Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE MARSHA

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This week, the Friday Bride team brings you to Upwaltham Barns, for an eclectic and colourful wedding that offered fun and celebration for all ages! 

Our blushing bride, Martha, wore our iconic Torum dress with lace sleeves and a lace sash. Soft waves and delicate flowers adorned throughout Marsha's hair added innocent beauty to this one-of-a-kind wedding!

Marsha & Hugh's wedding pictures were captured by Danni Beach Photography.


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Please describe the style of your wedding

Rustic, relaxed, barn wedding


When and where did your partner propose to you?

We were on holiday in Cornwall. Hugh and I had been together for 10 years and I had pretty much given up on the idea of ever getting married, but we had just bought a lovely house together. We went on a day trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan and were having a very silly morning when Hugh just pulled out a ring and sort of blurted out will you marry me. In retrospect I really should have guessed something was up, he had phoned my dad to say Happy Birthday in the week prior to our holiday without waiting for me to be home, and he had been carrying around a massive backpack all day (which he generally refuses to do!) from which he produced a bottled of champagne. Amazing start to a holiday.


Which dress did you choose and why? And where did you buy it from?

I choose the Torum dress with lace sleeves and the lace sash. I visited the ‘old’ at the Charlie Brear showroom in London.


 How was your experience shopping for your wedding dress? ( was it easy, was it memorable, was it fun?, was the decision tough?)

My shopping first trip was fun as I went with one of my best friends and tried on lots of dress I would never wear and got a great idea of what I didn't want. However, when the hunt got real I was really struggling to find anywhere with dress I liked (no bling or poof did not seem to exist!). I popped into Charlie Brear on the way home from work on one of their open days and it took me about 5 minutes to know that my dress was there somewhere! I came back on another day by myself and shortlisted two dress before my bridesmaids came along. I really could have worn a couple of the dress from the collection, but the look on their faces when I put on the Torum dress told me it was the one!


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What would your advice be to other brides shopping for a wedding dress?

Try going by yourself to shortlist a few that you really love before bringing spectators. It is lovely to share the experience and have feedback, but I felt a bit of pressure to please everyone and take everyone’s opinion into consideration. It was much easier to be completely open about what you like and don't like by myself and it make selecting my dress much easier. Also easy on the prosecco beforehand! I met my bridesmaids in the pub before buying my dress. Whilst I was very certain about my choice of dress, I was so excited I put the wrong date on the paperwork (2 month after my wedding date!) luckily the Charlie Brear girls were amazingly helpful and managed to reschedule my order so it arrived on time!


How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?

So happy and excited, and relieved!


What shoes did you wear?

I wore rose gold 'Mimosa' by Rachel Simpson. I really struggled finding shoes I liked, and the brand was recommended by a friend who wore Rachel Simpson shoes for her wedding. They were extremely comfy. I wore them all day with the exception of a brief interlude over fields (where I wore my converse!), including for limbo and dancing!


Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?

Yes, I tried lots of options but in the end I invested in a body from Ender Legard. It wasn't the cheapest option but it felt really comfortable under my dress and was definitely low enough even for my very low back. Also unlike some of the other ‘solution’ underwear I tried, it felt like special (dare I say sexy) underwear!


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9. Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?

The absolutely lovely Lauren from ID Makeup, Hair & Beauty Lounge in Chichester did both my hair and make-up and Eloise did my bridesmaids hair. They were one of the suppliers recommended by the venue, but after having a look at their website and spending time with Lauren at my trial I felt completely at ease and confident that they would create the best possible version of me! But that I would still recognise myself. It was also great that Lauren, like me, has ridiculously curly hair so know how to tame it!


10.Where and when did you get married?

We got married on 19 May 2017 at the amazingly beautiful Upwaltham Barns, near Petworth. The venue is stunning overlooking the South Downs and the whole experience felt very relaxed and Nicola and Tim made us feel very at home.


11. How did you feel walking down the aisle?

Unbelievably happy! I felt like my cheek were hurting within minutes from smiling so much but it didn't stop me.


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What traditions did you follow? (Think something old, new, borrowed and blue.)

We were not hugely traditional. All our bridesmaids and groomsmen had a lovely dinner the night before the wedding and we didn’t have a cake (as the thought made us both cringe!), but we did stay apart the night before the wedding and didn't see each other until the ceremony.


Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?

We did plan to have summer fete style games after the ceremony and had things like hook a duck and splat the rat set up in the courtyard. Sadly the heavens opened minutes after exiting the ceremony. But we still managed to have the limbo competition which was brilliant and the hoopla also got going later in the evening. We also had childhood games as centrepieces (think pop-up-pirate, hungry hippos...) so during the meal there were moments of manic button pressing and squeals of delight! Also instead of a wedding cake we made a ‘tuck shop’ with sweeties, crisps and loads of homemade cookies and cup-cakes.


What was the funniest moment of the day?

There were so many! The look my dad gave Hugh on giving me away for one (hint – bad cop face)! Hugh did have an amazing prompt as part of his speech which was a mini pack of gummy bears that I gave to him weeks into our relationship which he carries everywhere and still has 11 years later…. except he was so nervous that he couldn't find them! They were safely tucked away in his change pocket, where he found them about an hour after the speeches.


Who took your wedding pictures?

The incredibly talented and all round lovely person Danni Beach (Danni Beach Photography). Without meeting her I don't think I would have been able to convince Hugh to have a photographer at all – he hates having his photo taken. She was so chilled out and funny that we felt very comfortable with her. We wanted very natural relaxed photos and that is exactly what she delivered.


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If you could do it all again, would you do anything differently?

I loved every minute of the day, even the rain (although if I could ... maybe slight less rain!). And also getting someone to video the ceremony and speech so I could see them from everyone else’s perspective.


Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? What parts were easy and what parts were trickier?

It was a real challenging to get going. I wanted to get cracking with planning straight away (cue stacks of bridal mags!) and Hugh wanted to just be engaged for a while (it seems this is a common theme!). There are some fairly big decisions (venue, guest list) to make and we found it incredible hard figure out how to make then in the beginning... but we got there and found it a really important learning experience for our relationship.  The easiest decision was the planning the silly afternoon of games and the food (as we both love to eat!).


What will you do with your dress now?

I am likely to sell it. I love it but I will probably will never wear it again and I would feel sad for it to sit in a box forever, I'd rather someone get (hopefully) the same joy!


What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?

Seeing each other at the start of the ceremony and our vows. In addition to the legal paragraph we decided to write our own vows, which had lots of things that are silly but special and important to us. Looking around and seeing all or friends and family all in the same place having a great time.  The limbo competition was definitely a highlight. And our first dance, where everyone slowly joined (at our request) it was so much fun (and Danni’s brilliant pictures make it come alive each time I flick through them!).



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1.    Talk and be on the same page before you set off on the planning journey!

2.    Don’t sweat the small stuff... no one will know or care!

3.    You can’t control the weather, so don't worry about it, but do have some contingencies!

4.    Ask for help if you need it, the people that love you will be there in a shot and love being involved

5.    Make used of other people talents and trust them to do the job you have asked them to do.

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Ceremony Venue: Upwaltham Barns

Reception Venue: Upwaltham Barns

Photographer/Videographer: Danni Beach Photography

Shoes & Accessories: Shoes from Rachel Simpson

Florist: Kerry from Rose Cottage Flowers

Entertainment: Daisy B

Caterer: Nibbles2Nosh

Cake Supplier: I made my own!

Hair: ID Makeup, Hair & Beauty Lounge

Make-up: ID Makeup, Hair & Beauty Lounge