A customised 1970’s Dress for a Real Most Curious Bride and her Modern, Non-Traditional London Wedding

91 A customised 70s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding

It has been a long week! In a good but somewhat exhausting way. We’ve been on the road, travelling down to Bath, then Oxford and London – along the way, we’ve spent time  hanging out with some of our favourite clients including wedding gift specialists Prezola and wedding dress designer Sassi Holford – have you been following our Instagram Stories this week?

And so today,  I’m 100% planning on having a very slow Sunday with my family and doing very little indeed as we recoup and catch up on rest. First though my loves, I’d love you to join me as I share the story of Sophie and Joe’s wedding. This super cool couple tied the knot on 8th April 2018 at Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, London and filled their day with stylish, modern and contemporary touches, with the support of the fabulous Katie of The Vintage House That Could.

I’m thrilled to learn that Sophie is a real ‘Most Curious’ bride, having discovered her crazy-talented wedding photographer, Lisa Jane, and wedding DJ, Wedding Jam, at the Most Curious Wedding Fair.  You must read this article and make sure 1-3 March 2019 is reserved in your diaries for the next Most Curious event in London next March!).

Images by Lisa Jane Photography

47 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“We didn’t particularly want a structured theme for our wedding, but more of a relaxed, happy and fun day that represented us both as a couple. I’d been a bridesmaid six times before our wedding, and Joe had been to many of them with me, so through that we were lucky enough to learn the sort of things we did want and those we wanted to avoid. Mostly this was around the structure of the day, we were adamant that at no point could our guests go dry or hang around for us for long stretches!”

“We also chose not to take part in some traditions we just didn’t feel were right for us, like the cake cutting ceremony. We’re not really massive cake eaters and as we wanted Lisa our photographer to capture our day candidly, the thought of stopping to pose for something half way through a party didn’t make sense to us.”

“We also had quite a lot of personal touches to our day, with my best friend and bridesmaid creating the wedding party florals, Joe designing our save the dates and invites, and myself re-designing and embellishing my vintage wedding dress. I was overwhelmed with how it all came together.”

“My dress is a completely bespoke design. Originally a 1970’s vintage find from Magpie Wedding Fair whilst visiting home, I fell for the intricate lace and crochet detail to the top half. The skirt had been turned into a 1950’s replica full tulle style, and although it made us all cry with joy, it didn’t 100% feel like ‘me’ and I didn’t want to miss out on the wedding dress shopping experience.”

“I thought I’d end up having two dresses, my vintage for the ceremony and a contemporary ‘wow’ factor dress for the evening, so went dress shopping with this goal in mind.”

2 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“But with a fashion design background, and an old passion for hand embellishment techniques I had high expectations, and just couldn’t find the kind of personalised, heavily detailed dress (part of my search criteria was that I wanted someone who could embroider secret messages into the dress for me, having never learnt this myself) without a couture price tag which was completely out of my budget.”

3 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“So in the end I just couldn’t resist re-designing my vintage find, and had it made by a local and wonderful tailors, Gold Needle Ltd in Crouch End, before learning to embroider so I could add the kind of detail I’d dreamed of from the beginning, like our names, wedding date and first dance lyrics as well as a lot of beading and symbolism.”

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“I loved what makeup artist Poppy Tallulah and her friend Amrit created for myself, my Mum and my bridesmaids. As everyone has their own style, it was important they all had a different look that allowed them to feel amazing. I collected everyone’s images into my scrapbook to show Poppy, which she nailed instantly. For my own look I wanted my hair down as I didn’t want to look too formal, and since I love braids but can never do them myself, Poppy created a mix of different shapes and size of braids and plait for me. “

5 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I’ve had so many compliments about my bridal look, but particularly the hair, honestly my best hair day ever I didn’t want to take it out. For make-up I wanted a more bronzed look with a light smoky eye and my signature red lip, which ended up all over Joes face as soon as I got down the isle! My girls also loved the idea of braids and various rosy, pink or bronzed looks. I Couldn’t be happier with Poppy and how gorgeous she and Amrit made me and my girls feel.”

6 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

Sophie’s feathery mules were the Elice Mule in Ivory shoe by Agent Provocateur.

1 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“As part of my ‘second dress hunt’ I visited Morgan Davies in Hitchin it’s near to my mother in law and I wanted her to be part of the experience of dress shopping too! I hadn’t envisioned having a veil, thinking it would be too fussy, but I tried on a beautiful slinky Anna Kara dress, the first in a more fitted silhouette. It didn’t have any of the embellishment detail or romantic train I’d been looking for so they suggested a veil.”

“I wasn’t sure at first, but as soon as I put it on, it just made me feel that more special how delicate and floaty it was. It was a 100% silk, full train, my mother in law gifted it to me, and I couldn’t have been happier wearing it! It stayed on a lot longer than I expected on the day, I only took it off as people kept standing on it and I wanted to dance.”

