On the 27th and 28th May 2017 I joined 40+ unique wedding suppliers at the Creative Brides Totally WOW Wedding Fair at the fabulous Kent venue The Nightyard.
The venue itself was spectacular, beautiful buildings with so much versatility for couples to either step straight into a dream of a vintage / boho / festival chic wedding or to use the space as a blank canvas. There was a real buzz from brides to be who had booked the venue and were excitedly discussing their plans for how they are using the space. It was packed with friendly, laid back suppliers with nothing but excellent quality products and services on display and no pushy sales pitch.
If you missed it I would highly recommend checking out the awesome selection of suppliers you missed here and be sure to add the 7th and 8th October to your diary for the next Totally WOW Wedding Fair at Chafford Park.
Some Totally WOW Suppliers
I had a great time meeting brides to be and their families and hearing about their exciting wedding plans. I also met lot’s of great suppliers, too many to list but among my favourites were :
Offering the most beautiful hand stitched bridal accessories, with a touch of vintage and a hint of fairy tale – the most exquisite pieces expertly crafted and as beautiful on the back as they are on the front.
The creative dream team offering beautiful hair and make-up by the lovely Jess and amazing photography by Matt – how perfect to have a talented husband and wife duo with you on your big day to capture you at your very best.
If you would like to arrange a free design consultation or to view my current collection please contact me.
A huge thank you to Clair of Creative Brides as well as Nancy and Charlotte of the Nightyard for making the day a huge success. Also to Mr Love and Lace and The Little Love and Lace for helping me get my collection together. And especially to my bestest, Hannah for being my marketing and life guru and being right there by my side.
Anna wore a bespoke beauty for her vintage winter wedding; long sleeved fine lace with scalloped cuffs and collar with a full satin skirt.
Anna approached me just ten weeks before her big day, a bewildered bride in a slight state of Pinterest panic. She had collected some beautiful ideas so I was really excited to work with her to create her dream dress but she was feeling overwhelmed and slightly stressed about her dress. I knew that deep down in her heart of hearts she knew what she wanted so we worked together to
Her dress started life as a full layered tulle skirt with a fitted knee length satin bodice with illusion mesh sleeves with embroidered motifs :
However, this design just wasn’t to come to fruition – Anna had some doubts about the sheer sleeves and the fullness of the skirt and I was really pleased that she felt able to raise her concerns after the design had been confirmed and work had commenced. With just four weeks until the big day it was a bold move to make a complete change of design but I am so glad that she did this rather than settle for a dress that she wasn’t completely in love with.
The pressure was on with just one month to start over but Anna was the most calm and laid back bride and I felt wonderful knowing that she had complete trust in me. Anna had seen a lovely photograph of a dress with a full satin skirt so we selected a beautiful soft satin and an absolutely stunning fine lace to create a long sleeved bodice.
I really enjoyed getting to know Anna, she is such a beautiful person inside and out. She even text me on her wedding day with the most lovely photographs and message :
“Everyone loves the dress. A passer by stopped and said that my dress made me look like a fairy princess!! I have felt so wonderful in the dress all day so thank you again, I just can’t believe how beautiful it looks. What a perfect day. Xxx”
This stylish and unique groom, Drew, will admit that he is never one to be upstaged; he was eager to ensure that his lovely bride shared the limelight on their big day so he chose to dress to impress wearing a bespoke purple velvet jacket.
Made to measure in a high quality purple velvet with grey satin lining, the lapels feature hand painted lace motifs. I really enjoyed researching menswear and working with Drew to develop mood boards and designs and particularly enjoyed the challenge of creating mens tailoring, something I hadn’t done much of since studying tailoring as part of my MA at London College of Fashion.
Drew looked fantastic, a real dapper English eccentric; although it has to be said that if he truly wanted to upstage his bride he failed miserably – the beautiful Alyson totally blew him out of the water (which is as it should be!) looking a million dollars in her bespoke Judy Mott bridal gown.
Their entire wedding party looked amazing, their Rowhill Grange Wedding had a wonderful English country garden feel to it and everything about it was planned and coordinated to perfection.
I wish the super stylish Drew and Alyson every happiness for their future together, congratulations!
I absolutely loved creating this bespoke traditional corset style Wedding dress for beautiful beach bride Shelley for her Mexican Wedding.
Shelley had a clear idea of the style she would like but she was unsure if it would suit her petite frame. I advised her to go and try on some ‘off the peg’ dresses which she felt swamped in but she still loved the idea of a full princess silhouette so we experimented with proportions and used traditional corsetry techniques to create her elegant two piece gown.
The bodice was created using a Victorian corsetry pattern adapted to Shelley’s measurements and made using silk satin and fine lace. The skirt was made from the same beautiful satin with an over layer of georgette and the gown was hand finished with lace appliqués carefully positioned to emphasise the shape of the dress.
Shelley was the best fun to work with, I loved every fitting with her – she’s a little bundle of energy always with a smile on her face.
