Presenting Charlie Brear's #FridayBride
Shimmy 'n' Shake
Stress-free is key when arranging your dream wedding! This pair dreamed of a relaxed day, in the company of dear family and friends at the Battersea Arts' Centre, London. Followed by peas and pies and a brilliant party, Sarah & Imran's celebrations were both romantic and totally carefree! This duo stuck to a simple palette of bright, vibrant colours that brought endless energy to their August wedding. Their calm approach ensured an enjoyable day that reflected their laid-back style wonderfully.
You can't help but praise the shimmy in this irresistible outfit! Sarah stunned in our fabulous Isere skirt paired with our elegant, boat neck Torum dress - she simply couldn't stay still wearing this combo! Her classic gold bar necklace and metallic trainers were playful, yet stylish additions that complimented her happy glow.
Join this week's Friday Bride and kick off your shoes before sinking in to Sarah & Imran's story.
How did Imran propose?
It was on the first day of our holiday in Barcelona. It was in Park Guell, but in a really quiet and secluded part. It had been raining heavily all morning, and Imran was getting really agitated thinking we would be stuck in the apartment all day. Little did I know why! Thankfully, the rain lifted so the proposal went ahead. He’d been keeping the ring in some rolled up socks in his case. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was – he had gone shopping in Hatton Garden the week before with my best friend and bridesmaid Ella, and they both knew my ring was the one as soon as they saw it. I love that he cared so much about getting it right that he took her along with him, and she always tells me how much it meant to her to be involved in the process.
Where did you purchase your dress & why?
At the Charlie Brear London flagship store. I visited the store with Ella - her reaction convinced me I was looking in the right place! I loved the cleanness of Torum, but couldn’t decide what I wanted to layer it with. I was initially looking at some of the lacy tops, and spent about a week at home umming and ahhing over them, but I ended up having some sort of epiphany and knew that the Isere skirt was what I really wanted. I went in alone for another appointment and just knew as soon as I put them on that it was exactly how I wanted to look. I felt comfortable and confident, and not like I was in a fancy dress costume. I was so pleased!
What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
Aside from The White Closet (another Charlie Brear stockist I visited at the beginning of my search) I had only visited one other designer – the dresses were lovely, but being at Charlie Brear, with all the beautiful décor, was just so special for me. Hannah was wonderful and helpful, and I felt like she really understood what look I was going for. All the staff were so welcoming and friendly, I recommend it to anyone I meet who happens to be planning a wedding now!
How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Beyond excited! I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. When I got the email saying I could come and pick it up, I did suddenly get very nervous that I’d made a mistake, and that I wouldn’t feel as good in it as I’d remembered, particularly as I had made the final choice by myself. As soon as I tried it on again though, all that excitement came flooding straight back, even more so when my bridesmaids saw it.
What would your advice be to other brides about shopping for a wedding dress?
Only go with one or two other people at one time. Too many opinions are confusing! Also don’t be afraid to go alone, to give yourself some room to think without worrying too much about the reactions of your family and friends. Definitely try to be true to your own style. My friends and family kept saying that my dress was ‘so me’, which felt amazing.
What shoes did you wear?
For the ceremony I had some bright blue heels from Asos (a real bargain) and then changed straight into some silver Superga trainers for the rest of the day; best decision ever. I had intended to just wear them when the dancing got serious, but after the ceremony I just wanted to relax, and that meant wearing trainers.
Did you struggle finding the right lingerie for your dress & what would you recommend for other brides-to-be?
Yes it was quite tricky – my dress had a low back so I had to try lots of different sticky options. I ended up spending around £70 on various unsuccessful options; stick on cups, nipple covers, tape, and even blister plasters, before one of my bridesmaid's bought me a stick on bra from Primark which worked a treat! The knickers were easy – I just went for seamless nude knickers from Intissimi which were very comfortable.
Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
We did our own makeup. I had 2 trials with Bobbi Brown, and loved their products. The bridal lesson they do is free, but brilliant. I’m rubbish with make-up normally, I hardly wear it and had no idea where to start, but the make-up artist wrote down all the products she used and talked me through the whole thing so I felt confident enough to have a go! My bridesmaids' paid for the hairdresser, Paisley, as a gift which was very sweet.
What traditions did you follow?
I don’t think it was particularly traditional – we didn’t have the something old, something new, but I suppose my shoes were blue! Both my mum and dad walked me down the aisle, the idea of being given away by my dad really didn’t sit comfortably with me, and felt old fashioned. We did spend the day and night before the wedding apart, which was really fun – I had a proper sleepover with my bridesmaids; prosecco, Thai food, chick flicks and doing our nails. Heaven
How did you feel walking down the aisle?
