V&A Wedding Dress Exhibition London + London Bride on TV!

V&A Wedding Dress Exhibition London

Today I wanted to get around to finally sharing the fantastic V&A Wedding Dress Exhibition with you AND as an added bonus there’s a little bit of me on screen too [yikes].

The exhibition at the V&A, one of the most inspiring cultural spots in London, began earlier this year and will run through to March 2015 and is a fascinating and unique insight into the history of wedding dresses from 1775 through to current day.

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As well as being able to see dresses from centuries ago, the exhibition highlights the history behind the dresses, and very interestingly how the economic and cultures of the time influenced the fashion.

In the exhibition there are over 80 wedding dresses by leading designers such as Ian Stuart, Jenny Packham, Vera Wang, Bruce Oldfield as well as millinerry from Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones.

that are historic, romantic and extravagant – revealing insights into the wearers and their circumstances. There are a number of celebrity dresses too including the infamous purple Vivienne Westwood dress worn by Dita Von Teese when she married Marilyn Manson and of course, Kate Moss and Jamie Hince’s stunning wedding day outfits from their day back in 2011 which was stunning to see up close, see some of my images below – the detail on her John Galliano designed dress was just stunning.

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Anyone with an interest in fashion [or of course weddings] will be fascinated to see in one collection the change in bridal trends from historical gold embroidered dresses, to silk bias cut gowns of the 40s to the practical ‘DIY’ gowns [one made from curtains!] that emerged during the Second World War and how society and economic times depicted these.

Here are a few looks at the exhibition, though the gowns really are worth seeing up close in person. I seem to, as always, be drawn to sparkle, bows and glamour…

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When I was invited to the press event for the exhibition I was interviewed by a few media channels, including DW, for their piece on the V&A wedding dress exhibition which is broadcast internationally as part of their popular lifestyle channel Euromaxx. I try not to think how many 1000′s of people around the world may have seen my mug, scary thought.

So if you click on the image below it will take you to watch the video, you can see my little bit around 03:00 minutes in [though do watch the interview with Edwina Ehrman, the curator for her fascinating insight]. Having worked in TV and film previously I should add that I am very much used to being behind the camera so please excuse my pretty awful interview ability. I appear not to be able to speak English, but hopefully you get the gist of what I mean?!

DW TV - London Bride Interview Huge thanks to Kate Halfpenny for letting us loose in her beautiful wedding dress boutique and to her assistant Izie who was incredibly patient with us!

 

The V&A is open daily 10:00 – 17:45 and late nights until 22:00 on Friday. Tickets are £12 [concessions available].

To book tickets to the show or for further information on the exhibition please visit the V&A website here.

Informal Elegance at The Zabludowicz Collection

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These days, it’s not uncommon for couples that have been together a long time to finally tie the knot. Jenni and Tim had been together for 12 years before they got engaged, and I think it’s just so lovely and important that even after that amount time that a couple want to make it official and ensure they celebrate their relationship! Their day was informal but elegant. Jenni’s bridal style is classic which works well with the simplicity of the Zabludowicz Collection wedding venue (aka 176 Prince of Wales Road) they chose which was enhanced with white and green florals. I hope you have all had a chance to have lunch so you can read all about their food from Disappearing Dining Club without getting too hungry as it sounds utterly delicious and creative – ‘family style sharing food’ is hugely popular at the moment and you can see why!

Looks like the generous cake table with baked goods by the guests went down well and a great opportunity for everyone to mingle after dinner and with all that choice it means there must be something to suit everyone’s taste buds too! The night ended with the bride’s Mother dancing to their hip-hop playlist, what better way to end your wedding!

We weren’t really sure where or how to start planning a wedding. We’ve been to loads of weddings since we’ve been together and had generated quite a long list of things that we didn’t want, but that didn’t get us very far in thinking about what we did want! We did know that we wanted a London wedding with a party feel rather than anything too traditional. Neither of us are from London, but it’s been our home for the past 5 years and we’re planning on staying for the foreseeable future, so it was important to us that the day incorporated elements of the things we love about living here that we could share with our friends and family (including great buildings, good food and wine, and music).  

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Again, I didn’t really have a clue about what I wanted in a dress (there’s a theme here…!) I ended up trying all sorts of things, from traditional wedding dresses to evening dresses over a few months. However, the first dress I tried on at the start of the search was a Charlotte Balbier dress ‘Edith’ which happened to be in a sample sale at Angelica Bridal , and of course ended up being the one I went for after all the trawling around! After trying a variety of different styles, both wedding and non-wedding, it was still the dress I kept thinking about so I went back to try it on again. The sample had just been sold (there are downsides to being indecisive) so I ended up buying the dress new! I had a few alterations including having the longer train shortened to make it a little less formal, and so I didn’t have to bustle it up on the day. I wanted a dress I could move around in rather than feeling as though I needed to be too careful with it and it ended up being the perfect choice!

