PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAYBRIDE #35

KICK OFF YOUR SHOES THIS FRIDAY!

Come rain, hail, sleet or shine, Jessica & Steve were destined to be together! Marrying mid April of this year at the beautiful St. Peter's Church, Prestbury; these loved-up Londoners headed to the countryside to celebrate their day in a place that reminded them of their childhoods. This smiley duo shared a classic ceremony followed by a rustic reception at the fabulous Mottram Hall in the company of many dear friends and family. The sense of love and joy that surrounds these two is incredible and something that Dan Vernon has brilliantly captured. Moments to treasure, forever.

Imagine dressing for the seasons on your Wedding day! Well Jessica did! She pulled it off by wearing our wonderfully glam Ventoux dress, layered with our Voulaire overdress and additional capped sleeves. Later she added a hint of playfulness by coupling this elegant look with red wellington boots and a love-heart shaped brolly!

How did Steve propose?
Steve proposed to me in Lisbon on 23rd April 2015. It was his 30th birthday that day and I had booked a surprise weekend away for him. On the night we arrived, we dined at a romantic restaurant to celebrate. Steve was washing down the champagne particularly quickly and now I know why…Just as his birthday cake was revealed by the waitress, he casually handed his camera to her, strolled over to me and got down on one knee. I was so shocked because it was the last thing I expected – it was his birthday after all! I remember everyone sitting on the tables around us started to clap and cheer. I felt on top of the world and without any hesitation said yes, of course (and cried with happiness, which I often do!). Steve proposed with a placeholder Monica Vinader ring, having struggled for months to find the right bling! Searching together for the perfect ring was an exciting experience in itself and one that we will treasure.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
Trying on my Charlie Brear dress for the first time and knowing that it was the one! I’m actually crying with happiness as I write now, because that moment in particular brings back such fabulous memories of elation and excitement at what was to come in eight months’ time! I tried on the dress both in the Charlie Brear flagship store in London and also at The White Closet in Didsbury where I bought it. I had such a great experience at both locations. I knew that I wanted something bespoke and the ladies at The White Closet totally came up trumps in helping me to achieve that!

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Utterly elated and enormously excited! I remember celebrating the purchase with my mum and the ladies in The White Closet – I felt like I was floating on air! At that stage I still had the task of finding a belt and other bits and bobs such as capped sleeves, so it was another excuse to pay a few more visits to The White Closet and try on the dress even after I’d bought it, which was great.

What shoes did you wear?
I found choosing shoes quite tricky. I always had my heart set on wearing a pair of Louboutin’s on my wedding day, but after trying on endless pairs with my mum they just didn’t feel quite right. I then panicked a little and ordered 15 pairs of shoes online from Kate Spade to be delivered to where I work. Thankfully my boss was understanding and didn’t mind the endless catwalks across the office! Needless to say, out of those 15 pairs, I found a pair that was just right.

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie for your dress & what would you recommend for other brides-to-be?
Not at all – I didn’t need a bra and the dress wasn’t ‘skin tight’ so I didn’t need seem-free underwear either. The only requirement was ‘nude’, so it was easy!

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
I had my hair and make-up done by the fabulous Michelle Sisson, based in Chorlton. I found Michelle by doing a lot of online research and scanning through all of her great work and also came across a friend who had used Michelle for her wedding. It was clear she was very talented so it was a no-brainer to choose Michelle. I absolutely loved my hair – it was natural, slightly boho and complemented my dress perfectly! I would definitely recommend using airbrush make-up too – it lasted all day and night and looked completely natural.

What traditions did you follow? 
We followed a couple of traditions – I borrowed my mum’s eternity ring, so it felt like my mum was walking me down the aisle as well as my dad, and for the something blue, we bought some stickers for our shoes which said ‘I do, me too’ and made for cheesy photo shots! We chose not to follow the tradition of not seeing one another the night before. Many of our guests had travelled such long distances and were staying two nights, so we wanted to say thank you by having a big group dinner with them on the Friday night at a local country pub. It was also a really great way of building up to (and prolonging) the big day.

How did you feel walking down the aisle?
As soon as the doors opened at the back of the Church I felt totally at ease – my Dad was there by my side and I could see another 118 smiling faces of friends and family. I felt a great sense of love, joy and happiness all around me. I remember trying to take slow steps down the aisle so that I could relish it! I saw my Mum and then Steve looked around. At that moment, my eyes began to water. I had firmly told myself not to cry during the service because I didn’t want it to impede by ability to say my vows clearly. As soon as I held Steve’s hand I gained composure and the vows and whole service was amazing. We will both treasure the memories forever.

