What would you say your style is, and did this change during the journey?

I’m very much a comfort over glamour kind of girl. My standard uniform is jeans and trainers. So my criteria for my wedding dress was that it had to be practical, I wanted to be able to breathe without thinking something somewhere would rip. Be able to walk without people treading on my train and dance without getting caught up in my skirt. The only other two things I was set on was that it couldn’t be strapless (as I hate having my shoulders exposed) and also that it couldn’t be ‘pouffy.’
Charlie Brear bride

 How did you begin your dress hunt, what social / web / magazine titles inspired you?

I started on Pinterest and browsing magazines such as Perfect Wedding and Brides. I noted down a few of the designers whose dresses I liked and researched boutiques in the UK that sold those designers.

Where did you buy your dress from and which designer ?

I bought my dress from Perfect Day Bride in Bradford Upon Avon and the designer was Charlie Brear.
Perfect Day Bride Bradford on Avon

Tell us about your bridal boutique experience ?

I was made aware of Perfect Day because they were the most local store to me that sold a designer that I had shortlisted from my initial browsing. I booked an appointment with the intention of making more for other boutiques. However, I never got that far!. I had never been to Brandford-Upon-Avon before and it was absolutely stunning. The perfect setting for such a lovely boutique. The boutique felt modern and more fashion forward than some others I had seen. The staff were lovely and not pushy at all. I felt that they were honest and didn’t try to rush me. I tried on so many dresses, all of them were beautiful and there were lots that I really liked. But, for me the Charlie Brear Torum dress and Tira skirt stood out. It was modern, fun and was something different compared to some of the classic styles I had seen.

Talk to us about accessories, what did you team your dress with to complete the look?

The staff at Perfect Day were great and gave me things to try that I might not have picked out myself. I chose a beaded belt which just finished the dress off perfectly. On the morning of the wedding myself and my bridesmaids all made floral head pieces to wear in our hair. I kept the rest simple, wearing only my rings for jewellery. I love colour and felt my shoes were a bit plain so I made some mini pom poms which I attached to my shoes. I was worried it would all look a little bit childish but my bridesmaids egged me on! I didn’t want classic ‘wedding nails’ so chose a forget-me-not blue which matched the blue on the pom poms on my shoes.

How did you style your look on the day – hair and make up?

I stressed a lot over the hair. I didn’t know whether to get someone to do it for me or do it myself. My hair is extremely thick and long, whenever I’ve had it up for events before its always fallen out half way through. I didn’t want any hair dramas on the day and I always get compliments from people when I wear my hair down, so I thought I’d keep it down on the day. I do love the natural waves in my hair but I knew I needed to glam it up just a little on the day so thought a blow dry would be great. However, in the trials it took three hours just to wash and blow dry my hair. Spending three hours having my hair done on the wedding morning was a no go. I ended up buying some GHD curlers to try out and I was really happy with the result. Plus it only took one hour!. I don’t wear much make up usually and knew I wanted to do my own make up on the day. I felt that I would rather spend the money on the make up itself that I could keep, rather than on a make up artist for one day. I also was worried that if I had too much make up on, I wouldn’t look like myself. So I went to the Selfridges beauty department a few weeks before the wedding and purchased a range of Laura Mercier products and a Tom Ford lipstick. I probably spent about twice the amount a make up artist would have been, but every time I do my make up now I have all these amazing products to use.

Tell us about your venue did this impact your decision on your dress you wore?

We live in the New Forest and we wanted to get married outside to make the most of the beautiful area we live in. We thought it would be easy, living in a forest and all, but we really struggled to find a venue that allowed us to have a ceremony in the great outdoors. We eventually discovered Minstead Lodge who offered us the space to hold a blessing in their grounds. It was absolutely beautiful and we were so happy with how it all went. It was very laid back and guests sat on hay bales. It definitely had an impact on my choice of dress, when trying I steered away from anything to structured and fitted as it would have looked too formal for the setting. We held our reception at Minstead Village Hall and had so much fun making decorations and putting them all up the night before the wedding.
wedding sign
Wedding Venue
Charlie Brear Bride
Charlie Brear Bride

What advice would you give to other brides who are beginning their wedding dress search?

Try as many as you can! Even though my experience was amazing and I don’t think my choice of dress would have changed, I definitely could have made the most of the opportunity to try on amazing dresses by going to a few more boutiques. It probably would have made me even more sure that I’d definitely picked the one.
Charlie Brear Bride
Charlie Brear Bride

Would you like to do it all over again?

I loved the planning and lead up to the wedding, I don’t get too stressed out about things and am quite an organised person so it all pretty much went to plan. The day was absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing. To have all of your closest friends and family in one place at the same time is so rare and will probably never happen for us again. But, could I actually do it all over again?. No! It took so much of our time and money, we are looking to the future now and are so excited to be planning new adventures. We recently got our photos back and its so lovely to sit and look through them, we prioritised a wedding photographer in our budget and I’m so glad we did as the day was captured so beautifully. When I sit and look at them it brings back all the emotions from the day and it feels like I’m doing it all again… that’s enough for me!

Charlie brear Bride
Dress – Charlie Brear Torum Dress and Tira Skirt
Boutique – Perfect Day Bride
Photographer – Joe Hall http://joseph-hall.com
Flowers – Emma’s Flower Hut http://www.emmasflowerhut.co.uk
Catering – Rodeo https://www.hellorodeo.com