Posts Tagged: Phase Eight

Style & Substance – 20 Stylish Budget Wedding Dresses Under £1000k

AISLE STYLE, Bridal Style


Hand-picked stylish wedding dresses that don’t break the budget, this little lot are all under £1k!

Stylish Budget Wedding Dresses Under £1k

From my many years blogging and planning weddings, I have realised that there are so so so many different types of brides out there, each with their own style and own ideas on ‘the dress’. For some, the dress is the star of the show and as such receives a substantial part of the budget, in which case you’re spoilt for choice with amazing bridal designers all varying in styles and budgets. However I’m also aware that (perhaps more so being based in London with city brides) that for some, whether for budget reasons or just because, they choose to not go too crazy with their wedding dress budget (kudos for being more sensible than I!). So this post is for those ladies, who still want cool bridal style but who are looking for something a little more on the budget savvy side.

I often come across fabulous budget wedding dresses and especially at this time of year when the Spring/Summer collections are out, whether it’s a chic city do, a romantic boho affair or even a destination wedding – I know there’s lots of you looking for affordable options, so I’ve hand-picked my favourite styles for you! Hopefully there’s something for everyone, from beaded and elegant, to lacy and short, vintage to modern…. and if not for the bride then great bridesmaid inspiration for those with a neutrals colour scheme!

Stylish Budget Wedding DressesASOS – Jarlo One Shoulder Floral Lace

Stylish Budget Wedding DressesBHLDN – Evageline Dress

Stylish Budget Wedding Dresses Phase Eight – Hope

Click to see more!

Affordable Elegant Bridal Wear – 8 Bridal Collection From Phase Eight

AISLE STYLE, Bridal Style

Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Hope

 The Hope (aptly named at £595!)

From the image above you’d be forgiven that I’m blogging about a new collection from a luxury bridal designer… but my guess is you may have seen the title, in which case you’ll know that this collection is in fact from the High Street though admittedly hard to believe!

Phase Eight have for a few years launched their own bridal range of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses and accessories, and for this Spring/Summer 2015 the ‘8 Bridal’ collection is now available.

Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Josefina Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Cresida Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Josefina Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Josefina Phase Eight - 8 Bridal Collection - Hope

Above:  Josefina, Cressida and Hope

Having seen these dresses in person at their flagship James Street store near Bond Street, the intricate beading, lace detailing, and feminine silhouettes of the dresses are all quite exceptional for ‘high street’ and really do raise the standard. I was suitably impressed and having featured a few Phase Eight brides on the blog (here and here), I really can see why they are a popular choice for those brides who are looking for something affordable without compromising style, perfect for a London Bride indeed!

The range is available both online at Phase Eight, with prices starting from just £250 (for a short dress) to £750 for the full length Old Hollywood style elegance or in one of their specialist Bridal Boutique stores.

Again considering the dresses are high street, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality up-close and the styles feature hand-stitching details, with inner construction for a flattering shape and luxurious fabrics for elegance. The Hope dress for me was stand-out with it’s designer inspired glamorous fit and beading it’s a stunning dress, especially for it’s £595 price tag!

Phase Eight Affordable Wedding Dress Phase Eight Affordable Wedding Dress Phase Eight Affordable Wedding DressPhase Eight Affordable Wedding Dress Phase Eight Affordable Wedding Dress

 Above: Elbertine / Aurora / Hope / Cressida / Annabella 

Key highlights from the new range include the stunning Aurora dress, featuring all over glittering metallic embellishments and cowl neck and back detailing or the stunning lace Josefina with its pretty lace and sheer neckline and subtle sweeping fishtail hem in tulle. For brides preferring shorter dresses without compromising on detail and wow-factor, the Cressida dress is the perfect choice. The all over lace design features a delicate detailed high neckline and hem, mid-length sleeves and a satin belt to accentuate the pretty fit and flare shape.

To compliment the dresses they have a selection of bridal accessories such as veils, shoes, shrugs (a special mention to this stunning beaded cape which I loved!) as well as extending their bridesmaid options.

You can arrange for a personal appointment with a specialist to try on the dresses at one of their Phase Eight Bridal Boutiques (020 7499 7750 – London01962 866964 – Winchester0131 226 4009 – Edinburgh).

Stylish & Intimate London Wedding at The Bluebird Chelsea

WEDDINGS, Elegant, Informal

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

There is just something so utterly romantic about London’s beautiful mews streets. This stylish and intimate London wedding captures the romance of the city and a beautiful couple.

