27th August 2014

I just adore this wedding! There are so many little touches that make it extra special and bride Amanda obviously worked really hard to bring the whole day together. It seems like such a charming, relaxed day. I always love photographs taken in early spring light and Campbell Photography capture both the ambience and the happiness of the occasion beautifully. The traditional irish ceremony sounds so romantic too. This is an all-round gorgeous day!

Amanda and Graham were married on 17th April 2014 at Brooklodge Hotel and Spa in County Wicklow, Ireland. This is a bride with some really savvy words of wedded wisdom – but you’ll need to scroll to the end of the feature to find out what she has to say :)

Film Production Copyright (c) 2014, Big Day Films

“As we like lots of different things we didn’t just want to be limited to having a set theme. Overall our aim was to have a fun day so I guess you could say it was quite eclectic; 50′s glamour meets rustic charm with a twist of festival fun. As “Love” was what brought us both to this special day we wanted that to be the message that stood out on the day.

We decided to go DIY on the wedding pretty early on. This was down to budget but also because we are both pretty handy and are partial to a bit of arts and crafts. This meant that we were styling and making most of the props ourselves. We made the invitations to start and this was where our theme developed from.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Campbell Photography

Amanda’s full skirted lace dress was from Candy Anthony. With her incredible beehive hairstyle and yellow shoes she just looks so retro-glam don’t you think?

“I did a lot of research online looking for short 50′s style dresses and came across Candy Anthony in London. I exhausted all options here before I decided to fly over and try on my dream dress. I am so happy I did, as I fell in love the minute I tried the dress on.”

“It fit like a glove and this was only a sample!  The dress I went for in the end was a Nottingham lace overlay with ¾ sleeves and a scalloped hemline. It sat over a winter white satin gown with a four layer petticoat. I wanted a colour pop somewhere in my look so I went with the marigold ruched sash with big bow at the back.

I love everything about this dress, it is the ultimate party dress and was so comfortable. I twirled around the dance floor all night in it, it was so much fun!”

Amanda’s two bridesmaid’s wore gorgeous swing dresses from online store Lindy-Bop, which were accessorised with cream fur shrugs from Light In The Box, crochet gloves from Dents and blush ribbon sashes.

“My sister Erika is the most amazingly gifted hairdresser. She was also a bridesmaid so she was very busy on the morning of the wedding. She knew exactly what I had in mind and did such a fabulous job. It was a modern take on a beehive. I love big hair and it was definitely that! My two sisters had short hairstyles so we used a Marilyn Monroe image as inspiration for their hairstyles. They looked so amazing in their swing dresses.”

The cute yellow heels are from Clarks.

“As I couldn’t find the exact style of headpiece that would compliment this style of dress I decided to make my own. I studied costume design at college so no better opportunity to put my skills to use. I had an oversized winter white taffeta bow with birdcage veiling. I absolutely loved wearing and it just completed the whole look. I have since set up my own Etsy store, ‘All Bells & Whistles’, where I design and make bespoke bridal headpieces for other brides to be.

The only item of jewellery I wore on the day were my earrings. They belonged to my nan and she sadly passed away two weeks before the wedding. They were a gorgeous vintage looking drop pearl. I was delighted to have something of hers with me on the day so they were very special.”

“Our polaroid guestbook table was such a fun idea and people loved taking their picture and sticking it in our book. We made an instruction chalkboard and labelled it “shake it like a polaroid picture”. We thought it was a nice alternative to the photobooth idea and a nice keepsake for us to look back on in years to come.”

Amanda and Graham picked Campbell Photography for capture their wedding on camera. 

“Kristi and Neal are The Campbells and I can’t say enough about this couple, they are so talented. We couldn’t have imagined some of the pictures that they captured on the day. They have an intuition for a great shot and saw potential in the most unexpected of locations. They prepared a preview slideshow of our wedding and we were truly moved by the beauty of it. They captured all of our favourite moments and helped us to relive the day. It felt like we had been given the best present ever.

Big Day Films captured our video on the day. We chose a retro style highlights video which was a snapshot view of the day. It is such a fun video and to watch it back really puts a smile on our faces. It’s so nice to have footage of our nearest and dearest and to see their reactions and how they enjoyed themselves. I could watch this over and over as it just sums up the whole day.” 

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26th August 2014

As I was preparing this wedding, I couldn’t help but smile at the photographs of bride Louise – she just looks so happy, and I mean a genuine, beautiful happiness, the kind that catches you out smiling with your head tilted slightly when you’re watching  a really good film – a sign of some great photographs, surely?

