16 November 2011

Wedding #2 - Attire

Welcome to the second of my 7 posts, sharing with you our journey of planning our wedding. If you missed our first (which focussed on our venue) you can catch up here.

This week I am sharing with you our mood boards for 'Attire'. This pretty enormous post covers bridal dresses, suits, bridesmaids dresses, shoes & accessories, and a brief summary of my thoughts and ideas.

Before I get started, I want to make clear that these following mood boards were created as a personal project during the planning of our wedding, and therefore, I was predominantly screen grabbing any images that I found inspiring. I have done my absolute best to go back through and locate their sources, but where sources, designers or photographers are unknown to me (and if you find your work on here) please contact me and I will add a credit immediately.

Bridal Dress Board

All of these pictures were found at Style Me Pretty. From top to bottom, left to right:
1 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' (designer & photographer unknown)
2 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' (designer & photographer unknown)
3 Image source - the 'fashion look book', designer J.Crew
4 Image source - the 'fashion look book', designer Saja
5 Image source - the 'fashion look book', designer Saja
6 Image source - the 'fashion look book', designer Saja

After getting an eyeful of these beauties on the fantastic American wedding inspiration site, Style Me Pretty, I had a sureness that I was going to find my dress quickly. I was very taken with both the big, full, romantic dresses, and the elegant, understated gowns - disappointingly, neither of which I could find anything remotely like on the high street, as the majority of shops seemed to stock mostly a-line shaped dresses.

It was on our second shopping trip that I found my dress (6 shops later), in a shop that was packed to the rafters with dresses (and funnily enough, where I least expected to find it). But there it was - I saw it from across the room, and my heart skipped. It was as if someone had made it just for me, and when I put it on, I had the first proper reaction from my mum, as she whispered through tears that it was 'the one'. When I looked in the mirror, I saw myself - not me in a dress that would've suited someone else better, or one that wasn't quite what I had in mind, but me. All me.

So what was it I hear you cry? A full, romantic dress, or a delicate, romantic gown? I shall let you speculate for now.

Suit Board

All of these pictures were found on Google image searches, but I have done my best to locate their sources. 
From left to right:
1 Image source - Robert Ellis
2 Image source - a wedding chat forum (designer unknown)
3 Image source - Tango's Dress Hire
4 Image source - Sandys Menswear

I really wanted Jay to choose a suit that he felt a million dollars in before we began nailing down the exact colour scheme, and all the other bits. Most people thought this was odd, because a lot of ladies like to let the bridesmaids dresses lead, but I think it is the Groom's day as much as it is the Brides, so I thought that he should feel as good as I felt in my dress. And of course, he agreed.

So with that in mind, we went off to search for suits, initially liking the idea of chocolate brown and gold. Chocolate brown because it was luxurious, rich and warm, and gold for the same reason, but also because we wanted to follow the colour of our rings.

After trying the chocolate (along with every other possible colour option, in order for Jay to figure out which he felt most special in) it was navy with gold that we both fell in love with. We were astonished. Not on your nelly would we have thought of picking navy, but as soon as he put the suit on, a transformation occurred, and it was just like it was meant for him - just like my dress was meant for me, and most importantly, he felt very special in it.

Now that my dress and the suits were sorted, we were beginning to piece together the colour palette.

Colour Palette

My dress was a funny colour; called 'pale gold', and when you put it next to gold or yellow, that is exactly the colour it looked, but when you put it next to ivory or let it stand alone, it had this warm, peach blush to it. The most stunning colour I think I have ever seen.

The top, far left colour is not too far off from the colour of my dress, and then you've got the navy and gold from the suits. 

I really didn't like the colour gold for the bridesmaids dresses - it is so rich, I think it needs to be paired with the exact right skin tone to work, and I was after a far softer look. Not wanting to mismatch the groomsmen and the maids however, we decided that a warm, buttery yellow was the way to go, and settled on 'Maize'. It was pale, soft, pretty, and maintained a very close match to the gold.

The colour palette for the attire was as strong as we had hoped it would be, and all that was left to decide then, were the other colours that I wanted to bring in with the room detail, to give the scheme some depth. I had a clear vision of a soft, feminine, romantic look, and my dress inspired me to look at peach, which is also one of my very favourite colours. With the flowers in mind as well, we also decided to add a very soft pink to the palette, which completed it for us, giving us lots to work with.

