Hi guys, as a third and final treat for you today, I'm sharing this lovely, relaxed London wedding, photographed by  Ellie Gillard.

In contrast to the shorter style wedding gowns already featured today, this one's a little different – a beautiful, full length gown designed by Ritva Westenius, which bride Jenny purchased from Angelica Bridal in Islington.

Jenny tied the knot with her beau Joe on 8th September 2012, with a ceremony at The Old Library at Dulwich College, London, followed by a reception at St Faith’s Community centre in North Dulwich 

"We weren’t drawn to anything in particular and the wedding came
together very organically. There wasn’t a huge amount of
forward-thinking.  We just knew that we wanted to have a really relaxing
day, with some romantic touches and lots of happy people.

Over time we
ended up having lots of things that seemed to lend themselves to the 1950's so that became a bit of a theme but it wasn’t intentional.  We were
more certain of the feel we wanted and the main thing was to have a
relaxed day full of fun."

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Ellie Gillard

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"A friend designed the invitations and then we used the design to do
the rest of the stationary ourselves both to save on money and set the
tone of the day as much as possible."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"We didn’t have a particular colour theme for the wedding and Heather at Evelyn Cole
helped us work through our ideas.  We knew we wanted flowers with a
vintage feel so opted for unique Memory lane roses which are a beautiful
soft lilac.  We had hydrangeas in mottled colours and mixed them with
lots of other soft pinks and white but we wanted to steer clear of
anything too candy coloured.  We also wanted to keep the arrangements
quite modern so had class cubes and tight bouquets as we didn’t really
want lots of country sprays or flowing flowers.

Fragrance was also very
important as we had our reception in a village hall that smelt less than
perfect so we had stocks that have a really sweet scent.
"

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"Having been engaged for 3 years I had tried on pretty much every
dress possible.  The Ritva Westenius dress was out of my price range but
Angelica Bridal
were by far the nicest boutique I went to and allowed me to try on as
many as I would like so I thought what harm could it do.  I really
didn’t imagine that I would love it, it was the last of a group of
dresses.  When I tried it on I loved the shape of it and the simplicity,
it had a very flattering line to it.

Contrary to many people saying
that they knew they had the perfect dress the moment they tried it, I
didn’t.  I actually still had doubts about it until I put it on the
morning of the wedding! I think there is such a pressure to LOVE your
dress instantly but my affection grew over time, fortunately by the end I
felt so fantastic in it I knew it was the perfect one.  I loved the 50s
shape, the timeless style, the lightness of the skirt."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"The ceremony was my favourite part of the day as it was a
moment of true happiness.  I forgot that everyone was there watching and
we just focused on each other as we said our vows and listened to the
music.  It was lovely to relax and enjoy the calm after all the
nervousness and planning.  When we walked out of the library after
getting married and everyone cheered it felt fantastic.
"

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"Joe’s mother is a keen cook with an allotment full of fruit so we
asked her to make up batches of jam.  We bought jars online and our
friend designed stickers to match the look of the rest of our
stationary.   Joe’s mother made the jam, decanted it and cut gingham
fabric lids.  The jam was a real hit and everyone commented on how nice
it was.  We loved giving something that people would actually like and
want to have rather than spending money on a token."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"We picked our photographer Ellie Gillard
because her style was a bit different, very informal and relaxed,
romantic light and interesting composition.  We didn’t fancy having
formal photography, instead we wanted to capture the fun of the day and
the relationships between our guests in a more relaxed manner.  Ellie
was really easy to work with and felt more like a friend.  We were
thrilled with the results and love all our photos."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress


Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ellie Gillard photography - Jenny & Joe-68

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"My Dad walked me down the aisle to the sound of Rosie Lowe
singing.  Rosie is a fantastic singer and sings with the Jive Jacks but
we asked her to sing with an acoustic guitar for our ceremony.  The
track was ‘For You’ by Tracy Chapman.

We didn’t
tailor our vows as I felt too nervous!  I think Joe would have liked to
but he is much more confident at public speaking. As it was, we really
liked the vows that were given to us to read as they shared a lovely
balance of love, companionship and friendship.
  We really
wanted our readings to emit positivity and hope for the future, we know
we love each other but we don’t know what the future will hold and our
lives together are an adventure.  We and had two readings – An extract
from Walt Whitman’s ‘Song to the Open Road’ and Good Times, by Thomas
Hardy…"

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"We met at the end of our first year of university in the middle
of Waterloo Bridge whilst I was walking one way with a mutual friend
and Joe was walking the other way.  Our friend introduced us and then we
went our separate ways.  That Summer Joe left some of his belongings in
the house I shared with friends, a ploy to make sure he saw me again
apparently!  Following a Summer apart we started the second year and
that was that.

We had been together nearly seven years when we went on
holiday to Mauritius.  We had been through a pretty rough time with some
family upset and were desperate for some time out.  One evening we went
for a walk on the beach and Joe got down on one knee (although he was
wearing jeans and struggled to get bend down or get his hand in hi s
pocket!)  He asked me to be his wife and of course I said yes!  We were
engaged for nearly three years before we finally tied the knot.
"

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

 

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress"We chose not to have a cake but we wanted to do something,
similarly we felt the cupcake thing was a bit overdone.  We asked a
friend to bake us loads of gingerbread men and women and we set up a
table with lots of jars of sweets and tubes of icing.  Guests were
invited to pick a Mr or Mrs and decorate them, then take a picture.  We
will make a book out of the photos as a memento.  We bought old style
sweet bags for guests to take them home in although not many did – we
were eating gingerbread for weeks."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"We bought fabric bunting from various places as we needed so much
and then made paper bunting using children’s books bought from charity
shops.  We both love AA Milne and Winnie the Pooh plus our daughter’s
name is Bess Beatrix so we also used books from Beatrix Potter.

