Presenting Charlie Brear's #FridayBride
It's Friday Bride time!
Weddings bring people together to share in the universal meaning of love. Whether they share different beliefs, cultures or heritages - a wedding should reflect the couple and respect the joining of their union, however they wish to do it! Leann & Toby had the challenge of combining their British and American backgrounds into their wedding and absolutely nailed it! The out come was a traditional British wedding with a hint of American flare! The ceremony was held at the stunning St. Clement Danes Church on The Strand in late May of this year. Carrying on with their celebrations at The Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly, this couple shared a beautiful day in these exquisite venues, surrounded by family and friends.
Walking down the aisle wearing our stunning Valise cowl-neck dress, Leann looked so elegant. She later layered her dress with our lace Catroux skirt and created different looks through out her day by accessorising with our Perlu belt and slipper satin sash. Steven Carter Hewson captured the pair's unforgettable moments.
Scroll down to read more about this romantic couple's day!
How did Toby propose?
Toby proposed at home, the night before we were off to Venice. He wanted to surprise me and had a feeling I would expect it in Venice – being such a romantic holiday. He made me think he was out for a few drinks with his colleagues, so I went out for a few with mine (he was setting up to propose). He suggested we meet at home and go out for dinner, but when I arrived home there was a rose in the door and I walked into some romantic music, a dozen long-stemmed red roses and Toby looking slightly nervous. He proposed with a stunning ring that I immediately fell in love with - a brilliant round cut solitaire diamond with small diamonds in a tapered band.
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
I went to 2 shops when my Maid of Honour was in town from America. I didn’t have expectations of finding the dress so early on and had no idea what I wanted in terms of style; I just knew I wanted something that suited me. Charlie Brear was the second shop we visited, Hollie assisted me and was so friendly and welcoming. She was so helpful when it came to trying on dresses - she even helped me piece together a look that would wow my husband twice! I found many dresses that suited my style but once I put on my dress, I knew it was ‘The Dress.’
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
I would suggest that brides try on different styles to see what suits their body type. The dress I went with was not what I expected but fit my curves perfectly. Also, find something that is comfortable. Consider the weight of some dresses, especially if you are planning a summer wedding!
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
I was VERY excited! It was a relief to find the dress so quickly and easily. A little part of me wanted to look a bit more to make sure it was 'The One', but every time I thought about how it looked and the reaction of my Maid of Honour when I put it on, I knew that it was perfect.
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie that worked with your dress, if so would you recommend anything for future brides?
I did! After buying 2 pairs of underwear that didn’t work, I ordered a pair of Spanx online and they worked well. Due to the cut of the dress, I had to find a pair that went down to my knees and up above my natural waist-line. I wore an adhesive bra that worked well for the day. I would recommend Spanx as they offer a range of lengths without any seams.
What shoes did you wear?
I wore a pair of satin, peep toe Christian Louboutins. They went perfectly with my dress and were comfortable enough to wear all day and then dance the night away in.
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
My hair was done by Sadie Bullen and my makeup was done by Sophie Collis. I absolutely loved my hair! It worked perfectly with the dress to complete my look.
What traditions did you follow?
We followed quite a few traditions. Starting with the night before, we saw each other at the rehearsal on Friday and didn’t see each other again until we met at the altar. We spent the evening separately at dinner with our families. On the BIG day, I wore my Mom’s wedding ring on my right hand, as my something old. My Mom passed away a number of years ago and I wanted to make sure a part of her was at the wedding. My garter was ivory with blue ribbon throughout. My something borrowed was my friends veil, she was married almost a year before and the veil was a perfect fit for my gown too. Something new were my earrings - a pair of Tahitian pearl earrings that Toby had made to match a necklace and bracelet he had given to me before.
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
I was so excited and happy! My dad walked me down the aisle, and I had to remember to slow down and take it all in. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Toby as I walked down. I was overcome with emotion about getting married to him.