Tom and Louise tied the knot on 14th June at Crepe Farmhouse in Symondsbury, Dorset and these lovely photographs were taken by photographer Ruth Atkinson.

“Tom grew up in Bridport, Dorset, and we try and spend as much time there as possible. We love the Dorset countryside and so we wanted to base our wedding around a Dorset country theme. From our Ukulele band ‘Mother Ukers‘ at our garden reception, barn dance in the evening, and our traditional Dorset cream tea wedding breakfast, we wanted everyone to feel like they’d come to country village fete rather than a wedding.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Ruth Atkinson Photography

“Tom and I met 10 years ago at University, I was a Fresher and Tom was in his third year. We endured a long distance relationship for three years before I moved to London after graduating at uni. We got engaged on Durdle Door beach down in Dorset in June 2013, where we had spent many evenings there during my summers living with Tom and his parents in between my university years.

Oue venue was Crepe Farmhouse in Dorset.  My family are from the Northwest so we wanted a venue that could sleep all 17 of them ☺ It was the perfect setting for our country themed wedding. We hired it for the whole week which meant we could plan onsite in those final stages, and it was perfect.”

“My wedding dress was by Lusan Mandongus and I bought it at a local shop in Weybridge where we live; Surrey Brides.

I found the whole dress shopping experience not as fun as I thought it would be. I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted, I just knew I wanted to be comfortable, and feel like me. I shopped all over the country, and eventually found this particular boutique on my doorstep – which thankfully made up for the experience I had had up to then.

Originally, the dress had a satin belt which I had taken off, but I loved the back. It was sexy, and elegant, and seeing as 100 people were going to be staring at my back for an hour I was glad it was a feature! It was comfortable and light, and the quality of the lace really stood out from other dress’ I tried on.”

“Our photographer was Ruth Atkinson Photography, who was everything we wanted in a photographer. Her style was perfect for our day, very relaxed and discreet. She captured the day perfectly, making everyone, including a photo shy husband, feel at ease. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.”

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26th August 2014

One of the very greatest pleasures of being in the position I am as blogger, is that I get to use Love My Dress® as a platform to showcase amazing, British talent.  Today I am so excited to be sharing details of a beautiful new collection with you, created by a lady who has been with me every step of the way throughout my past five years of my adventures in the land of weddings.

Vicky Rowe first came to my attention  in 2008, as I was researching for my own wedding.  I used to spend an  unhealthy amount of time in online wedding forums, gaining inspiration and supplier details from other brides.  To me, Vicky was this mesmerising character from the start – she had amazing stories to tell about how her Grandma used to perform for the Folies Bergère in the 20′s, and how her Grandma’s style had influenced her own love for the fashions and aesthetics of that period. She was also amongst those that helped the vintage scene explode a few years back – she was running a vintage china hire company, the first of it’s kind in the UK.  She also had a fondness for fashioning 1920s style cloche hats and would wax lyrical aver her love of beaded flapper style frocks.  It’s a look that heavily influenced her own wedding which features both on Love My Dress, and in my book, Style Me Vintage Weddings.

Needless to say, we connected pretty much instantly and have remained friends every since.  Five years on, Vicky has harnessed her true life passions and talent in design to produce an exquisite collection full of beautifully beaded and intricately hand embellished dresses and headpieces, evocative of the 1920s and 30s, but with a with an updated, contemporary feel for today’s modern bride.  And I think you’re going to love it.

Film Production Copyright (c) 2014, David Harper // Burning Red

“My dresses aren’t your traditional wedding gown – and this originates from my obsession with the 1920’s and 30’s and that female rebellious streak of the era.  I love the intricate bead and sequin embellishment from the 20s which abruptly stopped during the Great Depression.  I see my designs as more heirloom pieces than your average wedding dress.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, by Ria Mishaal Cooke for Vicky Rowe

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

“Prior to becoming a designer, I trained as a surveyor and went on to be a successful project manager – an experience which has provided me with skills in planning, time management, organisation and of course, working under pressure.  I have however always been creative and during my years in the corporate world, I felt that part of me was left missing and unfulfilled.

During this period, I studied Millinery with ‘Rose Cory’ in London during the evenings and at weekends, and before long, I started to take private commissions –  moving on to running successful hen party millinery workshops for Hen parties all over the country.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

“I had also set up Vintage Tea Sets, a china hire company, after collecting so much antique and vintage china for my own own wedding.  I was one of the first people to do this in the UK and had the likes of Fortnum and Mason and The Sanderson Hotel as my clients.  