We also had pom poms
and paper lanterns too.  We also printed posters we designed to go with
our theme and hung them in frames.  Lots of flowers and ribbons plus
tonnes of hurricane lamps, pillar candles, tealights and ivory ribbons. 
I have an old typewriter which we used as our guest book and it was a
big hit, people used it despite me thinking they wouldn’t know how! We
also had another guest book for people to write in if they preferred. 
We have a birdcage we have kept in our garden for years so we painted it
and used it to put cards and notes in."

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Do not put pressure on
yourself to find a ‘perfect dress’, if you do then great, if you find a
dress that you just like on you that is often enough.  There is so much
pressure as you are usually spending a lot of money so you try to prove
you love it enough to warrant the cost.  The chances are that if you
stand in front of a mirror and you like the way you look you are wearing
the right dress.

When trying a dress make sure you also
try it with accessories and with your hair up and down.  I first tried
my dress on with my hair up and no veil and found the neckline harsh and
my shoulders felt very broad.  Once I put a veil on and let my hair
hang down it suddenly looked like a very different dress.

There
are so many things that cost such a lot of money it is hard to
prioritise when you want everything.  Try to find the things that mean
the most and that reflect your personalities and will help make your day
the way you want it to be.  We are both really into our music so we
spent a long time thinking about getting that right and spent more money
on the band.  We weren’t so fussed about the stationary so spent less
money on fancy envelopes etc.  Unless you have an endless budget there
will be things you have to say no to.

In all things try
to consider what you want and try not to worry about pleasing everyone
as it’s rarely possible – most guests just want to see you and have a
happy day.  For instance we were really excited about our food and
wanted to make sure that everyone enjoyed it so we decided to do all the
speeches before the meal.  It meant that there was a lot of sitting
around and I worried the guests would be starving but to be honest the
main thing was that Joe got to relax once the scary work was over and
enjoy his food and drinks!"

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

"I felt quite bad about
spending money on myself so struggled with the idea of hair and make-up,
nails etc.  We dug deep and found the money so I could get a spray tan,
have a manicure and have my hair and make-up done and it was the best
money I have spent.  I will always remember how I felt on that day, my
confidence was sky high!  Plus having the stress taken out of the
preparation was really worth it.

Don’t fall out with your
husband to be!  You might disagree about things and get frustrated if
the stress levels are high but you are both working towards the same
thing so work as a team.  We have an 18 month old as well which made
things more complicated, plus I was made redundant at the beginning of
the year so it has been tricky.  The thing that has been good is
remembering that there are other things going on and to get a little
perspective – your wedding day is of course hugely important but not at
the expense of your emotional well-being!

As we have a
toddler, our wedding had a very child-friendly feel to it yet we needed
to work out a way of combining a nice day for the adults and the
children.  We had around 10 toddlers and 4 older children so we made
each of them a goody bag, the older ones had lots of arts and crafts,
stickers, temporary tattoos etc whilst the toddlers had play-doh, pens,
books and various other pocket money toys.  It kept them busy throughout
the speeches so our guests could relax.  We also hired soft-play which
wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing addition but once again, the
parents got to have a few drinks whilst the kids ran around and went up
and down slides and in and out of ball-pits.  It was a very
cost-effective way of keeping things running smoothly without many
tears.  We hired in high-chairs and arranged some pasta for them at tea
time so everything was taken care of." 

Ritva Westenius Wedding Dress

Absolutely beautiful, and so nice to see such an elegant Ritva Westenius dress on Love My Dress too.

Thank you so much Ellie Gillard for sharing these gorgeous photographs – and congratulations Jenny and Joe on your beautiful day.

Much love,

Annabel

Heart

Photographer – Ellie Gillard
Venue – The Old Library, Dulwich College + St Faith’s Community centre in North Dulwich.
Wedding Dress – Ritva Westenius gown – a purchase from Angelica Bridal in Islington
Wedding Veil – Angelica Bridal in Islington
Brides Shoes – Dune
Grooms Suit – Paul Smith suit + Grenson shoes + Liberty tie
Bridesmaids Dresses – Hoss Intropia + Aldo Shoes
Flowergirl Dresses – Monsoon
Florist – Evelyn Cole
Hair and make-up Artist – Amanda Roberts
Entertainment – Jive Jacks
Brides Veil – Angelica Brida

Leave a Comment!

5 thoughts on Ritva Westenius Elegance…

  1. It’s not like me to fall head over heels in love with a dress, but this time I’m hooked! How beautiful is Jenny in this dress?! I adore all the details as well, they created a fabulous day. The gingerbread men are a genius idea, and I have to say Joe’s socks are pretty cool as well.
    Love it :)

  2. Jenny looks stunning in her dress, simple but stuning! I also love the idea of the gingerbread men! How cool is that, the type writer is also fab and I may have to steal this idea! What a great wedding! Congrats :) xx

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