Having met in South Korea, with Justin from the USA and Joella from the UK and a move to Beijing on the cards, they decided on an intimate Spring wedding in London as a farewell to their friends and family. The day was captured exclusively on film by photographer Ed Osborn.

Having been together for over 6 years, for the wedding, it was important to them to be able to enjoy their favourite wines and foods for their guests so kept the wedding quite small. “It was really important to both of us to have a really small wedding. Although we really wanted to get married, neither of us had ever wanted a huge wedding with loads of people staring at us! Because we were set on having such a small wedding this meant we weren’t able to invite all of our friends and family. We were worried about this but everyone was incredibly supportive of our decision.”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed OsborneIntimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

Joella looks stunning in a dress she tracked down from the high street, however despite it being the ‘one’ it wasn’t the first dress she bought “As we had such a short engagement  I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to a bridal boutique due to the short timescale, so soon after we got engaged I went by myself to a sample sale. I didn’t expect to get anything that day but got swept up in the moment and bought a traditional, strapless gown. Whilst it was a lovely dress, it wasn’t what I had in mind and I soon started to have doubts. A couple of weeks later my mum came down to London to help me buy shoes and accessories. As she had missed out on wedding dress shopping I thought it would be fun to try on a few high street dresses which may also help perhaps confirm that I’d found the right dress! However as soon as I tried on the ‘Evelyn’ dress from Phase Eight I knew that was the one! As soon as I put it on everything just felt right.”

After having my trial for my hair and make-up with Cathy Shaw as I wasn’t wearing a veil she came up with the idea to place flowers in the back of my hair which was perfect!”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed OsborneIntimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“We chose Bluebird for the reception as I had always liked the look of it (we used to live nearby in Fulham and would often go past but had never actually been in). As we were keeping the guest list under 30 we were looking for an intimate venue but we didn’t want to be seated in a restaurant with lots of other people. We also still wanted to play our choice of music and have a bit of a boogie! Bluebird was perfect as they have several private rooms.

We chose the Bluebird room as it has a gorgeous private bar in the room and was on the ground floor- so felt separate from everyone else. It was also a great size for our number of guests. We had a champagne reception around the private bar while Justin and I had out photos taken with Ed, then we all sat around one large table for a three course meal with plenty of wine, followed by coffee and chocolates.  I loved having everyone on one table. As our parents had never met before, it was a great chance for them to get to know each other more and Justin and I could see everyone and chat to each other and our friends.”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“I don’t really know how you would describe our style – we really just picked the things we thought were beautiful and worked well for a city wedding. We didn’t really have any decorations because Bluebird already looks great. I wanted pink and ivory flowers for my bouquet and Lisa at the Flower Sanctuary in Balham (a florist local to where we were living at the time) helped me choose. I’d originally thought I’d have peonies but I’m so pleased I went for the Avalanche roses as they suited my dress really well. I was thrilled with my gorgeous bouquet. Bluebird put us in contact with Hannah Martin, who did the flowers for the reception. She did a wonderful job and the flowers were gorgeous. We took them all home and our flat was filled with flowers for a week afterwards!”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“We originally weren’t going to have a wedding cake (I don’t know what we were thinking?!) but after briefly considering a few options I discovered Hummingbird did wedding cakes! After that, there was no doubt that we would have a red velvet cake! We had a wonderful time at their Spitalfields store tasting cake flavours and choosing the design.  We went for an ivory cake with a pink flower on the top. We didn’t tell anyone it was red velvet until we cut into it so that was a good surprise. We were actually all too full after the delicious meal to eat much cake, so the staff at Bluebird kindly got little cake boxes so everyone could take a piece home! We had many texts the next day saying how delicious the cake was! I didn’t want anyone to be left out (who wants to miss out on cake?) so the day before the wedding Justin and I went to Ms Cupcake in Brixton and picked up some vegan red velvet cupcakes for the vegan and lacto-free guests. They were also delicious by all reports!

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“After the ceremony we gave our guests a little tour of London on a vintage Routmaster bus. That was one of our favourite parts of the day. It was so much fun sipping prosecco and waving at all the tourists.  It was a nice treat for our guests as most of them are not from London.

We didn’t go crazy on lots of little details but we did have a few personal touches. Justin is from the USA and I am from the UK- I found some American and British flag cufflinks online which he wore for the wedding as a nod to both our homelands! We decided not to have wedding favours but we had little bus tickets made up for the bus ride with our names, wedding date and location on. The guests all liked these and kept them as mementos. Instead of a guest book we provided a variety of London postcards for guests to leave messages for us and post in the card box. Everyone enjoyed this!”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“We had the ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall in the Blue Room. Marylebone was the only place we considered getting married. We just loved the building and the romantic idea of all the different people who have got married there. We also used to spend a lot of time in the Marylebone area when we first moved to London in 2008. We rang up the day after we got engaged to book the Blue Room! We had never even seen it in person but we just knew it would be right for us.

