The Perfect Pair… a Dress to Match Your Venue

I love hearing where brides are tying the knot, so many gorgeous venues, there’s so much choice!  I also think you can tell so much about a wedding from the venue and location that they choose.  Just for fun, I’ve put together a blog post pairing the perfect dresses with some of my favourite venues so you can get an idea for the bridal style that each location elicits.

Coastal Cool

Tresanton is the most iconic hotel in Cornwall and with good reason.  I’ve had a few brides tying the knot at Tresanton this year and I’m always super excited for them that they’ve chosen such a stylish venue.  The new addition of their Mediterranean style Beach Club beneath the hotel is a real attraction and somewhere to enjoy Champagne and canapés or oysters with guests.  For a venue with such class you need a dress that won’t be upstaged by the view.  The eternally stylish Valentina is utterly sensational.  The most flattering shape in a hip hugging fishtail style, the applique lace neckline is classy yet unique, continuing throughout the gown and ending with a pretty train.

Castle Chic

It doesn’t come much more magnificent than Pendennis Castle, does it?  Built by Henry VIII, surrounded by the sea and with panoramic views across Falmouth from the castle roof, the circular castle keep is the most romantic place to have a ceremony with a candlelit aisle and fairy lights entwined around the pillars, it certainly is a venue fit for a king!  On a gorgeous summer day, arrange for a marquee so that you can dine with the best view in Falmouth and as day turns to dusk, enjoy dancing on the lawn with the castle backlit behind you, how romantic.

Such a grand venue requires a grand gown to do it justice.  For classic castle chic, it has to be Hayworth.  This off-the-shoulder ball gown needs no embellishment, no bells or whistles, she is simply stunning exactly as she is.  Clean lines are big again for 2019 and Hayworth is no exception to the rule.  Simple elegance, stylish and timeless, her full skirt and beautiful Mikado fabric makes her the epitome of Hollywood elegance, much like her namesake.

City Sophistication

The Alverton is one of my favourite venues, I just love how it seems to have everything.  It’s in the centre of the city yet it feels so secluded, has stunning grounds, incredible architecture, the romance of The Great Hall, stylish bedrooms and suites and the most decadent dining, I just think it has everything.  Lots of my brides get married at The Alverton and I can see why.  Pimms on the terrace in summer, the grandeur of the candlelit Great Hall in winter, it really does suit every wedding theme and style.  The dream dress for a stylish city venue has to be Tula.  This slinky Sincerity number has it all – a body skimming fit and flare style, soft tulle with beautiful buttons and beaded lace appliques creating a romantic sheer illusion back and the classic addition of a chapel length train.  It’s the perfect pairing of timeless tradition and a dash of drama.

Rustic Romance

One of the most popular venues I’ve noticed brides marrying at this year is The Green.  Whether you opt for a house wedding, a beautiful barn wedding or, my personal favourite, an outdoor ceremony by the Lake Arbour, what makes this truly special is the surroundings.  An enchanting 20 acres of grounds including a sweeping drive, formal lawns for group photos and Champagne and the private woods, filled with an abundance of bluebells when spring arrives.  It’s a truly magical venue with the romance of a rural location but all of the luxury you would expect in terms of contemporary styled barns, delicious cuisine and even a hot tub in the woods for you to enjoy at the end of the day to celebrate being newlyweds in style!

The dream gown for a woodland wedding has to be Hazel.  Soft tulle embellished with pretty embroidery and a removable inner bodice to allow the delicate detail on the illusion bodice to shine through, the multiple layers and classic details such as the elegant shape and addition of buttons really add to the sense of rural romance.  You’ll feel like a woodland queen in this elegant creation by Ellis Bridals.

 

A Waterside Wedding

For a wedding on the water, look no further than The Greenbank.  I’ve been in the industry a very long time and I can honestly say, The Greenbank is a surefire favourite for my brides.  The oldest hotel in Falmouth, it’s not just the maritime history that stands it apart, it’s the incredible location, right on the water’s edge, the amazing award-winning food, the attentive team and unrivalled suites, it all adds up to make the dream venue.  Not only that, The Greenbank even has their own private pontoons where you can either enjoy a humanist wedding or a private boat trip with your wedding guests, courtesy of Fal River.  Champagne cruise anyone?

The perfect dress to match such a sophisticated location is the beautiful Saskia.  An elegant lace number with a deep plunge neckline (a major trend for 2019), this elegant lace gown has a magnificent train and pretty applique detail.  But what really makes it special is the back.  A deep illusion back with flattering shoulder lace detail and buttons trailing down the seemingly bare back, it’s simply divine!

Beachside Beauty

I can’t mention weddings in Cornwall without talking about a beach!  And not just any beach, the most sensational white sand beach this side of the Tamar.  Carbis Bay Hotel is the only hotel positioned on a beach in Cornwall and it’s truly the most spectacular wedding venue.  Named winners of the Best Coastal Wedding Venue in both the UK Wedding Awards and the South West Wedding Awards this year, it’s no wonder my brides love this venue as much as they do.  Whether you’re looking for a formal wedding in The Sands Restaurant, a relaxed wedding in The Beach Club or an intimate wedding in The Pavilion, you’ll be guaranteed of outstanding sea views and sensational service.

