Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE DIANA
In the midst of summer, we pause and take a glance back to the start of winter, when Diana and Anthony married in the crisp and picturesque English countryside. Elegant velvet decor and dark wood fixtures adorned the venue, making for a romantic, cosy, and very traditional wedding… with a bit of Armenian fun: shots, shots, shots to keep the guests warm and merry!
Diana stunned as a winter bride in our Ventoux dress, as she braved the cold and lit up the dance floor for the first dance.
Diana & Anthony’s wedding pictures were captured by The Slater Picture Co
When and where did your partner propose to you?
At home on September the 7th, our living room had been transformed into floating balloons with pictures of all our amazing memories tied to them. He proposed there and we then went into town to celebrate.
Which dress did you choose and why? And where did you buy it from?
I bought the Ventoux dress from your Charlie Brear studio in London. As soon as I put it on I loved the overall silky feel. It made me feel really elegant and bold but in a completely understated, effortless way. I loved that the skirt had a full train which could make a statement and that it swooshed when I tried dancing in it. I loved the slit in the front of the skirt and the low back which added a touch of sexy to the overall look. It was also the only dress that made my mum cry apparently because I lit up in it.
How was your experience shopping for your wedding dress?
It was really fun, I loved the whole dress up experience. I went to a lot of stores and tried on a variety of different styles to really figure out the right one for me. I think different designers and dresses have different appeals. The assistant at Charlie Brear told me a really good piece of advice: to think about how I wanted to present myself and feel on the day. Seems simple but it makes sense when you stop to think about the vibe you want to exude.
What would your advice be to other brides shopping for a wedding dress?
I think it is important to try a variety of different styles, even if it's ones you think you will dismiss. It gives you good perspective on how different styles can make you feel.
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Really excited, I was looking forward to trying it on in my size to really start to get the picture of it. Once I had the dress sorted, it also meant I could then go on to complete the whole look with the right veil and shoes!
What shoes did you wear?
Badgley Mischka - Poetry. It was a classic ivory but had this amazing ornate embellishment on the back.
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
I think with such a beautiful silky gown, you need the lingerie to compliment making you feel extra special instead of just comfort wear. So I bought the underwear I wanted and then I just got some really good bra extenders to make sure I could get away with the low back.
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
Tracy Mead, who is an established hair and make up artist. She does a mix of fashion and bridal which meant she was really good with creating the bold understated look I was going for. I work in marketing and we had used her to make up the acts for a big launch event years ago (which actually included the likes of Victoria Beckham!). I caught her on a quiet moment and she did my hair and make up so even though I was working I felt amazingly glam on the night and in that crowd.
Where and when did you get married?
We got married 12th November 2016 at St James Church in Weybridge, followed by the reception at Great Fosters in Egham, Surrey.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
Excited, nervous, emotional like I just wanted to get to my husband. My mum walked me down the aisle, with my 6 bridesmaids before us, so I did feel like I had my female power squad at my side.
What traditions did you follow? (Think something old, new, borrowed and blue.)
I did actually do the whole something old, new borrowed and blue! My old was some family diamond earrings that my mum had reset for the day, my new was everything I was wearing on the day, blue was in my garter and my borrowed was a broach that my mother-in-law let me borrow to hold together my silk wrap that I wore to the church. We followed quite a few of the traditions of staying apart the night before and getting married in a church with the full choir, organist and church bells. We also had a receiving line from our reception drinks into the converted barn where the wedding breakfast was, which was amazing because we had a chance to really greet and talk to all of our guests.
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Well the day started with all our guests at the pub! My husband had invited the wedding guests to join him for a drink of dutch courage at the local pub before the ceremony started. Continuing on the alcohol theme, as I'm Armenian, at the wedding breakfast we had bottles of vodka on every table for shots in between speeches (which is actually a tradition in Armenia but I guess considered quirky here)! For the evening party we had LED bracelets for everyone to get the party really going. This was an inspired idea from my husband having seen it be used at the Coldplay concerts and they came on during our first dance, which was amazing and really got everyone going (that or the vodka shots...)
What was the funniest moment of the day?
The best man speeches. There were 2 best men and we didn't stop laughing through both of their speeches. The photographers did a good job of catching amazing shots of all of our reactions.
Who took your wedding pictures?
The Slater Picture Co - a husband and wife couple. One of my best friends had used them at her wedding for which I was bridesmaid for and I thought the pictures were great so we used them for ours. There is so much choice around photographers with different styles so it was quite nice to have someone tried and tested.
If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?
I would check the sports events happening in the area and make sure I was on top of the chauffeur to use the right route! Our chauffeur went via Twickenham which had a rugby match going on that day so I was 40 minutes late to the reception.
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? What parts were easy and what parts were trickier?
I really loved the whole process actually. I think we are lucky because both my husband and I work in marketing and events so for every task it was actually so fun and amazing to be able to realise the creative expression that we wanted. We did the whole lot of creating a budget plan, to-do list, supplier breakdowns early, so we approached it a bit like a work project. It was really nice that we could then divide and conquer the tasks together. It also helped that we only saw the one venue and knew it was the one. So from there, we had quite a lot of time with everything else. I think the trickiest bit was sticking to the budget we had set… we could have continued to add little touches, which add up!
What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?
For me it was definitely seeing his smiling face down the end of the aisle. Even though I was late and nervous, emotional at that moment, I just wanted to get to him and I could see him looking at me with his always easy go lucky, reassuring self.
His best memory was sitting at the top table watching all of our friends and family having fun.
TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK’S #FRIDAYBRIDE DIANA
1. Definitely divide up tasks with the groom, I think it makes it so much better an experience sharing the ideas and tasks together as a team
2. Make sure to put your own stamp on things, even if it feels a bit random think it's all part of the fun for your guests
3. Do a few trials for your hair and makeup if you need to, think it's really important every detail feels amazing on the day
4. Music and lighting is really important to set the atmosphere so think it's worth spending a little more on these if you need to
5. Have a drink and roll with it on the day - it is the best whirlwind!