In 2010 I left my job in surveying and pursued my cloche hat making and vintage teat set businesses full time which I sold a year ago, meaning I was free to pursue my one true passion of designing dresses.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

“When I got engaged myself, and had to find a wedding dress, I suddenly found myself thrust into this big white world that I didn’t really connect with. I have a bit of a rebellious streak, and I’d already been seriously questioning what ‘traditional’ wedding dresses were in the first place.  Why does everyone consider a big white dress to be essential, just because Queen Victoria wore white when she married Albert? The whole tradition is actually less than 200 years old; prior to this, most women would just have simply worn a special dress.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

“Needless to say, I didn’t really enjoy the bridal dress shopping experience. I found the whole thing very daunting and was supremely reluctant to even step foot in a bridal shop. In a shop in Bath I bought the first white beaded dress I tried on, knowing that what I really wanted did not exist.

Now, when I look back at my wedding pictures, I can’t help thinking that the look I ended up with was not entirely me, but if I had found the dress of my dreams I wouldn’t be here today writing this feature for Love My Dress®.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

Just so beautiful – the attention to detail on Vicky’s designs is outstanding, but then with an office located in such inspiring surroundings, it’s  no wonder that Vicky’s mind is allowed to wander to places that allow her to create these exquisite pieces.

I live in mid-Wales in a 16th Century Farmhouse on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, surrounded by countryside. We moved here two years ago.  I have converted part of one of the buildings into my studio, and the tranquillity and scenes of astonishing natural beauty all around inspire me.  I’m still at the start of my career as a designer and I’m just really enjoying exploring and experimenting with different designs and materials right now, but I am also very proud indeed of my debut collection and hope that it will resonate with readers of Love My Dress®”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

I love how Vicky talks about her journey of inspiration – this is what makes her and her brand so authentic for me.

“So many things inspire me; silent movies from the 20s with Louise Brookes, Pandoras Box for example and Clara Bow in ‘It’ – original couture pieces from the 20s and 30s, my surroundings in Mid-Wales where nature is so abundant, and of course books like ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Sun Also Rises’, by Ernest Hemmingway – they all have a big influence.

As a very young girl, I vividly remember my mother wearing gorgeous floor-length embellished dresses for functions and parties, and I think that’s when my love of glamorous dresses started.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses


“When I was in my 20s I spent a few years travelling around Asia, and during that time I became really interested in the crafts and embellishments from those countries and the artisans who made them.

These were the skills that had been used in the past on 1920s dresses and which still exist in the couture fashion houses. I love the one off dresses that grace the runways at the London and Paris fashion weeks, with their jaw-dropping designs and exquisite embellishment.”

vicky rowe, 1920s wedding dresses, 1930s wedding dresses

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26th August 2014

I’m always amazed at how creative Love My Dress couples are, and how weddings become such a wonderful showcase of people’s talents. That’s certainly the case for our next couple – say hello to Sarah, a web designer, and Phil, a 3D print technician working in the film industry.

In true designer-maker style, they wrote themselves a brief for their wedding, and it went something like this: “Lots of fun for family and friends, seasonal local food, scented seasonal flowers and our personality magnified.”

The couple married on the first gloriously sunny day of the year, 17th May 2014, at Sunningwell Church near their home in Oxford. A reception followed at the nearby Great Barrington Village Hall, Burford – a beautiful Cotswold stone building with a vaulted ceiling. Perfection.

Photography Copyright (c) 2014,  Jen Marino

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

“I was literally the girl next door while we were in student housing in Birmingham. We got together in our second year at university, then spent a few years after we graduated commuting between Birmingham and Oxford, where I got a job. Phil eventually moved to Oxford and we set up our home

.Five and a half years in, Phil proposed on a volcanic rock overhanging the sea on the south east coast of Majorca. We spent six months just enjoying being engaged, then gave ourselves a year to plan the wedding.”

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

Sarah’s gorgeous tea-length dress is ‘Scarlett’ from the Love Letters collection by Naomi Neoh, which Annabel blogged about here. Soft, floaty layers of chiffon are a hallmark of Naomi’s designs and her lighter-than-air creations must feel incredible to wear.

Sarah visited Victoria Allison Couture especially to try this dress on. “After seeing the dress online, it was the first dress I tried on. Trying several more only convinced me further that it was the right dress. I loved the soft blush chiffon.

My outfit was finished off with some sparkly shoes from Kurt Geiger, a veil from Brides of Bond Street and fresh ranunculus flowers from our florists Green & Gorgeous. Plus a beautiful lace garter made by our talented friend Sarah Thornton.”

