Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE ZEPH

Friday Bride - Zeph - Ivan

Zeph & Ivan were anything but traditional when it came to tying the knot. Their family-focused wedding included Ivan's two children, Emily & Joe, as Maid of Honour and Best Man. The loving couple were happiest to see all their friends and family finally gathered in the same place at the same time. Read on to discover our favourite of Zeph's Take 5 tips, which will be sure to awaken the senses and transport you back in time to the best day of your life.

 Our cool bride walked down the aisle in the Brooksville dress from our London Collection.

Zeph & Ivan's wedding was captured by Luke from One Wedding Photography.

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Describe the style of your wedding

A modern, simple yet classic day with our friends and family, nothing overly fussy but personal and still special. The venue really drove the overall aesthetics as its such a beautiful building and space inside and out.

When and where did your partner propose to you?

At our local tapas bar, it came out of a few conversations really, a joint discussion to go for it, we're in our 40's so most life decisions are done with a certain amount of practical experience! Then we picked out an art deco engagement ring in London together before telling anyone.

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

I chose the Brooksville dress from the London Collection at the Charlie Brear showroom, with the rose gold metallic belt. It was contemporary but undoubtedly bridal and had great swooshy movement when walking. So many of the dresses and separates suited my style, both modern and vintage influences, beautiful in a simple unfussy way - I visited twice and tried on a few different looks and the staff really helped me get to my final choice.

How was your experience shopping for your wedding dress?

I really loved trying on dresses and tried lots of styles at different locations, both bridal and non bridal designer dresses with different friends. It can get overwhelming though and I knew my final choice would be on my return visit to Charlie Brear- I was alone and ready to make a final decision.


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

I agree with idea that you should try on varied and different styles on to get started but don't give yourself a hard time, lots of dresses will look amazing the trick is narrowing down to one that suits you personally and feels right for the location and the day. Take a few options of underwear to give you the best idea of what to shop for. Taking family and friends along is good fun (Ivan even joined a few appointments with me) but not too many as lots of opinions can get confusing. Overall enjoy it! It's a fun part of the preparation.

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?

Fabulous and relieved, it felt good to get such a big part of the day sorted

What shoes did you wear?

I was so ready to make a special designer purchase but searched and searched for the right pair with no success, I wanted under a 3" heel open strappy sandal from a designer rather than a wedding brand but nothing clicked. The dress length and my tendency to be a bit clumsy meant I didn't want to spend a fortune on something I took off half way through the day. In the end I wore a pair of Karen Millen suede heels and swapped to Next metallic sandals for the evening which worked perfectly. I also had a feather clutch bag for the evening from Next Bridal which added something fun and stylish.

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

A little, although my dress was covered and with sleeves the sheer back meant only stick on's would work, I tried many, many different types and settled with Magic Lift Solutions sold at ASOS, which was the best one for me.


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

The location and area was new to me so I did online research, and went for make-up at the venue's spa Lusso. Kirsty did a trial and a follow up- on the day I had a few new requests, as I wanted the make-up to be as natural as possible which she accommodated beautifully. My hair was done by Rachel at Yorkshire Bridal Hair and again had really great tips and ideas, we tried loads at the trial and she suggest taking it down myself in the evening and having two styles which worked really well. She was also invaluable on the morning of the wedding - keeping me calm and on track.

Where and when did you get married?

28th May at the beautiful Carlton Towers. Our families are from Sheffield and Newcastle, with some friends flying in from abroad, so we wanted a venue in the north UK that accommodated the ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening party - we also hired all the rooms and close family stayed over. The 18th century house had all the required drama and amazing impact driving up to the venue. It is not open to the general public and due to original features in the function rooms, very little dressing was needed. They also have a cooking school on site so the food was also amazing.

How did you feel walking down the aisle?

Quite giddy, there are lots of pics where I have a big cheesy smile on my face and seeing everyone there for us was really special.

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

Apart from my dad walking me down the aisle, none really! We really made a lot of effort to do what felt right for us, so no cars, traditional cake, bridesmaids, long speeches etc. Ivan and I spent the night before together and he even dropped me off on that morning to start getting ready.

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?

We did our own speeches which I'm really pleased we did. It gave us an opportunity to thank people for coming and talk a little about each other. Ivan's children,Emily and Joe, were maid of honour and best man so a little untraditional and Joe did the toast which was very cute. We also had a cheeky end of the night dance to GMF by John Grant, which requires a swearing alert but has a personal/funny meaning to us.

Who took your wedding pictures?

Luke was the photographer and Luke and Laura did the video from One Wedding photography in Sheffield. They were fantastic and we're super happy with the pics. They chatted to us about the style we wanted before hand and captured the day perfectly. I'd recommend a video if you can add it to the budget as the day flies by and it was wonderful to see it afterwards- so many brides who didn't have one told me they regretted it.

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

On the day, nothing- the weather, food, mood and venue were all perfect! I would probably spend the night before with girlfriends or sisters as I suddenly felt more nervous than I expected!


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What will you do with your dress now?

Not sure yet, its cleaned and hanging in the spare room. I'm not opposed to selling or passing it to a family member. It is nice to think someone else could enjoy it too... but we'll see.

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

Mine was seeing everyone as I walked into the main room with my dad for the ceremony- so exciting and really special. Ivan's was seeing all our guests sat together for the food and speeches. We had a lovely chat during the meal looking around the room and seeing everyone enjoying the day- a rare occasion that both families will get together in one place.

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1) Everyone tells you this but the day goes so so quickly, find a few moments to step back and observe, take it all in.

2) For the same reason, don't sweat the small stuff. By nature some things wont be exactly what you had in mind but it really doesn't matter and no one notices anyway!

3) Give a few key jobs to people you trust and who want to get involved and then forget about them- it really helps with the to-do lists. Split certain things with the groom too - Ivan booked photographers, DJ etc. while I did flowers, invites and kids play packs.

4) I picked out a new perfume (White Love - Creed) and accompanying toiletries for the day and now the smell takes me back, which is really nice.

5) Pinterest and similar search sites are great for inspiration but so many pictures are from magazine and industry shoots using models and hours of set up so don't get too hung up on them and do whats right for you.


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Reception & Ceremony Venue|  Carlton Towers

Photographer | One Wedding Photography

Shoes & Accessories |Karen Millen, Next, Browns bridal for jewellery

Florist | Charlotte Fox in Sheffield

Entertainment | Anthony Parella 

Caterer | Carlton Towers

Cake Supplier|Patisserie Valerie

Hair | Yorkshire Bridal Hair

Make-up | Kirsty at Lusso in Carlton Towers