Posts Categorized: Aisle Style

Designer Spotlight – Charlie Brear Bridal 2015 Collection

Posted by & filed under Aisle Style, Fashion + Style.

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This year, amongst the couples I’ve worked with to plan and style their weddings, I’ve had 4 of my lovely brides (with impeccable taste!) all choose British designer and stylist, Charlie Brear (note: not to be confused with my own name, though they are strangely similar!) Considering all the designers out there, that’s a pretty good rate and I have to say, I’m not surprised.

The latest Charlie Brear 2015 collection is incredibly savvy and sophisticated. Inspired by iconic decades of style, the designs are flawlessly combined with Charlie’s own contemporary aesthetic (as seen in her ready-to-wear line). Beautiful cut silouhettes, layers of soft tulles, chiffons and romantic lace can all be combined with the innovative ‘Additions’ as each bride has the opportunity to create her own unique style. A simple crepe, satin or chiffon dress can be layered with anything from sequinned overdresses (these are wow, let me tell you), sheer lace backs, incredibly feminine tiered skirts, plus silk sashes or soft shrugs to add that finishing touch all fully customised to each bride effortlessly.

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From top to above: augustine lace & hurrel cape / aurele skirt / voulaire overdress & pettine versailles / mongolian gilet & manira skirt / casimir overdress / versailles jacket & catroux jacket / etoile sash / tavaline & fayette overdress voulaire top &  demi voulaire / chapelle

As a formal stylist, Charlie Brear created what was formerly known as The Vintage Wedding Dress Company back in 2005 after sourcing many a vintage wedding gown for a photo shoot. Since then amongst her love of vintage, Charlie grew the collection to include a capsule bridal offering of made to order gowns, using details and accents of decades gone by as inspiration for a contemporary take on vintage glamour.

Since then, the company was re-launched as Charlie Brear and as well as bridal collections, she also has ‘Additions’ which is a collection of unique pieces to compliment the made to order gowns, such as lace sleeves, over skirts, lace shrugs and this is what makes her designs so sought after as effectively this enables the bride to customise her own bespoke gown with a few small additions to suit the individual.

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All the collections are produced in the UK using a diverse range of hand selected fabrics and trims. In the beautiful flagship London boutique tucked away off  they also offer original one of a kind vintage dresses as part of their Original Vintage Collection.

Haivng visited the flagship boutique in Fitzrovia earlier this year, I was blown away by the fabrics, the cuts and most of all the excitement that comes of being able to tailor your dress to suit you and make the most of both your style and your figure. If you aren’t London based there are a number of other stockists available throughout the UK, which you can see listed here.

I literarily wouldn’t know where to start if I were trying these on, though I’d say the ‘Aurele’ tulle skirt with glittery sequin overlay would likely be a good place to start…

If you want a little look behind the scenes you can see a pretty cute little video here (in case the images above weren’t enough pretty for you!) and I also highly recommend you follow Charlie Brear on instagram, it’s a beautiful and inspiring feed!

Bright + Cheerful Hampton Court House Wedding

Posted by & filed under Aisle Style, Elegant, London Weddings, Modern.

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Whilst the sky may be grey and dreary at the moment, this wedding has cheered my day up no end! Such a beautiful bright, colourful wedding full of personality and cheer. Jo and Greg were married at the beautiful Hampton Court House earlier in June this year. The very talented ladies at Cotton Candy Weddings captured the day in all it’s multi-coloured splendour so perfectly and of course those radiant just-married smiles from the gorgeous bride and groom. I also have to mention the bursting-with-brightness blooms by Steph at Fairy Nuff Flowers who created the most stunning arrangements in those sunshine shades that bring so much cheer to the day.

Having met in Spain Jo and Greg incorporated some subtle influences of Granada into their day “There wasn’t really a theme but Greg and I met in Granada in Spain so a lot of the decorations and the table plan had a Granada theme to them such as Morrocan lanterns etc. When we started planning our wedding we started with the guest list and went from there. We wanted it to be as fun and relaxed as possible whilst still recognising the fact that it was obviously a very important occasion!

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Jo looked picture-perfect in her ‘Willow’ by Jenny Packham dress with the chic but sexy sheer back detailing and feminine fit, which she discovered at Miss Bush Bridalwear boutique in Surrey.

Finding my dress was a more stressful process than I had assumed it would be, it feels like there a lot of pressure to look perfect on the day and there’s just too much choice! The Willow dress by Jenny Packham was actually one of the first dresses I saw on the internet when I started looking and was just much more me than the corseted designs I tried, relaxed yet covered in sequins! I got it from Miss Bush, which I would highly recommend to everyone, Emma really knows what she’s talking about!

I’m sure like myself, your eye has been caught on those amazing Miu Miu shoes with the jewel decorated heels, practical and oh-so pretty! My beautiful Miu Miu shoes were a replacement for a pair of stilettos I was going to wear but got more and more worried about being able to walk in. The block heel was perfect and I wore them all day and night, even walking home in them across a field.

Jo accessorised her outfit with some lovely meaningful items borrowed from her cousin and Mum. My Alex Monroe pear necklace was borrowed from my beautiful Maid of Honour Ellie (also my cousin), who graciously lent it to me for the day (I’m not sure I gave her much choice!). My watch is an old one of my Mum’s that I used to covet. I think I was about 7 when I first told her that I wanted to wear it when I got married! 

