A Nurit Hen Dress for a Modern, Minimalist Wedding at the Barbican

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Good morning lovely ones! Those of you who follow Love My Dress on Instagram will probably know that I am in Barcelona this week, supporting various brands during the annual Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week. For the uninitiated – this a trade event where a number of brands exhibit their 2018 collections to buyers and press. It’s a superbly organised event with amazing catwalk shows being held at various venues across the city. We have had the pleasure of attending the Jesus Peiro and YolanCris shows so far – and this evening, we’re all set to attend the Pronovias extravaganza. And believe me, that is one huge, well-oiled machine of a show. So many people in attendance and a super-glamorous catwalk experience. I’ll be sharing everything over on Instagram stories if you care to follow our accounts @lovemydress and my personal account @annabelbeeforth.

And so to this morning’s wedding; Bethany a Publisher and Editorial Director, married Art Director Luca on 15th October with a ceremony at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell, followed by a reception in The Conservatory at the Barbican.

“On the whole we went for a minimalist approach to the styling of the day, with simple touches using clean lines, geometric shapes and accents of metallic gold, my favourite colour. We gravitate towards a more minimalist aesthetic at home so this felt best aligned to our tastes. Both the church and the The Conservatory at the Barbican are also stunning spaces, with their own unique character, and so we wanted to work in simple touches which wouldn’t distract from their beauty.”

Images by Blondie Photography

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Bethany’s super sexy gown is by designer Nurit Hen and was purchased from highly regarded London bridal boutique, Mirror Mirror (who I had the pleasure of meeting, albeit all too briefly, in Barcelona two days ago).

“I knew I wanted a Latin inspired lace dress and definitely one with sleeves. I managed to resist the urge to dash to the nearest shop for a trying-on spree and first investigated designers that created the types of dresses that I liked. I shortlisted: Berta, Liz Martinez, Inbal Dror and Nurit Hen, before heading to places where they stocked those designers. I walked away with a Nurit Hen, a couple of dresses in!”“I used a make-up artist who specialises in airbrush make-up and I couldn’t recommend it enough. With application by a skilled make-up artist,Ana Milena Ospina, it looks natural but you can get an amazingly flawless finish. And the best bit, I didn’t have to do a single re-touch – even after many rounds on the dance floor, numerous hugs and a few tears.”

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“We gifted each of the bridesmaids in the morning of the wedding with a necklace to wear on the day. I chose two different styles (one with a long chain and one with a short chain) to suit each bridesmaid. Both styles however were consistent in terms of them being simple and minimalist with gold geometric shapes, to match the theming of the day. I loved the way they subtly lifted the very simple dresses.”

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“I wanted bridesmaids dresses that were full length but at the same time wanted something very simple and minimalist, which felt cool and contemporary. Their dresses were from ASOS.”

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”The thing that drew me to Nurit Hen was the designer’s surprising openness for you to customise and tweak her existing design. The gowns are also made-to-measure which really appealed to me – I’m curvy and never thought a backless piece would be possible!“

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“I loved the weight and opulence of the lace, but my favourite feature was the directional detailing of the big circular cuffs. I also liked that the sheer cut-out features at the sides, alongside an open back, helped to transform a traditional lace dress into a more dramatic and modern piece.”

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Anna Baker, from Errol Douglas was my hair stylist. I wore my hair down, centre parted, with lose waves and a couple of bits clipped up. I wanted a slight 60s reference and nothing that looked too obviously ‘done’. Because of the weight of the cathedral length veil (and because my hair is naturally quite slippy) I had a section at the back pinned up so the veil could clip in to that section and stay put.”

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“Ahead of the day I was very spoilt and invited to Jo Malone to make a bespoke fragrance, as a gift from the brand. It allowed me to create something really special and memorable for the day and something different from my day to day scent which I can crack out again for special occasions.”

“I wore an emerald and gold ring from Colombia, where the groom’s mother was from. Emeralds are mainly mined in Colombia so are a bit of a national emblem – so it felt nice to incorporate something Colombian when many of the family were unable to travel so far to attend.”