7 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I kept jewellery simple as my dress was so detailed. Again I used a favourite local jewellery boutique: The Wearer, who helped me pick out Rachel Jacksons mini punk hoops in gold and a pair of triangular zirconia studs by V by Laura Vann to add a hint of sparkle.”

10 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Flowers provided by Angelic Flowers, my local favourite flower stall. My best friend and bridesmaid Dani then created some truly beautiful original hand and wrist pieces for us all, as well as all the buttonholes, she has a passion for florals and weddings and I knew she’d create something stunning but had no idea just how much I’d love them.”

11 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I had an idea that I wanted to create a modern version of the corsage, something beautiful we could wear all day, a bouquet feel without having to put it down after five minutes! Dani was amazing with this brief, and researched the kind of florals that would be hardy enough to create such pieces: lisianthus, vintage spray roses and veronica as well as my favourites wax flower, eucalyptus and ranunculus.”

“We then added further texture and colour with seasonal stems such as astrantia and thlaspi green bell. The effect was romantic and wild, and also featured in our venue decorating via Katie at The Vintage House That Could.”

12 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Without a structured theme we just choose what we felt was right for each element of our day. I kept a visual scrapbook to keep on top of ideas so there weren’t so many that it was overwhelming! And every step of the way, I showed Joe my inspiration and he selected favourites with me. With the venue, as the room was so large and open, it was key to get a venue stylist on board that could help us bring to life the kind of look we both wanted. Katie from The Vintage House That Could  was an absolute dream, not only did she instantly see how to create that middle ground for us (I love big blooms, Joe preferred the less is more un-wedding look), she left us absolutely loving it, even creating our table stationary last minute when we realised we couldn’t avoid a seating plan.”

“I met Katie at the same Vintage Wedding Fair I found my original wedding dress, a good year before I needed to start booking anyone in, so we had the briefest of chats! I used Love My Dress and the Little Book Wedding Directory to shop around before deciding that Katie was definitely the one for us!”

13 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Joe chose to go unique with his suit, and opted for a dark red number from the retro store Sherry’s on Carnaby Street. Also a fashion fan, it made sense he wanted to go for something with more character! He looked amazing in it, and again has had so any compliments since. I love that he chose something bolder. He also wore a shirt from ASOS which he hand-monogrammed himself.”

14 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“We wanted a backdrop to our ceremony given it was such a large wooden room, the arch being copper, was simply dressed in baby eucalyptus. We had two long tables for dining, and loved the more rustic less formal look so hired in tables and chairs from Gas & Air Studios opting to keep them bare and natural.”

I’m a fan of foliage, big blooms and more creative floral displays, where Joe was more for an un-wedding look so we went middle ground with smaller white and burgundy flowers such as the wax flower and astrantia amongst eucalyptus and other greens, keeping the pieces we chose to a minimum or paring them back for a more untraditional look.”

30 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“My dad accompanied me down the aisle. He was so excited for the wedding, very encouraging, sweet and supportive throughout. He and Joe came up with our aisle song the first Christmas we were engaged: Bron Yr Aur by Led Zeppelin. It’s a beautiful instrumental piece, that’s special to all three of us as Dad got me into Led Zep as a kid, and I in turn got Joe into Custard Pie by Led Zep in particular.”

15 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“We personalised our vows a little, opting to re-write the introduction putting things in there like our 10 years together, and then mostly opting for a less formal and more relaxed wording to the official vows, so words like humour him instead of ‘honour’ it just felt a little more relaxed to us this way.”

16 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I wanted something completely unique, and new for the day when it came to perfume. I found Maja’s scents in a local boutique to where I worked in Camden Passage: In Residence, and couldn’t resist when they told me Maja was local and that her perfumes are blended to work well when layered.”

“There were so many enticing scents, and I normally find scents hard to find, so I ended up gifting Joe the Nordic Cedar to wear on the day too, as well as my Dad the Tobak as a thank you for walking me down the aisle.”

17 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Joe and I met at university ten years before our wedding day! It was a bit of a meet cute situation, a mutual and still great friend of ours from my fashion course, asked us both to model for a fashion shoot she was putting on. We got paired as a couple for the shoot, and later realised we only lived two doors down from each other.”

Eight years in, after a lot of travel together, and then settling into London life, Joe proposed in Luxembourg. It was a quiet, very romantic and totally unexpected proposal, as he’d come from a stag do in Amsterdam, not somewhere I thought he’d take a ring! But sure enough, in a beautiful square overlooking the valley, he got down on one knee behind me and presented the most beautiful ring.”

9 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“It was a truly special moment I’ll never forget. Waiting until our ten-year anniversary meant we had a longer engagement than we initially intended to, but having that time meant we could add more personal elements, and being a special date it was totally worth the wait.”

