Presenting Charlie Brear's #FridayBride

Wild at Heart

Festival goers, this one's for you! As fans of the Wilderness Festival, Jess & Matt couldn't help themselves when it came to planning their Wedding day. This adorable pair married in early August (coincidentally, on the same day as the festival!) at Launcells Barton in North Cornwall. Combining their chosen styles of country garden party and fun festival vibes, the versatile venue complimented this couple's tastes wonderfully. Drawing inspiration from the grandeur of King Henry VIII-style dining and Florence and the Machine’s bohemian idealism in her video, 'Rabbit Heart'; this couple's day was truly original.

Jess adored our elegant Harwood dress from the moment she tried it! Not only is the shape incredibly flattering, but it's also such a fantastic foundation on which to build your perfect look. A statement flower crown was always in Jess' sights and teamed with our Harwood dress, it really made her look pop! 

Take time this Friday to indulge in these lush photographs, as snapped by Andrew Brown from Travers & Brown.

How did Matt propose?  Matt proposed to me in the beautiful rural idyll of Frome, in Somerset. He surprised me with a last-minute long weekend. He blames a touch of last-minute shopping on us not getting engaged a day earlier, as we got to the welcoming, intimate and foodie B&B too late to have dinner that night. The following night we dined in a charming restaurant set in a converted church called the Archangel. Matt bent down on one knee in front of me and I couldn’t believe what was happening. I made a point of saying yes before even seeing the ring, but when I saw it, I was blown away by the most sparkly, beautiful diamond I’d ever seen. Matt had it made from platinum as he knows I’m allergic to nickel, which was very thoughtful.

Where did you purchase your dress & why?  I first spotted my dress in a collection in the Secret Dress House in Reigate – where I’d travelled through the snow in mid-winter to try on another dress, and was immediately struck by the finery of Charlie Brear’s collection. Even on the hanger I could see it had the simple slimline shape and nipped in waist that I’d been looking for and when I tried it on I felt it had a chic, vintage glamour I hadn’t seen in any other dress. Eventually I bought my dress (the Harwood) from the glamorous Charlie Brear studio in London, which was around the corner from where I worked.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses? 
Trying on dresses is lots of fun, particularly when paired with champagne, but nothing beats finding the dress that makes you feel a million dollars. I tried on scores of dresses but kept coming back to the Harwood, which felt very ‘me’ every time I tried it.

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?  I felt relieved that I’d found a dress I felt confident about wearing and couldn’t wait to try on the final version.

What shoes did you wear? A pair of sparkly bejewelled Miu Mius!

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie for your dress & what would you recommend for other brides-to-be?  Finding the right lingerie is tricky. There is an abundance of pretty underwear out there but functionality is crucial. If you choose a plunge neckline like the Harwood, a stick-on backless bra is your new best friend – they’re not as bad as you think. I made the mistake of buying a beautiful waspie – unfortunately the detail was visible under the dress, but I still managed to find knickers that blended lace subtle detailing with a smooth line. 

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?  Kylee-Marie at HairTwentyOne did mine and the bridesmaids’ hair and Melanie from So Beautilicious did my makeup. I found Kylee after lots of searching online for a hairdresser who could travel to the rural location of the venue in North Cornwall and she introduced me to Mel – which was a lifesaver as it was tricky finding a makeup artist who was able to travel to the area.

What traditions did you follow?  Matt and I tried to not see each other the night before the ceremony – but this failed after I went for dinner with my family in a local restaurant only to find Matt was writing his speech there by the bar!

How did you feel walking down the aisle?  I felt really emotional walking down the aisle. Matt chose London Grammar’s, 'Hey Now', as the accompanying track, which was very poignant. It reminded us of the time we’d seen them play before they were well known.


What was the funniest moment of the day?  The funniest moment was when Matt blurted out “Cheers to the Groom” after his speech, having meant to toast the bride. I immediately stood up to toast him.

Take 5 with this week's #FRIDAYBRIDE


1. Enjoy it! Every married couple I know begrudged the hours of planning at the time but had withdrawal symptoms when there was no more planning to do.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. The initial photographer we had set our sights on was booked up but recommended Andrew – and we loved his work.

3. Our parents had wanted us to marry everywhere from a registry office to a small patch of grass near my sister’s old school, or an old-fashioned castle, but we had our hearts' set on a seaside location. I had always dreamt of marrying in a barn but also loved my sister’s outside ceremony. In the end we found the perfect venue which combined everything we wanted – it was close to the sea, and combined a barn, manor house, farm and garden. It hadn’t even opened up to the public yet, so trust that your perfect venue is out there.

4. Finding the right lingerie is tricky. There is an abundance of pretty underwear out there but functionality is crucial. If you choose a plunge neckline like the Harwood, a stick-on backless bra is your new best friend – they’re not as bad as you think.

5. Trying dresses is fun! Choose one that makes you feel fantastic and like yourself.

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features? My younger brother walked me down the aisle – he did a brilliant job and looked very cool in a straw hat. My mum read a poem based on Prodigy’s, 'Firestarter', interspersed with IT references as Matt works as an IT consultant. I listened to the Prodigy as a teenager and my mum had heard that Matt had set fire to our back garden when trying to burn an old shed. The speech was hilarious.

Where did you go for your honeymoon? Costa Rica. We spent eight days by the pool, on the beach trekking through the jungle and learning how to make chocolate. What more could you want?

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?  Trying on dresses is definitely the easy bit. Tracking down suppliers in remote locations is a little tougher, and involves hours of research. Asking for recommendations definitely cuts down that time by half.

What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?  Our best memories of the day were the speeches, which were hilarious, and seeing everyone get up on the dance floor in the evening, including our parents.