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

“Being in the design industry we did many of the creative things for our wedding ourselves. For our invites, we contacted Richard Lawrence, a local letterpresser who specialises in handset type. I love typography and it was really special to design our invites, then go and spend the day in Richard’s workshop letterpressing them.

Originally we weren’t too bothered about wedding favours and just saw them as an extra cost. But I’d been following a Swiss designer’s blog and a few years ago she set up Tattly. I’ve pined over her cool little temporary tattoos for some time, so we snapped up the ‘Everything’ pack of 313 tattoos and had a fun evening pairing them up with the guests whilst sipping red wine.”

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

These stunning photographs are by Jen Marino“We got on with Jen so well at the engagement shoot, we couldn’t wait for her to cover our day. She and Nicki our second photographer captured so many touching moments that we would have missed. We had one of our friends say they would love to get married again, purely to have Jen as their photographer!”

naomi neoh, colourful wedding, paper cranes

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25th August 2014

Happy Bank Holiday!  I couldn’t let this day slip by without sharing something beautiful.  After all, I’m pretty sure that a good number of you will be stealing moments here and there today to catch up on a spot of wedding planning, so here is the perfect rainy bank holiday antidote.  Executive Assistant Roch married Media Agency Director Nick on 28th June this year.  The couple’s ceremony took place at the Parish Council church in Clerkenwell and their reception followed at Hampton Court House in Bushy Park, Richmond.  Roch totally shone in her exquisite Halfpenny London gown and that rather incredible smile.

Warning:  There are lots of photographs!  I adore photographer Barney Walters’ images - whittling them down to a good number for a blog feature was hard – there were so many perfect little moments captured throughout this beautifully relaxed and elegant wedding day.  I do hope you love browsing through these images, they are quite special.

“London and our closest family and friends were our inspiration in planning our wedding; we wanted a relaxed but beautiful day where we could hang out with everyone and celebrate getting married.  I love wild, loose, none uniform decoration so the ‘relaxed’ look fed through all the details.”

Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Barney Walters

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“We met five and a half years ago when we worked at the same company – it was a Christmas party cliché – we still disagree on who chatted up who, seen as I am writing this I’ll say Nick approached me – though I was pretty happy about it!

We got engaged on the Almafi Coast last year, the diamond in my ring was Nick’s grandmothers who had died the year before so it was an emotional and wonderful proposal.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

We got drunk on champagne and talked about where our wedding might be for a week – our early predictions were pretty accurate actually. From the start we wanted a big party for our closest friends.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

It was always going to be London – we both love our city so much. The ceremony was at our parish church in Clerkenwell. We can see the church bell tower from our flat and could hear the bells on the day.

I had romantic ideas of walking to the church as it is so close, but the super heavy rain on the day prevented this!”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“When I first met designer Kate Halfpenny I knew she was going to make my dress for me.  Her beautiful vintage shop smelling of Diptique candles had me dreaming about a Halfpenny dress from the minute I walked in and met her. She’s so fabulous. My starting point was that I wanted to be able to dance in my dress, not be tied or pulled into it, and most importantly to ‘feel like me’. 

To be honest, every dress of Kate’s I tried on, I loved!  I think in the end it was the lace and weight of the ‘Josephine’ dress which made it just feel right. We took the sleeves off the dress and put a slightly long train on. It was perfect.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“I wore Le Labo Bergamote 22 perfume. It was gift from Nick, I absolutely love it and every day I wear it still reminds me of the wedding morning.

I also wore my Mother in Law’s diamond earrings and my Annina Vogel horseshoe necklace which was the first necklace Nick had bought for me.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“My bridesmaids wore J Crew dresses and Topshop shoes.  I also bought them a Cream Gold-Plated Crystal Ball Bracelet as gift from Liberty – they’re all such amazing best friends and were the best bridesmaids.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“Our florist was Liz of Blue Sky Flowers.  She was awesome, she completely understood the ‘loose, unstructured, ivy, bringing bushy park indoors’ brief that I had given her. We met at Covent Garden Flower market VERY early one morning so she could show me lots of the green, bushy, ivy foliage she would use, coupled with white & purple roses. It was a really fun morning.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

“Our photographer was the incredible Barney Walters. He captured the joy and emotion of our wedding day perfectly. He was a pleasure to get to know and work with. Our photos are stunning and we can’t thank him enough, he is such a talented guy.”

halfpenny london, halfpenny bride, halfpenny wedding dress, hampton court house, barney walters photography

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