Voting has now closed and the results will be announced on Love My Dress

on Friday 23rd November 2012.


It's that time people, time to cast your all important vote to select our very, very lucky winner, following the recent bespoke/made-to-measure wedding dress competition that I hosted for my fabulous friend, Zoe Lem. I figured I'd post this feature now, as there are some fabulous entries here that I think you'd probably like to get stuck in to over a brew or something tasty during your lunch break.

The response to this competition was fabulous; Zoe and I literally spent a whole day recently shortlisting entries. It really wasn't easy either!  And, ahem, that's why we actually have SIX shortlistees. I know, it's rather a lot, but, well, we really, really struggled to narrow it down any further than this!

And so without further ado, I'm going to hand you right over to Lucy, Amy, Vicky, Sarah, Emma and Harriet, so that each of them can tell you why they would love to win this competition.  Scroll to the end of this feature to cast your vote!


1. Lucy Rose Valentine, due to marry Andy in the Summer of 2014

 Style/dress preference:- 
1940's influence. I'd like a simple cotton and cotton lace dress, with
sleeves, that reflects Frida Kahlo's style. I want to be able to wear a
big crown of flowers (as Frida often did!) so I want the dress and
flowers to compliment each other. I would love a floor length dress, so
being 6th without shoes, having the style right is very important!

Competition Entry:- I have only just got engaged (on the beach in Barcelona with some local cava, drunk straight from the bottle!), but we have already decided we would like to tie the knot in the summer of 2014. This is mainly so we will have some time to save up for what we want. 

I dream of a Mexican themed wedding (I fell in love on my travels), although not a religious ceremony. I can see papel picados, a mexican street food van and plenty of tequila! I would love a very relaxed day, ie, no speeches before a three course meal or staged photos out of a bedroom window. I want food that you have to eat with your hands and photos of how the actual day is. And I would LOVE a Mexican Mariachi band! I am planning on basing my style on Frida Kahlo, with roses in my hair and a dress with sleeves and plenty of lace. I don't want a veil and I don't want sparkly bits. I just want a simple (but beautiful) dress that reflects my personality and my theme.

Zoe Lem's dresses are stunning, and I have already seen aspects of her range that I would love in my dream dress! I would love a cotton and cotton lace dress that echos Frida Kahlo's style and grace. I'm 6ft tall, so I would have to have a dress made for me as so many are for smaller brides!  I'm also curvy, yet quite flat chested (thanks mum!!) so would need a lot of alterations to get the perfect fit if I bought off the rack.  The thought of having a dress made for me by a designer as amazing and creative as Zoe would be an absolute dream come true! It would also mean that we could use our limited budget on the fiesta for our friends and family!  As my partner and I are funding the wedding on our own, having a dress made for me would be a dream come true and would help us use what money we have saved on the celebrations.  Also, I want to be able to feel like a million dollars on our big day! 


2.  Amy Fallowfield, due to marry James in 2013 

Style/dress preference:-  1930's and 1970's influenced.  I've had my 'dream' wedding dress in my
head for years and never seen anything like it (fussy, me?!) but
style is breathtakingly beautiful and I know she'd 'get' my vision in a
heartbeat. Working with Zoe, whose site I've drooled over on many a slow
afternoon at work, would be, to put it cheesily, a dream come true, and
one that my thrifty yorkshire blood would never allow me to do
otherwise (I have a little man sitting on my shoulder shouting 'YOU'RE

Competition Entry:- 
My fiancé James and I have been together for ten years so really see our
wedding as an opportunity to celebrate our relationship. We are both
keen (although terrible) surfers and love camping and the outdoors and
want our day to reflect these things, with lots of bright, colourful DIY
. Our ceremony is taking place outdoors at the forestry centre
in Dalby Forest, with our festival style reception following at a small
pub campsite in my mum and dad’s village. Our wedding transport will be
our 1978 VW Camper, Bertie, who we spent 3 years painstakingly restoring
ourselves. Our wedding photographer is the gorgeous Emma Case and I’m already giddy with excitement about the images we’ll get.


3. Vicky Hill, due to marry Stew on 7th September 2013

Style/dress preference:-   1930's
influence.  My perfect wedding dress would be very simple with the
emphasis on the cut of the fabric and the quality of the design. I love
the 1930s style bias cut with a low back. My family has a beautiful
piece of jewellery that goes to the oldest granddaughter on her wedding
day (me!) that I’d love to wear with the dress. My great-grandmother,
grandmother and mother all wore it on their wedding days and it means a
lot to me, particularly as my grandmother is sadly no longer around.
It’s a gorgeous Edwardian pendant/broach and I’d like to incorporate
this into the design of any dress I have.

What I’d love is a
dress that is beautiful, easy to wear and comfortable (no corsets) and
has the potential to be worn again after the wedding. A dress that
gorgeous and is made specifically for me deserves to be seen more than
once in its life!

Competition Entry:-  Stew and I have had a serious think about what we want out of our wedding and decided to keep it as low key and personal to us and our families as we can. We met rock climbing and are both very keen on the outdoors, cream teas, history, cats, pubs, booze and throwing shapes on the dance floor (usually to the horror of those around us!). So clearly all of these elements need to feature prominently at our wedding… (although probably not the cats).

