PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAY BRIDE #32
FRIDAY'S HERE ONCE AGAIN!
Maximum fun, minimum stress was Sarah & Paul's approach to their wedding weekend. This love story began at the mere age of 11. Racing in the GBR Youth Windsurfing team Sarah & Paul met. They coupled up in 2012 when they both volunteered for the Olympics & were married last winter. The pair shared an incredibly sentimental ceremony at St. Peter's Church, Little Ashton with just 25 guests present. Years earlier, Sarah lost her father & brother in a car accident when returning from a windsurfing event which played a fundamental role in their choice of venue. Sarah's parent's were married at the same church & her father & brother are also buried there, so it was an incredibly emotional but powerful way to include the memory of their missing family members in this couple's very special day.
Sarah wowed wearing a stunning Charlie Brear combination - our champagne slipper satin Payton dress layered with the Voulaire lace overdress, matching sleeves and a champagne sash. She also added our crushed fur Taverton top to ease the winter chill. Capturing the couple's weekend were brothers, Rob Wilson (Red Snapper Photography) & Tom Wilson (Hitched Productions) while Jo from Grace and Bramble subtly incorporated the couple's shared love by designing individual stationary with a windsurfing theme.
Scroll on to read about this loved-up wedding.
How did Paul propose?
Paul proposed on the piste in Avoriaz at the end of a day snowboarding. It was on my Grandma’s 92nd birthday and the anniversary of his Grandpa’s passing, so a very special day to us both. He did well with the ring! It is beautiful & sparkly, although I probably am bias!!!
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
Meeting Ally at Alexandra Anne, as soon as we walked in she was warm, welcoming, fun, open minded and had a beautiful selection of dresses which allowed you to be creative. I had tried on a lot of dresses in shops that were all the same and felt informal and impersonal. I have severe Psoriasis so needed something that would let my skin breath, not rub and not react with my skin. As I was wearing the dress over two days, it also needed to be really comfortable and not heavy as I wanted to dance. Charlie Brear was the perfect choice!!
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
Enjoy it, search around & don’t settle for anything. Start the search early & don’t leave it otherwise you will have to compromise. There were changes that I wanted to make to my dress and Ally was open minded enough to help make that vision become reality!
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
SUPER SUPER excited! I couldn’t wait for it to come in. It was so hard not to tell Paul anything about it. I was so happy to find a dress that suited the entire weekend. I was able to dance through out the weekend celebrations at our small reception at Fairlawns Hotel, Aldridge, on Friday & the larger reception at Rutland Arms, Bakewell, on Saturday as well as feel beautiful & classic for the Friday ceremony.
What shoes did you wear?
Rachel Simpson's Catherine shoes in Royal Blue Suede, they are actually made in Spain in beautiful leather and are so comfy. I wore them for both days and only took them off at about 11pm after the band finished their last set.
What traditions did you follow?
I wore my best friend's detailed peacock feather hair piece that she wore on her wedding day, my 'something blue' was my shoes, I borrowed earrings which my dad had given my mum for a wedding anniversary and my 'something old' was my pearl bracelet made from pearls that my grandad gave my grandma on their wedding day. The car I went to the church in was a canary yellow stag which my grandad had bought when I was tiny and I have grown up with, which seemed fitting to go to the church in and felt very sentimental.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
I walked down the aisle on my own to Snow Patrols 'Chasing Cars', playing on piano. We had agreed Paul would look back when I needed to start walking as I knew I wouldn’t make it down if he didn’t. As I started out it felt very surreal that this moment was actually here. We had made it and nothing had gone wrong to get us here. I remembered people's words,don’t rush down the aisle, and had to stop halfway down to compose myself. I felt my dad with me, it was a special moment.
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Bakewell is my home and where my mum still lives - you can evensee home from the Rutland Arms which meant a lot to us - therefore on the Friday night we went out for food in town. As we were already married and knew that people were traveling up for the weekend, we sent a message out to let people know where we were going. Over 40 people booked into the restaurant. It was so informal and relaxed - the celebrations had started and it wasn’t even Saturday!
As we were married on the Friday we had asked the videographer if he could make a short video from the Friday ceremony. Then once people had sat down for the meal on the Saturday, we played the short clip and were introduced to the room as Mr and Mrs. So many people at the wedding meant so much to us, it was our way of involving them without having to be there. We had watched the clip at my mum's house that morning whilst getting ready. Tom then videoed people's reactions and included it as part of the main video.
TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK'S #FRIDAY BRIDE SARAH!
1. Be strong, it’s your day and if you want to do something do it! The people that really love you will support you to make it happen and there will always be people who have their opinion and give it freely but it’s not their day its yours, you only get one shot at it!!
2. A videographer is worth the money.
3. Make sure to have a picture taken posed in your dress. I got so carried away having fun I totally didn’t think about whether I had a picture of me on my own!
4. Start your dress search early so you don't have to make any compromises.
5. Keep it FUN! You should enjoy being engaged rather than stressed out wedding planning.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We flew to the USA and started our honeymoon with 2 nights in Boston. We then went to stay with friends in New Hampshire for a few nights and then all 6 of us headed up to Maine for 4 days - snowboarding. Paul and I flew on to San Francisco, spent 3 nights there and celebrated Paul's 30th birthday! Mini holidays followed in Carmel, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Santa Monica, through Hollywood Hills and out to Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains for three days where we again went snowboarding!
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?
When we got engaged we said that it was going to be fun and that’s what we did! We decided on the big things early on. We knew we wanted a videographer and photographer, luckily for us we found Rob and Tom who were brothers and agreed to cover the entire weekend. The venue was fantastic and allowed us to make the space our own. We had exclusive use from the Saturday to Sunday but most guests had also booked the Friday night as well, so it turned into a weekend celebration. The trickiest part was getting all the information people needed in the invites. We had three days of parties and accommodation to sort for people & getting that into one invite took a while.
What will you do with your dress now?
I have already tried it on again more than once! I love it and feel amazing in it. I will wear the dress, with a belt and shoes but without the overlay again, as it is beautiful - maybe for another wedding!! I will wait for an opportunity to wear the lace overlay again….
What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?
The whole weekend! From walking down the aisle on the Friday to when the last people left after the open house at my mum's on the Sunday. It was all full of love, laughter and celebration. It truly is the most overwhelming and wonderful feeling - we wanted to do it all again the next weekend! For the signing of the register we had asked my Grandma and Paul's Nan to be our witnesses, which was a very special moment to us both. Their marriages had endured so much through their lifetime and they are both a big support to us so it only seemed fitting.