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“Whilst I didn’t hold back on my dress budget I didn’t want to be too extravagant with the veil too. I researched a lot online and found Etsy offered some great veil options– the important thing is to ensure the colour matches, but mainly that the quality of lace and net is as high as possible. I chose a vendor from Etsy who made beautiful, quality pieces by hand and opted for a cathedral length veil with a wide lace scalloped trim, from the elbow.”

“I wore some geometric earrings from Zoe and Morgan, the same designer that I commissioned to create my wedding band. They were a gift from my mother and fit nicely with the gold geometric accents we used for the décor.”

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“Maybe it’s being a child of the 80s, when Madonna was basically everything, but I’ve always loved veils, so never doubted I’d make one a feature. With a long aisle to walk down and a fitted lace dress, I thought this style would best complement the drama of the dress and the church setting. It is really important to consider the style of your dress and location of your day. Cathedral length is quite heavy so requires specific hair-styles to take the weight and it is a little difficult to walk around with – so be sure you want to commit to it! For me it was worth it, but you do need bridesmaids to help re-position it.”

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“We chose to have our wedding day in London because it’s the city where we live and because we really loved the idea of having our wedding in venues that were familiar and significant to our lives. We have a relatively international family to throw in to the mix too, so on a practical level it felt like a good central location for our guests and, with a short planning period (5 months), made it easy and uncomplicated to bring together.”

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“Our ceremony was held at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell – the perfect setting because it is so familiar to our lives – the groom was christened there even! It really is a hidden piece of Italy, nestled on a Clerkenwell road with a simple townhouse style frontage.”

“It was such a cool surprise for guests, as they entered through its simple iron doors and found themselves in a beautifully ornate and impressive basilica style church.”

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“My father accompanied me into the ceremony, to the sound of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. We had Clair de lune played during the service and our exit music was Habenera, from Bizet’s Carmen.”

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“We met at work, in the kitchen of all places! Luca was working for Wallpaper* Magazine and I was working on the Fashion brands at Time inc. It’s amazing where small talk whilst filling up you water bottle on a grey Tuesday can lead you!”

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We got engaged four years later while away for the weekend and decided that we’d start planning immediately. We’re both quite discerning and knew we wanted a modern, London wedding in a venue that felt unique and not too much of a Wedding factory. We also wanted to be in a space that was familiar to us, so called one of our favourite places, the Barbican, to see what they offered – we confirmed that same day for a date 5 months later! We didn’t look around any other venues as we both felt instantly assured this was the perfect setting.”

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“My ring is a old octagon band with baguette diamonds on every other side. I designed this bespoke piece with Zoe and Morgan.”

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“We stayed at a hotel a miuntes walk from the church so walked to the church ahead of the ceremony! Afterwards we hired a cream Route Master bus to take us the short mile between the church and The Barbican.”

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“We held our reception in The Conservatory at the Barbican. We both frequently visit the Barbican for art exhibitions, the cinema and theatre etc and have always loved a Sunday visit to The Conservatory – a serene, tropical oasis in the heart of the city.”

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“Aesthetically, The Conservatory at the Barbican really appealed to us – the super high glass ceilings make it so light and airy, while the tropical plants against a backdrop of brutalist concrete, provide a modern, architecturally minimalist backdrop that we both love.  With a wedding in October, it felt like we had a huge and impressive outside space, but without the weather worries.”

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The couple were very impressed by their superb photographer who worked tirelessly all day to ensure he got some interesting and varied shots. They wanted more of a reportage style, and loved his beautiful portfolio of work.

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“As part of the package we did a pre-wedding shoot at the National Theatre, another Brutalist building.”

“This was amazing as it ensured he was used to working with us and got a sense of our style and tastes, but most importantly meant we were so relaxed and comfortable on the day.”

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“I designed the bouquets myself and then organised with a local florist to create them. The shape of the bouquets was really important to me. For mine I wanted a cascade/waterfall shape because I love the drama of this shape and playing with a very modern and minimalist interpretation of an 80s classic!”

