PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S FRIDAY BRIDE #18 (04/03/2016)
The fresh, English countryside created a beautiful, natural backdrop for this military wedding.
Rosie married Jack on the 23rd May 2015 in Lustleigh, a picture perfect village in Devon, followed by a reception in a flower-decked marquee. The bride wore our Vienne 1920s dress with additional lace butterfly sleeves and a light veil.
Continue reading to find out all about Rosie and Jack's big day, including some beautiful photographs by Sam Churchill.
Describe the style of your wedding:
We tied the knot in a lovely Devon village on the May Bank Holiday weekend so, from the outset, we both really wanted a fairly traditional English countryside affair, ideally outside in the glorious summer sunshine. As it turned out, we were immensely lucky on that front!
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
It's fair to say I'm pretty indecisive, so I'd probably tried on most of the dresses in central London by the time I narrowed it down to the last two. Luckily my mum and bridesmaids were far better at it all than me and after a very scientific game of 'close your eyes and stick your hand up for your favourite' I finally made a decision!
Trying on dresses was great fun and the (very patient) team at Charlie Brear made us all feel very at home in the lovely loft whilst we all strolled around in bridesmaid and wedding dresses. Seeing us all lined up in the mirror made it all very real! I mentioned to the Charlie Brear team that I had some lovely old antique lace from a Great Great Granny that I really wanted to incorporate into the dress. Mandi was full of great ideas of how this could be done and really keen to help tailor the dress so that it truly was a one-off. Thanks Mandi!
How did he propose?
Jack proposed while on a kitesurfing holiday in Tarifa. After a week of messing about being battered and bruised by both kite and board we bought hideous amounts of cheese and wine for a picnic on the beach on the last evening. Being a windy spot (with a slight flying ant issue) it wasn't the most romantic scenario. But undeterred, Jack got down on one knee and proposed with the most beautiful ring that he'd designed with ex-soldier-now-jeweller Tom Hubbard. I, of course, said yes!
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
If you know that you want something unique, don't bother trawling around the usual haunts trying on oversized meringues! The moment I walked into the Charlie Brear showroom I knew I'd find something. Frankly, I'd have worn any of the CB dresses.
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Thrilled! And not just because I'd finally made a decision. It was the most fabulous dress - lovely flowing cut with some great 1920s detailing and my family heirloom literally weaved in. I felt very lucky indeed.
What shoes did you wear?
I didn't want to be tottering around in heels so I opted for some pretty embroidered Indian slippers. Nothing too extravagant, just a bit of extra sparkle.
What traditions did you follow?
We were pretty traditional about it all. A very kind friend lent me her veil, my bridesmaids gave me a beautiful blue Monica Vinader pendant that morning and the additions to my dress were the something old.
Who did you hair and make up?
A lovely lady who lived in the village, Carole Burchett, did our hair and we all did our own make up. I'd had a couple of Bobbi Brown sessions some months back so I had a bash myself. Looking back, I probably should have practised a little before the day itself but I didn't have any huge disasters.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
Without doubt, leaving the church for our reception. Jack had spent the previous few months diligently training the family pony to pull a trap. The little pony had quite the journey from Norfolk to Devon, including a spell atThe King's Troop RHA in London and time trotting around the Queen's gardens at Windsor, while Jack was on duty.
With plaits in his mane and flowers on his cart he looked quite the party, however a combination of 200 well-wishers, the church bells and confetti proved a bit much for him and we set off up the lane at a terrifying speed! The photos are priceless - our friends and family look aghast!
Did your wedding have any quirky features?
Obviously the pony - probably not what every bride had in mind! A church choir of friends who sang so wonderfully, the Sword Guard outside the church, the 'Galloping Gunner' bar that Jack had bedecked in all manner of military and horse-related props, a great friend piping us into dinner and Jack singing the Jungle Book's 'King of the Swingers' with our band.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
99% excitement, 1% nerves. It's wonderful to look up the aisle and see your very greatest friends and family but nonetheless, it's rather nerve-wracking to have so many eyes on you. Luckily there was a big old beaming face waiting for me at the top of the aisle!
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Straight after the wedding we escaped to Bordeaux to stay in a little treehouse on a vineyard for a couple of days. Six months later we went on a three week trip to Kenya and Tanzania, spanning Christmas and New Year. First stop was the idyllic Kilindi Zanzibar for some beach time, we then flew on to Kenya to stay at the utterly stunning Starbeds on the Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia.
We spent the days tracking wild dogs and lions, riding bikes and exploring the 56,000 acres that we had completely to ourselves, falling asleep each night under a beautiful starlit sky. We then headed to the Masai Mara for a six day horse safari with Offbeat Safaris. An incredible adrenalin-fuelled adventure crossing rivers of hippo, galloping through plains of antelope and soaking up the perfect solitude of our corner of the Mara. We could have stayed forever! Finally, we joined friends at the coast in Watamu to see in the new year.
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?
Yes and no. Some aspects were an absolute pleasure and really very easy, other aspects less so. In essence it's all about being able to make a decision and stick to it. As a bride, don't be a martyr, let your family take on some of the legwork and more importantly, your fiancé. Jack was brilliant at sorting all the technicalities of the music and sound. He also planned the whole church service, our choir was made up entirely of our friends and Jack's old music teacher played the organ. The service was without doubt the highlight of my day.
What will you do with your dress now?
Oh gosh, I really can't decide. Part of me would like to keep it just so, with my Great Great Granny's lace, for my children.
What are you best memories of the day?
I'd always thought that the reception would be my favourite part of the day but I think that belting out the hymns in the church clinched it for me. We'd spent a great deal of time picking our hymns and the congregation really did us proud, it was so incredibly moving.
We had such a wonderful day, we both had so much fun due entirely to all the lovely friends and family who joined the celebrations and made it so very memorable for us both.