16th January 2017

I adore January for so many reasons, but not least because for the last few months of every year, I start to save my very favourite weddings for publication in January – this being one of them. This is one of those weddings that leaves an indelible mark on me; it gets under my skin and weaves its way through my daytime thoughts like a dream. It is recounted with such clarity, fondness and love by the bride, that I’m left feeling as though I could have been there. That sensation is so real, I can almost feel the cool forest breeze on my skin and laughter from the guests.

Jen, an Account Executive at a creative marketing agency and sometime stylist, married her beau Cal, Creative Events Producer at an events company on Saturday 30th July 2016 at  The Dell of Abernethy at Nethy Bridge in the Scottish Highlands. I can relate to Jen on so many levels – her fond memories of visiting Scotland as a child, her love of nature and the outdoors, a penchant for vintage style and her effortlessly bohemian aesthetic – there is something about this wedding that provokes a warm sense of nostalgia for me, and the way that the couple’s chosen photographers, The Kitcheners, have captured the celebration, is quite sublime. There is an image maybe half way through this feature of the couple, from the back, standing by the shore of the Loch they tied the knot at – their bodies perfectly reflected in the still waters. It’s pure magic. And yes, I have total hair envy – you probably will too by the time you’ve gotten to the end of this feature!

“We got married on the shores of Loch Garten in the Scottish Highlands and then went back to the forest in the grounds of The Dell of Abernethy at Nethy Bridge, where we were staying for the week with our friends and family to eat, drink and dance. Scotland has always been a a really special place to me, my family have been visiting Scotland, and in particular, Nethy Bridge, for decades.”

Photography by The Kitcheners

“There were a few factors that really influenced the day and our time away; we very much wanted it to be relaxed, inspired by nature, the forest, our unbelievable surroundings in the Highlands, an intimate celebration of love full of gin and glitter. I’m very much inspired by the 70’s and wanted a luxe, vintage, bohemian feel whilst still retaining a sense fun. As we were spending lots of the budget on things like the marquee and food we made an effort to make and borrow almost everything.

A handmade wedding means you have full control, and even though it might not be super slick, it means it reflects the two of you. The Dell is truly magical, we wanted to create a experience for our friends and family that we could all treasure for years to come.” 

Continue reading…

15th January 2017

In May last year, we launched a big reader survey.  I have been keen for sometime to get to know our audience better, and the survey, primarily, was a way of helping us to identify what it is our reader community want, and how we need to adapt and develop Love My Dress and Little Book For Brides going forward. We spent a lot of time creating a set of meaningful questions, resulting in a survey that wasn’t one of those things you could whizz through in two minutes – it took a little more time and thought to complete, but that was intentional in it’s design, because we wanted the data to be relevant, purposeful and worth everyone’s time and effort.

There’s always a moment, when you publish or launch these things, that you wonder if anyone will bother with it. And that fear was very real! I worried that the many hours spent creating the survey were going to be wasted, that there would be a huge eye-roll moment amongst our community as they flicked quickly on to the next blog feature. But my fears were redundant. In the 3 weeks that the survey was live, we received over 2,100 responses. I can’t tell you how much this exceeded our expectations! The response rate was a complete game-changer. Perhaps it was the enticement of a financial reward (we’ll be announcing our £500 cash prize winner next week) but looking through the quality of replies, I am 100% convinced that the majority of people took the time to reply in such an authentic way because of how engaged they are with the Love My Dress community and how much they respect the blog.

Click the image and sign up today to receive a special early-bird code via email once our data is ready for sharing on 30th January.

I saw an opportunity to share the masses of data (non-personal/non-identifiable/no emails!**) that we have collated, only after the survey had closed.  There was a time, once, when I’d have killed for access to quality data like this to help me better understand my target market and audience – data that provided a rich insight into the minds of couples planning a wedding today (we surveyed those already married and those planning a wedding). Data that illustrates why certain decisions are being made, where there are trends forming and vulnerabilities and strengths and weaknesses in how the industry and wedding supplies are perceived.

