Afternoon everyone, well if you've not stopped by the uber glamorous vintage travel inspired shoot that is here yet today, you really must – brides looking for the most amazing headpieces for their wedding will not be disappointed, thanks to the divine creations by Donna Crain Couture.
The real wedding today was sent in by the absolutely delectable Shell De Mar, whose work I have loved featuring previously on Love My Dress. Shell was lucky enough to be at the wedding of Sam and Karen, who tied the knot on Friday 30th November last year at Wick Farm Barn, near Bath. It was a pretty and relaxed day with just the right amount of glamour – just how Karen wanted it.
"The only thing I knew about what I wanted
our wedding to look like is what I didn’t want it to look like! I didn’t
want a colour scheme. I didn’t want the bridesmaids shoes to be
matching the groomsmen’s ties and the shade of the flowers in my
I just didn’t feel it was me. I wanted a mismatched kind
of theme, but I wanted everything to work together. I wanted a hint of
glamour but I didn’t want anything too formal. I guess in the end you
might call it rustic? I never really knew whether it would work until I
saw it all on the day. I hoped it would and I was pleasantly surprised
that it all came together so well."
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Shell De Mar Photography
"My headpiece was made by Julia Cameron’s Adorn Til Dusk range.
Julia is the very talented sister of a good friend of mine. Everyone
from the hairdresser, to the registrar commented on how much they liked
"When we got engaged I had an idea of the kind of dress I would
wear, something A-line, nipped in at the waist but quite full in the
skirt. I tried on about six dresses in the first bridal shop I went into
and although I liked a couple, I didn’t feel wowed in any of them. The
next place I went to led to my falling in love with Jenny Packham
dresses. The shop owner said I was drowning in full skirts and that
something with a closer silhouette would be better.
I was dubious, but she was right. From then on I was a Jenny Packham girl. I’d decided on Eden in Ivory but when I went to The Mews in Clifton Village, Bristol
on a Jenny Packham designer day with my mum and my maid of honour
Rachel, something wasn’t quite right. I kept thinking of blogs I’d read
and how brides say they just ‘know’ when they’ve got the right dress on –
I didn’t know, I was confused. Petra from Jenny Packham said ‘hang on,
let’s try something else’."
"She came back with Callie, which I thought
looked rather plain on the hanger. Petra put Callie on me with an
amazing bejewelled Jenny Packham belt around my waist and popped a floor
length veil in my hair. When she opened the curtains in a dramatic big
reveal style, the beaming faces of my mum and best-friend told me I’d
found my dress.
My mum said my face said everything, I was clearly happy in it.
And yes I ‘knew’! I kept looking at Eden, wondering what went wrong.
Petra reassured me “It’s like a beautiful man in the street, you
appreciate his beauty but he’s not the man you will marry, he’s not
right for you. You appreciate Eden, she is a beautiful dress, but she’s
not the dress you will get married in – she is not the dress for you”
"As I didn’t want a real colour scheme I
didn’t want a really bold colour for the bridesmaids’ dresses. As my
dress had sequins I thought it would be nice to continue that theme.
Also, as it was a winter wedding and close to the Christmas period I
thought a bit of sparkle would be nice. The dresses were from French
Connection and my lovely ladies looked sensational!"
"We met at a cider festival in Bath in 2006 which was weird
because neither of us like cider! We already knew of each other through
friends of friends but only chatted for the first time that evening;
the rest is history as they say! Sam was planning to propose at
Glastonbury festival 2011. It was the fourth time we’d been there
together and as we go as a big group every time, it would’ve been
perfect with all our friends there to share it with us.
Sadly, six days
before the festival my appendix burst (18 months after Sam had emergency
surgery to have his removed – strange!) and we never made Glastonbury.
Hehe! I love the inventive table names!
was really upset on the Saturday night and I was miffed because I
thought he blamed me for ruining his Glastonbury! Turns out he was upset
that I really had messed up his plans but not just because he had
missed the Chemical Brothers! A few months later we stopped in Dubai for
a few days on the way to Australia for my brother’s wedding. We went to
the Burj Al Arab hotel for cocktails in their sky bar.