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We knew pretty early on that we wanted to have the ceremony at Islington Town Hall. We wanted the ceremony venue to have a sense of occasion, and the Council Chambers at the town hall is such a beautiful room and fit the bill perfectly. The reception venue was a much harder task! We looked at dozens of venues to get a sense of the different options in North and East London that came somewhere close to being within our budget. We originally thought we’d go for a venue with more of an urban feel but our choice of the Zabludowicz Collection in the end was quite different from what we’d envisaged. However, being a Methodist chapel that’s been converted into a modern art gallery it had a good mix of original features and a contemporary feel, and was a great space for us to transform for the reception. 

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Our photographer Emilie really helped us enjoy the day. She is so chilled and unobtrusive, it meant that our guests, and Tim and I were able to have pictures taken without us realising (a good thing!) rather than spending ages having formal shots. We went off to have some pictures taken in Camden and on Primrose Hill after the ceremony while the guests travelled to the reception venue; it felt weird being in our local area in all our wedding finery but we’ve got some great shots. The funniest moment was when I was running late to get to the hotel to get ready before the wedding and Emily had arrived before me and was sent to another bride’s room to start taking pictures – she very calmly rang me to check where I was when she realised it was the wrong group of women in there! 

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We wanted to keep things fairly simple and fresh so decided to keep the colour scheme white, then used candles and foliage for contrast. We really like plants so having lots of green as well as white flowers worked well for us. We’re lucky that Tim’s mum is a dab hand with flowers as we were pretty clueless about what was going to be in season and what would work well, so she was in charge and ordered all the flowers for us. We all got together the day before the wedding and did the bouquets around a friend’s dining table, and Tim’s mum did the rest at the venue with help from my wonderfully talented friend, Lucy from Lucy Says I Do

Lucy also helped to take our ideas and design our stationery, which was modern and used the Dymo font that Tim likes (he painstakingly made all our place names using a Dymo labelwriter), and also helped us set up a DIY photobooth in the reception venue, from which we got some of the most hilarious pictures of the day (it’s the quieter family members who turned up in crazy fancy dress in some of the pics that are most surprising!!) We didn’t have a guest book and instead collected London postcards and asked people to write us a message on the back. 

We’d been really struggling with ideas about what to put on a raised area at the top of the main space where the altar used to be (we’d even got to the point of considering hiring trees – not within budget!) but Lucy suggested having two big flower and foliage displays in urns at the top of the room.  Tim’s mum was able to turn this into a reality using a couple of urns that we borrowed, and it was a great way to make an impact.

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Having amazing food was a must for us as eating (and drinking!) are two of our favourite things to do. We wanted a menu that was a bit different and the Disappearing Dining Club really came up with the goods; we went for a sharing theme and had a mix of potted meats and fish for starters with pickled vegetables and homemade bread and then beautifully cooked lamb served on wooden boards with harissa, aubergine and chickpea couscous and green beans.

The meal was served to share between groups, so we were a bit nervous that people would expect a more traditional wedding meal, but it really wasn’t for us, so we went with our tastebuds instead of convention, and it worked out excellently! We didn’t have a wedding cake and instead asked friends and family to bake creations for a cake table, which we had as dessert served with coffee in the foyer of the reception venue. It meant people could get up and mingle after the main part of dinner was over and help themselves to a selection of different cakes.  My mum had spent ages sourcing various cake stands from car boot sales and charity shops before the wedding for the cake table so we had a great selection. We had a cheese buffet later on in the evening to help soak up the cocktails that were flowing!

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Music was another part of the day that was really important to us. Tim and I love music, and we felt that the wedding would be a great opportunity to play songs that remind us of friends and family and different times in our lives. As we knew we would end up being controlling nightmares about the songs we wanted we decided not to have a band or DJ and instead ended up creating a playlist of our favourite songs that ran throughout the course of the drinks reception, dinner and then dancing later on. That was probably the thing we spent the most time on in the whole wedding planning process – it was agonising having to decide which songs to keep and which songs to cut! We made a set list with timings and put this on the tables at dinner so everyone knew when their favourite genre would be coming up. We had an eclectic mix of pop, rock ‘n roll, indie, old school hip hop, and dance and it was so good to see everyone on the dance-floor – my mum was loving the hip hop section!  

Congratulations Jenni and Tim, a beautiful wedding and thanks to photographer Emilie for sharing her lovely work.

Credits: Photography: Emilie White / Ceremony Venue: Islington Town Hall / Reception Venue: Zabludowicz Collection / Bride’s Dress: ‘Edith’ by Charlotte Balbier from Angelica Bridal / Bridesmaids: Adrianna Papell at House of Fraser / Groom’s Suit: Cad and the Dandy / Flower’s: Groom’s Mother / Catering: Disappearing Dining Club / Cakes: Homemade by guests / Stationery: Lucy Says I do