Long time, no see! It’s been well over a year since I last blogged and well it is safe to say a fair bit has happened since I last checked in. Last year was a hell of a year for me both in business and personally. I won Make up Artist of the Year for the West Midlands category at The 2018 Wedding Industry Awards and made finalist at nationals, wow wow wow and in-between all of this excitement, as if I could take any more, after 8 years (yes people, EIGHT!) Rob finally got his knee dirty and surprised me with the most beautiful proposal in our home surrounded by candles and an epic engagement ring that still makes me coo over a year on. Within a few months the wedding was booked and with just a year to plan we got straight to putting together our best day ever.
Rob and I got married on the 14th September this year surrounded by our nearest and dearest and it truly was the best day of our lives. Since having our gallery of photos back from our photographer Katie Ingram there has been no shortage of images shared on my various social media pages and by our many incredible suppliers and the response from everyone has been so wonderful. So much so I decided to get back to blogging as I have missed it so, starting very indulgently with a series of posts detailing all aspects of our special day from the venue, styling, suppliers and so on. I hope this series gives any bride and grooms to be inspiration or simply brings you a little joy while sat with a cuppa on a dull Monday afternoon, whatever has brought you here- thank you for wanting to see a little more and share in our special day.
Todays feature and the first in my series is all about THE DRESS. It seemed the perfect place to start as it was for me second to booking our venue, one of the first decisions I made towards our big day and most definitely is where the inspiration and theme if you like for our big day was born.
Let the dress porn begin…..
Wedding dress shopping is something let face it we've all dreamt about perhaps even prior to having a ring on your finger, whether it’s walking past the window of a beautiful bridal shop and taking a sly glance in or scrolling through instagram and seeing images of brides in swoon worthy dresses. There is no escaping it, even more so for myself having worked in the wedding industry for over 7 years I had seen hundreds of beautiful dresses. I was so eager to get started with dress shopping but felt nervous. I wanted to have THAT moment, the moment you see in films and I have heard about from many a bride over the years and I began to worry “what if” I never do.
Feeling nervous I began my journey in the comfortable and friendly environment of Tilly Trotters Brides in Leamington Spa, with whom owner Sian has become a friend of mine over the years through her generosity of recommending her brides to me and having worked together on various shoots and projects over the years. Tilly’s is a treasure trove of bridal beauty, hosting the most eclectic collection of wedding dresses to suit every bride, every wedding and every budget. I have had the pleasure of entering this shop many times before this visit but never as a bride to be and with the intention to try on dresses. I felt giddy and all nervousness had faded.
I tried on heaps of dresses during my consultation in varying styles and shapes from glorious designers such as Pronovias, Charlie Brear, Watters. I even headed to alternative bridal shops during my search, shout out to lovely Madi at The Bridal Boutique in Henley and her glorious Jesus Piero dresses. I didn’t look great in everything but sure felt fabulous and in these moments it really begun to sink in that I was going to be a bride.
At each appointment at Tilly’s (there were a few!) I navigated, heart eye emoji style to the GALA by Galia Lahav rail and all of its embellished, sparkly glory. They excited me and a I longed to wear one but felt that my curvy figure and fuller bust couldn’t pull off their plunging necklines, fitted styles and sheer panels. On Sian’s insistence I chucked all of this doubt into the f**k it bucket and tried on the GALA 903 and the rest as they say, is history!
With plenty of imagination and Sian’s guidance and reassurance on how this dress could be re-designed and altered to work for me I said YES TO THA DRESS in November 2017. The GALA by Galia Lahav 903 described by the designer as “a pleated ball gown made of French lace in exquisite shades of rose and sparkly accents”.
My many measurements were taken and sent off to the designer and my beautiful dress was custom made in the Galia Lahav Couture Atelier in Israel taking eight months of exquisite craft to make, the ultimate luxury in bridal and is in my eyes nothing less than a work of art.
I was so excited to get the call from Sian to say my dress had arrived and had to resist banging her door down at 7am the following day in a desperate attempt to lay eyes on it. Instead I tried (and failed) to play it cool and waited until my final fittings with the Tilly’s seamstress Kay who is a total wonder. After losing a few (was meant to be many more!) lbs, Kay lifted the waistband on my dress and adjusted the length to accommodate my short arse legs, she created a bustle so I could whip up my lengthy train to dance in the evening and even created a custom cape veil so I could wear my veil attached to my shoulders rather than in my hair.
The dress was perfect. I collected it just a few days prior to the wedding and couldn’t have been more excited to wear it.
My dress, still a secret from my bridesmaids and all of our wedding guests aside from my Mum and Sister in Law was hung in it’s own room for the night prior to the wedding day ready for it’s big reveal. On the day, Sian and Nicky from Tilly’s kindly came to dress us and at 11am, one hour prior to our ceremony it was time for me to put it on. It felt surreal wearing the dress having tried it on a few times during the weeks leading up to the big day for fittings knowing that this time I didn’t have to whip it off and it was time for this dress (and me!) to have it’s day. I had a very emotional dress reveal to my Dad, my Brother and then my Bridesmaids and while it was so difficult keeping the dress a secret from everyone, in that moment seeing their faces was priceless and it made all of the secrecy worthwhile.
I headed down the aisle feeling my happiest, my most beautiful and so comfortable in my own skin. I smiled the whole way, feeling totally overcome with love and so excited to embrace the day we had spent the past year tirelessly planning. The dress still being one of my most favourite parts. A dress custom made to fit my rather odd shape, a dress so perfect I didn’t feel I needed to lose umpteen pounds and one that all of my guests said couldn’t have been more me. A dress so epic, our entire styling and wedding vibe was born from it. Oh, and Rob cried and we all know thats all that really matters!
Photography by Katie Ingram www.katieingram.co.uk
Dress GALA 903 by Galia Lahav www.galialahav.com
Dress purchased at Tilly Trotters Brides www.tillytrottersbrides.co.uk
GALA by Galia Lahav prices start at £5,000.