Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE ELLIE
Ellie knew she was after a few things for her rustic Oxford wedding: an intimate, boho vibe, lots of family and friends and a Charlie Brear dress. She came to the flagship store in London and immediately fell in love with the relaxed vibe and supportive team that greeted her. Ellie and Matt’s September wedding included some quirky twists like buskers and retro polaroids of friends and family to create the perfect atmosphere and the bride stunned in the Augustine Dress – casual styling in chic corded lace made for the ideal combination. Read on to get an exclusive look into Ellie’s wedding, including some of her tips and tricks for creating the perfect day! Their day was captured by Paper and Primrose and Francis Daracott
Please can you describe the style of your wedding for us.
I really wanted an intimate, boho, relaxed vibe, so that is what I aimed for.
Where did you purchase your dress & why?
I bought my dress from Charlie Brear’s flagship store in London. I had tried on a few Charlie Brear dresses in Birmingham so knew their dresses were what I was after. I decided to go to London so that I could see more options.
I rarely wear dresses so I was actually quite anxious about trying them on. I ended up only trying on a few because I knew what I didn’t want. I think for me it was being somewhere that was really relaxed and supportive in really beautiful place. The reality was the complete opposite of what I had been dreading. It was easy.
When and where did your husband propose to you? Did he have a ring ready?
Matt and I have been together for 23 years, so although we had talked about getting married it was still a surprise when he asked me. We were in Brighton for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and during dinner he started talking about our life and our beautiful children and how he would like to be able to call me his wife after all this time. It was heartfelt and genuine. He had bought a ring, one that I had fallen in love with and asked him to start saving for as a gift for my 40th birthday. It is an art deco, vintage aqua marine and diamond ring and I love it!
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
Think about the style of wedding you want, and imagine how you want to feel in your dress. There are so many choices so keep an open mind. Just take a couple of your favourite people with you so that you avoid too many opinions. In the end it’s you and your dress and you will just know.
How long did it take to plan your wedding?
I booked the wedding and venue 6 months before the wedding date. So apart from buying the dress and Matt’s outfit I really didn’t do much until about 3 months before.
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
I felt great. I honestly never thought I would find a dress that I loved, and I did.
What shoes did you wear?
I tried on a lot of shoes and in the end I went with some gold, peep toe heels from Kurt Geiger
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
Yes! Because I had to wear a bra but my dress had a low back. In the end I wore a bra from M&S which had clear straps, which didn’t really show under the lace.
What Traditions did you follow? Something borrowed, something blue or not seeing each other until the ceremony for example.
Matt and our son stayed at Matt’s parents the night before which allowed me to have a really lovely girlie evening with my sister, daughter, best friend and my Auntie. We drank champagne, ate delicious food, listened to music and painted our nails.
I had bought matching pyjamas for Rosie and Isabella so the three of us sat in my bed and I gave them their bridesmaid presents and we had a few tears.
I borrowed my sister’s earrings that she had worn at her wedding and my mum’s locket that she had worn at her wedding. My mum died 5 years ago so it was important to me that she was represented on my wedding day.
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
My hair was done by my friend Rob and my makeup was done by Bob Bradley.
Where and when did you get married?
We got married on Friday 16th September and had planned a weekend celebrating getting married and me turning 40!
We had the marriage at the Town Hall in Oxford which is a lovely old building with high ceilings and the reception at The Perch in Oxford, a gorgeous pub on the river that is just the perfect combination of quirky, rustic and cool. I felt that I had a really nice combination of traditional amd formal with relaxed modern vibe.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
It has to be the best men speeches. Matt had two best men, Matt and Mike, and they each did a speech. They were both designed to embarrass Matt but were done so differently. Mike’s was very interactive getting everyone involved with green and red cards that they had to use to guess the answer to his cryptic clues. Matt talked about the crazy stuff that they did (and got away with) when they were younger.
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
We had buskers for when we arrived at the venue which really helped create the perfect atmosphere.
Our wedding meal was a sharing feast so each table had their own little banquet and the food was amazing.
I decorated the marquee with paper shades and pom poms, which my Dutch family had made the previous day.
I wanted everyone to feel part of the day so I got some retro polaroid photos of all my friends and family and hung them up like bunting.
We had a photo booth which was a bit of a last-minute addition but so worth it for comedy value.
Me and Matt did our first dance to ‘You never can tell’ by Chuck Berry in the style of Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. That was quite funny and unrehearsed!!
Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?
We used Matt’s photographer, Can Sengunes, from his work and he did such a great job.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
About 6 weeks before the wedding I would wake up in the middle of the night worrying about walking down the aisle. It was the only part of the day that really made me anxious.
When I stood outside the room, knowing that all my friends and family would be there and Matt was waiting for me at the end, I felt strangely calm. I had a moment listening to the music I was about to walk in to. I looked at my sister and my daughter and my dad and knew that all was well, everything was exactly as it was supposed to be.
TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK’S #FRIDAYBRIDE
Delegate- even though you will want to do everything, people want to help and get involved
Stay true to your theme
You will want to go crazy with decorations and make everything look fantastic but it is you that you are doing it for. I don’t think my guests would have felt any different if there were less pom poms.
Take it all in. It’s true that it goes so quickly and that it really is the best day of your life, because it’s so rare that you have all your favourite people in same room.
If like me, you have some strange relationship dynamics, but don’t give it a second thought. I was amazed how everyone came together for me. It was pretty awesome