Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my wedding posts with all the baby posts and pregnancy diary posts going on around here! Last time, I talked all about the morning and getting ready, but since I’d already gone a liiittle overboard with the photos in that post (how could I not with such beautiful bridesmaids?!), I decided to keep the info and photos focused on my dress and accessories for a separate post. So let’s dive right in!
Choosing a dress was quite a nerve-wracking thought for me. While I had a very good idea of what I thought I would end up wearing, I also loved a variety of different styles. I’d been pinning wedding dresses for years, everything from princess ballgown styles to sleek fitted designs and even loose flowing boho frocks, and everything in between. Generally my style has always been quite 50s inspired, and my more curvaceous body type fortunately tends to fit this style with a nipped in waist and balanced bust and hips quite well. In addition, more style is slightly on the quirky side – I knew that whatever I chose wouldn’t be entirely traditional.
Even so, I visited a local boutique with some of my bridesmaids and my mum in tow and I tried on a selection of different styles there. I have to admit, I did pick this particular boutique because it had tea length dresses in stock! It was so much fun to try on a huge dress with a massive train, but I knew immediately it wasn’t the one for me – I was kicking it out the way trying to manoeuvre around the shop, and while it looked gorgeous, it wasn’t right. The tea length dresses felt much more “me”, but I hadn’t found the right one yet.
In the end, it was actually a little bit of fate that this dress fell into my hands! I spotted a local wedding dress designer outlet store local to me had a range of tea length dresses coming in, including some from one of my favourite designers, Brighton Belle. I frantically grabbed a bridesmaid, my mum and sister, and we got ourselves over to the shop. We picked 3 or 4 tea length dresses from the rails, along with a couple of others that I thought would be nice to try (one of which, my mum just said: “NOPE, too elegant for you!”), but I left one behind that was on a mannequin because of the V neck – I’d tried one with a V neck in the previous shop and laughed it back onto the hanger with the ridiculous cleavage it gave me, so had ruled it out.
As I tried each of these dresses on, I felt they were lovely and felt so much better than the full length ones I’d tried, but none jumped out at me. I can’t remember whether it was one of the assistants in the store or one of family/friends party that suggested the one on the mannequin, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I tried it on, came out, and all three of them first gasped then went silent. It was so much “me” and had beautiful detailing with the pearls across the back.
Still, even then I hesitated! It’s such a huge decision and I wondered whether I would regret choosing a shorter dress on the only day in my life that I could feasibly wear a giant, full length white dress. In the end, the assistant said to me: “What would you change about this dress to make it perfect?” I looked it up and down and realised, even though it didn’t have the lace sleeves I’d been first lusting over (although trying on one of these in the first shop had swayed my opinion a little!), I wouldn’t change a thing. She said, “So is this the one?” and I had to admit that, YES, I think it is the one!
My dress was the Brighton Belle Lottie – another thing that we decided was “fate”, that’s our family dog’s name! Due to it being in an outlet store, it was past season, meaning it was much cheaper but also was a couple of sizes too big. Fortunately that wasn’t an issue and I was given the name of a seamstress where I could get it fitted – Once Upon A Dress. They did a brilliant job and were super friendly too.
I honestly can’t imagine getting married in a different dress now. While I think floor sweeping dresses look absolutely gorgeous on other people, and I even loved trying them on myself, I couldn’t have done it. As we all know, I’m one of the more clumsy people on the planet – I rarely wear maxi dresses because I trip over them if I do! I like to have my legs free and my feet bare to wander round, and the full length dress would have personally just really bothered me. I absolutely loved the pearl back necklace detail that gave the dress that added something – I love that the front view of the outfit was fairly traditional and demure, then from the back, well….let’s move onto the shoes!
Confession time! I’ve had these shoes for 4 years – yes, that’s 2 and a half years before we even got engaged! I was offered them by Daniel Footwear, and I immediately just knew they would be my wedding shoes – longest collaboration ever?! They’ve been with me through 3 house moves and stored carefully in their box with a dust bag since they arrived, only ever tried on once or twice before my dress appointments, and every dress I tried on was centred around these shoes!