Bridesmaids Dresses

From left to right:
1 Image source -  Bari Jay
2 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' at Style Me Pretty (designer & photographer unknown)
3 Image source - Elderberry Bridesmaids
4 Image source - The Dessy Group

From my dress, the suits, and the soft, romantic theme that I so desperately wanted to create, I knew just what style I wanted for the maids. Elegant and pretty.

We had two maids, (one of them had not long given birth) and it was important to me that we got dresses that they would feel confident and princess-like in, like they deserved. The above images are some very inspiring dresses that helped me to pinpoint just what was going to work, and allowed us to make our final decision.

What that decision was, you will find out soon enough.

Shoes & Accessories

From top to bottom, left to right:
Image source - Rainbow Club
2 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' at Style Me Pretty (designer & photographer unknown)
3 Image source - Monsoon
4 Image source - Rainbow Club

As Jay is around the 6 foot mark, and I am around the, erm, 5 foot mark, I had an understandably strict aim to get as high a heeled shoes as I could cope with. The shoe hunt was a bit of a nightmare. If they weren't too low, they were just so uncomfortable, and I really struggled.

Rainbow Club had an enormous range of the most beautiful shoes that I could find, but unfortunately there was only one local stockist and I had to order them in each time just to try them. I actually blogged about Rainbow Club on discovery of their treasures, which you can read here if you missed it - really worth a look, they are extremely beautiful.

Eventually, I sank my feet into a beautiful pair that I thought I might be able to bear. This may of had something to do with the sheer amount of love that I had for them, but it worked for me.

Most of these pictures were found on Google image searches, but I have done my best to locate their sources. 
From top to bottom, left to right:
1 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' at Style Me Pretty (designer & photographer unknown)
2 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' at Style Me Pretty (designer & photographer unknown)
3 Image source - the 'inspiration boards' at Style Me Pretty (designer & photographer unknown)
4 Image source -  Liberty In Love
5 Image source - Marc Jacobs
6 Image source - Charnos
7 Image source - Bridal Shapewear
8 Image source -  Precious Bags
9 Image source - Monsoon
10 Image source - Mary Norton

From special details like handkerchieves, garters and underwear, to the finishing touches, like jewellery, handbags and perfume, I explored it all. Unsurprisingly, a lot of what I found was extremely lovely but extremely expensive, and so as any thrifty lady would do, I either found a cheaper match, or took on the help of my dab handed mum to make me things, and I think we did pretty well with that.

All of these pictures were found on Google image searches, but I have done my best to locate their sources.
From top to bottom, left to right:
1 Image source - Deals Coast
2 Image source - unknown; unable to connect to originators website (designer unknown)
3 Image source - Berketex Bride
4 Image source - Ali Express
5 Image source - Magic Wedding Dress
6 Image source - Bridal Gowns Plaza
7 Image source - Alibaba.com

As we were having an October wedding, I had to turn my attention to the possible weather situation if I was to stick out our drinks reception in the beautiful gardens of The Swan, which was a real must for us.

I dreamed of an ivory cape that pooled on the ground at the back - I could be snow white for the day. But realistically, most were in excess of £200, and that would be on a whim that it would actually be that cold. With our mild Autumns in mind, I was looking for something that would provide me with a bit of warmth should I need it, that was reasonably priced considering I'd hardly wear it, but that I would feel really special in if I did.

As you can see there were lots of options to look at - and very beautiful ones at that. Deciding wasn't that difficult in the end, as I was led by my dress on what would work best, and my sensible budget too.

So, I think that pretty much sums up the subject of 'Attire'. I hope that it has given you lots of inspiration if you are planning your own wedding, or indeed, lots of pretties to admire if you just fancied a peep anyway.

Next week, I will be posting about 'Beauty'. This will cover hair and make-up ideas, and also the veil / tiara / head accessory situation, along with details of what worked for me with my own beauty regime leading up to my big day.

Lastly, I wanted to pop a mention in of a wedding planning site that I discovered quite far into the planning of our wedding, called The Wedding Community. They offer lots of wedding planning tools, ideas and advice, and have lists of suppliers from all over the UK, so you are sure to find some near you.


  1. my goodness, I think we have similar tastes, loved all of these! I've often been torn between the 2 styles of dress, one day we will get a wedding sorted out! Seeing your posts makes me want to start planning :) You are a tease, I wanted to see your dress, I'm sure you looked magical. Catherine x

  2. Catherine! Thank you so much for your lovely comment, and yes, how similar we seem! Wow, so you have this all to come then...I hope the rest of my posts inspire you as much. 3 more posts to go and then you shall see it all, I promise! I do feel awful making you all wait! x


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