We're very lucky to live in a beautiful part of Berkshire and we're getting married in our local 12th century Norman church. We're not particularly religious but love the idea of getting married in such a historic building where so many other people before us have celebrated significant events in their lives. We're having our reception at the tiny village hall opposite the church (appropriately called the "Victory Room"!) which we're decorating ourselves. On the dancing front, there is currently a battle going on as to whether or not we're having a ceilidh. I say yes, he says no. Watch this space.  Our brilliant local pub are doing the catering and we've got the extremely sad (!) task of visiting Stew's family in France next year (where they live) and being driven around the vineyards sampling wine to buy for the wedding.

We've both been to quite a few weddings over the past few years and the ones we've enjoyed the most have been the ones where the booze runs freely, the photographer isn't the main event of the wedding and where you feel that the wedding day is truly representative of the couple themselves and their life together. If we can achieve this, our wedding will feel truly ours.

I can’t think of anything nicer than having a wedding dress designed and made for me by Zoe Lem. I do know that getting married isn’t all about the dress but it would be really wonderful to have a dress you truly love and feel special in on your wedding day. I haven’t tried on many dresses yet, but what I think I want is miles and miles away from the traditional bodice-and-skirt option that I don’t really know where to begin. I’ve always loved vintage clothes and have been buying and wearing vintage since I was at school (back in the mists of time!). I’m really against the modern throw-away culture and love owning clothes that have a history to them, particularly where you can see the work and detail that went into making them. A dress made for me would be all the more special for being made by Zoe, a proper 21st century craftsperson.

I’d love to win the competition because not only would it be an amazing chance to win a wedding dress (and to be honest, save money!) but also because it would be a chance to be truly creative and create something very special.  Winning this wedding dress would mean the world to me. I’d love to have a beautiful wedding dress made for me and currently most wedding dresses are rather out of my budget.


4.  Sarah Ellison, due to marry Kevin on 24 August 2013


Style/dress preference:-   1950's and 1960's influence.  As our venue is quite 'outdoorsy' I don't
want anything too formal or structured. The image I have is a flowing
full length skirt that is quite simple, maybe a silk chiffon type
material (I have seen a dress on Grace Kelly in 'To Catch a Thief' that I
love especially the skirt part). I'd like a thick waistband and I'd
love to have lace for the top part, perhaps a 'V' neck with thick
straps. I also envisage a 'hippie' type look with flat shoes, my hair
worn down with some form of wreath. Above all I want to feel like 'me'
and not wear anything too different from my usual style – just a bit
more special!

Competition Entry:- We're getting married in a barn on a working farm in East Sussex. We want a very relaxed feel for the day without too much formality. We'll have hay bales for seating during the ceremony, an afternoon tea type lunch with a pizza van in the evening. We're doing a playlist for the evening music and going to have some games in the field during the day. We're hoping for quite a rustic look and will be doing all the flowers/ decorations ourselves. We've also sourced all our china, plates, cutlery, table cloths from charity shops and car boot sales. My bridesmaids are going to be wearing different dresses as they're all quite different shapes and are likely to be in shades of beige/ neutral colours. The groom is going to be wearing a tweed jacket and he hasn't decided on the trousers yet- im leaving his outfit to him.

It would be a dream to work with Zoe to create my perfect wedding dress as a bespoke dress isn't something I would otherwise be able to afford. But more importantly Zoe's knowledge of vintage styles and experience of dressing different shapes and sizes would give me complete confidence in finding a dress that flattered my shape. It's 10 months until our big day and I haven't yet tried on any dresses as i'm too scared to take on that challenge! Even though I have spent hours on the internet I haven't found anything like the image in my head. I attended Zoe's vintage wedding fair on Sunday and heard her talk about how there is a style to suit every shape and it did inspire me to start trying on dresses.


5.  Emma Goodey, due to marry Alwyn on 27 April 2013


Style/dress preference:-  1940's and 1960's influence. I
don't have a super-clear idea of what I'm after though! I've found in my
working life that the most successful projects come out of collaborating
with talented people and trusting them to advise and be creative in
their fields of expertise. I've decided to that approach with my wedding
dress! The things which keep emerging again and again in my mind are:
Veronica Lake, lace, heavy soft silk, red lips, red nails, Keira
Knightley in that green dress in Atonement
. I like the idea of something
which is retro, but not slavishly so. Clear as mud? I'm hoping Zoe will
be able to make sense of it!

Competition Entry:-   When Alwyn and I started thinking about what we wanted our wedding to be, we thought about weddings we had attended, and what we remembered about them, good or bad. The conclusion was that we didn't remember much! And that wasn't down to the amount of booze consumed, but because, as a guest, what you take away with you are some vague but important impressions about the atmosphere and tone of the day, and a few specific memories: little moments with friends and family, comedy-gold speeches, epic dance-floor boogies, a beautiful beaming bride!

None of our memories were ever linked to details: cakes, favours, the font used on the wedding invites, the novelty value of the 'save the date' trinket. Even venues didn't come very high up on the list. So we have decided that we'd like our day to be about happy, relaxed guests, a good old-fashioned knees-up and not sweating the small stuff!