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
We hired the Undercover Singers, they played a unique role. They acted as waiters throughout the meal, and completely fooled our guests. Just after all the desserts were served, one of them caused a commotion and as everyone was looking she began to sing a wonderful rendition of 'O Sole Mio'. This was followed by 2 more opera songs and 3 upbeat modern songs. They got our guests up dancing and really kicked off the rest of the evening. We hired a London bus to take our guests from the church to the RAF club. They played love music and took our guests on a little tour around London.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
When the flower girl and page boy were walking down the aisle, they started out putting handfuls of petals down and by the time they reached the end of the aisle, they were picking out one petal at a time. The speeches were both a good laugh and emotional. Toby’s great Uncle Tony insisted on doing a surprise speech, after our speeches had finished. He got everyone up singing a song in Swedish, with actions! Good fun and good comedy.
Take 5 with this week's #FRIDAY BRIDE
1. Use Pinterest and magazines to help you get ideas and find vendors. Once you have a vision of what you want, it makes the process easier.
2. Have an open mind when you go dress shopping. Try on different styles to see what fits your body the best and go with a dress that makes you feel like a princess.
3. The details will wow your guests and give you little things to look back on - it is worth the fuss over them.
4. Make sure you have fun and enjoy the day, it goes quickly and you want to remember having fun on the day.
5. Make sure to get some photos of you in your dress – and all its glory! After all, you have obsessed over it for long enough.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
Since my family had flown over from America, we stayed local after the wedding to spend some time with them. We did a mini-moon where we stayed at The Langham in central London for a few nights and enjoyed being pampered and acting like tourists! We are off to St Lucia for 11 days at the end of July, followed by Switzerland and France in August. We are really looking forward to our Honeymoon!
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?
Shortly after we were engaged we sorted big things; the venues (although between two at the beginning, the Isle of Wight and London - in my heart I knew I wanted a London wedding.) and the photographer. About a year in advance we began working on our Save the Dates – this started a lovely, long journey to designing so many details from the invites, to the order of services, table names, name tags and even coasters that all had our bespoke 'L & T’ running through them. This proved to be a little stressful, but the designer we worked with was wonderful. Also, we had 2 wonderful helpers from Toby’s work, they plan events for their company and had offered to help us as a gift, so they helped with setting appointments and making orders. They even did our flowers for the reception! I fussed over a lot of details in the last 2 months and on the day but they were all worth it – everything came together beautifully.
If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
I suppose it would be to not stress out so much, I found myself stressed in the last month but it was unnecessary. The day went perfectly and I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it!
What will you do with your dress now?
I would love to wear it again sometime! I was thinking of having it shortened so it could be worn a bit easier for different occasions. As for the stunning lace overlay, that will be stored away.
What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?
Toby’s best memory of the day is the ceremony – so much about it from me walking down the aisle, to saying our vows, the amazing choristers, and even having one of the choristers thank him for his song selection. He also recalls the pride and joy of walking up the stairs at the RAF club to our drinks reception, and seeing all the guests who had signed our aisle runner turned guest book and seeing how happy everyone was. I loved the entire day, there were so many special moments to treasure. If I had to pick one, it would be saying our vows. It was incredibly special.
Ceremony Venue - St. Clement Danes Church, The Strand
Reception Venue - The Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly
Photographer/Videographer - Steven Carter Hewson
Dress - Charlie Brear
Shoes - Christian Louboutin
Underwear - Spanx
Entertainment - Undercover Singers
Bus Hire - Routemaster Bus Hire
Cake supplier - Konditor and Cook
Caterer -The RAF club
Florist - Dover Flowers (for the bouquets and button holes)
Music - We used Spotify for the disco, The Undercover Artist during the wedding breakfast and the church choir during the ceremony.
Rings - Abiba (Hatten Garden is where my engagement ring was purchased)
Make-up - Sophie Collis
Hair - Sadie Bullen
Accessories - Etsy for my Tiara, Carlo in Hatton Garden for my Pearl jewellery.
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