PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAY BRIDE #23
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!
This April seems to be living up to it's reputation and offering us more than our fair share of showers. So let's take a moment to dwell on sunnier times, with newlyweds, Mr and Mrs. Jacobs
Shima and Paul lucked out with a gloriously sunny wedding day last September, when they held both their ceremony and reception at Northbrook Park in Farnham, Surrey. And wasn't Shima's CB look just perfect for a beautiful, autumnal day? Her long-sleeved Neru lace jacket gave just the right amount of coverage and detail, and was the perfect counterbalance to the demure and slinky luxe crepe Torum Dress underneath. A match made in heaven - just like her and Paul.
Scroll down to see some amazing pictures by photographer Charlie Davies, and to read their gorgeous engagement story - so sweet and personal, just how it should be.
How would you describe the style of your wedding?
We got married in September so were hoping for autumn sun with a relaxed but chic feel. We have a lot of mutual friends so wanted it to be a wedding for and about everyone, not just us two. I am Iranian so it was important for us to encompass traditions from the Iranian culture into the wedding.
And how long did it take to plan?
Engagement to wedding was 1 year… but planning was 10/11 months.
How did he propose?
When we got together we actually lived in different cities. I was in London, he was in Birmingham, and Oxford was our middle ground; a place we often met, and that has always remained special to us. A week before my 30th birthday he planned a surprise trip to Oxford as a “birthday treat”. He took me on a punt boat… he wasn’t the best at steering it but eventually got the hang of it and we ended up in a lovely quiet curve in the canal. He sat down and poured me a plastic cup of champagne… then very casually said “oh I forgot to give you something” and pulled out the most beautiful ring. I was so shocked I started shaking, sweating and crying… I managed “of course”. I then said “hold on… don’t I get a speech??”. Paul said “you don’t need a speech! I’ve known I’ve wanted to marry you for ages, you’re my best mate and I love you and want us to have a family, all of which you already know”. Perfect.
Paul had been designing the ring for months…he had designed a thin band yellow gold ring with a cushion cut champagne diamond and 2 small pear shoulder stones. It is just perfect and I loved that he designed it how he thought I’d like it rather than picking off the shelf. He’s super chuffed with himself (I am too).
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
My appointment with Hannah at Charlie Brear was a dream. I went to 3 other places before CB and this was the only place I felt truly special and actually wanted to buy my dress from. I like that I wasn’t forced to try on styles I didn’t like but was advised honestly about what may suit me. The shop is beautiful, relaxed, non-pretentious yet luxurious. The best part was certainly how relaxed I was made to feel and I also felt I was leading the appointment whereas at other places I felt like I was being told what I should like.
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
My first few appointments were with a few people and although I loved having opinions, it confused me and I found myself not going for my own style, but what I thought others would like. I came to CB with my sister only and I felt much more relaxed. I also think that trying on too many dresses is confusing – I tried on only about 20 in total and when I found what I thought was “the one” I immediately cancelled the appointment I’d booked for an hour later elsewhere – I didn’t need any more options! It’s important to think about what is important to you – for me it was being comfortable for dancing (hence no meringue or train) as well as glam and elegant.
What shoes did you wear?
Nude Valentino Rockstuds. Dribble dribble… I wanted shoes I’d wear again rather than traditional wedding shoes.
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress?
My dress was low back and luxe crepe so I couldn’t go bra-less but all the low back bodies I tried were visible through the dress, as were all the fancy bra’s. I ended up wearing a simple t-shirt bra from M&S and used a bra converter for a lower back. I wore non-vpl control briefs too, also from M&S. My advice would be no-need to go fancy as comfort is definitely more important… save your fancy lingerie for the honeymoon!
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
I’m a makeup artist so everyone told me to do my own, but I wanted to give the responsibility of packing all the makeup kit and getting me sat down for makeup on time to someone else so I got the lovely Nikki Makeup who I followed on instagram to do my makeup. My hairdresser of 6 years, Sarah, did my hair - I work with her at weddings too.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
I was just so excited to see Paul but also MASSIVELY overwhelmed and emotional. The fact we walked up the aisle to Sigur Ros, Hoppipolla and seeing everyone in one room made me even more emotional. I did grin so hard my face ached too!
What was the funniest moment of the day?
The Iranian registrar was an elderly man who kept getting Paul’s surname wrong… We are now Mr & Mrs Jacobs, however he jumped from Jacobs to Jackson to Jacobson to Yacoob to Jackobs. It was hilarious!
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
There were peacocks running around the grounds, which was so cool! My favourite personal thing we did was a polaroid wedding timeline of all our guests. I didn’t realise we had 45 married couples and 5 engaged couples at the wedding until we started putting it together… it was a popular feature and our guests loved it! We’ve now got all the photos in an album.
What tips would you pass on to other brides who are planning their wedding (#weddinghacks)?
Make lists in advance about what you need to do and spread things out over a few months so you aren’t panicked in the last few weeks. Try not to compare your wedding to other peoples… I’ve seen lots of people try to outdo others and actually if you do what you want in your style it's a lot less pressure. Our venue staff were helpful on the lead-up, but there was no one actually managing the running of the day which would have been great. Make sure you make lists of any jobs for anyone and give it to them BEFORE the wedding so they can have an idea of what is expected of them.
If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
I did SO much myself and wish I’d asked for help from my lovely bridesmaids sooner! I was exhausted on the week leading up to the wedding and it was a bit of a blur. Our caterers also ended up being quite unprofessional and messed up on a number of things. In hindsight I wouldn’t have made the full payment upfront and paid them once they actually did what they had promised.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
South Africa. We love wine, food, animals, the beach and more wine… We planned a trip from Cape Town to the Winelands, whale watching and ended with the most incredible safari. Best. Trip. Ever!
What will you do with your dress now?
It’s been dry-cleaned and I’m keeping it to wear on my anniversary (if I can still fit into it!) just around the house. I will keep it and see if in the future anyone wants to wear it… who knows we may have a daughter one day and I already have a god daughter.
What are you and your husband's best memories of the day?
We both did speeches and loved this part! We had a teeny bit of sop but we clearly wanted to “out-funny” each other… I won. We also went for a little walk, just the two of us with a glass of bubbles to take in the fact we just got married and just laughed a lot. We often talk about our live music, Nick Reeves on the piano – he was incredible and really made the evening! Everyone absolutely LOVED him and it was a big talking point after the wedding amongst friends. There was A LOT of dancing and A LOT of booze. Aside from an amazing party, seeing my dad for the first time after I was in my dress… eesh! Makes me emotional every time I picture his face.