom’s sister. I can’t tell you how nervous I was about having photographs taken as I felt very self conscious! Rachel, as always, made me feel at ease and totally relaxed! She has a vision that enables her to capture the most magical photos and I can’t thank her enough!

We have the most stunning photographs of friends and family simply enjoying the day! Candid shots that show just how much people enjoyed the day, show emotion in people’s faces as speeches were being read and show just how much love there was on the day! Through Rachel’s photographs I am privy to parts if the day I never got to see! I see expressions and emotions on people’s faces that fill with me so much joy and emotion!

I absolutely could not recommend Rachel more highly and not just because she is my sister but because she is simply incredible at what she does.”

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19th September 2014

With autumn firmly sneaking into the pages of our calendars, I can’t help but cast my eye to all things cosy and comforting. This season I am thinking of earthy mustard tones coupled with striking navy, with plenty dose of mixed metals and textures. What better than to feel chunky knit on your skin against the autumn chill, the smooth, sturdy leather of a Mulberry tote on your arm, and the cool hammered texture of copper on your fingertips?

These Animal Felt Rugs (1) are for my daughter Phoebe – a  rug and a little toy all rolled into one, what’s not to like? Plus, in the summer months when it’s too hot for rugs, it can go on the wall as a playful hanging!

Mulberry Tote (2). Need I say more?   I adore copper right now and this light copper shade from Cox & Cox (3) would look beautiful in my home.  This McQueen Jumper (4) will keep me warm as I venture out for walks with Phoebe, and this cute little Hedgehog Cushion (5) is a must.  We recently met designers Robin and Mould and instantly fell in love with her screen printed pillows! I bought a mustard bear cushion for our collection and am already eyeing up another one for Phoebe’s playroom. So cute,

 

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19th September 2014

If you’re considering using colour to make a statement on your wedding day, then this one is for you.  Alexa, a primary school teacher in East London, married Ryan, who works in Finance, on 12th April this year.  The couple tied the knot at Islington Town Hall as they live in Bethnal Green and wanted a London wedding to reflect what they both love.  Their reception was held at Village Underground in Shoreditch.

I love how this couple pull off such elegant style set against such an industrial style, modern city backdrop – the bright colours set against the textures of their incredible reception venue is perfect, and Alexa’s beautiful smile really shines from these images too.

“We are both quite quirky, in that we like bright colours and our flat is quite modern. We liked the vintage look but decided it wasn’t really us and as we had five weddings to attend in 2013  - we wanted ours to be a bit different.”

Film Production Copyright (c) 204, Thompson Granger Films

“Ryan and I met in June 2007 on a night out in Camden. We had seen a band in Dublin Castle and then got chatting. The story goes that I approached Ryan and was quite clear that I liked him! Can’t really say either way! He lived in Essex and I was in Surrey so we had a year of seeing each other at weekends before I moved to south London. We bought a flat in Bethnal Green in January 2011.

Ryan proposed in Victoria park on 22nd December 2012. It was totally unexpected. A drizzly Saturday morning – we went for breakfast and walked through the park on the way back, as we do most weekends. As it was just before Christmas we said we would exchange Christmas cards. We went under a tree as it was lightly raining (no one around though!) I opened a joke card first! Then Ryan gave me the proper one. I opened it and it said ‘Will you marry me?’

As I looked up Ryan was on one knee getting a ring box out of his pocket! I burst into tears, especially when I saw the ring. He had the ring made to look almost identical to a ring my Nan had that I absolutely loved. She had passed away in the September and so this was very emotional. We were both very excited and rushed around to family and friends telling them the news.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, McKinley Rodgers

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“My dress was by designer Lusan Mandongus .  I got it in The Ivory Boutique in Farnham. They also have a branch in Winchester too.  I had tried on other lace dresses but knew I wanted something a bit different. The shop assistant actually suggested it after I had tried on some others – and when I did, I knew instantly that it was the one.