It was Ramadan
and so there was no alcohol before 8pm. We started with an
extortionately priced ‘mocktail’. Sam looked a little nervous and I had
an inkling something was going on. But when I asked him he said that the
lift had made his tummy a little funny and that he was unhappy with our
table – he’d booked a window seat but instead they’d sat us awkwardly
in the middle of the room.
Luckily, we were promptly moved to a window
seat when one came available and had a beautiful twinkly night time view
"Sam and I are known for our love of shots on a night
out. Some of our friends are right there with us whilst others would
really rather not! We left mini bottles of jagermeister at each place
setting so people could choose whether or not to partake. I was
surprised to see some of my aunties taking part!"
"Some delicious canapés and a real cocktail later, I
suggested we move onto dinner somewhere less likely to make us homeless
when we got the bill. Sam said he’d like to stay for another, I was
unsure; I was still on medication for the drama earlier in the year and
so couldn’t drink too much. Then he said ‘well maybe there is a way that
we could blag a free drink?’ My tummy jumped, I thought, oh my God he’s
booked dinner here, he must’ve saved up for it…
Then he said ‘I have
something in my bag which might get us a free drink’, and then he put a
box on the table. I couldn’t believe it! Although I’d suspected
something was amiss earlier in the evening, I’d completely forgotten
about it by this point. I think I kept saying ‘no way’, ‘no way’, ‘no
way’… not that I was saying no. I was saying ‘no way’ I can’t believe
it! Sam explained the plans for Glastonbury earlier that year and
suddenly everything made sense."
"For the flowers I wanted something soft and pretty and
for some reason I knew from the outset that I wanted to incorporate milk
bottles! I was scouring the internet for local florists when I came
across The Wilde Bunch.
It looked right up my street. I contacted Claire with my ideas and she
was so enthusiastic I knew I’d found the right florist. My mum and I
went along to a wedding fair at Clifton zoo and The Wilde Bunch were
there. The creations were fabulous! Claire was wonderful and I would
thoroughly recommend the Wilde Bunch – though maybe don’t go for
anemones for a winter wedding. It was so cold that the little blighters
refused to open!"
"In addition to the
wonderful flower filled milk bottles dangling from the wooden beams, my
father-in-law created a striking light feature with different sized
bulbs. Also to hold tea lights, family and friends had collected Dowe
and Egberts coffee jars for the past year. My mother, armed with a glue
gun and lots of patience, painstakingly wrapped 50 of them in hessian,
brown string and cute little buttons. Also, with sewing machine
assistance from my auntie Jean she also made some excellent hessian
table centres with a navy blue sequin border.
I’m very grateful to have
such a creative bunch around me. "
"Sam had always coveted a Paul Smith suit
and if getting wed wasn’t a good enough reason then he’d never have
one! He went shopping with his best-man Andy and came back with a dark
blue suit for himself and a grey one for Andy. They both looked very
Sam continued his Paul Smith
obsession with his tie and belt. I wanted to get him something from me
that he could wear on the day so I had a tie pin made. A short one so
that it would fit nicely over his skinny tie.
"We decided not to have a traditional wedding cake. I’d
seen lots of examples of cake tables online with a selection of
different cakes – I loved the idea. So we asked the bakers in our family
to help us out. Sam’s mum is a wonderful brownie baker so she produced
200 brownies for us! My mum became the most proficient fudge cake baker
(there were a lot of trial runs I may add!) and the results were
My auntie Jean produced 200 mini heart shaped welshcakes
which were a great success and my little nod to Wales. My maid of
honour’s mum Mrs Jones made us an after eight cheesecake which was
wonderful, and my very good friend Ali produced a triumphant banoffee
pie! Ali also produced the bunting for the table and put the cakes out
on the day on the lovely glass cake stands which my mum and I had
collected over the last year. I still find it hard to walk by a cake
stand without thinking ‘oh that would be good’ before remembering I
don’t need them anymore! Haha."
"My shoes were from Vivienne Westwood
and smelled like bubble gum. I can’t remember where I saw them first but
I loved them instantly and got so many comments from the ladies about
them on my wedding day."