19 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“When it came to our rings, they were sourced at the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, near my hometown. I simply wanted something that would compliment my engagement ring, so opted for the same cut diamonds on a half band in gold as I love to mix metals. Joe opted for titanium as it’s a bit unique and easier to wear when you’re not used to jewellery.”

21 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Going to the jewellery quarter means we saved at least a thousand and had the rings we exactly wanted.”

22 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I  want to point out my mums epic jumpsuit (below left) was a Zimmerman number that we found together whilst shopping in London (her brief was the opposite to traditional Mother of The Bride, so we definitely achieved that!).  She also wore an epic pair of earrings from Maya Magal.”

24 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Surprisingly, although we were most nervous about the ceremony, as we didn’t want to feel awkward with everyone looking at us, it was actually our favourite part of the day. The emotion from the beginning, seeing each other and realising this is it, followed by the fact I got red lipstick all over his face which made everyone laugh, and then he kept reading the secret messages I’d embroidered into my dress just made it flow with ease.”

23 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“The registrar had to tell us off a few times as we just wanted to chat, hold hands and kept getting distracted. She made it fun, and everyone was happy as well as emotional. It was very special, and although short, it’s the part of the day that means something and actually counts, and happily it didn’t feel like just a legality to us. You really can’t beat that feeling of marrying the person you truly love.”

25 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography26 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography27 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“All my bridesmaids chose their own shoes as they all had different dresses. I overspent on dresses so the shoe budget was minimal – we found the shoes from Topshop and ASOS.”

28 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“My bridesmaid dresses were from Reformation. I love this super sustainable brand, and their gorgeous silk dresses, so when I saw they had a pop-up shop in London and I could avoid the import fees from purchasing online and having the gowns delivered from overseas, I got my girls down there fast! They all chose  their own style – I wanted them to feel their best selves on the day, and they’re all different, so why make them wear the same thing?!”

56 A customised 70s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding

“Photography was a really big deal for me and Joe. Our style is more candid, wanting to capture the day naturally as it was unfolding, and finding someone that has an eye for the little things, the detail, the beautiful moments not always seen but that you want to remember.”

39 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“The thought of posing for endless group shots whilst someone barked instructions at us over a two hour stretch was terrifying (trust me it’s happened in so many weddings!) so someone opposite to this tradition, that had a plan around group shots (Lisa sticks to 8 and you give her everyone’s names before the day so it’s quick, smooth and painless) was essential.”

40 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I met our photographer Lisa Jane at the Most Curious Wedding Fair (basically a treasure trove for uber cool but very laid back wedding suppliers) and really liked her and her style.”

“The fact she took us to the pub to get to know us both before we booked her was brilliant, she further put us at ease with her advice, like that time together for portraits is important as the rest of the day you don’t get much time just the two of you alone to indulge in the fact you just did something huge, and exciting together.”

41 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“She wasn’t wrong, we really enjoyed this part of the day once we eased into it, and Lisa was amazing throughout, even helping calm my crazy mix of emotions on the morning by checking in with me constantly whilst everyone was buzzing around busy getting ready.”

42 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

The fact she sets you up with a date night the day your photos are ready is pure genius, drip feeding the video then the online gallery into our inboxes for a time we were both home. It was really emotional, like re-living our day all over again. We couldn’t be happier with her beautiful, real shots of us, our loved ones and our day.”

43 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Unfortunately, a videographer wasn’t in budget for us. But Lisa did compile a stunning video slideshow for us of her top picks, with some of our favourite music, I’m pretty sure she didn’t know this before, but obviously pays attention to the kind of stuff the DJ was playing.”

45 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography49 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography50 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography46 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Because we wanted our wedding to feel like one big celebration, we went for a family style Italian sharing meal so everyone could just get stuck in, but it meant there wasn’t much room for table dressing as they needed the space for all the food. I’d seen beautiful ideas for suspending florals above tables, but being a period building we couldn’t hang anything from the ceilings so I showed Katie my idea for using table risers.”

32 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“She made them especially for us and topped them with buckets of all our wedding flowers. She then went for foliage as a runner, as well as vintage glass bottles dotted on windowsills, and surprise touches like lanterns, candles, a mini bell jar with our names on it at our seats, and eucalyptus wreaths for mine & Joe’s chairs.”

38 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“As we’re not massive fans of cake, or cake cutting rituals, but are fans of doughnuts we opted for Krispy Kremes – they were really popular, we overbought at £1 a piece but only had a handful left.”

“Katie also dressed our doughnut table! Genius is an understatement and she’s such a sweetheart to boot. We honestly couldn’t be happier with what she created for us.”