We're getting married in London in April 2012 with our service at a very special central London location (we can't disclose it yet as we've had to apply for a special licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury and don't want to jinx it!) followed by a reception in what must be one of the most stunning pubs in London: the Old Bank of England pub on Fleet Street. London is where we met, and where we live and work and I can't imagine us marrying anywhere else. Now that plans are starting to take shape, we're both beginning to get really excited (and a little nervous: I've started having a recurring dream where it's 11am on my wedding day and I still haven't booked a venue!). Now all I need is a dress.   I know what I don't know. At the age of 37 I think I'm pretty good at dressing myself in my everyday life. I know what colours and cuts suit me, what doesn't suit me and, most importantly, what I feel comfortable in. When it comes to wedding dresses, though, I haven't a clue! I live in fear of choosing a dress based on how it looks on a size eight model on a website, or the adrenaline of wedding dress shopping affecting my judgement, and me ending up with something which hugs every lump and bump. I need help! Since I started reading Love My Dress back in June I have found myself on Zoe's website many times and have always thought how lovely it would be to be guided through the wedding dress experience by her wise and ultra-chic hand. Like most Love My Dress readers, I'm hoping for something a little away from t he norm, perhaps a little retro and very glam! Every single one of Zoe’s beautiful dresses ticks every single one of these boxes. I do a little dance inside my head when I think about wearing one of her creations. Nuff said! 


6.  Harriet Cort, due to marry Tom on 12 Aril 2013

Harry and Tom2
Style/dress preference:-   1930's, 1940's and 1950's influence.  In my mind, my perfect dress would
highlight my figure whilst also being classic and elegant. I love lace,
but not all over, perhaps on the sleeves, and/or bodice, with a touch of
beading. It would be amazing to use vintage lace as I like the idea of
using upcycled materials. Cap sleeves appeal to me but I might like to
reveal some of my back, as I think this style can look really sexy but
still elegant. I'd like the skirt to accentuate my hips, but then become
fluid and soft towards the hem with a little puddle train. I like the
look of panels and details in the cut of the skirt, but no
embellishment. My main inspirations at the moment are Jenny Packham,
Annasul Y, and Zac Posen. 1930s high fashion is just wonderful but I
don't know whether I could pull off this specific era's style because
I'm a curvy lady! I would love a dress that combines my favourite styles but
still flatters me and makes me look the best ever!

Competition Entry:-  Our ceremony will take place in a local church, round the corner from where my fiance and I had our first date (a picnic in the woods!). The reception is being held at an old manor house, now a hotel. The house has an 11th century chapel connected to it where the wedding breakfast will happen. It's wonderfully atmospheric and grand but still manages to be homely and quaint.
We have a loose theme of woodland wildlife, in particular the stag, which is based on my fiance's surname, Hart, and our love of British nature. We have antlers as centrepieces, and stag motifs on the invites which I have designed myself.

I am buying buckets of flowers from an English garden, tulips, ranunculus, narcissus, to arrange myself. I am keen to make our wedding day as eco-friendly as possible, so the idea of hundreds of air-miles for flowers was not ideal!  The bridesmaids are wearing maxi skirts and blouses (inspiration came from a real wedding on Love My Dress!), and we'd like to put the groomsmen in mix and match tweed suit jackets and chinos!  We are currently looking for ideas for 'alternative' entertainment, as neither of us are keen on a disco!

Zoe has an incredible, in depth understanding of the wedding dress and what it means to a bride. Her philosophy and approach to design is like a science. Every body is different and it's like putting together a puzzle to discover the best silhouette and cut for each individual. It's a process, and this is a belief I share, but like most women I still struggle to know exactly what suits me! After many months of looking at wedding dresses online and trying them on in bridal boutiques, I have a clear idea of what I would like. However I have been unable to find my exact vision within my budget. And who is to know whether my idea of my perfect dress would even suit me! With Zoe's expertise I know I would be in safe hands.

The idea of having a dress designed and made in Britain also appeals to the environmentally-friendly side to our wedding. Like many brides I am keen to make a lot of elements of the wedding with my own hands, to make the day completely individual.


Heart   Heart   Heart



Thank you xx

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15 thoughts on *Your Vote Is Required!* Help us Find the Winner of the Zoe Lem Bespoke Wedding Dress Competition

  1. sarah and kevins wedding sounds fabulous, the simplicity, yet attention to detail, outdoorsy yet intimate. Sarah to win.

  2. Sarah and Kevin’s wedding sounds so typically old English, medieval even, how refreshing. Sarah will look stunning. Sarah to win!

  3. Bless you everyone, just so you know though, these comments don’t count as votes! Only votes received via the form count – and we’ll know if duplicate votes have been cast and will discount them, so please be fair! Thanks so much all ;)

  4. Trying to vote from my iPhone and am having trouble!!!! Something about the URL? The URL I was using was the same as the one in the error message. I have tried 3 times now and failed :-( I’d like to vote for Sarah and Kev please!!!!

Comments are closed.

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