"The wonderful Shella from Shelldemar photography
took our pictures for us. She was recommended to me by a colleague and
she did not disappoint. Her pictures are a wonderful memory of my day
and she was so calm and helpful throughout. She even did a mid-wedding
save of my dress by skilfully getting some mud off the bottom of it!
"My necklace was a gift from my husband, the night before the
wedding. I cried when he presented me with the Sophie Harley bag. The
first tears of the wedding! I didn’t cry when he proposed so he was
genuinely shocked by my reaction. We had watched Casino Royale together
quite early on in our relationship and Vesper wore a necklace made by Sophie Harley
– the Algerian love knot.
Christmas that year, Sam had looked into
buying me one but it was crazy expensive. Instead he bought me a
beautiful charm bracelet by the same designer. The following year I had a
tattoo done and I wanted to include something in it to signify our
relationship. The obvious choice was the love knot. So when Sam
presented me with the love knot I was overwhelmed! It was rented rather
than purchased but that didn’t matter to me. The thought he’d put into
it was so sweet. Good husband material!"
"My father walked me down the aisle. A few of my friends have
lost their dads in the past few years and so I never allowed myself to
forget how lucky I was to have him there, even if my mother was
terrified that he’d embarrass himself during his speech (which he didn’t
by the way). I was grateful that Sam and I had both sets of parents
there to share it with us…"
"We had an extract from Captain Correlli’s mandolin
which was beautifully read by Sam’s brother Tim. We had heard it at our
friends’ wedding the previous year and hated to copy but we searched
high and low and couldn’t find anything better to sum up how we felt
about marriage. Also, for something a bit more light hearted, my friends
Sarah and Rachel read the lyrics of a song called ‘All I want is you’
from the film Juno. It was lovely and we played the actual song whilst
we signed the register. I wonder how many people actually noticed
"My engagement ring is Sam’s mum’s engagement ring which his
parents generously gave to Sam so that he could propose! It is the best
thing I’ve ever owned. Our simple paladium wedding rings came from
Nicholas Wylde in Bath. I love the look of Sam’s wedding ring on his
finger. I find it really sexy!
Catering Company – Strawberry Field."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"During the planning phase I used to imagine myself in
the venue that I’d chosen and every time I was deciding on decoration or
anything really, I’d try and picture it in the venue. Also, don’t worry
about the speeches! You’ve no control over them so it is a wasted
worry. Finally, I know everyone says this but alas it is true, the day
goes by in a blur, so try and pause regularly to take it all in.
I had several favourite parts of the day; walking down
the aisle to a beaming Sam was wonderful. Second, I really enjoyed the
speeches, especially Sam’s, he was so composed and the things he said
were beautiful. Finally seeing everyone up dancing and having a great
time. After a year of planning it’s great to see people enjoying
themselves. I would’ve booked Shella’s train back to London
for later on in the evening – it would have been wonderful to have some
of her pictures of the dancing to look back on! We foolishly assumed
that everything would run like clockwork with military precision! So my
advice would be – always assume things will take longer than the time
What lovely photographs – I hope you treasure them forever Sam and Karen and huge thanks for sharing your wedding with Love My Dress today. And huge thanks to the sweet Shell De Mar for as ever so willingly sharing her lovely work with our readers – see more from Shell here on Love My Dress
By the way, anyone loving Karen's dress might want to know that Karen is selling it on the Pre Loved website.
Jenny Packham fans – what say you to this lovely dress? Are there any other 'Callie fans out there?
With much love
Photographer – Shell De Mar Photography
Venue – Wick Farm Barn, near Bath
Brides Dress – Callie by Jenny Packham, via The Mews in Clifton, Bristol
Veil/Headpiece – Julia Cameron’s Adorn Til Dusk range
Brides' shoes – Vivienne Westwood
Groom's Attire – Paul Smith suit
Bridesmaids – French
Flowers – The Wilde Bunch
Cake – Friends
Hair Stylist – David Maxwell Hairdressing in Bath
Makeup Artist – Makemeup