I mean, just look at them!! From the front, they’re, like I said, demure and could be traditional. From the back, SURPRISE ICE CREAM! They were totally fun and non-traditional, and I love them so much. The tea length dress only served to show them off even better, plus they smell like bubble gum. Seriously, all you could want in a shoe! If anyone’s wondering, they’re the Melissa Karl Lagerfeld Incense Ice Cream Heel. I’ve spotted them still available here and there in places like eBay, so if you’re searching, you might be in luck!
I’ll admit they weren’t the most comfortable of shoes, but what heels are? After the ceremony, drinks reception and main photos were over though, I had my next stage of shoe lined up:
Ben got me these Disney inspired hand painted TOMS as a wedding morning gift. I may or may not have suggested this to him, but he did all the designing himself. They have Cinderella Castle and a classic Mickey silhouette on the front, then Disney balloons on the sides.
I changed into these ready for the meal and dancing, but again, I have to admit these didn’t last all that long either – I just prefer being barefoot! I’d say 90% of the dancing and evening took place with no shoes at all, and I especially love our end of the evening couple photos where I’m shoeless and Ben is jacket and tie-less – they’re much more casual and so much more us.
Once the dress was decided, I started thinking about jewellery. I knew it could be a little tricky with the statement pearl back necklace, but with the V neckline, I needed at least something around my neck. I always wear very dainty jewellery – I think I have small features which can be overwhelmed by anything too big and chunky, hence why we chose a small, delicate engagement and wedding ring for me. As such, I wanted my necklace to be similarly dainty but also to match the pearls on the dress. I chose a freshwater pearl bar necklace on a small gold chain from Femina Handmade on Etsy and I love it – I’ve worn it plenty of times since the wedding too, which is exactly what I wanted.
The other jewellery I bought before the wedding was my earrings. I knew I needed something in my ears, and I was set on pearls, but I wasn’t quite sure whether to go with simple studs or something bigger. I didn’t decide on my hair style until not long before the wedding, so this didn’t help the decision either! When I came across a pair of fan pearl drop earrings by All Things Lucy on Etsy, I kept coming back to them over and over. They’re slightly 20s inspired, which I also love, and the pearl matched the back of the dress, so I decided to go for it. Again, I love these and will hopefully wear them again – I always forget to wear earrings!
The only new piece of jewellery I didn’t buy was a bracelet, mostly because, like earrings, I also forget to wear them so forget to think about getting one! But luckily, my parents thought ahead for me and managed to find a gorgeous dainty pearl bracelet – good thing my mum knew what my dress looked like!
I also, of course, wore my engagement ring, swapped to my right hand until after the ceremony, and my new wedding ring, bought again on Etsy – I like to support small businesses! We had our rings custom made by Diorrah Wedding Rings. We just went for plain and simple gold bands for these.
The final piece was another ring – one of my “old” and “borrowed” items, from Ben’s grandma who passed away when he was a teenager. Ben’s sister suggested that I borrow it and brought it along for me. I really loved having this to wear on the day as a reminder of her as Ben talks about her a lot and she was the only grandparent we no longer have with us.
The Hair Accessories
While I was super indecisive about my hair style for a really long time, I knew right from the beginning that I wanted flowers in my hair of some sort. I love the relaxed and summery vibe of blossoms around your head. I quite quickly ruled out flower crowns though as I felt it would be too much for me, much like chunky jewellery is. Instead, I picked out these Festival Meadow hair grips from English Flower Farmer on Etsy (there we go again with Etsy!). They came in a set of 3, and I decided my bridesmaids would also wear one each, so I liked the fact that I had the option to wear between 1 and 4 grips depending on how they looked. I’d also picked these out before organising our flowers for the day, so it was useful to have them to show Jane, our florist, who matched our flowers up with them too. I bought them a couple of months in advance of the wedding so I could have them for my hair trial and they kept beautifully!
And the final piece, my mum’s veil. This was my other “old” and “borrowed” piece and I’m so glad I got to wear a piece of my parents’ wedding too. It needed a bit of patching up and sewing onto a new comb, but the seamstress who worked on my dress did this very easily. I’d originally tried a couple of short veils with my dress and really liked them, so when I realised my mum’s was this length, there was no contest really! I removed this after a few photos as I only planned to wear it for part of the day but I’m so happy I got a chance to do so!