The silk top and the exquisite detail on the shoulders and waist band just looked amazing. I knew my accessories would need to be minimal which suited me well. I also loved the cut and shape and it ticked all my boxes of having ‘a waist’, not being a straight across dress at the top and having an amazing back to it. (which I really wanted).”

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“We did lots of research for alternative venues but once we saw Village Underground in Shoreditch, both of us knew it was the one! Live music and festivals are something that we both love and definitely have in common so it seemed perfect that a gig/ festival theme would work for our wedding day.

We also wanted a late licence so we could have a proper party!”

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We had huge coloured balloons that we found online from an American website.  We also hired a large heart with an ‘A’ and an ‘R’ from Gods Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, was slightly over budget but was a hell of a focal point!”

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“Graphic designer Marty McColgan made our invitations, table names and seating plan. We had a festival ticket idea straight away and after some online searching we found him. So pleased with his service and support as he helped design our favours too.”

“For wedding favours, we arranged festival type wrist bands displayed on coloured card with the guests name and a lyric that we felt was relevant to them or our relationship with them.”

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“Our photographers were Pen and Cam from McKinley Rodgers. What can I say? They were absolutely amazing in all areas. They are both really lovely people who made us feel relaxed when we met them for a pre-shoot in January – we secretly wanted them to be our friends! On the day they were fantastic, everyone commented how fab they were and we couldn’t be more pleased with the finished photos.

They capture the feel of the day and just look absolutely beautiful. Really can’t recommend them highly enough.”

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18th September 2014

This lovely little wedding was a bit of a practice run – Frances, a Senior Lecturer in Education and computer whizz and entrepreneur Alvin are actually planning a humanist ceremony at Asylum Chapel later this year, but for the legal part of their marriage, they chose to wed on 16th May this year with a ceremony at Hammersmith Town Hall, followed by a reception in the Roque Room at the Five Fields Restaurant in London.

This is such sweet and intimate London wedding and I love how it proves that the ‘legal bit’ that so many couples opt to do before having a more celebratory blessing on a separate day, can be a wonderful and meaningful experience.  I also couldn’t think of a better dress choice for Frances – she went for an original 50′s vintage gown by designer Emma Domb – a discovery made via Elizabeth Avey.

“I knew that I wanted a 50s dress, as I wear a lot of 40s and 50s vintage fashion in my ordinary life. I sell vintage clothes on the internet so knew I wanted it to be vintage.  I love the colour pale pink and blousy flowers in the lace and the beautiful soft tulle of the dress and how feminine it was. It was also a really good fit and didn’t need altering at all. I actually saw the dress appear in this feature on Love My Dress after I’d bought it!”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Ellie Gillard

For Frances, meeting Alvin really was love at first sight…

“I like to think it was auspicious that it was the same night as the lunar eclipse in 2007 that we first met! Across the sticky dance floor of a grubby little indie club in London was my dream man: dark, long hair tattooed. He was perfect. And so, spurred on by some fizzy wine, and the encouragement/coercion of my (rather more ballsy than me) Geordie best mates, I went and said ‘Hello!’.

I didn’t have anything more than ‘hello’ so I’m glad Alvin wanted to speak to me too. It was so loud so I told him that I could speak sign language and he asked me how you say ‘Can I kiss you?’”

“We had been engaged for four years before we got married – we just didn’t feel in a rush. We found Asylum Chapel earlier this year and are planning a Humanist ceremony there for later this year – so this particular wedding-day was the legal bit.

I expected the day to be quite formal and short and had been putting all my energy into the Humanist ceremony but it was actually completely magical spending the time with our families and I would recommend doing this to anyone!”

Years ago, I bought a pair of Next flats that I loved but ruined on too many dancefloors! I trawled Ebay to find them again, putting in so many different search criteria e.g. ‘pink pumps’, ‘pale pink flats’ and finally found the perfect pair! I’m really tall, so I like wearing flats.”

“My hair and makeup was styled by Amanda from Lipstick and Curls - she’s brilliant!”

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