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Jo’s love for colour on her big day was all inspired from the early bridesmaid dresses purchase! I absolutely love the colour on her lovely ladies and the flowers are just so cheery, perfect for a June wedding. It’s probably obvious from the photos that I love bright colours. The bridesmaids’ dresses were one of the first things I bought, about a week after we got engaged! My friend works at Whistles and she knew I like Orange so she showed them to me and they started the colour scheme for the whole wedding! My nieces completely stole the show in their John Lewis dresses with little rings of gypsophila made by our florist, Steph. 

Greg looked sharp in a Gieves and Hawkes suit that was provided by the bride’s brother, Simon who runs Permanent Style, which is very handy as this man knows a thing or two about menswear!

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I’m not sure there is anything like having live music and singing for a ceremony. Somehow the atmosphere really is quite heightened with emotion, and with such personal and meaningful readings it would appear there weren’t many dry eyes during this special ceremony.

The ceremony itself was perfect, made even better by The Tiffinians (an acapella group from a local school) singing as my Dad and I entered, that was definitely a moment I’ll never forget – it was beautiful and veery emotional. The readings were also very special. My Aunt read a poem which my Grandad wrote to us in reply to our wedding invitation, which was always going to be emotional! Greg’s sister read ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley (which I had chosen for Greg without his knowledge) and my Brother read ‘Dance me to the end of love’ by Leonard Cohen, which he managed to fill with such emotion it had the family crying at the very least. Finally we walked out to ‘Waiting for as star’ by Boy meets Girl, an 80s classic chosen because it’s the song at the end of Three Men and a Little Lady when they get married, a film both of us loved growing up.

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They chose the beautiful Hampton Court House for their wedding for the elegant yet relaxed setting and picturesque gardens and outdoor patio to enjoy a drinks reception. The green gardens provided the perfect setting for the lovely portait photos with their photographers, Gem and Phil from Cotton Candy Weddings.

I found them just searching the internet and loved their reportage style. What I particularly like about their photos is their use of light, as well as their ability to catch all the best moments. They are also very subtle, we didn’t know they were there half the time! 

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You can’t fail to have a smile on your face when surrounded by such beautiful flowers, gold glitter decorations and…..flamingoes! I love the DIY gold paper lanterns that Jo made just from spray painting – they add that touch of luxe to the humble white lantern!

I made most of the decorations for the wedding (with a lot of help from a few friends and family in particular!). We started collecting jam jars to cover in gold glitter about a year in advance, I think Greg thought I’d gone mad – we’re still finding glitter all over my parents’ house. One of my favourite things we made was the lanterns for the roof of the conservatory which we sprayed with gold spray paint, focusing on the top to create a graduated effect, not all of my ideas worked out as well! I think Greg was also worried about me when I told him I wanted to get plastic lawn flamingos and flamingo cocktail servers but it all came together in the end and I hope made people smile.

We also had a photo of every guest when they were younger instead of place cards, which did seem like madness at times but was worth it to see people’s reactions on the day.

 

 

 

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I was unsure what type of flowers to have with the strong colour of the dresses but Steph from Fairy Nuff Flowers was amazing and pulled together the beautiful bouquets from my mass of photo ideas. I thought at the start that I wasn’t too concerned about flowers but Steph changed that and the flowers ended up being one of my favourite things about the day (she even added trailing gold sequins to my bouquet).

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We went with Parties to Go for the catering whose food is delicious but not as formal as some of the other caterers we looked at. Carole was great, she was so enthusiastic and was very accommodating of all our ideas as well as making delicious food, and made it easy for us to just enjoy ourselves on the day. 

The amount of laughter/cheering/general noise during the ceremony/speeches/dancing etc. was amazing. I have to particularly mention the creative and hilarious speech from the two best men, Rich and Olly, we both cried with laughter watching it back!

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The White Keys really set the atmosphere for the evening dancing, playing a mix of music across different decades to suit the crowd. We had debated whether it was worth getting a large band but it was absolutely worth it and I would highly recommend them. Jo and Greg danced to On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons.

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A lovely moment for Jo and Greg was right at the end of the day, an impromptu finale song with their friends.  We hadn’t planned any kind of exit so just got our stuff to quietly go, but our friends weren’t having any of it, they surrounded us singing and dancing to ‘Take That – Never forget’ and then cheered us out as we walked up the stairs, a perfect end to a perfect day.

 

Jo also has some top tips to share with any brides to be out there all of which I have to say is fanstastic advice!

  • Get a videographer – We weren’t going to at first but did on the advice of a friend and we’re so glad now. You miss so much and it’s lovely to be able to watch it all again
  • Don’t worry if you don’t try on a single dress and think ‘this is the one!’ as TV etc. seems to suggest you should, some of us just don’t have that kind of reaction!
  • Don’t look round during your vows, if you see other people crying you will too!
  • We asked the photographers to use cameras without clicks for the ceremony, definitely something I’d recommend

During the planning it wasn’t ideal as we were also living with my parents and trying to renovate a house at the same time so it isn’t necessarily advisable, even if you are blessed with a Mum as organised as mine – Thanks Mum!

What a gorgeous day – so many lovely details and it all ties together to be both beautiful and personal. Thank you for sharing with us and to Cotton Candy for their stunning work and for brightening our day!

 

CREDITS: Photography: Cotton Candy Weddings /  Venue: Hampton Court House / Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham at Miss Bush Bridalwear / Groom’s Suit: Gieves & Hawkes (provided by Bride’s brother Simon) / Bridesmaids Dresses: Whistles /  Hair & Make-up: Lars Luan / Flowers: Steph at Fairy Nuff Flowers / Catering: Parties to Go / Acapella Group: The Tiffinians / Evening Band: The White Keys