A French Connection Dress for a Charming and Laidback Spring Wedding

emma block illustration

I got married on a rainy day in November (although it genuinely doesn’t spoil anything, promise) so I’m always rather drawn to sunny spring weddings as a complete contrast.  I just love today’s beautiful celebrations, absolutely full of flowers and romance.  Meet Emma, an illustrator (who has one of the prettiest Instagram feeds I have ever seen and that you can follow @emmablockillustration), and Alex, a musician, who married on the 5th of May 2016 at Clissold House in Stoke Newington after a sung proposal (by Alex) in their favourite restaurant.

“I wanted our wedding style to be soft, romantic and inspired by springtime with subtle handmade and vintage touches (but nothing too overwhelming).  As an artist I had an idea in my head of the sort of colours and textures I wanted to see throughout the day.  Fortunately what was in my head translated well to real life!”

Photography by Emily Quinton of Makelight

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Emma looked gorgeous in a gown from French Connection.  I absolutely adore the embroidery – that lovely veil and sweet Spring flower crown add such a perfect finishing touch.

“I wanted a dress that was beautiful, slightly vintage inspired and that I would feel special in, but that would also be comfortable to wear.  When I tried the dress on I knew it was the one; I just felt so special wearing it.”Alex looked very dashing in a suit by John Lewis and Co., while his tie was vintage and bought in Nashville, USA, a nod to his musical background.

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“Emily Quinton of Makelight was our photographer, although she wasn’t who I originally booked.”

“Two weeks before the wedding our original photographer let us down, which meant I was frantically searching for a replacement at the very last minute.”

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On her feet, Emma wore a fabulous pair of turquoise jewelled shoes from Boden, while for jewellery she chose a rose gold Victorian love locket bracelet and a gold necklace from the Z for Accessorize range.

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“I emailed Emily, knowing that she didn’t do wedding photography any more, but hoping that she might be able to help us out, and amazingly she said yes.”

“Emily was so fantastic on the day, she made it all feel really natural and relaxed, and the photos are absolutely stunning; they capture the day so well.”

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“I did my own hair and make up.  I had a very specific idea of how I want to look (a slightly windswept 1930’s English rose) so I decided to do it myself, but I did have lots of practice and went to various makeovers and make up classes first.”

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“My veil was the one that my mother wore when she got married twenty-eight years ago.  It’s such a beautiful classic piece.”

“It had white fake flowers on which my florist removed and painstakingly replaced with hand-wired beautiful fresh flowers on to it for the day.”

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Both the bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes were from ASOS and each chose to style her dress slightly differently.  In their hair, they wore floral hair slides made by the florist and for jewellery, earrings from Oliver Bonas, which were a gift from Emma.

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“It took us quite a while to find the right venue.  Most places we looked at were just too big and grand for our small laid back wedding so it was such a relief to find Clissold House.  It was the perfect size and had the perfect relaxed, yet elegant, vibe.”

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The flowers at this wedding, lovely readers, are something else- just take a look at that amazing floral bower and Emma’s beautiful flower crown.  Sigh….

“Where do I even start with the flowers?  They were incredible.  I am very good friends with Migle, who owns Your London Florist, and you can really see the love that she put into everything.   Migle knows my taste so well that I was able to just trust her to do her thing, which meant the flowers were a complete surprise on the day.”

“The archway of sliver birch and cherry blossom she created was just stunning and provided the perfect back drop for both our ceremony and the first dance.”

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Emma walked down the aisle with her father to ‘The Swan’ by Saint-Saens- a tune to glide to for sure.

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“I’m so glad we wrote our own vows. I think taking the time to think what marriage means to you and what you’d like to promise each other is such an important thing to do.”

I promise to champion you when you are right, and to tell you gently when you were wrong.  I promise to always help you to be the best person you can be.  I promise to encourage you and support you in all your endeavours.  I promise to always be at your side, through the good times and bad.  I promise to always make time for us and to never take you for granted.  I promise we will have adventures and will grown old together.  I promise to love you always.”

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Emma’s wedding ring belong to her great grandmother and was made in 1881, isn’t that fabulous?  I love heirloom rings- I always hope they pass on some of the love and happiness they experienced to their next owner.  Alex’s ring was made for him by his brother-in-law which, again, is wonderfully personal.

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For readings, the couple chose an excerpt from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, a play they both love.


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The colourful cake was the work of My Little Cake Tin, who Emma met at the Renegade Craft Fair.

“For our cake I wanted something really pretty and whimsical, and most importantly very tasty.  My Little Cake Tin were absolutely wonderful to work with and the cake was delicious as well as stunning.”

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Alex is a professional jazz musician so live music at the wedding was an absolute prerequisite.   Five of his friends (Palace Avenue Swing) played traditional jazz while the newlyweds and their guests ate, which must have created the most wonderful atmosphere.

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“Our friends and family really helped make our day. The band were all friends who played for free, the beer was brewed especially for us by a friend, Alex’s ring was made by his brother in law, and I’m good friends with the florist and photographer. Even the seamstress and cake maker are friends of friends who I’ve kept in touch with.  Everyone involved was so special and so lovely.”

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“It’s funny, some of my favourite parts of the day on the bits that you wouldn’t expect.  I absolutely loved getting ready with my mum and my bridesmaids as it was just such a special time of anticipation. Walking over from the hotel to the park for the first look was lovely too; everybody I passed stopped to say congratulations.

I also loved talking to guests afterwards, hearing who they had met and chatted to.  In particular everyone thought my 90 year old grandpa was a legend.  He was dancing and drinking until nearly midnight.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Think about how you will feel on the day as well as how it will all look and if you think you might be anxious or stressed plan ways to cope with that.  I didn’t want to be stressed so I kept things really simple.  I did minimal DIY and we had no set up or clear up required at the venue- we just turned up and got married.

If you’re thinking having doing a first look, then definitely go for it.  It helps with the pre ceremony nerves, it makes the day run really smoothly for you and your guests and you get some amazing photos.  I’m so glad we did it.”

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So many thanks to the lovely Emma and Alex for sharing their beautiful day, and of course, to Emily Quinton of Makelight  for saving the day and taking such gorgeous shots.  Have you fallen for the beautiful Clissold House?  Take a look here for some previous Love My Dress Weddings which have been located at this lovely venue.

Much love,

Shona x

Credits & Thanks

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

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