63 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“When looking for a venue we wanted somewhere non-traditional, relaxed but with character. We knew we didn’t want a church wedding with neither of us being religious, but that we definitely wanted to get married in London with it being where we live and love, and in the middle for our families! I researched a lot of options, and we did a fair few visits from town halls, to pubs and empty warehouse type spaces, but with wanting an intimate wedding most were too large, traditional or simply out of budget. I stumbled across Town Hall Hotel whilst combing through hirespace.com, it was the only site I could find that let you break things down by budget too, saving loads of time!”

33 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“We didn’t expect to get married in a hotel, but as soon as we stepped inside we loved the space. It has so much history, and character yet has a slick, contemporary edge to it. All the rooms are beautiful, especially the Bethnal Hall we chose to use for most of our day with its wood panelled walls and floor to ceiling windows.”

33 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“I couldn’t believe how affordable it was, especially as you get help from an in-house wedding planner, who when we met told us they were developing a new Italian style family sharing meal, and not wanting the traditional British three course sit down we were sold.”

 

“Our wedding favours were all provided and beautifully put together by Katie from The Vintage House That Could.”

 

“We didn’t opt for an event planner as we wanted to keep costs down, and being from a creative fashion background I couldn’t wait to get stuck in to all the elements, and just enjoy the process of planning a wedding. Most importantly Joe wanted to get involved with every decision too, and as I’m not all about the bride on a wedding day I was thrilled. He was great at planning and I couldn’t have done it without him.”

35 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography54 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography36 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“All of our stationery was provided by Katie from the Vintage House That Could or our venue for Menus. Katie was a superstar doing these last minute, and even included our little wedding logo, for which we chose a black and white still of the dance scene from Pulp Fiction and the words C’est La Vie (our second song after our first dance was You Never Can Tell, by Chuck Berry from the film).”

37 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography52 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography55 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography57 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography58 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Music was another incredibly important element to me and Joe, and having been to many an event where other people were disappointed with theirs we were nervous! Also sourced at Most Curious Wedding Fair, Wedding Jam were the only DJ’s who looked at our example playlist, got it, loved playing the same genres and already had set-lists with some of our favourites included. Plus they were excited by our brief. The dance floor wasn’t empty for a second, and we loved that our guests partied with us all night long, old and young, so couldn’t recommend them enough.”

60 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“Our first dance was Tender by Blur. It’s a song that’s stuck with us since the beginning. Something Joe sang to me in the early days. He used to be in a band and played guitar, and sang a lot. It sums up our musical tastes of the times, and now, and is just very heartfelt lyrically but with a more upbeat edge towards the end so our guests could join in the dancing.”

61 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Budgeting is really hard to gauge, we had no idea where to start, and when I saw what the average couple spend on a wedding we knew we didn’t want to do that to ourselves. As a starting point we halved it, took out all the bits we knew we didn’t want like a cake, transport we didn’t need, and then chopped even more off, where we didn’t want to spend even half of what the average was on things like rings etc.”

“Basically, any time we overspent we tried to underspend on other things, we were lucky to have generous family, and time to save, plus personal more DIY elements that always cut costs but mean more. I wouldn’t like to put a figure on it as it’s personal, and I know friends have spent a lot more outside London, so all in all it was an achievement to create a London wedding on a strict budget.”

31 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

“It’s so rewarding wedding planning together, you’ll both have individual ideas so it’s fun to see where you can push them and have the kind of day you both will love. It helps if there’s less secrets, as you can be open and chat about the details, easing any nerves, then on the day feel like you made it happen together, a celebration of both your love.”

“The preparation and the days leading to the wedding day are some of the most exciting, rewarding but busy days, especially if you’re going DIY. Indulge in it together as much as you can! We had a final ‘singles’ date night, exchanging wedding gifts and going for dinner at our favourite local restaurant. It was the best night and kick started that wedding feeling.”

I don’t think I’ve ever know a bride to get a good night’s sleep before the wedding day, despite the tips, tricks and helpful advice out there. The wedding morning is usually a tired, emotional, but fun rollercoaster. And the day is out of this world, completely surreal, never experienced before. As much as you may try to keep your cool, and be in the moment, the love, boozy celebrations and happiness can mean it feels like an out of body experience still. if this happens to you, it’s normal, it’s ok and you can fill each in other on the details the next day.”

“Go on honeymoon in the days after if you can, even if just for a few days, and even if you’re planning a bigger honeymoon later in the year, you’ll never quite get that just married glow back in the same way after going back to normality!”

62 A customised 1970s dress for a modern non traditional London wedding. Images by Lisa Jane Photography

Oh how gorgeous – Sophie, darling lady, thank you for sharing SO much amazing information and advice for other brides, what a total babe you are.

Enormous thanks as always to photographer Lisa Jane Photography – more from whom you can see here on Love My Dress.

Annabel x

Credits & Thanks

Annabel

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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