I barely remember it! It wasn’t so much an aisle as a staircase, with Imran and our guests at the top. I was so pleased to have both of my parents there – it felt right as they are equally important to me, and it was such a comfort. I cried as soon as I got to Imran, and my friends said the gypsophila in my bouquet was shaking the whole time, but it was so wonderful looking around and seeing the faces of everyone I love.
What was the funniest moment of the day?
The best man’s speech was very funny. Rory and Imran have been best friends since they were 11, and have been making hip hop music since they were teenagers. Rory read out some of Imran’s early rap lyrics in his speech, which were hilarious, though Imran maintains that they were very good. His funniest moment was when I almost inhaled a mouthful of confetti. We have some good pictures of him retrieving it from my mouth. Very graceful!
Take 5 with this week's #FRIDAYBRIDE
1. Don’t overthink! I’m not a particularly impulsive person, but we were really decisive in the planning process and tried not to second guess ourselves. I think that helped us feel more relaxed.
2. It’s ok to try on wedding dresses by yourself. Obviously it’s lovely and helpful to have the opinions of people you love and trust, but going alone let me think more about how I wanted to look, rather than looking for the reactions on the faces of my friends' and family.
3. Comfy shoes. I’m not someone who is particularly graceful in heels – having the trainers meant that I didn’t even think about sore feet, and I felt like I was able to be myself.
4. Try to share as much of it with your husband as possible – both the planning and the actual day. We had moments during the planning where we both arrived at an idea at the same time, and it was so exciting to share it with him.
5. Be true to yourselves! So many people commented on how happy we seemed all day and they were blown away by our personal touches. I think that made the day really special for them as well as us. Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t worry too much about other people and you will just have the most wonderful day.
Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
Imran is very artistic, and we both love art, so we named each table after our favourite artists. As a favour, Imran created a picture of us for each guest based on the style of their table artist. The Hockney went down particularly well, with a cheeky bit of bum in it! We tried to have quite a few personal touches, like the paella dinner, because of our engagement in Barcelona, and a pie and peas supper, in honour of our northern roots!
Who took your fabulous wedding pictures?
Steven Anthony Photography. Steve was just so fantastic, he was so easy to be around, and was very reassuring when the nerves started kicking in whilst getting ready on the morning! Throughout the day he wasn’t in the way at all. The pictures are all so natural, just like we wanted, and he managed to get all of our guests in the shots looking really happy! We couldn’t have asked for more.
Where did you go for your honeymoon?
It wasn’t the most exotic (camping in the New Forest!) but we had such a fun time together, and perfect for us at the time as it didn’t require much organisation when we’d been so busy with the wedding! Lots of bike rides, long walks, beer and ice cream – it was brilliant! We’re hoping to go to Iceland later in the year for something slightly more adventurous.
Did you find organising your wedding an easy process?
It was relatively straightforward – we actually really loved the process. The hardest part was knowing where to begin, and finding a venue. I had such a busy year though, so I tried to get as much done early on as possible, to avoid a last minute rush. I found some online wedding planning timelines which were really helpful to know that we were on track with our timings.
If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
I would have eaten more food – there was no pie left in the evening by the time I got around to going for some! Also I missed a couple of my favourite songs as I was trying to make sure I spent time with all of the guests, but actually I’m so glad I made the effort to seek people out to let them know how much I appreciated them being there.
What are you and your husband’s best memories of the day?
SO many to choose from – the whole day was so much more than we could have imagined. We did really enjoy the actual ceremony too, which we weren’t expecting. It felt so special to say those things to each other in front of our friends. We were both very emotional, but Imran’s lip definitely had the biggest wobble – he set everybody else off, it was very sweet! My overriding memory though, is that everybody was smiling, laughing and looking gorgeous all day, and that really made the day perfect as far as we were concerned.
Dress Torum and Isere skirt by Charlie Brear
Shoes Asos and Superga
Accessories bridesmaid bracelets and my necklace – Minetta Jewellery
Ceremony Venue Battersea Arts Centre
Reception Venue Battersea Arts Centre
Photographer Steven Anthony Photography
Bridesmaids' Dresses & Other Stories
Rings Jade jewellers Hatton Garden Music I walked in to ‘Sweet Thing’ by Van Morrison – (my bridesmaid Ella bought it for us on vinyl as a wedding gift!), then walked out to ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers, that went down a treat. Our first dance was ‘God only knows’ by The Beach Boys, my favourite song of all time! There was also plenty of hip hop, thanks to Imran!
Florist New Covent Garden Flower Market – arranged by me and the bridesmaids.
Caterer Battersea Arts Centre
Cake Supplier Jen’s Cakery
Hair Paisley at Make up box London
Make-up me (with a bit of help from Bobbi Brown)
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