We didn’t see the room until we walked in at the start of the ceremony! It was magical to enter for the first time ever and see our friends and family standing waiting for us. We chose not to have bridesmaids or a best man and instead chose our friends to be the witnesses and my sister held our rings for us whilst my brother managed the music for the ceremony.”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“Because it was a small wedding and we didn’t have an aisle to walk down, we decided to enter the room together rather than have the tradition of my dad giving the bride away. We entered to Sigur Ros’ song ‘Untitled Three’. We cut a bit off the start to a more dramatic point. It felt like an amazing dream. Hilariously, when the registrar was telling my younger brother at what points to play the music on the ipod, she accidently played a few seconds of Gangnam style! Justin and I didn’t hear this of course but everyone told us later that they half expected we were going to dance into the ceremony to Gangnam. We actually had it on there as a joke song for the end of the reception as we originally met in South Korea! We signed the register to First Day of my Life by Bright Eyes  and walked out to Jose Gonzalez’ version of Heartbeats. We also just want to mention how amazing the registrars at Marylebone Town Hall are. They really put us at ease and made the day fantastic.”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“Justin and I met half an hour before the ceremony on the steps of the town hall! There was no one else around just us two (or it felt like that!) as the other guests had all gone inside when I arrived. We had both felt a bit nervous (not about marrying each other but about having everyone watch us say the vows and also about if the day would all go well) but as soon as we saw each other we knew everything was going to be perfect. My dad, my other siblings and our friends all didn’t see us until we walked in to the ceremony room – I really liked that as it felt so special and like a surprise!”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“Our amazing photographer was Ed Osborn.  We knew of him because I worked with his girlfriend 4 or 5 years ago! I had often seen his work online and we loved the look and feel of his photos. We absolutely love the fact that he shoots exclusively in film and the guests loved it too. Ed captured some really gorgeous moments and we love the photos so much.”

Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed OsborneIntimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne Intimate & Stylish London Wedding by Ed Osborne

“Even though the wedding was small, we still wanted to have some music and dancing. It was important to Justin and I that we had music we really liked at our wedding so made our own playlists and played them on an ipod hooked up the sound system the restaurant provided. We also asked guests to suggest songs to us and included them too. Everyone got excited when one of their song picks came on. There may not have been many of us but we still had a great time drinking and dancing! The Bluebird staff were brilliant and rearranged the table after the meal to make a large enough dance floor.

We absolutely loved out wedding day! We are so glad we did it the way we did and are so thankful to everyone who made it so special. We are now having an amazing time living in Beijing and love looking at the photos and remembering the day.

Whether you are having a tiny or massive wedding, follow your instincts and have the day you want. Oh and read lots of wedding blogs! They are so much fun and I loved being nosy at other peoples weddings.

Thank you so much to Ed for sharing his beautiful work and congratulations to such a lovely couple on their beautiful wedding day and write up! Hope you had a wonderful honeymoon this Christmas too!

Photography: Edward Osborn / Ceremony Venue: Marylebone Town Hall [currently closed for refurbishment] / Reception Venue: Bluebird Chelsea / Bride’s Dress: Phase Eight / Groom’s Suit: TM Lewin / Hair + Make Up: Cathy Shaw / Florists: Flower Sanctuary (Bouquet + Buttonhole) Cakes: Red Velvet by Hummingbird Bakery + Vegan Cupcakes by Ms Cupcake


Alternative Union Club Wedding – A Soho Jazz Inspired Wedding Party

WEDDINGS, Elegant, Informal

There is a lot to be said for bride and grooms like Hels and Lewis. They had a fuss free, low key affair that was centered around their families and their love of music and books (he’s in a band, she’s a magazine editor), and of course each other. Photographed by the fabulous Laura McCluskey, this stylish pair had a sweet Marylebone Town Hall ceremony followed by a cosy reception at The Union members club in Soho. What I love most is that they carefully considered suppliers who’s style fit theirs and then let them roll with what they did best. And the results? Well, I think they speak for themselves…

I love Hels’ style, a sort of modern relaxed vintage and if you haven’t already looked at the credits, can you believe this dress is from Phase Eight on the high street? She makes it look a million dollars!

