Rachel's Wedding Part Two- The Bridal Party
Posted on October 23 2019
I wanted to write a separate post about how I chose dresses and accessories for me and my bridesmaids, because there's quite a bit to cover! Finding your dress really is a special thing. For me the experience was probably totally different to most people as I ordered it without even trying it on, but it was pretty magical nonetheless!
A couple of years ago I met French dress company Lambert Creations at a trade fair in Dusseldorf. The minute I saw their dresses it was honestly love at first sight, and I got talking to them on the stand. From then on we would always chat at trade shows, and every time I saw their collection I fell a little bit more head over heels. When I knew we were getting married, knowing that their express service is around eight weeks you’d think I got straight on the phone right? Well life being as it is we kept missing each other, so when we finally got to chat it was only five weeks until the wedding!
Luckily for me, the team at Lambert Creations are just lovely and they very kindly agreed to make my dress with a super quick turnaround! All their dresses are made by hand in Brittany- that’s one of the many reasons I love the brand, as it has a synergy with ours. Everything is originally designed and made in the tradition way, and they have a genuine passion for what they do. I love to see their behind the scenes photos on Instagram and hope to visit and see the magic at work one day. I sent my measurements by email and one week later my beautiful, beautiful dress arrived. They even added little sleeves at my request, which for me made it even more perfect.
When I finally tried my dress on (four weeks before the wedding), I was truly over the moon. It felt ‘me’. What I love about Lambert Creations designs is that they’re classically beautiful, but they also have a distinct dose of va-va-voom- the perfect combination! Whilst I could have worn it off the peg, I knew that with a bit of tailoring I’d be even happier with the fit, so I booked an appointment with a local tailor I’ve used before and two weeks before the wedding I spent an enjoyable hour with Damian Marquez making sure the dress was 100% perfect!
(A quick note on underwear if you're going for a backless dress. I discovered an amazing company in Paris earlier this year called Back to Glam who have designed an incredible bra perfect for super low backs. So clever it is patent pending, this magical device crosses over on your lower back, fastens around your front and is totally invisible but secure all day- I highly recommend one!)
My wonderful big sister Emma was my awesome maid of honour, and I couldn't have said my vows without her by my side. She looked stunning in a floor length powder blue H&M dress, which she wore with a pair of Rachel Simpson Ginger t-bars in gold. My beautiful eldest niece Holly wore the same dress but with a pair of Candyfloss with gold glitter block heels. My three younger nieces Lottie, Jess and Poppy rocked a different H&M dress in powder blue lace with Rachel Simpson Starlight trainers!
My wonderful mum looked gorgeous in a beaded navy dress by Monsoon with a bespoke headpiece by my talented friend Sally of Sharper Millinery, which picked out the colours in the embroidery perfectly. Mum completed her look with a pair of Rachel Simpson Mimosa in pale blue leather and matching Mia clutch bag. Oh, and that's our amazing family friend/ surrogate Aunty Margaret, also looking stunning as ever!
My gorgeous groom, Ben, wore a bespoke three piece suit by Clements & Church in a gorgeous powder blue colour. His tie and handkerchief were also from them, and I have to say he looked rather dashing! He's always asking me to do men's shoes, but in the absence of that (!) he wore a handmade pair from long-established classic English brand, Crockett & Jones.
The Registry Office Outfit
Whilst our Friday ceremony at the Registry Office was when we legally became man and wife, I decided to save my dress for the Saturday when we’d do the traditional ‘reveal’ as I walked down the aisle. The Friday was a much smaller, relaxed event and we both got ready at home and travelled there together. Of course I still wanted to feel like a bride, and a few weeks before I was browsing online and found a simple French Connection dress.
Last year I’d fallen in love with another brand- in fact whilst at another trade show, this time in Chicago. New York based Lotus Threads have a stunning range of vintage inspired dresses, and I fell in love with a beaded cream coloured bolero. The French Connection dress actually came with a bolero, but I took this off and when I added my beautiful beaded bolero it completely changed the look. My local (and very talented) tailor, Damian Marquez cleverly changed the neckline of the dress from a straight cut to a soft V shape to follow the line of the bolero and I was so happy with the end result.
