Love My Dress reader Shirley married Steve on the 15th September 2012 at St Bride's Church on London's famous Fleet Street.
'As we live in London we wanted to have a mix of a modern city wedding with some softer, more vintage touches, without being overly set on a particular ‘theme’ or era. I’m part Mauritian so it was important to me that we brought this into the day in some form.'
Shirley and Steve perfectly combined contemporary city style with plenty of glamour. The bride's
softly tousled hair and her dress's simple silhouette scream effortless
elegance and we love it! I'm especially drawn to the beautiful contrast between Shirley's natural, pared back beauty and the opulent backdrop of the reception
Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Steve Shipman
Shirley's gown is the work of our favourite design duo, Belle and Bunty.
'I’d tried it on in the early stages of looking for my dress and then ended up buying a dress from Pronovias in Harrods. Unfortunately several months later the Belle and Bunty dress was playing on my mind
and I’d then decided that was the one, I loved the simplicity and
elegance on it, although beautiful, the Pronovias dress was too lacy and
Shirley also wore a Belle & Bunty veil and a pair of sparkly shoes by Carvela at Kurt Geiger. She dressed her older bridesmaids in glamorous, floor-sweeping gowns from Oasis while the flowergirl dresses were purchased from John Lewis. Steve hired his suit from Austin Reed.
'We really didn’t comprehend just how much there was to do and it
became evident after a very short time (and a couple of near
meltdowns!) that planning a large, London wedding for two people with
very busy lives and demanding jobs, we would need some professional help
to make it the day we both really wished for. I would genuinely say
that hiring Melanie at Cranberry Blue was one of the best decisions we
made, and even if you don’t think you’re the sort of couple who would
use a planner then we can assure you that you’d be surprised!'
'Tom Egan was our best man; he was superb on the day and made
a cracking speech! We had a further 11 ushers which is quite a lot but
we’re lucky to have some brilliant friends so couldn’t choose between them!'
'Our best man’s father, James, owns a beautiful vintage car so he was
our chauffeur for the day. We hired two red Routemaster buses from
Traditional Travel to transport
the guests from the church to One Whitehall Place. Rather than just
taking a direct route, the buses took a short tour around some of the
key London landmarks, we also provided Champagne on board.'
'Melanie created a stunning inspiration board for us to work from
which captured our vision beautifully. We were unsure about what colour
palette to choose but Melanie’s suggestion of the ivory and peach with
touches of gold was perfect.'
The couple worked with William Clarke Flowers and florist Brian's choice of blooms helped bring their vision to life.
'Our invitations were from The Wren Press.
They created a unique design for us with a London skyline silhouette.
The rest of the stationery was in fact designed by our wedding planner
Melanie, including a really unique life size red telephone box as the
table plan and London street signs for the table names.'
The beautiful images in this post are the work of Steve Shipman and the couple had nothing but praise for him…
'We decided to make a donation to Cancer Research instead of having traditional favours. Each guest had a card and Jenny Packham pin badge letting them know what we’d done.'
'In terms of decor, we hired gorgeous ivory damask linen, gold edged charger plates and gold Chiavari chairs from Jones. The table name holders were from Wedding Day Hire.
Lighting also played an important part – we had uplighting around the
main room and then really went for it in terms of colour in the adjacent
dance room. Dramatic pink and purple lights created real impact in the
room and we hired circular blue LED bar – all from Awesome FX.'
'We weren’t that fussed about a wedding cake so chose to keep the cost to a minimum. We did however have 3 smaller cakes – 2 divine chocolate ones from Patisserie Valerie and then one from good old M&S.'
Guests were entertained by String Fever.
'They are simply amazing! The group played traditional classical
pieces for the drinks reception and then during dessert took it up
several notches by performing on electric instruments, it’s hard to
describe, but seeing is believing! The group then provided a DJ to keep
everyone entertained in the evening.'
'Melanie also suggested having traditional Mauritian dancers to perform before the first dance which was brilliant and a real surprise for some of my family.'
The couple had their first dance to 'How Deep is Your Love' by the Bee Gees.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
Shirley's biggest piece of advice is to hire a talented wedding planner like Melanie! 'On the day itself, things ran seamlessly… it surpassed all of
our expectations and even though we had planned it together for the past
fourteen months, and knew how the day was going to unfold, it blew us and all of our guests away. I do not believe we would have had the same amazing experience without Melanie's help and support. The whole day was incredible, but I suppose I’d say the ceremony
was my favourite bit, and then the party with all our friends and
family. I really don’t think we would have done anything different, the
day was perfect.'
Love My Dress can personally add weight to this endorsement as
Melanie was also responsible for the party that celebrated the launch of
Annabel's first book Style Me Vintage: Weddings that was held
in London earlier this year. We were in awe of Melanie's obvious
expertise, as well as all her hard work in the run up to the event, and
wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to our readers.
All that remains is for me to thank Shirley and Steve for agreeing to
share their stylish wedding with us today. I'm head over heels for
Shirley's relaxed yet glamorous look, aren't you?
Do we have any other Belle and Bunty brides reading?
Photographer – Steve Shipman
Wedding Planner/Stylist – Melanie at Cranberry Blue
Venue – St Bride's Church and One Whitehall Place
Wedding Dress – Belle and Bunty
Veil – Belle and Bunty
Brides' shoes – Carvela at Kurt Geiger
Bride's accessories – Existing or borrowed
Groom's Attire – Austin Reed
Bridesmaids – Oasis
Flowergirls – John Lewis
Flowers – William Clarke Flowers
Cake – Marks and Spencer and Patisserie Valerie
Transport –Traditional Trave
Entertainment – String Fever
Favours – Cancer Research
Additional Styling – Wedding Day Hire and Jones Hire
Hair Stylist – Amanada Oliver from Love Hair
Lighting – Awesome FX