A First Look, Faux Flowers and a Long Sleeved Dress Made by the Bride

wpid418730 50s inspired long sleeved wedding dress faux flowers 7

Readers, I have a confession to make.  You know that mental list of favourite weddings I often mention?  It’s basically all the weddings…  I am therefore giving it up, as there is just too much amazing diversity, creativity and love on these pages to possibly choose between any of them.  If I did still have my list though, today’s midsummer dream of a day would be firmly on it as it’s absolutely gorgeous and packed full of talent and happiness.

Franz, a teacher of art and moving images and Gemma, who was previously a costume designer but has now started her own bridal couture business, married at Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Derry, on Friday 26th of June 2015 accompanied by their very cute baby son and surrounded by family and friends.  Their aim was a relaxed day full of fun and personal touches and they really couldn’t have met their brief any better.  The couple are also another online dating success story, which we just love.

“We just wanted the day to be relaxed and fun, with good people, good food and good music and we focused on getting those parts right first and the little parts came together on their own.”

Photography by Paula Gillespie

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

The very talented Gemma made her own wedding dress, which as a non-sewer, frankly fills me with awe.  I absolutely love the simple clean lines and the flowing skirts, while the sash belt emphasises her slim figure and the buttons and bow on the back add depth and interest – I’m smitten!

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“I designed and made my dress myself so it was exactly as I wanted it. It was a labour of love but amazing to do and while sewing it I felt a really strong connection to Franz in making such a special preparation for our day.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.“I almost wore shoes I already owned but, on a last minute shopping trip for a new hat for my mum, I spotted some Roland Cartier shoes and I fell in love with them.  I also treated myself to a Chanel Coco Mademoiselle parfum and it felt really special as it is a tiny little bottle of pure perfume sealed with wax and comes with special instructions for use.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“I didn’t have bridesmaids, although my best friend Joelle signed the register as a witness. I didn’t have any input on what she chose to wear but being such a good friend and knowing me better than I know myself she chose a beautiful dress from ASOS to complement my dress without me knowing.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“We endeavoured to have no cut flowers on the day. The bouquets and buttonholes I made myself using deep red silk velvet and willow tied with ribbon, and for the church, I decorated the aisles with jam jars filled with red and white begonia scarlandas still in soil, which we then asked guests to take with them to the reception for the tables. After the wedding we planted them in our window box at home.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

Gemma accessorised with a pair of Swarovski earrings and matching necklace to add sparkle, and in her hair wore a fabulous headpiece which she had made for her sister to wear at her own wedding in 2013.  The sisters decided it was the perfect ‘something borrowed’.

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“Our photographer was Paula Gillespie and she was amazing!  Our only regret was not booking her for the whole day as she would have captured it all from such a beautifully creative and alternative viewpoint.  She was a friend of a friend I had worked with on Game of Thrones so I just knew we would get on well together.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“We chose Beech Hill because it had the perfect mix; a beautiful old Georgian house to suit my taste and thirty two acres of parkland to satisfy Franz’ love of the outdoors.  They were also very happy to assist with our unconventional plans for the day which was amazing.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

 “We did a first look before the ceremony which was so special.  It took all the nerves and anxiety away and set such a lovely relaxed tone for the rest of the day.  It also meant we could get all the professional photographs taken before the ceremony and then enjoy the whole day with our friends and family.  I honestly believe this was key in creating the atmosphere of the day and would really recommend it to anyone thinking about it.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“We bought Franz’ three-piece Marc Darcy suit from a local shop in Derry called Cityman and the service was great.  We didn’t want to go for the formal suit hire and found this a great alternative.  It suited his style perfectly.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

“My mother walked me down the aisle.  She is such a strong woman and was both mother and father to me and my siblings and although normally very confident and outgoing she was shaking like a leaf and I had to comfort her on the way down the aisle instead of the other way around.

It was important that we chose a hymn to walk down to so we chose ‘Ave Maria’ sung live for us by Siobhan Flanagan.  On the way back up the aisle she sang ‘It’s A Wonderful World’, which made all my family cry as it is a song we closely associate  with my eldest brother, Gary, who died in December 2008.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

 “The best advice I have is to enjoy yourself and don’t worry about anything else.”

A long sleeved 1950's inspired wedding dress handmade by the bride herself. Photography by Paula Gillespie.

A huge thank you and congratulations to Gemma and Franz, and many thanks too of course to Paula Gillespie for allowing us to share her beautiful images.  If you have been inspired by Gemma’s creativity then take a moment or two to look through some other weddings featuring a dress made by the bride– it’ll astonish you how much talent there is out there!

Much love,

Shona x

 

Photographer – Paula Gillespie
Venue – BeechHill Country House Hotel, Derry
Wedding dress – Gemma Hoeritzauer
Shoes – Roland Cartier
Accessories – earrings and necklace, Swarovski
Perfume – Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Groom – Marc Darcy suit purchased from Cityman, Derry
Hair and Makeup – Syenna Hair and Beauty, Derry
Cake – Made by Franz’s mother
Cake Topper- Wedding gift from a friend
Rings – Thomas Goldsmiths, Derry
Church musician – Siobhan Flannagan
Evening entertainment – The Rare Aul Stuff

Shona Raffle-Edwards

Shona Raffle-EdwardsView all Shona's articles

Shona is a wedding admiring bookworm with a love of the countryside, flowers and all things organisational who is currently based in sunny Yorkshire with her husband and beloved cat

8 thoughts on “A First Look, Faux Flowers and a Long Sleeved Dress Made by the Bride

  1. Oh wow Gemma what a beautiful dress, it looks so well made and fits you perfectly. Congratulations both x

  2. Well it really is all about that dress! Not only am I impressed by the dressmaking skills I’m also wondering quite how you do a fitting on yourself? This dress fits so perfectly! Congratulations both and very many best wishes for your bridal business xx

  3. I cannot believe you made this dress yourself. It is the most stunning dress I have ever seen and it looks like a wonderful day. Congratulations

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comments Lucy. And now other, lucky brides will have the opportunity to wear one of Gemma’s creations xx

  4. What absolutely beautiful pictures! Everything about the day looks so perfect, the photographer has really captured the love and natural moments between you and your family.

  5. Stunning dress. The personalized theme throughout was a love story unfolding. Eco friendly creativity is a trend to be encouraged and locally sourced attire supporting local businesses is a superb idea.

Comments are closed.

Close
Top