The London Bride: The Dress

And the winner is...

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ELLE’s Advertising Director Emma Spickett got engaged to her boyfriend of 3 and a half years, Sam at the end of 2015.
 
Follow Emma’s wedding planning from the ring, the venue and everything in-between and of course the all important dress every month on elleuk.com.

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When it comes to wedding dresses: how do you find The One? Long or short, full-skirted or one that skims that body? What about a train? And what’s this about a veil?

 

MY THOUGHTS AND EXPECTATIONS BEFORE THE FITTINGS

I have never been that fond of dress shopping. Task me with updating my wardrobe and I’ll successfully return with tops, trousers, shoes and bags but shopping for dresses has never been my thing.

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I’ve always struggled when it comes to searching for cocktail and formal dresses. Finding something that I feel comfortable with and which covers areas that aren’t my favorite (my arms being one) makes it difficult. And adding that I had absolutely no idea of where to begin, it would be fair to have said that I really wasn’t looking forward to this.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

I did some preliminary research online and found two websites, which looked promising. Rock My Wedding which features really unique weddings that feel slightly more real and a lot of the brides featured have a real vintage and relaxed feel - which is an aesthetic that appeals to me.

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The other great find was Style Me Pretty. It allows you to scroll through hundreds of different styles (from the comfort of your own home). It’s aligned with Pinterest and makes it incredibly easy to create mood boards of initial themes and ideas for all aspects of wedding planning. It’s also a great resource for those planning getting married outside of the UK. 

WHERE I WENT

1. I came across Sally Lacock, a designer based in East London that I loved the look of and pretty much booked the next available appointment. Sadly, the one I fell in love with didn’t work out but it turned out being incredibly useful. It highlighted what I actually wanted from my dress.

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+ This actually turned out being incredibly useful – the dress that didn’t work highlighted what I actually wanted from my dress.
+ It felt restricting around my stomach – I want to be able to enjoy my food on my wedding day and not look bloated.
+ It was hard to walk – I NEED to be able to dance and move comfortably

(Sally Lacock. 26 Shacklewell La, London E8 2EZ. 020 7503 0171)

2. Frou Frou Bridal Boutique. Not only does Frou Frou stock a great selection of wedding dresses (see below) but an impressive range of bridesmaid dresses too, which meant I could do both at the same time.

(From Left to Right: Raimon Bundo, Stewart Parvin, Charlie Brear, Elizabeth Stuart, Sarah Seven)

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(Frou Frou Bridal. 8a Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1YQ. 01892 541381)

THE DRESS

The winner was found at Frou Frou. Without sounding like a walking cliché, bar a few changes (the sleeves, neckline and train) I knew it was THE ONE as soon as I put it on.  The fact it's called the London dress? Serendipity.

READ ALL ABOUT THE PROPOSAL HERE

 

LOCATION

 

We’ve always wanted a Kent countryside wedding and like the idea of a barn (we’re becoming The Barnes’!)

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Hitched.com have a great selection of Barns and you can handily search by area. We found a few that we liked and made all the necessary appointments to view.

OUR VENUE

WINTERS BARNS 

Winters Barns specializes in weddings and have a complete (and super useful) planning and project management service, which takes all the hassles out of planning a huge event.

The location is perfect (in Canterbury, to keep it local), there are photo ops a plenty (vaulted ceilings and stunning grounds) and they’ve got great disables access, which is very important on our priority list as Sam’s father is in a wheelchair.

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But it gets better, less than a mile away is the beautiful St Mary’s Church. We met with the local Vicar, Jonathan Lloyd, who agreed that we could hold the ceremony there.

Needless to say, we fell in love with the place. And our dream of a country wedding is getting closer.

PROPS

The benefit of having such a beautiful venue is that we don’t have to spend much on additional decoration, but we still would like to personalize it in some way.

We saw some topiary signs on a pinterest binge one day and knew that’s what we wanted to have. Big Day Prophire, a local props company, have everything from vintage bikes, bunting, postboxes, pick & mix Ferris wheels to traditional fete games.

 

PHOTOGRAPHER

Choosing a photographer is one of the most important boxes to tick in the process of planning a wedding.

We’ve planned to get married 7 months after getting engaged and presumed finding a photographer would be fine. In real time 7 months is a fairly decent amount of time but in the wedding world, surprisingly not so much, which meant that a lot of photographers we initially wanted had already been booked up.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

Sam and I wanted someone who had a knack for capturing those incidental moments that happen throughout the day. Who wouldn’t be intrusive – but still get the shots and also be almost invisible. No mean feat really. Really?

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We were really lucky to find Kerry Ann Duffy as her style was exactly what we were after and came highly recommend by another photographer we had initially sourced.

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION

Kerry had never photographed at Winters Barns before, so we arranged a day to meet at the venue and church so she could thoroughly recce both locations.

SHOT LIST

With the help of Kerry, we put together a list of shot we MUST have on the day.

 

BAND

I used to sing in a band, so music was one of the most important things to tick off the list. What’s a wedding without great music, right?

We remembered loving some bands at friends’ weddings but after putting out the feelers, discovered that they were either booked or were no longer together.

The Alive Network is an online live-music-booking-agency that was recommended by a friend, and they were extremely helpful and gave us a few options when we told them what we were looking for.

The Riptide look fun and their song list read non-cheesy party floor fillers across the decades, right up until now, which fitted the brief exactly. And just like that, we have a band.

 

AN ASIDE...

We have also ordered 50 pairs of flip flops so all the ladies can kick their shoes off and hit the dance floor when their feet are hurting from being in their heels all day ( I stole this idea from a previous wedding I attended, it was such a good idea and it kept people dancing all night).

 

So that's it. The big day is almost here. Make sure you check back on ELLEuk.com to see all the pictures from the wedding. 

 

With love, 

Emma

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