ELLE WeddingsPictures and tips to inspire...
If you’re planning a wedding, or even if you’re not, poring over beautifully styled wedding pictures can prove quite addictive.
But how do fashion girls do weddings? From the prized designer wedding dress to the dream venue, Team ELLE – along with a few industry friends – were only too happy to share their stunning pictures and stories.
Whether you dream of a big budget destination wedding, or a modest affair styled with DIY touches, click through the ELLE Weddings gallery for insider tips and inspiration...
Patricia Campbell, ELLE Commercial EditorLusan Mandongus for a Devon country house party wedding…
The Dress'Shopping for the dress was easy as I had a clear idea of what I wanted: figure-skimming silk with delicate touches of lace, a low cut back, and a dramatic train. Luckily, I found it in the shape of this soft, romantic Lusan Mandongus gown, purchased at a Morgan Davies sample sale. A few alterations sealed the deal: I changed the neckline from OTT cowl to a simple scoop and added transparent lace cap sleeves to echo the ethereal quality of the gown’s tulle overlay.
Seb, my husband, looked equally dashing in his Tiger Of Sweden suit and burgundy tie - a stylish alternative to a m
The Veil and Garland
'We were having a church ceremony, so I thought it wise to temper the raciness of my gown’s low-cut back with a demure veil. I chose a single layer, full length style, which cascaded to the floor in perfect symmetry with my gown’s chapel length train. In my hair I wore a garland of silk flowers, custom-made by Finnish eco designer Minna. For a more undone, bohemian feel, I opted for tumbling waves instead of the classic bridal up-do.'
'My four bridesmaids were only too happy to swap floating chiffon and empire lines for something with a bit more personality. They readily bought into my Mad Men meets SS12 Louis Vuitton vision, so much so, in fact, that it was one of the girls who found the winning dress: a lace, off-the-shoulder number from Asos that was demurely sexy. The nude, blush-pink hue complimented the understated tones of our bouquets, while the underskirt gave the dresses a bit of volume without veering into prom territory, which can sometimes look a bit costume. The girls loved them and looked so striking on the day.'
'Our incredible venue, in Devon, was one of the defining elements of our unforgettable wedding weekend. Imagine taking charge of a grand country pile for the weekend – the sort that the BBC might use as a backdrop for their latest costume romp – and filling it with your favourite people. That’s pretty much the size of our wedding, and we lost count of the number of guests who asked, ‘how did you find this place?' on the big day itself. Most of the wedding party stayed for the weekend, so the night before, we had a long-table feast in the dining room, while guests pitched-in to help with final preparations: anything from hanging fairy lights in the trees outside, to styling the reception rooms.'
'Marrying in July, I knew we’d have the pick of the season’s best blooms, so in my mind, there was no excuse not to have locally grown, non-chemically sprayed flowers.
Emma Vowles created the bouquets – she's based in one of my favourite Devon towns, Totnes. After exchanging ideas on Pinterest, she came up with this beautiful, blousy arrangement of peonies, baroness and menthe roses, with stocks and wildflowers – all in soft, faded hues. It perfectly encapsulated the natural, unstructured look I wanted.'
The Venue Flowers
'For the rest of the flowers, I opted for a semi-DIY package with local flower field JW Blooms. It meant that the night before the wedding, my friends and I spent a lovely couple of hours arranging posies in makeshift vases around the venue. At the church, there were hanging jam jars of flowers in lieu of traditional pew ends, and back at the venue, the florist decorated the grand pillars in the dancefloor area with floral garlands and hanging lanterns. The fragrance of this meadow of beautiful flowers throughout the venue was truly otherworldly, and is one of the defining memories of my wedding day.'
'Seb and I worked equally hard to get every detail right for our wedding, gravitating towards the tasks that interested us most. For me, that ended up being the styling.
I hired vintage crockery from Devon Vintage China for the tables and, over a series of making days at my house, friends helped me decorate old jam jars with ribbon and lace, ready to act as vases for flowers, or tea light holders. We also created reams of paper garlands, and I constructed a hanging table plan for the meal.
Seb took care of the place settings, gathering images of each of our guests and designing individual cards using Moo.com. It acted as a bit of a conversation-starter at the tables, and was a lovel
'We wanted our wedding to strike the balance between formal and informal. We decided on a traditional sit-down affair for the meal, and small, local supplier Dartmoor Kitchen did a great job, using only sustainably sourced, seasonal ingredients.
For the evening food, we opted for classic West Country fare in the shape of Tom’s Pies. They were gobbled up in a flash!'
'We were thrilled when Laerke Feld Andersen agreed to shoot our wedding. The designer and photographer is a dear friend of ours and over the years we've worked on a number of projects together, either in a fashion capacity, or through shoots with Seb’s band. We actually got engaged at Laerke’s wedding in Copenhagen, so it was very poignant that she should end up being our wedding photographer. Her pictures are considered without feeling contrived: she has a great eye for those little nuances that might go unnoticed, but yet really tell the story of the day. We will treasure our pictures forever.'
The First Dance
'Our friends were taking bets on the song we’d dance to, certain that it would be an indie classic or an obscure electro number. But in the end we opted for a romantic, slow-paced ballad that we both have a soft spot for: Be Careful It’s My Heart. It was penned by classic Russian-American composer, Irving Berlin, and sung by Frank Sinatra.'
'Our venue had a refreshing non-stuffy attitude, so we knew we’d be able to throw a great party. Family and friends took their turns to DJ, their set lists keeping us dancing all night. But were the real highlight - tearing through ‘50s rockabilly, indie classics and archive David Bowie - Seb even surprised me by joining them on-stage to play guitar at one point! Later, we all piled into the intimate speakeasy-style bar, where we drank elderflower champagne and Gatsby-era gin cocktails, inspired by nights out at our favourite London bars. Even as the fir
Christina Simone, ELLE workflow director.A chic J.Crew gown for a smart New York wedding...