What was the funniest moment of the day?
There were so many! One relates to Steve’s usher, Alex, who spilt champagne down the front of his trousers in the taxi on the way to Church before the ceremony. Unfortunately, the spillage looked like something other than champagne. Since he was about to embark on ushering duties he had to take a pit stop at the nearest pub and strip down to his underwear whilst holding his trousers under the hand-dryer. We do have photographic evidence but have been sworn to secrecy!

Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?
We followed the recommendation of Mottram Hall when it came to our photos and chose the incredible Dan Vernon from Dan Vernon Wedding Photography. He worked all day without us knowing he was really there and he captured many magical moments. A particular highlight is when Steve and I had our shots taken – we encountered all four seasons in the space of 30 minutes - sun, cloud, rain, sleet and snow! It made for some brilliant shots and meant that we could use the last minute, ‘panic buy’ props (wellingtons and heart-shaped umbrellas)!

TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK'S #FRIDAYBRIDE JESSICA!

Jessica's #WEDDINGHACKS

1. D.I.Y decorations are a lovely personal touch to add to your special day. If you have time, get creative and make your own centrepieces or ask friends & family for help!


2. Shoes are very important and need to feel right. Even if you had a set style in mind, if they turn out to not be quite right try and try again until you find that gorgeous yet comfortable pair! (15 pairs later & I found the ones!)


3. You don't have to decide on accessories for your dress straight away. Once you fall in love with a dress, experiment with all sorts of styling options such as sleeves and belts. Charlie Brear was wonderful at helping me create my perfect look and cleverly gave me the option of having two looks by adding detachable sleeves!

4. Keep your hair and make-up natural and true to you. I went for a slightly boho feel to suit my dress and complement my style!

5. Don't let the weather get you down! It's all about the people you're with so celebrate and have fun with it! At the end of the day it's only weather - it's more incredible that you'll be married!

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Yes, quite a few! We wanted to spice things up so we played bingo before the Wedding Breakfast. One of our ushers, Adam Howe, adopted the role of bingo caller and handed out the prizes. He did a fantastic job! The game went down a storm and we would totally recommend it! We also had a caricaturist that produced some great images of our guests after dinner when people were sozzled. 

We wanted our wedding to feel very personal so we used jars to put photographs of all our guests in and dotted them around the venue. We also dug out old clips of when we were both young and my Dad created a silent video that was played on a big projector alongside our first dance. It brought tears to a lot of eyes and my Dad did a brilliant job of creating it. 

My Mum made the centrepieces for our tables. Both of our parents collected jam jars for a year which were filled (by my Mum!) with flowers the morning before the wedding! She was on her hands and knees putting all the flowers in place before driving over to the venue with my 92 year old Grandma, balancing a car full of flower-filled jars! Not many Mother's of the Bride would do that - we are very lucky! Some might also say that the Bride standing up to do an impromptu speech was another unusual feature!

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We were lucky enough to spend almost three weeks in South Africa for our honeymoon, which was made possible by our generous guests and in particular our family who live in Cape Town (and who flew over for our wedding). We borrowed my uncle’s car to drive through Franschhoek wine region and The Garden Route, explored Cape Town and finished with a safari in Kruger National Park. The whole experience was phenomenal. We are still talking about it!
 

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? 
Steve and I always work really well together as a team (of course!), so between us the process was relatively straight forward and stress-free. Probably the most stressful period were the three days leading up to the wedding. We had included a lot of personal touches into our big day and so those days were spent frantically trying to put all of that in place and sorting out the stationery (which Steve had done most of himself).

What will you do with your dress now?
I’m going to treasure it forever! I’d like to think that I (or a future offspring) might find an opportunity to wear the satin dress again. As for the lace overdress, when I’m brave enough I think I’ll turn it into a lace top that I can wear on special occasions.

What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?
There are so many, but we have three that stick in our heads in particular. Firstly, saying our vows (and listening to one another say them in such a clear, meaningful way). Secondly, driving around Alderley Edge after the ceremony with the roof of our wedding car down, the sun shining and onlookers waving at us (we felt like celebs!). Finally, as we walked into the Suite for our Wedding Breakfast and were greeted by all of our nearest and dearest who we are very lucky to have in our lives.

Suppliers
Ceremony Venue - St Peter’s Church in Prestbury.

Reception Venue - Mottram Hall, Cheshire


Photographer - Dan Vernon from Dan Vernon Wedding Photography

Dress -  Charlie Brear from The White Closest

Hair and Make-up - Michelle Sisson


Accessories - I have a thing for handmade items so ended up finding the belt and hair piece from etsy!

Shoes - Kate Spade

Band - The Hot Shots from Essex

Florist - Frog Flowers, The Northern Quarter, Manchester

Cake - The Cheshire Cat Cake Company by Francesca - absolutely divine and well worth a shout out!