Well, how over the moon are we that you have all shown so much love for our blog re-design – thank you so very, very much, it's wonderful positive feedback like this that really does make a difference ;) And so we head towards the first wedding of the week with a huge big cheshire cat grin on our faces. Let's meet Love My Dress reader Katie and Fran, who tied the knot on Saturday 11th August 2012, with a ceremony at St. Peter’s Church Harborne, Birmingham, followed by a reception at Hotel du Vin, Birmingham. These photographers were submitted by Nicola of Daffodil Waves.
Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Coypright (c) 2012, Daffodil Waves
As soon as I saw these images, I recognised Katie's dress to be a 1960’s
original vintage gown. The giveaway signs were the daisy motif
embellishment, that empire line and the little bow on the front there –
all classic hallmarks of a dress designed back in the sixties. And this
one was apparently made in France.
Katie brought her dress from London based vintage wedding dress supplier, Elizabeth Avey – of whom i'm a *big* fan.
bought my dress from Elizabeth Avey’s vintage wedding dress shop in
London over 18 months before the day. My sister Sarah lives over the
road from her shop, and walks past the window every day – we decided
that as part of a visit we would make an appointment and go try on some
dresses to see what suited me, as I had never tried on a wedding dress
"I never thought I’d get married in a vintage dress – I
didn’t have an idea in my mind of what I’d look like on my wedding day,
and certainly didn’t have it all mentally planned out from a young age.
All I knew was that it couldn’t be strapless (as the idea of a strapless
bra all day is for me, torture), and I didn’t want anything “too
"I was driven to church in my Dad’s Morris Minor, which he restored
himself. It was so lovely to have this personal touch, and to spend a
few minutes with him before the ceremony."
"My dress was the first one I tried on – when we walked
in it was hanging up on a rail in between lots and lots of lace and
chiffon, and the plain cotton leaped out at me. Elizabeth was amazing –
she kept encouraging me to try different styles, and when it became
clear that my heart was set, she even recommended that I go try on more
in different shops first – the complete opposite of a hard-sell!
still haven’t tried on a new wedding dress, and I love the idea that my
wedding dress was handmade 50 years ago, and waited half a decade for me
to wear it.
Elizabeth informed me that it is an original 1960’s
wedding dress made in France – I took it for some minor alterations at
my amazing local tailor, a menswear designer and he flipped it inside out and
immediately said – 1960’s French – handmade seams."
"I love my
dress – I’m an incredibly decisive person, and my sister joked that I
found my dress like I found my husband – very early on I simply decided
that that was the one for me! I love that my dress was vintage –
it’s a one-off, and the romantic in me imagines that it’s waited fifty
years, unworn and unloved, to fill it’s wedding dress destiny in 2012. And I
love that the dress has sleeves ( I have terrible skin so was never going to
wear something too revealing), and has a detachable train that hooks on
at the waist.
The daisy motif in the lace was so pretty, and we carried
this through to the flowers – my mother-in-law got married in a dress
covered in daisies, so she was touched that they were similar dresses, forty years apart."
"Our flowers were by The Flower Centre in Birmingham
– Joy, the owner did a wonderful job with only a very vague brief. I
had one cut-out from a magazine, and said I wanted lots of “texture”
and beyond that I was happy with what she came up with.
the flowers arrived on the morning of the wedding I was so happy – the
colours were wonderful, the centrepieces so pretty and even though I
still couldn’t tell you now what flowers were in my bouquet, it was just
"I made my own headpiece using materials from my Mum’s Juliet
cap that she wore when she married my Dad in 1975. We sewed the little
flowers from the cap on to an Alice band, and added little pearls bought
from Dunelm Mill.
I then attached a polka dot birdcage veil bought from
Lily Bella. My Mum and I live a hundred miles
apart, so it was lovely to get together and create something personal –
it was a really special thing to do before the wedding, and I know she
was so happy that I could wear something from her wedding, as well as
spending time together."
"As favours, we gave everyone a book as a favour, from the Wordsworth Classics collection.
I’m training to be a teacher and am a huge bookworm, and Fran has an MA
in Writing, so we’re a fairly literary couple! Each guest had a
different favourite of ours, which we tied with ribbon and tucked in a
card with a handwritten poem inside.
the little cards from Paperchase, and some stamps from Hobbycraft, and
then started the epic task of creating sixty individual poems – it was a
tough task, but by our guest’s reaction, I’m so glad I did it."
surprise, Fran switched out my card for a handwritten poem of his own – I
was so touched, as I’m usually the poet in our house!"
