#6 Fields of Gold
Our Brides #6 – Anna
Anna and Matt’s wedding started with a fireside proposal, and things stayed pretty dreamy from then on by the looks of these gorgeous big-day photos.
Anna’s a great example of a bride who came into the boutique with one bridal designer in mind before discovering a different brand for their dream wedding dress. That’s the beauty of having four designers under one roof, of course ;)
And as a petite bride who wanted to steer clear of anything too princess-like, Haliton by Charlie Brear brings just the touch of relaxed sophistication Anna was looking for. You can just picture the two of them riding off into the Derbyshire sunset in their VW camper… Like I said, dreamy.
My favourite thing about these two? Matt secretly got in touch with me to sort out a bespoke pocket square for his suit, made out of the same fabric as Anna's Haliton dress. Now that's what I call a keeper!
Congrats Anna and Matt! (Now tell us that story your dad told in his speech…)
How would you sum up the style of your wedding?
A relaxed garden party in the Derbyshire countryside.
Where and when did you tie the knot?
On 1st June 2019, in a rural village church near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, then a short stroll up the road to a marquee in a field belonging to my parents.
And what was your wedding dress?
Haliton by Charlie Brear.
How did you two first meet?
We met whilst at separate Sixth Forms over 12 years ago, initially at a Paolo Nutini gig... then we kept bumping into each other at parties and the rest is history!
What about the proposal? When, where, how?
We were spending a night at my parents’ house (our subsequent wedding venue!) in Derbyshire whilst they were away. Matt popped the question whilst we were sitting in front of the fire playing a game of tavli (otherwise known as backgammon, a very traditional past time for Matt and his family who are Greek Cypriot).
I was completely unaware – pretty impressive considering he'd spent the last 9 months designing a unique and completely beautiful engagement ring behind my back!
Did you have an idea of what you wanted when you first started looking for your wedding dress? And did you stick to it?
I absolutely knew I wanted to steer clear of anything pouffy or with a wide skirt: I'm very petite so I didn't want something that would drown me.
I loved the idea of something quite boho and relaxed and initially went to Alexandra Anne to try on their Rembo Styling dresses. Once I'd tried on a few Rembo dresses it was clear they weren't quite right for me... Jess suggested Charlie Brear and as soon as I started trying them on I knew I'd found the designer I was going to wear.
To be honest I loved all of them and could have worn anything from the collection!
How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?
I'd been to a few dress shops in London but found it a slightly pressurised experience. But dress shopping at Alexandra Anne was super chilled and relaxed.
Jess made some great suggestions and really seemed to know what would suit me – I would never have considered Charlie Brear without her input.
What was it about your dress that made it ‘the one’?
I had thought I'd chosen Charlie Brear’s Payton dress before I returned for a second visit to get my sister’s opinion. However, whilst googling Charlie Brear dresses the night before I'd come across the Haliton and immediately thought it looked lovely.
As soon as I tried it on it felt right: stylish, modern and sleek, and yet really relaxed at the same time.
How did you feel once you’d made the big decision?
I was really happy with my choice and still loved the dress at every fitting.
Do you have any top tips for other brides out there shopping for their bridal gown?
Be really open minded and don't worry if the dresses you thought you loved just don't look right! Take advice from people like Jess – they're the experts and often have a really good idea of what will suit you best.
THE BIG DAY
Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?
A completely neutral but beautiful veil from Joyce Jackson, a lace top from Catherine Deane, and some pink suede block heels I picked up in John Lewis.
In terms of jewellery, Matt bought me a pair a diamond earrings to wear and my parents gave me a beautiful gold replica of a high street necklace I've been wearing for years.
And your bridesmaids?
My bridesmaids wore teal coloured tulle skirts I got in the needle&thread sale, then a white top of their own choosing.
They all looked beautiful and I loved the fact each outfit was unique.
What do you remember about the morning of the wedding?
The morning of the wedding was amazingly relaxed, much more so than I was expecting! We were pretty much ready by 12, so we had time for a relaxed brunch and a glass of bubbly. All very civilised!
Who did your hair and makeup?
The lovely Callie from Victoria Hutchinson & Co did our hair and my sister did my make-up, because I really wanted to ensure I still looked like me!
Who took your wedding photos?
Ben and Hannah from HBA Photography took our photos. They were awesome, so friendly and easy-going yet able to blend in when needed and get some fab documentary-style shots.
Did you follow any traditions? Or was there anything unusual about the ceremony?
It was a pretty traditional Church of England service, with the addition of a beautiful poem called The Present by Michael Donaghy which is a bit sciencey, a nod towards our biology degrees and my job as a science teacher!
How did your dress feel when you were walking down the aisle?
It felt amazing! I was so happy with it and felt beautiful yet comfortable, which is surely the perfect combination!
What are your favourite memories of your wedding day?
My favourite memories are walking past all of our laughing guests as they threw confetti (a tad aggressively in some cases!) and strolling up to the marquee with Matt after the ceremony, seeing everyone having a drink and a chat in the sunshine.
It was exactly as I'd imagined and I felt so proud that we'd made it happen.
What gave you the biggest laugh?
My dad's speech referenced a rather embarrassing incident involving a very drunk 15 year-old me which was hilarious…
To be honest, I'd always thought I'd gotten away with it but turns out my parents were a bit more switched on than I thought!
What got the tears flowing?
I'm not a very teary person to be honest and apparently I just grinned like a Cheshire cat all day!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?
Go with your instincts and what you and your fiancé have envisaged. Try not to be swayed by the many people who will have different opinions – it's your wedding day not theirs, so don't be afraid to politely ignore them!
And last but not least, where is your wedding dress now?
Hanging at my parents house as there's no room in our tiny London flat…
Haliton by Charlie Brear
Veil by Joyce Jackson
Shoes by Mint Velvet
Necklace by Avanti
Earrings by 77 Diamonds
Marquee at my parents’ house, near Ashbourne
Hair and makeup
Callie from Victoria Hutchinson & Co (hair)
Invites from Nullipress on Etsy
Table plan theme
House of Chords (band)
First dance song
Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader
Are you living for Anna's touch-of-class look?