PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAY BRIDE #22

BEING A BRAND WHO DESIGN AND MAKE EVERYTHING IN LONDON, WE LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN A GOOD-OLD-FASHIONED-LONDON-KNEES-UP OF A WEDDING

Sarah and Ryan held their ceremony in the elegant Richmond Room at Islington Town Hall on 27th February this year. They then simply strolled down the road, guests in tow, to their reception venue - the lovely Albion pub in Islington, for great food, shots, dancing and lots and lots of laughs! The bride wore our beautiful cotton lace Hurrel Gown and pearl-adorned belt, and to stave off that winter chill in the evening, accessorised with a luxurious feather bolero.

Keep reading to find out more about Sarah and Ryan's down-to-earth, London-inspired day and see their perfectly relaxed photos by Lucy Judson.

How would you describe the style of your wedding? 
We chose to have a very “British” style of wedding, and very simplistic. London based, a typical English pub for our reception, we had photographs taken on zebra crossings and in a London park. Our favours were in union jack pick'n'mix bags, and of course I chose a British designer for my dress.
The theme of the wedding was actually inspired by the dress! We were originally getting married in Mexico with only a handful of guests, but once I had bought the dress it was just too amazing for more people not to see it! So we moved the wedding back to the UK.

And how long did it take to plan?
It was actually a very quick turnaround since we relocated the wedding from Mexico to London! So maybe 3 months in total! It was  an easy process – because we had a simple and small (45 guests) wedding.

How did he propose?
He proposed to me on a bench, in a private garden in the centre of Rome at Midnight! He had a ring ready, which he had chosen himself (without any input from me!). Fortunately he has excellent taste and I couldn’t have chosen a better ring myself. It also has greater sentimental value to me knowing that he chose it with me in mind.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
The dress which I chose was actually the first dress which I tried on. I was pretty sure that I wanted a Charlie Brear dress, the styling is just perfect for me, I love the contrast of exquisite detail, simplicity and femininity all rolled into one!

What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress? 
Don’t be too critical of what you try, always keep in the back of your mind that this dress has not been altered to fit you perfectly, and doing this will make all the difference to how the dress looks and feels in the end.
Once you choose a dress – stop looking!!

What shoes did you wear?
I wore some 4 inch super sparkly court shoes. I almost bought Jimmy Choo but opted for a VERY similar style from Dune – the shoes weren’t really on show because of the length of my dress.

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress?
My dress was backless so I wore a backless bra from M&S – I read countless reviews online to establish which of the backless bras was best and M&S came out on top, and I can testify that it's fabulous! Stuck well and gave great support, and also excellent value.

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
My hair and Make up was done by a lady called Aimee Garner, she actually worked on the most recent James Bond movie - Spectre. I found her because I read an article about her working on the film in my local press and she lived locally, so I tracked her down on Facebook and sent her a message! 

How did you feel walking down the aisle?
Surprisingly I didn’t feel remotely nervous, I felt like I was walking on air – I was so happy, my husband smiled as soon as he saw me and I just focussed on him and didn’t really see anybody else. I walked down the aisle to 'At Last' by Etta James and I don’t even remember hearing it!
 
What was the funniest moment of the day?
There were many, many funny moments, highlights include:
I fluffed my vows and said “I Sarah Ann Sanders do take thee “Giant John” (rather than Ryan John!!) As you can imagine all of our guests were in hysterics!
Also: It is good luck for a bride and groom to see a chimney sweep on their wedding day, so I wanted to book one to greet us out of the town hall as a surprise for my husband. All of the chimney sweeps in the London area were fully booked, so I found an actor that would be willing to pose as one. His role was to greet us as we came down the steps from the town hall, and deliver a speech to our guests explaining the tradition, kiss the bride, shake the groom's hand and then continue on his round. Except our sweep completely forgot his lines, got really embarrassed and ran off up the street!! Much to my husband and our guests' confusion and amusement!
Finally: Our 2 year old daughter started twerking at the alter after the ceremony was over in her flower girl dress!! To whoops and applause from all of our guests!

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Our entire wedding party walked through the streets of London from the town hall to the wedding reception and the photographer came with us so that she could get lots of “London”/ “British” shots.
We had a roast as our wedding breakfast, and a HUGE sticky toffee pudding and Eton Mess in place of a wedding cake.
I also went against tradition and did a speech and a toast to my new husband.

Who took your fabulous wedding pictures? 
Our wedding pictures were taken by the incredible Lucy Judson. Her type of photography matched us and our wedding perfectly. Her style is very much 'documentary', I like the true moments of happiness and fun to be captured in an image rather than a cold, posed shot (although we did have a few of those too).

What tips would you pass on to other brides who are planning their wedding (#weddinghacks)?
Don’t panic – about anything! It will all fall into place.
Buy the dress that you love – it’s really important that you get the dress that sings to you! If you don’t you will regret it.

If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing, it all fell into place, it was so much fun, all of our guests fed back to us what a fantastic time they’d had. I only wish it had lasted longer!!

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went to Mexico on a family moon with our 2 daughters!

What will you do with your dress now?
Keep it and look at it every day! My daughter Belle is 2, so when she is older I will give it to her.

What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?
I don’t have one specific moment it was just so much fun and we laughed all day. We took cigars and sparklers for all of our guests and had lots of fun with our photographer capturing those moments!
I think the moment in which I referred to my husband as “Giant John” in our vows would be a clear winner for him!