Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBride

Last summer, Vikki & Dan celebrated their love in the South of France in a small village called Uchaux. The ceremony took place in a traditional French chateau to the sound of musicians playing violins. White flower bouquets and olive tree leaves were spread all around the castle and tables, reflecting Vikki and Dan’s simple elegance and class.

Vikki looked divine in our Chartres dress complemented with an exquisite hand-made flower crown. The couple's wedding pictures were captured by the talented Rory Wylie.

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When and where did your partner propose to you?
Dan proposed to me in February 2015, we were in Antigua on holiday and had just moved to a new hotel for the second half of our trip, Cocobay Resort. The hotel had upgraded us to their best cabin for the first night, a private clifftop cabin with a hammock and plunge pool overlooking the sea. When we returned late from a day at the beach we found that our room had been decorated with petals and night-lights, and they'd given us a bottle of champagne (all without any prior knowledge that Dan was planning to propose).

Which dress did you choose and why? And where did you buy it from?
I chose the Chartres although I'd had my eye on the Beaumont, both from Charlie Brear. I wanted something super simple and timeless. In the end there was something just a bit different about the Chartres that felt right when I tried it on. I visited the Charlie Brear Studio and it was a wonderful experience. The studio is so beautiful and the staff helpful, not pushy.

How was your experience shopping for your wedding dress?
The first bridal shop I visited I had an awful time that I laugh about now, fortunately my Mum was with me to share the experience. They were super pushy, told me I should have found something by the fifth dress I tried on, and insisted on me trying on their bestseller, a dress that looked like something straight out of Downton Abbey (I'd already told the woman I wanted something simple). I left utterly underwhelmed.
The experience at Charlie Brear was quite the opposite and my only dilemma was choosing which dress I wanted most. I had to take a couple of weeks to think about it and then made another appointment to try them both on again, this time taking my Mum. I left having made the decision, and had no regrets.
 

What would your advice be to other brides shopping for a wedding dress?
Don't let anyone persuade you to go for a dress you don't feel 110% in. I felt so special in mine and I'd want everyone to feel that way on their wedding day.

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What shoes did you wear?
I wore a pair of nude suede pointed toe pumps from Whistles. I had planned to change into sandals later on but didn't in the end.

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
I found it pretty easy, I actually turned up to try on my dress in what turned out to be the perfect lingerie. I wore a stick-on bra that I had found in John Lewis and some nude seamless knickers from Tezenis. I would recommend both.

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
A local hairdresser called Sandrine did my hair, she spoke only French and my limited French doesn't extend to hairdressing terms so we pointed and nodded a lot. The chateau helped me find her, as well as our florist and string quartet. I did my own make-up.

How did you feel walking down the aisle?
I was buzzing inside, I didn't really notice all our guests, all I could see was Dan waiting at the end of the aisle, smiling.

What traditions did you follow?
We weren't too concerned with traditions, I think inadvertently we ticked off the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue". My mum was actually more concerned about it than I was.

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Not that I can think of.

What was the funniest moment of the day?
It wasn't funny at the time but we did have the most ridiculous service. Our vicar ignored our request to leave quite a few things out that we thought were a bit inappropriate. He got the story of Jesus wrong. He tried to hand me Dan's ring and say my vows first. Then left our left hands bound together just as we were supposed to walk back down the aisle, and forgot about our friend's reading (the only fun one). There was nothing we could do to stop it without ruining the whole thing so we just pulled faces at each other.
 

TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK’S #FRIDAYBRIDE VIKKI

 

1) Use Pinterest to create boards for each element of your wedding e.g. flowers, bridesmaid dresses, etc.
2) Talk to your husband to be about what's important to each of you.
3) Get as much out of the way as early as possible in the planning.
4) Don't focus too much attention on one thing even if it's really important to you, it'll probably go unnoticed by you and your guests on the day as there's so much to take in and it's the overall affect that people will actually notice.
5) Wear your shoes around the house to make sure they're comfortable before you wear them on the big day.

Who took your wedding pictures?
Rory Wylie, a (female) photographer from Australia that currently lives in the South of France.

If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?
I'd have insisted on a wedding planner to take over on the day so I could have let go and let things happen around me. I was the one with all the answers which made it really hard to relax.

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? What parts were easy and what parts were trickier?
I found it hard to juggle working on my blog and planning the wedding. Both required so much of my time and at times caused me a lot of stress. Getting married abroad has its limitations, I took advantage of this and as soon as I had found someone I thought could do the job well I stopped looking for alternatives. In this way decisions were made pretty quickly.

What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?
I remember having a permanent smile on my face, nothing could budge it. My husband's speech was by far my favourite memory, it was so unexpected and really beautiful, he even made some of our male friends cry.
For Dan his favourite memories, aside from when he first saw me, were during our first dance when we encouraged all our friends to get up and join us. Looking around and seeing all our loved ones together in one place, it was such a special moment.
 

SUPPLIERS LIST
 

Ceremony & Reception Venue - Chateau de Massillan, Provence
Photographer/Videographer - Rory Wylie
Shoes - Whistles
Accessories - Flower crown by our florist, Blandine Viry
Bridesmaids' dresses - Twobirds
Florist - Blandine Viry
Entertainment - Quartet Orange, a string quartet who played us up and down the aisle
Caterer - Chateau de Massillan, Provence
Cake Supplier - We brought our cake with us from London and had two friends of ours (both chefs) put it together and decorate it on the day.
Hair - Sandrine, a local hairdresser
Make-up - I did my own, all the products are listed here on my blog Style & Minimalism