"The only drama in the planning of our wedding was deciding on the
bridesmaid’s dresses – my girls live all over the country, and our work
schedules made it very difficult to all meet up together. We chose about
4 dresses that suited everyone, for them to sell out in different
sizes, or become unavailable altogether – it was becoming a bit of a
saga and I thought we’d never find anything.
I was browsing the internet one evening with a glass of wine, and spotted some dresses I loved in the Hobbs sale at the grand price of £42 each – I took a punt on the sizing, gulped down some wine and ordered them. I
then called my sister, who shrieked in horror – the whole way through
the planning, I’d promised not to drunkenly order anything online, and
I’d done exactly that. Luckily they all fit, and even luckier,
the girls loved them. One of them is being re-worn this weekend to
another wedding so I was really pleased that the old adage 'something
you can wear again' came true!"
"I bought the bridesmaid’s headbands in the January sales at Accessorize
– one benefit of planning so far ahead was that so many of our
purchases could be made at sale times. I was a fiend for bookmarking
pages online and re-visiting them to buy items once they’d been reduced.
Buying items at less than full-price allowed us to spend money in other
areas – no one would know that my shoes cost less than half-price, but
they would appreciate us spending a little more on a Pimms reception
outside the church!"
"Of all of our wedding choices, booking Nicola, our wedding photographer
was the easiest. She’s fabulous. I’m so happy with our pictures – she
really did do a wonderful job of capturing lots of moments that I
wouldn’t otherwise have known about, as well as capturing people’s
expressions when they didn’t know that they were bring shot! We knew
that we wanted a reportage style photographer, and we booked Nicola very
early on in the proceedings.
We both really hate having pictures
taken, as soon as a camera is pointed in our direction we both somehow
manage to turn into awkwardly-grinning goons, but Nicola was so relaxed
and unobtrusive it was a pleasure to be photographed. I thoroughly recommend Daffodil Waves – I’m so proud of our wedding photographs, and will treasure them forever."
"I booked Bettie Lottie after seeing her work listed in another wedding featured on Love My Dress, as the bride looked exactly how I wanted to on the big day.I
was over the moon with her work – Beth is a star, my makeup was
perfect, as were the bridesmaids and my Mum – and she even managed to
squeeze in another friend on the day too which was fabulous!"
"I am a shoe-fiend, and actually bought several pairs of shoes
before caving in and buying a much-coveted pair of Jimmy Choos from Saks
Fifth Avenue. (And in the sale, no less!).
the evening I wore a silver pair of heels bought in the sale from Hobbs
– they were a little higher as my evening dress toughed the floor in my
"My pearl earrings were my “something borrowed” - I actually
bought them for my Mum for her 50th Birthday, so she kindly lent them
back to me for our wedding day. My necklace was a
string of pearls from Tiffany’s, my husband bought them for me as a
Christmas present last year. I was so excited when I realised that he’d
unwittingly bought me a necklace that mirrored the neckline of my dress –
a complete coincidence, but so perfect!"
"I attended church at St Peters for several years, so it was really
the only choice when we were planning the day – it’s a beautiful old
church with a super Vicar, the Rev. Caroline Ralph who used to be a
lawyer – she jokes that she’s divorced more people than she’s married!
husband used to live in New York, so we wanted a city-centre venue as a
country house hotel style day, as beautiful as it is, isn’t really us.
From the moment that we stepped into Hotel du Vin the service was
amazing – the building used to be the old Birmingham eye hospital, so
it’s full of old quirky detail, which we both love."
"Fran wanted to sort out his own outfit for the wedding – he said
that it’s only fair that his suit should be a surprise, as he wouldn’t
get to see my dress until I arrived at church. One of my
favourite moments of the day was walking in and seeing him looking
amazing – he looked so dapper, I was so proud to be marrying him!
we looked through our photographs I joked that he has a new career
ahead of him as a stylist for GQ! His suit, shirt, tie and shoelaces
(!) were from Gieves and Hawkes, my sister went with him for fittings and was sworn to secrecy regarding colour and style!
"We have known each other for a very long time – we met when I
was 14 years old, in the Runcorn Squadron of the Air Training Corps. I
was a new recruit, Fran was the Flight Sergeant in change – and 14 years
later we’re finally hitched. New York city
played an important part in our history together, and Fran proposed to
me in November 2009 on a windswept and slightly damp beach at Coney
Island. At the time I was so emotional he kept asking “is that a yes?”
because I couldn’t see through the tears to speak!
