Charlie Brear and Gemy Maalouf Bridal Separates for a Mod Inspired Wedding

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If you’re planning a wedding right now, have you got our wedding directory, ‘Little Book For Brides‘ bookmarked? Now in it’s second year, we absolutely love receiving notes from our readers letting us know they discovered their wedding suppliers through our beautiful resource. Because our directory is curated – that is, we only feature sponsors we want to be associated with and whose work we truly admire, you can trust it, 100%. It will never be a directory bursting with suppliers to confuse you – think of it more as something we’ve spent time crafting carefully to make life much easier for you when it comes to planning your own wedding.

This morning’s wedding features couple Nic, Creative Display Artworker for Monsoon/Accessorize and Jonny, who works in finance. Their gorgeous Autumn wedding took place on 29th October last year in Whiteley Village in Walton on Thames Surrey, and was captured by our fave, Claudia Rose Carter, who Nic discovered through Little Book For Brides. This very wedding blog was a helpful resource in sourcing suppliers too, it’s where Nic discovered The Secret Dress House one of our highly recommended bridal boutiques.

“I discovered The Secret Dress House wedding boutique through Love My Dress – they stock Charlie Brear, who I love! I wanted to wear long sleeves with a simple silhouette and fell in love with the beautiful lace detail of the Charlie Brear Neru Lace Jacket and Gemy Maloouf skirt and slip. Once I tried on separates it was hard for me to go back to the idea of a dress – they felt so comfortable. I also brought a simple long veil from The Secret Dress House.”

Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

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“I discovered our photographer, Claudia Rose Carter, through the Little Book For Brides wedding directory – it was a great resource to look through photographers as prior to this, I didn’t know where to start. Claudia’s images are beautiful – not heavily posed and never staged. Her portfolio stood out a mile when looking though photographers with my mum and we just both loved her effortless style. But I was worried that she wouldn’t want to do my small village hall wedding.

It wasn’t until Jonny saw her on my laptop and she also stood out for him that I plucked up enough courage to enquire if she was free to shoot our wedding, and luckily, she was! We just want to say a huge thank you to Claudia for capturing our day. She took some magical images that we both cherish.”“Jonny and I met in my University town of Huddersfield in a nightclub. I had lost all my friends and was dancing on my own in the indie room to a Rolling Stones song and Jonny just came over. The rest is history. Jonny’s always said it was my huge smile that caught his attention. We did a long distance relationship for a couple of years as Jonny is from Huddersfield and I had moved back to Surrey. Jonny then moved down to Surrey and, eight years later, we now live together in our 1 bedroom flat with our two crazy Bengal cats.”

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“It turns out that Jonny had purchased my engagement ring around Christmas time, but he didn’t proposed until March, as at that time, my dad was poorly, having been diagnosed with non hodgkin lymphoma. His treatment was due to start and so I think Jonny felt it simply wasn’t the best time to be proposing. In the end, he popped the question on the top of Leith tower, the highest point in Surrey. I’ve never been there before but Jonny, being a keen cyclist who spends most weekends cycling around the Surrey hills, had discovered Leith Tower on his cycling adventures – it was a lovely, quiet spot.”

“Sadly my Grandad passed away before the wedding, and his funeral was held at the church just a month before. At his funeral, we ended up looking through all his old videos he had made and came across my great Aunt’s wedding, which was also held at the village in the 1970’s. It was funny to watch but also made me realise we picked the right wedding venue.”

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“We were engaged for seven months as I really wanted an Autumn wedding and didn’t want to wait another year, as you never know what’s around the corner. My dad had finished his treatment at the end of August,  to get fit in time for our Autumn wedding.”

“We didn’t want anything formal – Jonny wanted the wedding to have a mod vibe and I wanted something a little more bohemian. In the end, I hope we captured a bit of both.  We liked the idea of more DIY, handmade and not too perfect celebration. We didn’t want it to feel matchy-matchy. Colour inspiration came from Jonny’s burgundy suit, which we paired with soft peach tones.”


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“I don’t normally wear perfume but knew I wanted to wear something new. I wanted an Autumnal inspired scent, and came across English Pear & Freesia by Jo Malone. We tried so many in the shop but kept going back to this one. One of the first things Jonny said to me on the day was ‘you smell nice’. My work colleagues gifted me the candle as a wedding gift – the room smelt divine while we were all getting ready.”

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“I found it very hard to find a nice pair of shoes that didn’t scream too ‘bridal’, were crazy high and affordable. I was super chuffed to bits when I came across these rose gold shoes from Boden, in the sale and my size – and the only pair left! I lasted all day and night in them so will definitely be wearing them again.”

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“I always wear my hair down and felt having my hair up would feel strange and not me, so my Mum’s friend, who is also a hairdresser, styled my hair for me, so that it would drop into effortless curls. My friend Sarah helped us do all our make up, a month before the day we all went to a Bobbie Brown make-up lesson and spent a fortune. Sarah’s amazing at makeup and one of those girls that constantly watches You Tube videos.”

“My floral crown was by Lock Cottage Flowers. I wanted the crown to be full but not overpowering. Alice did a great job on the crown – it was stunning and lasted the whole day and right up to the last dance of the night. I didn’t want to take it off.”

