Every Friday we celebrate the beginning of the weekend by featuring one of our amazing Real Life Brides. Showcasing their wedding and of course, their dress! 

This week we spoke to Madelaine Vakis; who was married to Tony on the 17th of August 2015 in the courtyard of Stavros Tis Minthis Monastery in Cyprus. 
The bride wore our Beaumont dress and Catroux skirt. 

Get an exclusive look at Madelaine and Tony's big day below! 


How would you describe the style of your wedding?

I would describe it as sunkissed, intimate, romantic and dreamy. For me, it totally encapsulated that feeling of being on holiday - warm, care-free and happy.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses?

By far and away my best experience was at Cicily Bridal in Ashby.  I was immediately made to feel welcome, assured and at ease in this beautiful boutique, where I found my stunning Charlie Brear gown.
The warmth of the girls, the relaxed setting and the amazing dresses made the experience so wonderful and special from start to finish - I totally still miss going in there!

How did your husband propose?
Tony proposed two weeks after our son Theo was born, which just so happened to be Valentine's Day.  We were in bed (!) and he had wrapped the ring, Russian Doll style, in lots of boxes. 

Call it sleep deprivation but I still didn't know what was going on when I got to the final box and saw the beautiful diamond! Tony stood at the end of the bed and made a tearful speech, then handed me a card which said "Madelaine, Keep Calm and Marry Me?". It was a very special day as we later went to register Theo's birth.

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?

Oh my goodness I was so excited and just absolutely couldn't wait to get back to try it on again! I loved every single visit to Cicily Bridaland used to dread the end of the appointment where I would have to take the dress off again!

What shoes did you wear?
I bought my shoes before I had even tried on any dresses.  I fell in love with a pair of strappy gold/pewter sandals from Karen Millen.  Even in the intense Cypriot heat they were comfortable although I think I was shoe-less for the last hour on the dance floor!

What traditions did you follow?

Something old = my Nanny's wedding ring ; Something new = my beautiful Marie Canning halo; Something borrowed and Something blue = my friend's wedding garter.  Tony spent the night before with his best men and their wives and I spent the night with my family..we didn't see each other until I walked down the aisle.

What was the funniest moment of the day? 
I'm not known for my punctuality and true to form, I arrived 40 minutes late to the monastery. The registrar was getting rather anxious as he had another wedding booked after ours, some 10 miles away.

He conducted the ceremony beautifully but once it was over he was in quite a rush to leave and accidentally trod on my (cathedral length) veil as he hurried off, nearly giving me whiplash in the process! I don't think our guests knew whether to laugh or cry and needless to say he was mortified and very apologetic!

Who took your fabulous wedding pictures? 
The very talented Karina Leonenko took our wedding pictures. I was drawn to her for her natural style of photography and she told the story so beautifully from start to finish.  

I was keen not to have too many “staged” photos and as it was a small wedding she was able to take natural individual shots of all the guests during the dinner and speeches.

Who did your hair and makeup? 
The amazing Chara Charalambous did my make up. I had spoken to her at length in the lead up to the wedding about what I wanted on the day and I had shared ideas with her on Pinterest.  She totally transformed  me from average to beautiful and I felt like a goddess all day long!  

My hair was done by Jessica from the Renoir Studio in Paphos.  She did a wonderful job of making my hair look natural and and not at all "done" whilst making sure it stayed put for the whole of the day.

Do you have any great advice for other brides (#WeddingHacks)?

Try and enjoy as much of the build up as possible and absorb as many of the special moments of the process as you can. It's such a long time in planning but the day flashes by in a heartbeat and you will probably wish you had worried a little less and enjoyed a little more ...

Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have worried less! So much effort, blood, sweat and tears go into the planning and it's such a big build up that I think it's easy to get caught up in the tiny details...

What will you do with your dress?
I was very lucky that I got to wear my dress (veil and all!) again as we had a big party in the UK a few weeks after we got back, so that all our friends and family could join us in celebrating.  It was amazing to feel so special all over again and so many people commented on how beautiful and different my dress was.

The lovely seamstress Julia at Cicily suggested that I use the lace from the Catroux skirt to make a christening dress if I am ever to have a baby girl..time will tell! 

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We incorporated our honeymoon into our time in Cyprus. We had two nights and three relaxing days at the Ayii Anagyri Spa in Miliou. We had spent all our time during the holiday staying with friends and family so it was great to have some time just the two of us, to take everything in and completely unwind. 

What are your best memories of the day?

The dress! I have never felt more special than when I wore that dress! It suited the weather, the venue and the style of the wedding so perfectly, not to mention the fact that Tony absolutely loved it too!

The flowers! My bouquet was unstructured and natural, we had sprigs of gysophila at the end of the aisles and bougainvillea petals scattered on the ground. Jayne Pugh the amazing  florist made a fabulous floral arch which hung over the monastery door - everyone commented on the day and people still mention it now when they see the pictures! 

A memory which stands out for both of us is making our entrance hand in hand with Theo, as a family.  That was a very special moment and one that we will cherish forever.