Oh how I love my wedding dress.
The story of getting it is short and long one at the same time. In terms of dress-trying appointments, I had one in Cambridge more as a bit of a ‘dipping the toe in the water’ experience as I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be there I found my dress. Then I stumbled across Catherine Deane – thanks to twitter – and recognised the dresses from a style I had seen and loved on the US site bhldn – which is the bridal sister site to Anthropologie and full of gorgeous wedding-y stuff.
I was right, they were gorgeous and I loved them just as much in person. Catherine Deane really is just a gorgeous brand if you want a dress that looks and feels special but without the highly structured formality of traditional wedding dresses. I knew I had found my dress there, the challenge was…which one?!
My main requirement for the dress was that it wasn’t to be one I would need help going to loo whilst wearing it. I also wanted to feel comfortable all day. I was also quite keen for the back to be a feature. I had an appointment at Catherine Deane and tried on maybe six or seven dresses? Loving about four or five of them. They really are just gorgeous. Then a few weeks later I spotted that two of the dresses I loved had gone on sale on bhldn – which shipped to the UK. The sale meant it was quite a saving so I bit the bullet after about three days deliberating and made the order… so I basically bought my wedding dress online. The dress I chose is called the Ortensia and the main feature is all the pearl beading on the back, front and sleeve details. I loved it the moment I set eyes on it!
I already knew the size of dress fit me well from the fittings (so didn’t have that online order fear), but the length needed to be adjusted to I spoke to the fab staff at Catherine Deane in London and they recommended Nicola Donati. Based in Belgravia, he was everything I wanted a fabulous Italian tailor to be. Really wonderful and accommodating – taking the dress back as many times as needed to get it absolutely perfectly fitted. I did end up having a few additional tweaks to the dress above just getting it shortened and it was well worth it to have it fit so well. I will always remember his advice of ‘Always forward, never backwards’ for how to walk in the dress on the day (said in a fabulous Italian accent of course).
There were many moments where I wasn’t sure if it was the shoes or the dress I loved more. I’m still not totally sure as they’re both gorgeous. Plus side being I know I’ll wear the shoes again. I decided I really wanted to wear something special – and know I would wear again meant I could justify splashing out. I also had some Selfridges vouchers, so made it a little less scary to splurge. The best thing about these shoes is how comfortable they are – they really did feel great all day and night. I only changed into a pair of sparkly flats towards the very end of the night as was wary of slipping on the stairs/dancefloor with long dress/heel combination. These are the Luna Heels in Champagne Glitter and they have the platform at the front which I felt made them as comfy as they are. They’re solid at the back and I did try the sling back ones but these felt hands down much more comfortable. Every time I see these shoes I smile – now just to find a reason to wear them again!
For my wedding I chose to have three bridesmaids. The three girls I chose are three of my closest friends and some of my favourite people in the world and I knew I couldn’t get married without them being a part of it. Colour wise, I knew turqoise had to be a feature but I was pretty certain I didn’t want it to be too bright or too soft – I wanted that perfectly slightly-greyed out pastel shade. Not demanding bride or anything…
The dresses the girls wore were from Topshop and I loved them on first look. I wish I had been able to track down another for me to keep for myself. The were a relaxed fabric in layers with a nice floaty feel to it. A cross over top for both front and back and around knee length. I probably should have been more conscious of the height difference and skirt length and all that, but I loved the dresses and think the girls looked lovely. I added an ivory sash to them with long loose bows at the back to make them feel a little more bridesmaid-ish.
Also, to mirror the pearls in my dress, each girl wore a pearl necklace with a different style. One with a twisted set, one with a classic single row and one with a chain with pearls spaced apart. I loved this touch and loved how it gave them each a little difference.
Shoes wise, they’re a pair of pretty gold heels from Dune – that actually became the ‘wedding shoe’ as have been re-worn for multiple weddings where each of us have played the bridesmaid role (I have a paid from being bridesmaid for one of my girls earlier in the year).
The girls bouquets were very simple – with just gypsophila but tied with a long soft turquoise ribbon to compliment the dresses. I was happy for the girls to wear their hair however they wanted and I think they all looked absolutely beautiful.
The Finishing Touches:
Just a few little details that made up the rest of my wedding day outfit. I bought some earrings for myself from Sarah Hickey on Not On The Highstreet – I wanted another little touch of colour so went for these soft turquoise drop earrings that featured some small pearl detailing to tie in with the dress.
My Mum and Dad also bought me a gorgeous necklace for my 30th birthday earlier in the year with a drop style and pearl – so I wore this. I chose to wear the watch I was given as my 21st birthday gift as my ‘something old’ (not that old…but still, nine years…), my Mum’s eternity ring was my ‘something borrowed’ and the various minty blue touches (earrings, nails…) my something blue. My girls did give me a lovely Agent Provocateur garter with a blue ribbon on my hen do – but the dress was so floaty anything under neath showed through so I couldn’t wear it on the day. But it’s still something really special to me.
Not sneezing here…giggling, which I spent most of the day doing.
The veil I wore was a gift from my Mum and was from Debenhams and was just a simple veil with small pearl details all over – can you see a theme yet?! Lots of little pearl details all over. In fact, on the day Ollie gave me a gorgeous pearl bracelet that I wore with the watch as a little wedding day gift (in case you’re wondering I gave him a pair of Mulberry cuff links engraved with our wedding date).
Hope that helps as a little run down of what me and the girls wore for the wedding. If you’re in wedding planning mode – the one piece of advice on this side of things is make sure you do think about being comfortable. I know every girl wants to look amazing on their wedding day, but do you want to look amazing at the price being comfortable and loving every moment? I’m so glad I made choices that I was both comfortable and felt good in. Last thing I would want is to look back and think ‘ow, my feet hurt at that point’ or something!
All photos by Katherine Ashdown.