We used the book of common prayer vows, with no alterations. We didn’t 'obey' though!"
"Our rings are Milgrain from Tiffany.
They’re just so beautiful – I have tiny hands so we went for the 2mm
band for me, with the 6mm men’s version for Fran. We each took our
rings, separately, to an engravers in Birmingham, Fat Cow Designs,
in the weeks before the wedding, to have a message engraved for each
other to read on the day. I was so excited after the ceremony to peek
inside to see what Fran had chosen – and I discovered that he’d had it
engraved in his own handwriting, which I got a little over-excited by!
Fat Cow were incredibly helpful, and the engraving was the clearest I’ve
"We had a
relatively long engagement as we recently re-decorated our whole house
and had to start saving up again – I recommend doing it this way, as by
accident we secured many vendors at 2009/10 prices for a 2012 wedding!
joke that we were both born in the wrong era – Fran should be from the
future (he’s a Starship Captain if I ever met one!) and I should have
been born in a bygone time where dresses were worn daily. We didn’t make
a conscious choice to style our day a particular way – we both
naturally gravitate towards slightly quirky items and places, and the
day seemed to pull together naturally with a very loose theme of
“Vintage in the City” emerging.
We also didn’t decide
beyond a colour theme beyond “pick which colours you like the most” –
lucking they worked together on the day, and we were so happy with the
"We had readings from the Bible, and a poem by Margaret Atwood
called Habitation. I studied Canadian Literature in Canada, and Margaret
Atwood has a special place in my heart, so it was lovely to include
this as part of our day. The poem is about marriage, but it’s not
traditional – it includes the line “the unpainted stairs/at the back,
where we squat/outdoors, eating popcorn.” It’s perfect for us, and a few
of our guests commented on the poem after the ceremony."
"For our guests, we booked a vintage red double-decker bus from the Birmingham Bus Museum. It was super-cool, and drew so many looks as we drove up the high street after the ceremony."
"Our venue, the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham,
don’t “do” wedding packages, so we built our day from the business and
conference menu – which worked really well as we were able to spend less
on hire, and more on what was important to us – namely food and wine!"
"For our first dance, we put together a medley of our favourite
songs, and loosely choreographed a dance to them. It was hilarious – we
had a lot of fun planning it!
We first heard our evening band at another wedding, and immediately booked them for our day. They’re amazing. They’re called The Skylights,
and they’re only young – but oh do they know how to get the party
going! They covered hits from the Barenaked Ladies to Adele, and even
learned several new songs for our day at no extra cost. Our
dancefloor was full from start to finish, and even my Nan approved of
their music – I sincerely wish them utter success, and I think they’ll
be in the charts in their own right before long."
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"Just remember that
nothing matters except the two of you – and if something doesn’t go
quite right? You’ll get a good story out of it later.
was super-relaxed in the run-up to the wedding – everyone kept
commenting on how calm I was – this is because I had fabulous people to
delegate to, in particular my sister, who was amazing. People want to
help – it’s lovely to involve them and it takes stress away from you
Oh, and If I had the day again, I wouldn’t change a thing – except
maybe take some paracetamol, as I had a face-ache from grinning like a
loon all day!"
Oh how I adore weddings like these – proof that readers are taking so much inspiration from these pages, and booking suppliers and services having discovered via Love My Dress too!
HUGE congratulations Katie and Fran on your delightful wedding day, I am thrilled for you both, and Katie, I LOVE your dress!
Big love and thanks too to Nicola of Daffodil Waves for once again furnishing these pages with lovely inspirational photographs. You can see more of Nicola's work on Love My Dress here. Also take a look through our 1960’s catalogue of posts.
Any one else opting for an original 60's number on their wedding day?
Much love all.
Photographer – Daffodil Waves
Venue – Hotel du Vin, Birmingham
Brides dress – Elizabeth Avey
Brides shoes – Jimmy Choos from Saks
Fifth Avenue, NYC
Brides veil – made by the bride using fabric purchased from
Groom – Gieves and Hawkes
Bridesmaids Dresses – Hobbs
Flowers – The Flower Centre in Birmingham
Hair and make-up Artist – Bettie Lottie
Flowergirl Dresses – Monsoon
Entertainment – The Skylights
Hair and Makeup Artist – Bettie Lottie