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For the bridesmaids I wanted a ‘sheath’ shape, which could be held across the crook of the arm to really set off the simple bridesmaid dresses in an interesting way.

I chose palm leaves because I wanted the bouquet to be predominantly green, they fit with the tropical setting at the barbican and because I love their size and simplicity. And well, who doesn’t love a palm leaf! I added just a couple of bold, statement, individual flowers which included a Cymbidium Orchid, Cala Lily and Anthurium.”

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“During the ceremony Giardino Strings, the most flawless string quartet, played several classical pieces that we had selected in advance. So many of our guests remarked on how stunning their performance was. Very talented and accomplished musicians.”

“The groom is an Art Director, so designed and produced all of the stationary for the day. We used grey card with Gold Foil.”

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“Both the church and the Conservatory are also stunning spaces, with their own unique character, and so we wanted to work in simple touches which wouldn’t distract from their beauty. 

“We used gold accents and geometric shapes to inspire most of our décor. On the tables we had a large gold geometric vase positioned as a centre piece, and around it several wire geometric shapes. We hired in gold cutlery from Classic Crockery, to replace the traditional chrome colour, which we felt was simple yet really impactful and worked with our other gold accents. Around the venue, we placed large gold and glass geometric terraniums which we filled with large grey candles.”

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“Our wedding favours doubled up as place names and also table décor. We potted succulents and cacti into minimalist small concrete pots for every guest. Each pot had a planter with the guests name on it. We purchased the plants via a seller on Ebay, as well as the concrete pots.”

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“A friend of my sister made the cake. She’s an amazing baker from Hungary with a small business making the best cakes and biscuits I’ve ever tasted. We liked the idea of having one formal layer, with white icing and gold leaf to carry through the gold theme and then two naked layers. The three tiers allowed us to experiment with flavours, so each one had a different flavour from chocolate orange to lemon. The cake was a huge hit and all of it went on the day.”

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“For our guests we placed Instax Polaroid cameras for guest to take photos and add to a large gold guest book.”

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“Our first dance was to Unstant Crush, by Daft Punk and Julian Casablanca. We’re both big fans of The Strokes and also Daft Punk so it was a nice hybrid of musical styles. It is also a song that has nostalgic significance to us as a couple.”

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“It’s so difficult to choose which part of the day was best as it all felt brilliant and like everybody says, goes by in a flash. I really loved the ceremony itself, as it felt like the really special and significant part of the day. It is also the first time you see everyone you know all together in one room and when all the anticipation and excitement is most heightened.”

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“For the canapé reception we had a Latin band perform, which was a nod to the groom’s Colombian heritage. In the evening the groom did an hour long set, followed by a DJ who kept the dance floor full and sweaty!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“I think perspective is really key when planning a wedding. It’s an amazing day and no doubt will be one of the best of your life, but much of that is because all the people you love are together in one room to celebrate with you. It’s good to remember that it’s just one single day of your life, so try not to get too obsessive or, dare I say it, spoilt. It’s so easy to get carried away and feel like you need to be very extravagant – but remember all your guests are there to celebrate with you and not to pick holes in any of the details, many of which they may never even notice!

For me having professional hair and make-up on the day really helped to make it lovely, calm and stress free on the morning of the wedding. It also lasted the whole day perfectly, so I didn’t need to worry about touch ups at any point later in the evening or when having photos – it just allows you time to really enjoy the day.

Really think about your wedding underwear – it sounds like the last of your worries but getting the right underwear can really help give the right lines and make for more flattering photos too! Definitely worth investing some time ahead in trialling different options with your dress at fittings.

Finally, we might have brought the ceremony forward by and hour as it took quite a long time for the ceremony to finish and all the guests to leave and board the bus, so we were running over which meant the reception was a little shorter. There’s never enough time!”

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Utterly gorgeous, glamorous, sexy, cool, beautiful. I adore this wedding.

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.

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