The Dress‘My dress was by J.Crew. About a month or so before the wedding, I decided it looked a little plain, so I bought a sash in a similar fabric from AmieNoelDesigns on Etsy Weddings. A local seamstress sewed it onto my dress when I arrived at my parents' house in New Jersey, two weeks before the big day.’
‘I wanted my bridesmaids (my sisters and sister-in-law) to pick their own dresses, since they all have very different style. The only rule was that the dress had to be the same colour and fabric. They all looked beautiful in these silver dresses by Alfred Sung.’
‘The handbag was a gift from my mother on the wedding morning - it's become a bit of a tradition between my mother and my sisters. The silver bracelet was a gift from my husband, Dimitri.’
‘Our wedding reception took place at The Lighthouse, which overlooks the New York City waterfront.’
‘Our photographer was Peter Gebhardt from InfocusNYC. I love the snaps he took of us on the streets in the West Village.’
Sarah Blackwell, Senior Press Officer, L'Oréal Professionnel.Oscar De La Renta for an idyllic Italian wedding.
The Dress‘I wore an Oscar De La Renta wedding dress with a Vera Wang sash and a Toni Federici veil, all purchased from Browns Bride (12 Hinde St London, W1U 3BE). My shoes were by Christian Louboutin. My husband chose a suit
‘I chose simple, dove grey column dresses for my bridesmaids, which looked beautiful against the bouquets created by our florist Annalisa Mazzi (marieloufiori.it) I carried a simple bouquet of white peonies, while my bridesmaids had white peonies with muscaro, lavender, sage, cineraria maritima and violet sweet pea. The flower girls wore headdresses of Gypsophila and muscaro.'
‘The ceremony took place in the main garden in the grounds of our venue’.
‘We had jam jars hanging from the trees with tea lights and a mix of peonies and roses in miniature vases. We had a lavender theme – we used dried lavender for confetti and used fresh lavender in the bridesmaid’s bouquets and men’s button holes. We also attached bunches of fresh lavender on the back of the chairs for the ceremony and had potted lavender for the aperitivo.’
‘The dinner took place in a secret, sunken garden overlooking the rolling hills of Chianti. It was lit by tea lights and candles hanging from the tress.’
Sophie McCorry Day, Head of Creative and Editor at Quintessentially Weddings.Johanna Hehir for a rustic, festival wedding.
The Dress‘I made the inevitable faux-pas of falling in love with the Cinderella of wedding dresses: Vivienne Westwood’s gown. It was renamed after Sarah Jessica Parker wore it in the first Sex And The City film outing, but I knew it better as the gown I’d torn out of a fashion magazine, aged 18 or so, of Daria Werbowy. I couldn’t possibly afford it, but, after much internet trawling, I was lucky enough to discover Johanna Hehir’s gown, Scarlett, that whilst not a true repli
‘My bridesmaids all wore variegated shades of berry gowns from Dessy that echoed the style of mine. The colour embraced the autumnal aesthetic of the day, and they all looked so hot I was seriously worried about being upstaged! Our mini-maid, my husband’s niece, wore a sweet silk frock from Next – a brilliant source of children’s occasion wear at a fraction of the beautiful but pricey designs of the big names.’
‘I decided long before the wedding that I’d like to have a whirl at the flowers. My mum and I enrolled on a course with the wonderful girls at The Flower Appreciation Society, booked ourselves in for a pick-your-own session at local flower farm Blooming Green and set about growing lots of wildflowers and greenery in our own gardens. The installations at the church, reception barn and “tablescapes” took us the best part of three days to put together, with help from friends and family, and my bridesmaids and I made up the bouquets, hair crown for our little maid and button holes on the morning of the wedding day – not something I would advise!’
‘We wanted to support local suppliers and opted for a rustic-luxe feast as opposed to a polished dinner. My super-talented W.I baking champion mother created the delicious gold-leaf bedecked cake - one layer of rich figgy fruit cake, one of traditional family recipe Sachertorte with a black forest filling, and the top layer of white chocolate and pistachio. There was lashings of apple champagne from Aspall, home-brewed cider crafted on a Daylesford Organic course, local craft ales and gorgeous wine sourced from a recent road trip to Burgundy.'
‘I’m an artsy type, as is my now husband, so we set about illustrating and designing every element of our wedding. From the stationery right through to sourcing a motley selection of vases, goblets and vintage linen napkins from antique and thrift stores (I highly recommend RG Scotts in Margate), to creating lace table runners – which we then dyed, alongside the napkins, a pretty French grey. We even built a woodland bar area and made a glitter curtain rock ‘n’ roll photobooth. We wanted to put our stamp on the day as much as possible.’
‘The incredibly talented Alicia Pollett snapped our day. She was a real pleasure to have around and just felt like one of our friends, and she captured images that are just incredible beyond words. A note on the shoes – these were my something old. Just the right side of worn in, I plumped for my leopard print ponyskin Kurt Geiger heels underneath my dress – not only could I dance until dawn in them, but they instilled a confidence that underneath the fancy dress, I was still me.’
Diana Gavrilina, ELLE Pictures Intern. Vera Wang for a stylish manor house celebration. The Dress‘I always knew that I wanted a Vera Wang dress. Six fittings later, and following long discussions with my mother and bridesmaids, I chose the big and beautiful Hayley gown, which suited our grand venue perfectly. I accessorised with a Vera Wang crystal embellished belt, but kept my hair and make-up simple. The flower arrangements and wedding cake echoed the cascading organza petals of my dress.’