The dream beach gown has to be Beatrice.  Sensual, elegant, understated yet full of impact, the intricate beaded lace sparkles in the sun with a stunning sheer illusion lace back and pretty pearl buttons.  The flowing crepe skirt moves beautifully as you run across the sand.  Crepe is a major trend for 2019 and Beatrice combines timeless style and modern trends with its ornate detail and classic design.

 

 

Guide to choosing your Wedding Dress

It can be quite nerve-wracking choosing your wedding dress.  There’s so much to think about and also so much unknown, it can be easy to put pressure on yourself.  Some of the common concerns I hear from my brides include worry about undressing in front of others, what if the dresses don’t fit, concern about being sold to very heavily and of course, the pressure of having to find the “perfect” dress – what if they don’t like any?  I’ve addressed all of that here in my five-step guide to choosing your wedding dress.

What to Wear

One of the things I get asked a lot is what to wear to a wedding dress appointment?  This isn’t so important but I would say wear something comfy that you can easily get on and off because you’ll probably be visiting more than one boutique and so you’ll need to get your outfit on and off a few times – avoid anything perhaps with lots of fiddly buttons.  It’s always a good idea if you can to wear flesh coloured underwear.  It doesn’t matter if this isn’t possible but it will help you envisage the dress better than a lacy black number that could detract from the gown when it’s on.

Stripping Off

Please don’t worry about having to get naked in the boutique, it’s not like that at all.  It’s all very discreet and there’s a private dressing area for you to get ready.  Usually you’ll step into the dress then you let me know and I can step in to do the dress up so you’re modest at all times.  It’s all very relaxed and private so you’ll never be stood on a podium in your panties!  Not only that, but I only ever have one bride in the boutique at any time so you’ll be guaranteed of privacy and exclusivity and won’t have to be standing in your knickers with someone else a few metres away!

Finding a Gown that Fits

All of the dresses in each boutique are different sizes and at mine I have a range of sizes from 12 to 28 meaning that there are gowns to fit every shape and size.  Please don’t worry if you fall in love with a particular gown but I don’t have it in your size.  There are still ways to try it, either by holding it up against you or more commonly (as dresses will be more likely to be slightly larger than smaller) we peg them in so that it fits your body better.  It still won’t give you the true impact of a dress that is made to fit you but just think, if you love it when it’s clipped in, you’ll love it even more when it hugs your figure perfectly.

Sales Pressure

Luckily, sales pressure is pretty rare in the bridal industry as boutique owners generally understand that your wedding dress is a major investment and the most important dress that you’ll ever wear.  This means it can take time for you to be ready to buy something.  I’ve had brides come back three or four times to make sure it’s the one for them and I’ve had other brides who bought the first dress they tried on before they left the shop.  Everyone is different and with such an important purchase it’s always good to have as little pressure as possible.  So please don’t worry, I can’t speak for every boutique of course but generally (and certainly here) you won’t feel any pressure or sales push to buy.  Take your time and make sure you love the dress with all of your heart.

Gown Overwhelm

This is very common.  Even in one boutique, the amount of styles, designers, choice and different shapes and styles can be overwhelming.  You might have come in with an idea of what you wanted but be swayed by everything on the rails.  Alternatively you might not have any idea what you like and you’re met with masses of lace, tulle and beading the moment you step in the door.  Then imagine visiting three boutiques in a day and you can see how intense that could be.  My advice is just to relax and be open-minded.  If you have inspiration, bring it with you.  We can look through it and have a cup of tea, discussing your wedding vibe, your venue and the feel you’re going for.  Don’t worry if you don’t have some magazine pictures or a Pinterest board.  Choose a couple of dresses you’re drawn to (I’ll leave you to browse the gowns in peace and privacy) and then as you try one or two we’ll know pretty quickly what sort of thing you love – whether a certain neckline or skirt flatters you most, whether you like something more floaty and romantic or fitted with an extravagant train.  I would just recommend remaining open minded and trying different styles to find what works for you and then we can get more focused.

There’s so much to think about when shopping for a wedding dress but these are my top five tips.  In short, have fun!  Relax and enjoy shopping for what will be the most magical dress of your life and make an occasion of it.  There’s no need to feel stressed or worried, it’s my job to make you feel at home and ensure you’re comfortable, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy it whilst I provide the hot drinks and the helpful advice on different dress styles – I promise you’ll feel relaxed in no time!

To book an appointment at the boutique, contact me here or via my Facebook page, I can’t wait to meet you!

 

 

Entourage Etiquette

I often get asked by my brides who they should bring with them to their initial appointment.  This is always a tricky one because I would advise bringing someone you trust but also limiting numbers.  Firstly, you have to remember that too many opinions can be overwhelming.  Also your fabulously flamboyant friend will most likely have a different style and taste to you so often she may pull out the dresses that she loves but that perhaps don’t suit your wedding or personal sense of style (not on purpose but because we are each individually drawn to what we are drawn to).

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The Best Things about Working in Bridal

 

I have been working in bridal for many years as one of the longest standing boutiques in the county and I’ve seen many new boutiques come (and many go) in the past decade.  I often get asked by brides, mothers of the brides and those looking to set up in the industry what it’s like working in the bridal industry and I have to admit, it’s not all glitz and glamour.

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