I had some expert help with the design from Becca’s lovely daughter Emily –
And to think we had almost forgotten to add the wings and fairy lights, crazy grown ups!!
Becca chose the most beautiful backless style with a fishtail silhouette complimented perfectly with a delicate red floral embroidery.
Taking shape – here is the pattern drafted to Becca’s measurements, the toile precisely fitted and the embroidery carefully hand sewn :
The finished dress –
My co-designer Emily looked absolutely gorgeous in her matching dress –
Becca’s big day was one of the most fun and creative weddings that I have ever had the pleasure of attending. I loved all of the DIY creative touches that she made, she is very artistic and talented – from her hand painted shoes to her beautiful button bouquet, along with all of the brilliant wedding favours to name just a few of the creative touches. A highlight was during the signing of the register when her husband Nick surprised the guests with a song he had written and recorded about everyone, such a funny personal touch. A wonderful day to celebrate a wonderful talented couple.
I loved Becca’s bold choice to add colour into her dress and I think she looked absolutely amazing, it was a real joy to make her special dress.
This is the story of the first With Love and Lace . . . wedding dress; my own!
Like many brides to be after my other half popped the big question I immediately began collecting bridal magazines and started to develop an extensive Pinterest collection. I kept mood boards of all of dresses I liked and fantasised endlessly about my dream dress.
I found ‘the one’ on Pinterest. It was everything I could have dreamt of; elegant, vintage, sophisticated and intricately finished. I was in love.
Unfortunately it just wasn’t to be, I couldn’t find out anything else about the dress – not even any other images of it; all I had was a photograph of the back of it but I knew I would love to wear something like this for my big day.
I tried to put it to the back of my mind, as much as I wanted to make my own dress I knew it would be difficult alongside working full time and planning a wedding which was already full to the brim with DIY projects. I tried on some truly beautiful ‘off the peg’ gowns but I just couldn’t find anything I loved as much as this magical image.
So there was only one thing for it . . I would design my own dress using this image as my inspiration. I began by looking at the intricate beadwork and embroidery and enlisted the help of amazing Tambour Bead Embroidery Artist Janet Timms. I had the most wonderful time in her treasure trove of a home studio looking at her samples, past work and collection of beautiful beads.
I went away feeling throughly inspired and excited, knowing that one day I would need to learn the amazing skill of Tambour but for now I needed to leave it to the professional (following my wedding I went back for the most wonderful tuition in tambour – but that is a story for another blog post!). I collected embroidery inspiration from a wide range of sources – knowing that I wanted the embroidery placement to emphasise the shaping of the dress, mirroring what I had seen in the original pinterest dress but to also personalise it by using art nouveau motifs I photographed around our venue and from my invitations.
I set about pattern cutting and fitting toiles (fitting to myself in a mirror was quite challenging, usually my other half is my loyal assistant but as it was THE dress I had to work behind closed doors!) and roughly sketching my embroidery designs onto the pattern. I enjoyed every second and I knew that making my own dress was absolutely the right thing to do. I prepared and sent a design pack to Janet , including the silk tulle to be embroidered and the finalised pattern. She started working her magic to create the embroidered pieces ready for me to cut out and make into my dream dress.
I can’t even begin to describe the excitement I felt when the parcel arrived containing the embroidery. My heart leapt when I saw it, it is the most beautiful thing that I own and I will treasure it forever – it really is a work of art produced by a real artist.
Then began the challenge of putting together almost fifteen metres of the most beautiful silks. The bodice and underskirt came together easily and looked beautiful but adding the ten metres of silk tulle to create the panelled skirt was quite challenging – I had to wait until my fiancé was out on his stag weekend so that I could unfurl the whole dress and work on it in our living room as my studio space was far too small. I found it quite challenging working with so much fabric, I hadn’t produced anything on quite such a large scale since making my graduate collection and since then had been making lingerie and costumes for pole dancers which is something that obviously uses much less fabric!
I felt amazing in my dress, the silk lining felt exquisite and I loved every second of making and wearing my dream dress. It was really comfortable, it is made from a luxurious stretch silk crepe which felt like a second skin and I just loved the full magical skirt which I enjoyed swishing around and dancing in. And the best thing about making my own dress was that I knew that if it got damaged or torn I could fix it, so I didn’t feel precious about walking through mud or people treading on the train or spilling drinks on it. I just really enjoyed it, I went traipsing through fields, climbing on tractors and generally running around like a child without a care in the world just having the best day of my life.
I actually love every mark and damage, I haven’t cleaned it – it has party poppers and confetti and twigs wrapped in the hem and I feel like it is a piece of history, every mark carries a memory for me and I love it. One of my favourite pictures of the day is my dress thrown on the floor at the end of the day covered in confetti and streamers.
I just love the fact that I was able to have a dress that was so personal, so unique, and so me; and I knew that to be able to share this feeling with other brides to be would be a dream come true. And so With Love and Lace . . . was born.