Over the last few years, almost everything about weddings has changed. Couples have so much more choice about the style of their day. They book suppliers based solely on the content they discover in their favourite blogs and social media feeds which has forced a change in how we all need to market our businesses. Continue reading…

15th January 2017

Ahh, 2017 beckons! Its’ bright and shiny head has emerged from around the corner of what has arguably been a dismal year. The bright and beautiful weddings of 2016 having been somewhat overshadowed by the political storms that brought us Brexit divisions, a worsening refugee crisis, European terrorist attacks and then topped off nicely by a President Elect few considered possible. And as 2017, gleaming and beautiful, begins to unfold, so too does the hailstorm that is the new years’ resolutions.

The companies vying for our pennies, smelling our exuberant scent of lowered self-esteem, preying on the guilt we feel for festive indulgences. Signs, advertisements, posters, everywhere encouraging a new us, a better me, a temple-esque zen bodied, goal achieving, independent, fierce, yoga-bending mega-getter with buns of steel and the body fat of a wooden spoon!

I had little doubt that my ‘helpful’ Facebook timeline would kindly remind me of the promises I made to myself 12 months ago, wrapped up in this 2016 mindset. And, fresh as a daisy prediction, on New Years’ Day I was reminded of the goals I’d set myself that I’m certain I forgot all of 3 weeks later and which made about as much of a meaningful impact on my life as the latest episodes of Desperate Housewives.

So, what went wrong? Did I not want it enough?

Beautiful bride Clare wore the Mariposa gown by Claire Pettibone for her laid back, fun and elegant Lake District Wedding. Photography by Lisa Aldersley.

Clare in a moment of just married joy on her wedding day
Photography by Lisa Aldersley

We’re told constantly that if we want something enough then we can have it. Dream big, dare to dream, be bold, you can anything you want if you want it hard enough. Did I want to have the insta-body of global envy? Heck yes! I really want it, like, really, really want it. And I went on my Maldives Honeymoon and got married in 2016 – hello incentive!

So, if the question isn’t ‘do I want it enough’, it must be, ‘do I want to suffer enough?’ closely followed, I think, by ‘what does it mean if I don’t achieve them?’ Specifically, I’m looking at you oh dieting frenzy, particularly to all the brides entering 2017 as their year and panicking over the bridal ideal we’re bombarded with. Continue reading…

14th January 2017

Sometimes I open a set of wedding photos and I think that Annabel must have sent me a load of movie stills by accident! Today’s wedding is definitely one of these – it reminds me of a beautiful 1950’s film.  Set in the Veneto region of Italy, this wedding has the most film-set-worthy church, views to die for and is all captured in stunning photography by Federica Cavicchi– it’s an Italian dream.  Meet Francesca and Joe, the new Mr and Mrs Q, who married on the 25th June 2016 in Feltre, Belluno in the Veneto Region of Italy.

“Italian culture played a huge part in all our planning.  We wanted something classic and traditional but also very personal to us. We chose the colour scheme navy, gold and white. The fact that it was a Catholic wedding also played a key role in a lot of things we did (my husband’s family are all Irish Catholic).”

Photography by Federica Cavicchi

The bride’s beautiful embroidered gown was from Rosa Clara, purchased at the Paris store.  I absolutely adore the beaded sleeves and sleek skirt.

“I first came across a picture of the dress on Pinterest and instantly fell in love with it.  I loved that it showed the model’s figure without being revealing and I loved the simplicity of the plain skirt but the beading on the top added just the right amount of sparkle.  It was beautifully timeless.” Continue reading…

14th January 2017

Hello and welcome to the weekend! Gosh just saying that feels good and it’s also pretty great to know that we’re almost half way through January. Did you set yourself any goals for 2017 and if so, how are they going? One of my goals for the year is to be more creative so I’m getting out and about with my camera as much as possible. People who’ve followed their creative dreams always inspire me and today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Nikki Stark Jewellery, a super talented designer/maker who’s done just that…

I’m going to start by saying, here and now, that I’m more than a bit in love with Nikki’s work. I’m totally smitten with the delicacy of the rings and their clean, organic shapes plus I absolutely love that Nikki, a craftswoman in every sense of the word, has turned her passion for hand-made jewellery into a thriving business.