The Shoes (Registry Office)
People naturally expected me to design something specially for my own wedding, but with only a few weeks before the big day it was a challenge to do this twice! I had something unique for the Saturday, but I also wanted to incorporate a classic into the wedding. There are certain Rachel Simpson styles which are pretty sentimental to me, and Ginger is one of them. It encapsulates my original vision for the brand with it’s vintage influence, it’s elegance and it’s utmost comfort. It also has a stylish simplicity which echoed the look of my Registry Office outfit. It actually rained on the day too so leather was the perfect choice!
One of my very dear friends Becky is the founder of British accessory brand, Laurel Lime. We met through the wedding industry many years ago and ever since I’ve known her I have been in complete awe of her work. It is Becky who skilfully makes every single trim for our Amalia shoe, as well as all our shoe clips and hair accessories.
Sadly Becky and her family couldn’t make the wedding, which gave me even more reason to wear something from her so she was with me, in some small way. That and the fact that I love everything she does of course! I had an appointment with her a week or so before the big day at her beautiful home studio in Birmingham and after trying on a couple of other options, it was the Clematis Hairvine which I kept coming back to. Funnily enough I planned to wear it around the front but when it came to the day I decided it would sit perfectly at the back of my head, following the gorgeous hairstyle Rika at Retreat Hairdressing had created.
I’m usually a large earrings kind of girl, and I briefly considered this for the wedding, but as the front of the dress had such an elegant v-shape, in the end I decided on a gorgeous drop necklace by Laurel Lime. I fell in love with the simplicity of the design- two delicate gold leaves clustered together with a single teardrop shaped Swarovski crystal. I wore the Wallflower Earrings to match and it couldn’t have been a more perfect finish to my outfit.
In fact I loved my necklace so much I also asked Becky to make one for each of my bridesmaids. It was funny as when I wore the necklace to the Registry Office the day before, my little nieces kept saying how much they liked it…so imagine their surprise when I presented them with their very own on the morning of the wedding!
Hair and Make Up
Having been on more photoshoots than I can remember over the course of this business, you’d think I’d be really clued up on wedding hair and make up, however I tend to leave things to the professionals. This is the approach I took for the wedding too and, somewhat fortuitously, a good friend of the brand was available for the date- Nicola Honey Artistry. Nicky is an absolute master of the sultry eye look, whilst keeping it bridal and after my very basic brief of ‘kind of a smoky eye and maybe a peachy/ natural lip?’.
I cannot thank Nicky enough for her calming influence on the day, as well as her huge positivity and just generally being a great person to have around. From the minute she arrived to my hotel room first thing on Saturday morning she made it so relaxed and a lot of fun. She even saved the day when my mum had a zip emergency with her dress, which I didn’t even know until afterwards. My hair and make up were both amazing and I didn’t touch it up once the whole day or evening- I was having far too much fun!
Nicky also did my sister and eldest niece’s hair and make up, and my mum’s make up too. I only wish she could be there every morning to make me look that good ;)
Okay so there’s a fair amount of pressure on this one, considering I’ve been designing wedding shoes for over eleven years and that’s what I do. I briefly considered going barefoot as I’m a bit of a hippy at heart and it was in my garden, but I figured people might be a little disappointed with that- plus I obviously love shoes of course!
In the end it was a really lovely organic decision. I went out to visit our factory in July, not long after we’d decided to get married that following month. I was going through samples for our Spring Summer 2020 collection, and as soon as I saw the powder blue suede version of our new Isadora shoe I knew they were the ones. A self confessed heels fan, I knew that on the wedding day I actually wanted something on the lower side for me, as my partner is just a few inches taller than me. The colour went perfectly with my husband to be’s suit which had in fact been the starting point for the whole colour scheme.
Our factory kindly agreed to make me a pair of Isadora in the powder blue suede, even though they weren’t launching until next year, and actually gave them to me as a wedding gift. I love my factory :) The shoes are part of the Spring Summer 2020 collection and I can’t wait to see other people get married in the shoes which will always be so special to me.
Phew- there's a lot to think about when you're the bride isn't there?! I'd love to hear how you chose your dress and accessories, or how you styled your bridesmaids. Drop me a comment below and we can swop notes ;)
Back soon to tell you all about the Big Day itself.
Dress (Saturday): Lambert Creations
Dress (Registry Office): French Connection
Beaded Bolero (Registry Office): Lotus Threads
Hair and Make Up: Nicola Honey Artistry
Hair (Registry Office: Rika @ Retreat Hairdressing
Hairvine & Jewellery: Laurel Lime
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Magical backless bra! Back to Glam
Nails: Chloe's Nails
Dress Fittings: Damian Marquez