Well, well, well. Our afternoon wedding today is something of a marvel – it has gorgeous flowers, a lovely church ceremony and bridesmaids in pretty shades of turquoise and blue – but at its heart is a most beautiful family heirloom, that in my opinion, completely knocks the socks off everything else. Bride Louisa married her man Bevis wearing her grandmother’s wedding dress from the 1940s, and it looks just perfect with the styling of her day, and suits her fantastically.
The couple, who are both classical music publishers, married on 5th July 2014 at Christ Church in Chelsea, where they both sing in the choir, followed by a knees-up at No. 11 Pimlico Road.
“We actually had two big weddings – one in London and one in the States where I am from. The American one was a barn party in the country at my Grandmother’s home, so we decided to go for a ‘town and country’ celebration in the UK. We also knew we wanted to get married at Christ Church and have the choir sing, so that meant a wedding in Central London. That really shaped what sort of reception we could have.”
Photography Copyright (c) 2015, Murray Clarke
The couple, who met at work, have rather a sweet proposal story to share…
“Bevis proposed two years after we met at work. It was in the middle of Leicester Square in front of a whole load of tourists. He had hired a caricature artist to draw our portrait the day before. On the day itself, he brought me over over and pretended he had decided on a whim to get our caricatures portrait done. After about 30 seconds of me sitting for the artist, I realised that a huge crowd of people had gathered round. i was soon to realise the portrait had in fact already been painted and was so surprised that the guy had appeared to finish so quickly!! Hehe! At first I didn’t notice the speech bubble that said ‘Will you marry me?’. Our wedding was about a year later.”
“I wore my grandmother’s dress from 1949. She was married in October and the dress had long sleeves so I had it altered slightly for our summer wedding and so it didn’t look like I was just wearing a vintage dress. The amazing dressmaker Luda Taylor at Bridal Dress Alterations, did the alterations, covered the bodice with lace, and added the ¾ length lace sleeves. I loved the idea of sharing the dress with my grandmother! And I loved the long train – it’s a total princess dress and the added lace made it feel like my own thing.
My veil was from KissDesignHouse on Etsy.”
“Joan Holdsworth did flowers for the church and the beautiful buttonholes; she’s the regular florist at Christ Church Chelsea. Louisa and the bridesmaids did the bouquets and flowers for the reception using flowers we bought at New Covent Garden Flower Market.”
Photographer Murray Clarke captured the day with a wonderful array of classic, vintage-style and modern shots.
“He’s absolutely brilliant, a really great guy and we LOVE the pics! We’d highly recommend him.”
Louisa wore sapphire earrings, an engagement present from one of her bridesmaids, Kurt Geiger shoes and a necklace (another family heirloom).
“My dad gave me away, it seemed fitting to go traditional with our big church wedding. Our choir sang the service; I walked in to ‘Hail Gladdening Light’ by Charles Wood.”
“We used the Church of England vows which I love. In America the tradition is to say ‘I do’, but the Church of England version is ‘I will’, which I like better. When you get married in church you have to have one reading from the bible (we chose Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ‘To everything there is a season…’). Our other reading was ‘Love should grow up like a wild iris in the fields‘ by Susan Griffin.
We chose the second reading because it’s about real love; sometimes messy but incredibly beautiful and found in every mundane moment of life.”
“We bought our rings from a shop in Hatton Garden. Mine was made to fit with my engagement ring (an unusual setting from 1910/1920) and Bevis’ was an antique.”
Don’t the bridesmaids look lovely in their mismatched dresses in coordinating shades? It just goes to show that you don’t have to choose one colour as a ‘theme’ for your wedding to make it look traditional and well-put-together. I love how the flowers provide an extra ‘pop’ of colour too.
Louisa gifted her bridesmaids personalised necklaces from Lana0Crystal on Etsy.
“I also gave them personalised clutches in complimentary prints – handmade by Edens Wake on Etsy.”
When it came to their favourite moments of the day, Bevis said it was “turning around and seeing Louisa walking down the aisle with the choir singing”, but for Louisa, there wasn’t any one particular very moment – she revelled in it all!
“I don’t think there was one part in particular, but just having all those friends and family together from both sides of the pond was amazing.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“I’m glad that I made all the decisions I did about how the day would go but my advice would be to make sure you pass everything over to bridal party, family, whoever is responsible and up for it so that you don’t have to think about any logistics or coordinate bodies on the day.
Delegate more. We both wish we hadn’t had anything to think about or be in charge of on the day so we could just enjoy it and the people around us.”
What a glorious day! Thank you so much to Louisa and Bevis for sharing their magical day. Are any other brides considering a family dress for their wedding? We’d love to hear about them if so.
Have a lovely Monday evening all,
Love Rachel x
Bride’s dress – vintage
Dress alterations – Luda Taylor at Bridal Dress Alterations
Bride’s Veil – KissDesignHouse on Etsy
Bride’s Shoes - Kurt Geiger
Satin Flower Clutch: Untold at House of Fraser
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – J Crew, Lord and Taylor + necklaces from Lana0Crystal + clutches via Edens Wake
Flower girl Dresses - handmade by the groom’s mother
Hair and make-up Artist – RUSH Bromley
Catering Company – No. 11 Pimlico Road
Grooms Suit – Marks & Spencer
Grooms waistcoat – Thomas Farthing
Groom’s shirt – Massimo Dutti
Bow ties – Mrs Bow Tie
Cars/transport – Addison Lee