My dress was really inexpensive and didn’t require too much hunting around – I saw it months before the wedding while I was still looking for vintage dresses. I tried it on and my sister – the Maid of Honour – cried her eyes out when I put it on (in a good way), so I went with it. I had three other bridesmaids, including Lewis’ sister and two old friends, who in keeping with the relaxed feel of the day, chose their own dresses.

My hair and makeup was by The Chapel Islington, who I know and trust through my job as a magazine editor. They came to the hotel (Dean Street Townhouse) on the morning of the wedding.



Lewis’ Nan is in her 80s and can’t travel, so we decided to stay in London for the wedding. Lewis had been to the Union for a meeting and when he showed me photos it looked like it was our kind of place. We went to meet the manager and his staff, and everyone was so friendly and relaxed and helpful that we stopped considering other reception venues straight away. And since neither of us is particularly religious or wanted a long, formal ceremony, we thought a civil service at Marylebone Town Hall would be best for the marriage itself.

We didn’t want themes or colour schemes to take over – we were never into the idea of a wedding that cost the earth and looked like it had been planned with military precision. We just wanted a cool party. So we decided very early on that the only guiding aesthetic principle would be that everything should be to our tastes and fit in with our characters. And since the Union has so much charm and this amazing, mixed-up interior anyway, we didn’t have to do much to the reception venue. We provided the flowers, a 1940s record player, some of our favourite jazz records, photos of us with our friends/families/dogs, books for favours (with little bookplates we made ourselves) and the seating plan for dinner. That was it. We also liked the idea of getting married in Soho – the heart of London – where we have both worked at one time or another.


Having just recently worked with The girls from the Flower Appreciation Society I was thrilled to see that they had sprinkled a bit of magic on this wedding too. Hel’s said “They make these incredible, rambling, earthy bouquets of British wild flowers and the stuff they did for our wedding was jaw-dropping. They have this really unique and beautiful vision that a lot of suppliers lack. They’re artists, really.” I fully agree!

We wanted to keep things informal, colourful and a little offbeat. This might have been inspired by the old jazz music and imagery we both like so we had some jazz touches like the table names (Django, Satchmo, Ella, Nina and Chet) and so on (our dog is called Django!). But generally we just left our suppliers to do what they do best. We didn’t think we’d get the best results by sticking our oars in and trying to control everything to the nth degree: we hired them because their work fit our vision of what flowers/photos/etc should be, and we let them get on with it.”  Such a refreshing attitude from a couple!


Lewis designed these colourful, transparent vinyl stickers that we used for the seating plan, bookplates and, later, the thank-you cards. The books went down well, too – for favours we gave everyone a copy of one of two novels by Antoine de Saint-Exupery – either The Little Prince or Wind, Sand & Stars. I was reading the former when Lewis and I first got together at the age of 17; Lewis found the latter in a house in LA where we stayed while he was recording his last album earlier this year. They’re both beautiful books and we each read something from one of them as part of the marriage service. 


Special Moment…

The ceremony was fun, and the London bus to the venue afterwards was nice, sat amongst all our friends and family. The speeches were brilliant. Most memorable, though, is probably the fact that we managed to get married on probably the only sunny Saturday in London during the whole of May or June!


These are some of the most gorgeous portraits I’ve seen. Amazing work from photographer Laura, and all in a hotel room! Love the bath shots…


Planning Tips…

Everyone’s different but keeping it simple and true to our tastes worked for us. Choosing less obvious suppliers really helped us to get character with minimal effort. Oh and good parents: we have the best parents and they made a lot of it possible!


For their music the couple made a playlist full of music that they thought would suit everyone.  It started with lots of jazz and smokey lounge, the first dance was Sam Cooke’s Nothing Will Ever Change This Love – then it was disco, Motown, soul, reggae, old pop, new pop… everything we love. I think we ended with The Beatles’ In My Life. Everyone danced non-stop, it was great.

These guys are effortlessly cool and it’s refreshing to see a beautiful wedding that didn’t cost the earth, or take over their lives but was everything they wanted and still full of personality. Congratulations to you both and thanks to photographer Laura McCluskey for kindly sharing her work.

Photography: Laura McCluskey / Venue: The Union Club, Soho / Wedding Dress: Phase Eight / Accessories: LK Bennett / Grooms Outift: Jacket Melinda Gloss, Jeans Acne, Tie Drake’s, Shoes Opening Ceremony / Hair + Make Up: The Chapel Islington / Flowers: The Flower Appreciation Society / Cake: Pomp De Franc