Presenting Charlie Brear’s #FridayBridE Hannah
How do you organise a wedding when you live 800 miles away? And how do you observe religious traditions when your ceremony isn’t a holy one? Hannah and Joe Arditti effortlessly mastered both when they tied the knot in Provence, France. They also created a hilarious table plan like no other – those wanting to add humour to their big day should definitely read on.
Bride Hannah looked resplendent in a dropped-waist gown and wonderfully carefree thanks to her decision to sport ballet flats.
Hannah and Joe flew their friend Craig, of Craig Sugden Photography, across the Channel to capture their summer nuptials.
Please can you describe the style of your wedding for us.
A chic Provençal wedding in the l’Esterel mountains with lots of great food and music.
Where did you purchase your dress & why?
I found my dress in the Charlie Brear flagship store in London. I knew I wanted something loose, lightweight and elegant and a colleague recommended I check out Charlie Brear.
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
When I found the dress, I was with my Mum and my Mother-In-Law and their reactions made it by far the best experience and was all I needed to convince me it was the right choice.
When and where did your husband propose to you? Did he have a ring ready?
Joe and I took a last minute trip to Venice and as I organised most of it, I didn’t even consider it a possible proposal trip. But he bent down on one knee in a gondola on the Grand Canal - bit of a cliché - but it was perfect. He had borrowed a temporary ring from a friend (who is also a jeweller) because he wanted me to pick it.
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
Try not to get stressed and if possible don’t try to visit more than one shop in one day as its starts to get a bit overwhelming and tiring.
How long did it take to plan your wedding?
We got engaged 13 months before the wedding but to be honest I spent a few months after the engagement booking the big things such as the venue, florist, DJ, celebrant etc… and then I didn’t need to do much else until three months ahead of the big day.
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Excited and very relieved that I’d finally found one I felt comfortable in.
What shoes did you wear?
I wore simple silver ballet flats from French Sole as I was adamant that I wouldn’t get sore feet and could dance the night away in comfort
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
Yes and this was really tricky because the dress was completely backless. After several failed attempts with stick-on cups I decided to just use lingerie tape which was fine but I did need help from my maid of honour to get this right on the day of the wedding.
What Traditions did you follow? Something borrowed, something blue or not seeing each other until the ceremony for example.
My husband is Jewish and despite not having a religious ceremony, we decided to honour his Jewish heritage with a few traditions such as getting married under a chuppah, breaking of the glass, kippahs for the men and the best part… dancing the Hora, the traditional Jewish wedding dance.
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
I did my make-up myself; I visited my local Space NK and had a session with one of their make-up artists to learn how to apply the products myself. I found a local hairdresser in France through a friend of a friend, she was fantastic!
Where and when did you get married?
We got married in July 2017 at Auberge Des Adrets in the South of France.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
Probably the speeches in that my husband received a roasting from his best man!
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
We had Polaroid photos of all our guests as the table plan with a chalkboard that said: ‘Find your face to take your place’. We tried to pick funny/embarrassing pictures of all of our guests so it was quite entertaining watching them find their photos.
Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?
Craig Sugden Photography. He doesn’t usually do weddings but he works with Joe and came over to shoot the wedding as a favour to us. We didn’t really want traditional wedding photos anyway so his style was perfect for us.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
Very nervous but also elated; it’s a really humbling feeling seeing all of your favourite people smiling at you as you walk down the aisle.
If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
I would pick all the bridesmaid dresses myself; I thought it would be nicer to offer them the opportunity to pick their own but they all found this pretty stressful and it took a while to get them all sorted.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Because we got married in France, we decided to delay our honeymoon and so will be going to South Africa for a three-week road trip around the winelands and garden route in February.
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? What parts were easy, what parts were trickier?
For the most part I found it easy, booking all the main things in the first few months is exciting but it was definitely more stressful organising a wedding overseas without a wedding planner to help me out. But we got there in the end with the help of a very, very organised wedding venue.
What will you do with your dress now?
I think I’ll just keep hold of it for now.
What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?
Me: Seeing Joe’s face as I walked down the aisle, he looked so happy! Closely followed by Joe’s brother and his girlfriend Kelly surprising us with a rendition of Nat King Coles L-O-V-E.
My husband Joe: My best memory of the day was watching Hannah read out her personal vows to me… although I loved all of it!
TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK’S #FRIDAYBRIDE
Make sure you are clear about what you want ushers and bridesmaids to do on the big day. I forgot to ask one of the ushers to be in charge of handing out confetti so we had a slightly awkward moment when we were about to walk back down the aisle and nobody had been given the confetti.
Give the photographer a shot list.
If getting married abroad, try to arrange as much as possible in advance so you don’t spend the week leading up to it stressed when you should be relaxing.
Shop around for your alterations - the first place I went to were very rude and quoted £700. I then found another place that would do it for just £150.
Hire a videographer, we almost didn’t but the video is amazing and really captures the day in a way photographs just can’t.
shoes: French Sole
accessories: Earrings by Alex Monroe
ceremony venue: Auberge Des Adrets
reception venue: as above
photographer/videographer: Craig Sugden Photography & Sam Palmer Videographer
bridesmaids' dresses: Whistles and Coast
music: Joe’s brother Jake Arditti (Countertenor) and his girlfriend Kelly (Soprano) sang for us during the ceremony, Joe’s Dad Irvine Arditti played the violin and we hired a local DJ (Maxim) for the party
florist: Marie Myrtille Fleurs
caterer: in house at the venue
cake supplier: in house at the venue (we had a Croquembouche)
hair: Anne-Marie Coiffure
Jules WAS A VISION IN a Iconic Bridal collection dress
Browse our Bridal Iconic Collection to find a style like Penny's dress and see many more options
Did you catch last week's friday bride, Erin?
Our cool bride walked down the aisle in an Iconic Collection dress