Diary of a Designer Bride to Be - The Final Installment

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

The 19th December 2015 marks our very first wedding anniversary.... doesn't time fly when you're having fun?! In the run up to the wedding last year, I wrote a series of blog posts about 'designing' a wedding from the perspective of a Designer (you can see all previous posts here). I wanted to complete the series with a post about the dress and what better time than our anniversary?!

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

If you read this post last year, you might remember that I was finding it hard to find a dress I liked. This continued! I’m very petite (5ft and not quite 1 inch) so I decided I wanted a strapless, form-fitting mermaid style. Being a designer and drawn to anything bejewelled, I was really drawn to the embellished gowns from the likes of Marchesa, Naeem Khan and Paolo Sebastian but unfortunately the wedding budget spreadsheet said ‘no’ to that price range!

If you want something doing right, do it yourself......

Justin Alexander style 8681

Justin Alexander style 8681

I couldn’t find the style of dress with the embellishment I wanted so I decided to take a huge risk and customise a dress completely. I found this Justin Alexander dress (above) that was totally wrong for me and which I actively disliked but with the most beautiful, modern lace that I could see working with some (a lot of) changes. Luckily the seamstress I found was an absolute gem so I felt in safe hands. We removed the sleeves, the satin waistband and also softened the fit of the dress so that it was less ‘trumpet’ and more ‘mermaid.’

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

I hold a BA (Hons) in Embroidery (yes it’s a real degree!) so I went about the task of embellishing the entire dress…. I began by removing all the clear and silver beads that were already on the gown and hand stitching faceted ivory stones and pearls in organic patterns. Big shout out to Mama Seed who also helped me out a lot with this…. It took SO many hours but I loved the fact that my dress would be unique and with the embellishment I wanted.  

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

In terms of accessories.... I didn’t wear any jewellery as I thought there was enough going on with the dress but I had a beautiful gold, pearl and Swarovski headpiece all the way from Sydney Australia and paired this with a slim, plain cathedral length veil. I was adamant to have the highest shoes possible due to my (lack of) height and I had my gorgeous Badgley Mischka ‘Pettal’ pumps sent from the USA. I also had an encrusted box clutch from Accessorize, as modelled below by my charming husband.

Embellished shoes from Badgely Mishka (photo Chris Barber Photography)

Embellished shoes from Badgely Mishka (photo Chris Barber Photography)

 (photo Chris Barber Photography)

 (photo Chris Barber Photography)

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

In Summary... I absolutely loved working on my dress and the fact that it was a completely unique and one-off dress! But to be honest, I would have been equally as happy getting married in a Primark special. Our wedding day made me realise that although the details, the colours, the flowers, the decor and the dress were important to me, nothing compares to the complete buzz of love I felt when marrying the best boy in the world and sharing it with all our favourite people. I'll never forget that.

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Chris Barber Photography

Tamsin SeedComment