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Whiteley Village is a retirement community, on the doorstop from where we live.  My Grandad was living at the nursing home in Whiteley Village at the time we were looking around for ideas on venues and the local church, St Marks, is right opposite to the nursing home.  We thought it would be a nice idea to get married at this church, so that my Grandad could attend the wedding.

After our initial enquiries, we learned that the village also does venue hire in the hall – on checking it out, we both fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful building with a clock tower and lovely arched, wooden ceilings. The hall was located a convenient 5 minute walk away from the church, and we were allowed to decorate it ourselves.”

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“My brother in law had recently brought a VW Camper van and promised to have it refurbished in time for our wedding. My sister decorated the van with Liberty print curtains and ribbon I got on EBay. We all managed to fit into the van and we all sang ‘You Got The Love’ on the way to the church.”

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“I came across my bridesmaids’ ASOS  dresses whilst not even looking through their bridal section (although their bridal section is very good!). I really liked the wrap style and floral print. They were such a good price so I just brought them on a whim as ASOS are so easy to return. Luckily the dresses fitted well and both really liked them. They also looked great next to Jonny’s and his brother’s burgundy suit.”

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“Our florist was Lock Cottage Flowers. We wanted the flowers to look natural, relaxed and slightly wild. I came across Alice as I wanted a local florist. Alice uses seasonal British flowers and some of her own homegrown flowers.”

“Alice provides a garden visit so we went a few weeks before the day and put together a sample bouquet it was great fun and a great idea to finalise what I wanted.”

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“Jonny’s burgundy suit was from Moss Bros – he always knew what colour he wanted and trying to find that colour in the middle of the summer turned out to be quite tricky but we came across this skinny fit suit and it fit him like a glove.”

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“My dad accompanied me down the aisle – we were concerned he might not be well enough, but he was determined and he looked great considering he had just recovered from eight sessions of chemotherapy. I burst into tears while walking down so he was trying so hard to make me laugh.”

“We had three readings at our wedding; Corinthians 13, ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.”

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“For our rings – we went to a few jewellers but because we both just wanted a plain band, we ended up purchasing our rings online. We came across Wedding Rings Direct – it’s really easy to use and had a wide range of metals, widths and depths so we got lots of samples to try. Jonny had a titanium ring and I had a yellow gold 2mm ring to stack under my engagement ring.”

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“It’s very hard to choose a favourite part as it was such an amazing day, but we both suddenly felt relaxed right after the ceremony (I don’t think Jonny had spoken to anyone prior to this, as he had been so nervous). I also enjoyed walking down the aisle with my dad, and Jonny and I walking to our seats to ‘Hey Ho, Let’s Go!’ by The Ramones, and just looking around, seeing all your family friends cheering and smiling. It’s such an amazing feeling having all your favourite people in one room.”

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“My flowergirl wore a dress from Monsoon Kids – they have the best selection of occasion dresses for children. It also helps that I work in their Head Office so kept an eye on what styles would be coming out and my staff discount was very helpful! Hannah my niece was a little cutie in her dress. Her cardigan was from Boden and instead of flowers we gave her a giant gold glitter balloon but bless her, she got scared so my sister had to carry her and the balloon while walking down.”

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“We had to use the catering company at Whiteley Village called Caterplus. They did exactly what we asked for and made amazing roast potatoes! Everyone came up for seconds and many of our guests commented how it was the best wedding food they had ever had.”

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“We used Tunnocks tea cakes as favours – we spent a few days before buying loads and trying not to eat any when we got home! We encouraged guests to take home the flower arrangements and pumpkins, which they loved.”

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“My friend’s lovely sister baked our cake, she does really yummy cakes and we didn’t want anything too fussy or grand. We chose a two-tier red velvet as it’s our favourite cake and it ended up working well with the colour scheme. The cake topper was from, and the cake stand was from Anthropologie.”

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“We booked Martin, aka IndieRetro DJ, because the type of music he played a lot of Soul, Motown, Ska, Indie, BritPop and Mod Classics. He played throughout the day and evening in-between the band. We went with ‘Everlasting Light’ by the Black Keys for our first dance track. We didn’t chose the song until the last minute as we found all the songs we like together are quite depressing when you actually read the lyrics.”


“We also had a band called The High Barnets, who are a mod influenced five piece. We didn’t search on any function band websites we just asked around from friends and family for any recommendations and came across them. We heard a rumour that the singer always likes to take his shirt off when he sings to the Rolling Stones – and he did exactly that! He also jumped off stage and serenaded my nan to Elvis’s hunk of burning love. They were so much fun and provided a great atmosphere.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Do what you and your partner want to do.  Try not to worry what anyone else thinks – its your big day.

Get yourself a reliable sober buddy, as everyone will just constantly buy you drinks.

We were on a tight budget and I’m glad we didn’t go over the top. Our budget was £10,000 and we just managed that. There are so many friends that are willing to help. Don’t get me wrong – a few weeks before the wedding I did have a few ‘f**k it’ moments on my credit card! But you don’t have to go overboard and crazy spend.”

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So much love to you Nic for sharing your beautiful day with us today.

And adoration as always for Claudia Rose Carter for sharing her beautiful images.

Love Annabel x

Credits & Thanks


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.