Simple Elegance – Beautiful Handmade Artisan Rings By Nikki Stark Jewellery

“I’ve always wanted to make jewellery and remember playing with beads and anything sparkly that I could get my hands on from a very young age. I took a Saturday course at Central St Martins just over 12 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I was instantly hooked and started selling my designs about 4 years ago.”

Simple Elegance – Beautiful Handmade Artisan Rings By Nikki Stark Jewellery

Continue reading…

13th January 2017

Ohhhh lovely ones – just you wait until you read all about the utterly gorgeous wedding of Primary School Teacher Heidi and Procurement Manager Frazer, who tied the knot on the 23rd of March 2016 at Knocknamuckley Parish Church in Portadown. The newlyweds and their guests then celebrated in true style at the magnificent 800-year-old Ballymagarvey Village in Balrath, County Meath in Ireland.

Upon first sight of these lovely images by Kat Mervyn Photography and this beautifully captured montage of their day by Pigmint Film, I have completely fallen in love with everything about the couple’s early spring wedding, especially Heidi’s chosen attire and her peach floral crown. Total and utter perfection!

“I don’t think there was one particular thing that inspired us, simply just choosing what we loved. We have very similar tastes, so that made things very easy for us. We did add little French-themed touches here and there though, as a reminder of where it all started. We fell in love with all things French back in 2013, so much so that we returned to the South coast of France the following summer, and France, for obvious reasons, will always have a special place in both our hearts.” 

“My Rime Arodaky bridal separates were purchased from The White Gallery in Burren, County Down. This shop is a beautiful boutique and is the exclusive stockist of Rime Arodaky in Ireland. I felt like the luckiest girl ever when I got to meet Rime herself. She was over in the boutique the weekend I chose my dress – it’s a beautiful memory I’ll forever treasure!”

Photography by Kat Mervyn Photography

Bride Heidi wears Rime Arodaky separates for her French wedding in Ireland. Kat Mervyn Photography.

The beautiful bride added a long veil from Petticoat Lane Bridal, a pair of sky-high Christian Louboutins, a spritz of Jo Malone scent gifted by her mum, a fine pearl bracelet, diamond earrings from notonthehighstreet.com and the pièce de résistance; a silk floral crown from the beautiful Whitby-based The Shepherds Purse; members of our most beautiful bridal resource Little Book for Brides (view their listing here). Continue reading…

13th January 2017

I’ll just put it out there now, I adore this wedding – there’s a bit of a rock’n’roll vibe (their band were a Rolling Stones cover band), a bit of an English eccentric feel and a couple with style in spades. Meet Kate Lockhart, a development scientist and her husband Dan, a solicitor. These two got married at Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire on the 7th of July 2016 in a beautiful, intimate outdoor ceremony captured by our highly recommended supplier and creative photographer, Lee Garland.

“We met through friends of a friend (one of the three best men) who became housemates. Dan proposed in a whiskey bar whilst on holiday in Texas 2015. Our wedding was inspired by Victorian botanicals and a sense of English eccentricity.”

Photography by  Lee Garland

Kate were a personalised and embroidered Hermione de Paula gown for her Cripps Barn Wedding. Photography by Lee Garland.

I’m sure that you will agree that the bride’s Hermione de Paula dress is a pretty special work of art. Hermione’s signature style is to embroider her brides dresses with names and dates – if you look carefully at the images on this page, you’ll spot some beautiful embroidery woven into Kate’s beautiful gown too.

Continue reading…

12th January 2017

So, you’re getting married. This year?! Or you literally just got engaged? Both reasons to feel totally excited but also a little daunted. Call us biased but a wedding show can really help to galvanize all those ideas you have swimming around your head; to see how a thought you’ve had could be a reality, how concepts work visually together, show others what your waffly, abstract descriptions really mean, gather inspiration if you don’t know where to start and sometimes most importantly see what you don’t want, in order to focus on what you are after.

Now you are rather spoiled these days, as the stale old idea of a wedding show in a hotel conference room with terrible carpets and needy exhibitors peddling chair covers has been replaced with exciting, good looking events but today, we’d like to give you the low down on Most Curious as the biggest, indie, style-focused show in the UK, with it’s roots in a passion for good design, fashion, the lifestyle trends you love and hardly feels like a wedding show at all!

Continue reading…