Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE ANNA

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This week, the Friday Bride team brings you to Ullet Road Unitarian Hall for a wedding that was inspired by Hogwarts Castle, (for all you Harry Potter fans), to emulate The Great Hall at Christmas time! Magic was captured in the photos of these spellbound lovers, who had the perfect wedding mixtape as they walked out of the church to "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles. 

Our captivating bride, Anna, wore our Payton dress with the Bisette lace top. 

Anna & Jerry's wedding pictures were captured by family friend,  Josh Mullins.

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Please can you describe the style of your wedding for us.

We wanted something classic but with a rustic feel to it. The vibe was laidback but we wanted to create a magical, cosy warmth to the day. Think candelabras, lanterns but with a log fire.  I love the grand hall in Hogwarts and wanted that feel towards it, grand but cosy.


Where did you purchase your dress & why?

I bought my dress from The White Closet Liverpool. I wanted to go somewhere that wanted to create an ‘experience’ for the bride. I had read reviews and asked around and The White Closet seemed to have a brilliant reputation.


What was your best experience when trying on dresses?

Lucy just knowing what I wanted. I described my look to her and what I was hoping to achieve, she immediately picked out Charlie Brear Payton with Bisette lace top. I had not seen a dress like it before; it felt unique and reflected everything I wanted; elegant, laid back but with a vintage twist. I tried on a few more dresses but I was sold at the first dress.


When and where did your husband propose to you? Did he have a ring ready?

Jerry proposed to me a few days after Christmas on a bench overlooking Morecombe bay. The view is stunning and years previously when I had asked him how he would want to propose he said he would want to keep it simple, honest and just us. However on the day he proposed he led me to the bench on the shore line but there were lots of other people around. He suggested we walk to the top of the hill to the bench draped with trees with a castle wall running around it. We walked to the top and I was looking at the view, turned around and he was on one knee. He did have a ring as we had talked about it and I had shown him a bunch of rings I loved. The problem was that there was one ring which I had cried at….which meant he had no choice but to choose that one. Which I’m so grateful for; a grey diamond on a gold band with leaf design either side of the diamond.


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

You HAVE to go and try them on. I saw loads I would say no to, but the truth is these dresses are so stunning that a dress you thought wasn’t ‘you’ could make you feel like a princess. You won’t know what you want till you try.


 How long did it take to plan your wedding?

It took nine months, we were due to get married in December but due to my Mums illness we brought the wedding forward to ensure she was in the best possible health. It meant it was a mad rush and since practically everything was homemade there were some stressful moments, but it was worth it in the end and everyone rallied round and made sure that the wedding happened and that it was everything I had hoped for.


 How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?

Relief, everything else I believed would fall into place as I had a vision. Although I was very lucky as the first dress The White Closet put on me was the one.

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

I did, the dress is basically backless and I am not small chested. I eventually found an all in one from Ultimo, it held me securely in place but was backless without being uncomfortable. The best bit was that it had a pop button opening on the bottom half so you didn’t have to take the whole thing off when the toilet was needed.


 What Traditions did you follow? Something borrowed, something blue or not seeing each other until the ceremony for example.

My lovely Maid of Honour bought a vintage handkerchief and had mine and jerry’s initials stitched on. This encompassed something old and new and it was blue as well.


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

Jennifer Newman of Love That Look did my hair and makeup and my bridesmaids. It was flawless and stayed in place the whole day it was genuinely the prettiest I have ever felt. I found Jennifer through my Maid of Honour as it is her friend. I didn’t realise how good she was going to be and the amazing clients she had worked on till I went round to her studio.


Where and when did you get married?

I got married at Ullet Road Unitarian Church. Unitarianism encompasses all religions and non-religions and this was important for me to have a service which reflected our beliefs; that we are all entitled to believe and do what makes us happy. We also had our reception in their hall. Hall is an understatement. The minute we walked in we were taken aback, I had always said I wanted my wedding to look like Hogwarts hall at Christmas and this is what we got.

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What was the funniest moment of the day?

My man of honour's speech. He decided to go through the stages of my life as we have known each other since we were very small as we grew up in the same road. My man of honour is an amazing public speaker and everyone was howling with laughter as he talked through the hamster club to the infamous trolley club we set up as children.


Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?

We wanted to incorporate as many personal touches. So a friend who is a graphic designer had created our very own logo (A penguin and a gecko due to the fact we have pet names based on the animals we think each other would be) which we had printed on the wedding invites and on the table plans. We had a title and quote from our favourite films on every table; so the top table was called Garden State with the quote ‘good luck staring into the infinite abyss’ on it. We also wanted to incorporate thistles as Jerry’s Grandpa was Scottish and they were incredibly close so we had thistles put into the lapel pins and as jerry’s groom gift I gave him a tie pin with a thistle on it.


Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?

A film maker called Josh Mullins, he is a friend and we wanted our pictures to almost look like stills from films, so he created a shallow depth of field so the photos could have this quality.


How did you feel walking down the aisle?

Extremely over whelmed, I thought I would be more composed but as soon as Elvis ‘Can’t help Falling in Love’ came on and the double doors opened, I burst into tears. I spent the first half just staring at Jerry thinking ‘just get to Jerry’ then I composed myself and looked around and saw all my friends and families faces and couldn’t believe all these wonderful people had turned up for us.


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If you could do it all again what would you do differently?

I would let go more and realise that everything is in hand and try and not be as nervous, every bride says it ‘just enjoy the day’ and they are right. You just need to wake up and think ‘its done now’ time to enjoy’. But no matter what you’ll have the best day ever.


 Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We went to Edinburgh Scotland- we had planned an American road trip but due to family circumstances we decided to have a mini moon. Jerry organised it all which helped to take the stress off me. We went glamping at Dundass Castle and then stayed in a boutique hotel on our last night. Scotland is so beautiful and it was just nice to relax.


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

There were tricky moments making our 100 favours tedious and hanging my lantern canopy from a grade listed building was actually more stressful than I thought. But on the whole I found it enjoyable and my Maid of Honour was an absolute star throughout the entire journey.


What will you do with your dress now?

I considered keeping it but I think it’s really nice to have another bride have the opportunity to wear such a stunning beautiful dress.


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

The service was really lovely, the fact we had the entire congregation singing ‘Here comes the Sun’ and we walked out to The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ felt very special. Listening to the wonderful words that our friends and family spoke during the speeches was very emotional, at one point I looked around and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Our first dance was to Peter Gabriel’s The Book of Love which means a lot to us. I was able to relax and just have a few moments just me and Jerry, although we did have 100 eyes watching us but strangely it felt private.


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1) You have to try on dresses, you think you know what you want but due to the dresses being so beautifully made you may try on a shape that you think won’t suit you and actually you look stunning.

2) I spent a lot of the night before panicking about last minute changes or on the day worried about certain things happening on time. I realised that I didn’t need to worry as all my wonderful bridesmaids and groomsmen ensured that anything that needed doing got done.

3) Ensure you write a list of the photographs you want and allow yourself time to show off the dress in pictures, I wish I had removed my bouquet from the front of my dress in a lot of pictures to show of that part of the dress more.

4) Eat….. make sure you eat in the morning the last thing you need is to feel a little bit sick or get ravenous with hunger. My caterers brought me a plate with all the different types of canapés we had whilst I was having pictures taken to ensure I didn’t miss out. Even if you don’t feel hungry just a bite of everything so you experience all the wonderful food on offer.

5) We cut the cake after the pictures whilst people were having their canapés and champagne (I can’t count the amount of times I’ve missed the cake cutting). Our caterers recommended it and it was such a good idea as everyone was congregated in the same area and hadn’t had too much to drink yet, it brought more of a sense of occasion

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Ceremony Venue – Ullet Road Unitarian Church

Reception Venue – Ullet Road Unitarian Hall

Photographer/videographer – Josh Mullins

Bridesmaids' Dresses – They were mixed Oasis, ASOS

Rings – Etsy and Jewellery by Design

Music – Playlists done by myself and groom, we asked friends to contribute.

Florist – Maid of honour for table and church and Flower Farm UK for head dress, bouquet and lapel pins.

Caterer – Mia Tagg and Kate Young

Cake Supplier – Mia Tagg and Kate Young

Hair – Jennifer Newman of Love That Look

Make-up – Jennifer Newman of Love That Look