PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAY BRIDE #26 

IT'S FRIDAY TIME AGAIN!

To kick off your weekend we have our 26th #FridayBride for you to enjoy!

Susie's fun-loving & warm nature is truly reflected through these touching pics as this couple's unique day was shared with their two daughters, family & friends in Norfolk, on a gloriously sunny day last August. Susie & Mike created a vintage inspired wedding in the homely English countryside.

Wearing our ultra flattering & comfortable Payton dress - a light, bias-cut gown made from luxe crepe that defines your silhouette effortlessly - layered with our Augustine lace jacket & skirt additions; Susie was able to "Shake it Off" with her bridesmaids, while dancing the night away in a magical tree-house! This couple's special day truly was a real child-like fantasy brought to life.

Scroll down to see some of the highlights of their heart-warming celebrations.

How did he propose?                                                                                                                                     As the clock struck midnight and the minute hand ticked into my birthday, there was a knock at our front door.  There was my husband-to-be, lying face down on the path to our house with his arms held out in front of him and a ring box in his hands. It took me a moment to realize what was going on! It was a ‘temporary’ ring and then we shopped for ‘the’ ring together. I chose one from Annina Vogel. She use pieces of vintage gold jewellery and creates new pieces from them. My husband had given me a beautiful necklace from the Annina Vogel when our first daughter was born so it was pretty special that my engagement ring was one of hers too.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses?                                                                           I thought I’d visit lots of bridal shops but in the end I only visited three. The Charlie Brear showroom was the best experience I had, from the moment I stepped through the gate, seeing the dresses in the showroom for the first time and trying them on. It genuinely felt very special.

What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?                                  Spend a little time researching where to book your appointments. You will quickly know what style suits you and what you like. Once you start the process of shopping, just relax and enjoy.

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Relieved and excited. I couldn’t wait to wear it. I knew without any doubt in my mind that I had found the perfect dress for me. A decision which I thought was going to be the most difficult to make, was one of the easiest. It was a weight off my mind.

What shoes did you wear?
Traditional wedding shoes didn’t really appeal to me. I had decided that I would love to find a pair of baby pink suede shoes as it was my girls’ favourite colour. I am lucky enough to be invited to LK Bennett sample sales and found the perfect pair, it was fate! They were so comfortable I wore them all day and I also love the fact I can wear them again.

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
A little. I would say as soon as you find the dress, start thinking and ordering lingerie as you’ll need it for the fittings. I quickly realised that your wedding dress lingerie is highly unlikely to be ‘sexy’. It’s more likely to be functional and there to make you look as fabulous in your dress as possible.

What traditions did you follow? 
We kept with more traditions than we thought we would because there seems to be a reason for their existence, they work! We had a top table, the traditional sit down meal, we didn’t stay with each other the night before (even though we were at the same venue) and had the traditional speeches. My ‘old’ and ‘borrowed' was my Granny’s bracelet that my mum lent me, my ‘new’ was my dress and my ‘blue’ was a small blue feather that one of my bridesmaid’s found on the morning of the wedding and put in my flower crown. My sister also gave me a blue garter and my mum a six pence for my shoe. 

How did you feel walking down the aisle?
Overwhelmed. I struggled to take it all in. I feel like I need the moment again. Having all your favourite people in one place for one of the most special moments in your life is an incredible feeling. 

What was the funniest moment of the day?
My husband’s speech and also surprising him with a dance that I performed with my Hen’s to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ that one of my Bridesmaid’s had choreographed. His reaction is captured on the wedding film and it’s just brilliant.

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
 To tie in with the country vintage wedding theme, we bought two old fashioned milk churns and the florist created beautiful displays in them. We placed them outside the church and then took them to the reception venue. The reception was held at West Lexham near Swaffham which in itself has some really quirky features. Accommodation includes Tree Houses, Bell Tents and converted stables. We had 80 people staying with us there for the weekend. It was amazing.

Mike and I went out on one of the row boats for photos and it was highly amusing to see the photographer and videographer squeezed in another row boat to capture some memorable shots of us. Mike also organised for a gorgeous cake stall to be present for guests in the courtyard as a surprise for me.

The wedding cake was a savoury cheese cake – we carefully selected each layer and I loved the look of the finished product.   

Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?
The wonderful Daniel Jones from Daniel Jones Weddings. He’s a friend too and so we knew his style and were extremely relaxed around him. He’s also very funny and so is great to have around.

What great piece of advice / tips would you pass on to other brides who are planning their wedding (#weddinghacks)?
I planned all of the décor for the wedding myself as the church and West Lexham provided beautiful blank canvases. I don’t regret doing so much of the planning and decorations myself because it meant everything looked exactly how I envisaged it. If you’re planning to do the same, accept offers of help. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing bridesmaids, friends and family. 

Remember, this is yours and your husband’s day. You will probably have a vision of how you’d like the day to be and so only compromise on the stuff which you feel completely happy to. Saying that, try to also keep it all in perspective too. Trying to pick the right bridesmaids' dresses nearly drove me crazy.

Book hairdressers and make-up artists earlier than the bridal magazines recommend. The good ones get booked up early, sometimes a year or more!

If you could do it all again what would you do differently?                                                                        Nothing really. I can honestly say I have never smiled so much in one day. If I could do it all over again (with the same person!) it would be amazing. Perhaps slow down time but I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? 
Once I found the reception venue, everything else seemed relatively easy. We had around 120 attending our wedding and so I just had to be really organised. Table plans were more challenging that I expected, we just wanted to make sure everyone really enjoyed themselves. I also never thought I’d find the right bridesmaid dresses but we got there eventually.

What will you do with your dress now?
It has been cleaned and carefully folded in a box I bought from the Big Box Company, wrapped in acid free paper along with my veil and daughters’ flower girl dresses. I would love it if they wanted to wear it one day but I have been told it sometimes skips a generation. I’d love to see one of my daughters wear it or maybe a granddaughter one day!

What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?
The first thing my husband said was ‘Getting a few laughs during my speech’! Saying our vows to each other was emotional and amazing &  having our little girls with us for one of the most special moments of our lives is something all four of us can treasure forever.

The band were absolutely brilliant, nearly all of the guests were still on the dance floor right until the end of the night. The band also sang 'Shake it Off' by Taylor Swift live as I surprised my husband with the dance with my bridesmaids. We won't forget seeing some of the older relatives dancing to deep house either!

Last, but certainly not least, spending our wedding night in a tree house is an absolutely unforgettable memory!