#14 Bride Numero Uno
Our Brides – Heather
Heather was my first ever bride when I took over the shop. It was also the day of Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding, so we celebrated in true Friends style with an impromptu Instagram shoot with Heather and her sister in wedding dresses on the couch! And just in case you don’t believe me…
Not only was Heather my first real bride, she only went and got married in my favourite country in the world: Italy. It looks like quite a shindig. Just look at these pics! They had a gelato stand and everything. Can you feel the envy??
Congrats Heather and Stefano! And thanks for being the best first bride I could have wished for 🤗
How would you sum up the style of your wedding?
Relaxed, Italian and romantic.
Where and when did you tie the knot?
In a small village in the Piedmont wine region in Italy called Monforte d’Alba, on 27th July 2019.
And what was your wedding dress?
Charlie Brear’s Haliton dress, with chiffon sleeves as an addition.
How did you two first meet?
We met in a bar called Paradise in West London. Stefano was a bartender at the time and I wanted an espresso martini.
What about the proposal? When, where, how?
His plan was to propose in Richmond Park but I ruined his plan by needing to head into work.
He ended up proposing in a restaurant before we went to the opera, for what I thought was my birthday present!
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 knew that I didn’t want anything overall-y, large or too embroidered: it’s not really my style. I also knew it needed to be light enough for hot weather.
I did think I would go for something with some type of lace so it did change a bit from when I started trying on dresses.
How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?
Pretty stress-free. Alexandra Anne was the third place I went too and I think I had a good idea of what type of styles would suit me.
Jess was so helpful and got me to try on lots of different pieces – she was the one who suggested the chiffon sleeves and it really elevated the dress for me. It was also such a relaxing experience in the shop.
What was it about your dress that made it ‘the one’?
It just felt so good and I felt like myself. I thought it fit the venue and area, and I knew I would feel comfortable and great in it.
How did you feel once you’d made the big decision?
Really excited! I had a bit of a wobble a few months later as I still was subscribed to all the bridal Instagrams so every time I saw another dress I wondered if I had chosen the right one. But as soon as I tried it on again I knew I had made the right decision.
Do you have any top tips for other brides out there shopping for their bridal gown?
Take your time and be open-minded. Choose a dress that you feel yourself in!
THE BIG DAY
Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?
While at Alexandra Anne I chose the Thalia veil by Joyce Jackson and a Victoria Fergusson back necklace.
I also wore some Lily and Roo drop earrings, and the day before the wedding my bridesmaids gifted me a gorgeous locket with a picture of my dad so he could be with me on the day.
Shoes were Gigi sandals by Kurt Geiger – there were a lot of cobbles so I knew they had to be comfortable.
And your bridesmaids?
I had quite the squad so we agreed on a colour theme of blue and they chose their own dresses – it would have been impossible to choose one dress that summarised all their styles!
What do you remember about the morning?
Feeling very nervous! Typically we were in Italy for two weeks and on our wedding day a massive rainstorm hit just as we were getting ready… Luckily it cleared up after the ceremony so everyone could enjoy the venue and also see the incredible views.
Getting ready went so quickly – we had a later ceremony at 3pm but the time just flew by!
Who did your hair and makeup?
One of my wonderful bridesmaids did my makeup – she did an amazing job and knew me so well, so knew exactly the type of thing I wanted.
My hair was done by a local Italian hairdresser – I wanted something very simple.
Who took your wedding photos?
An incredible Australian couple called Corinna and Dylan. I feel so lucky to have found them – they are based in Australia but travel through Europe in their winter. They happened to be planning to be in Italy the month of our wedding so the stars really were aligned.
They totally got us and were just a joy to work with. Everyone was raving about them.
Did you follow any traditions? Or was there anything unusual about the ceremony?
Not specifically! It was an Italian civil ceremony so it was quite amusing as the vows are very practical and it’s all performed by the local mayor in Italian. They don’t do the exchanging of the rings so we nearly walked down the aisle before we realised we hadn’t done them!
We did have rice in our confetti which was pretty painful!
We decided to leave the wedding cake and had a gelato stand instead – best idea ever!
How did your dress feel when you were walking down the aisle?
It felt fantastic. I felt so confident and happy in it.
What are your favourite memories of your wedding day?
Ah so hard to pick but I would say seeing Stefano when I was walking down the aisle.
And then also walking into the dinner and seeing everyone so happy and excited.
What gave you the biggest laugh?
Stefano’s sister’s speech – she was hilarious.
What got the tears flowing?
The speeches – we lost my dad a couple of years ago so there were sad moments during them.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?
Try not to feel overwhelmed and if you are doing a wedding abroad, get a wedding planner!
Getting married abroad adds so many more complexities and people are a lot more reliant on needing advice and contacts – without being able to travel to meet all your suppliers it really takes the pressure off.
And last but not least, where is your wedding dress now?
It’s at my mums! I’m trying to decide what to do – I have thought about shortening it so I can wear it again… It’s so hard though, I love it so much!
Haliton by Charlie Brear
Thalia veil by Joyce Jackson
Back necklace by Victoria Fergusson
Drop earrings by Lily and Roo
Sandals by Kurt Geiger
Hotel Villa Beccaris, Monforte d’Alba, Italy
Hair and makeup
Hair – local stylist
Makeup – bridesmaid
Mother Wild did our wonderful cloth seating plan.
Flower’s Heart (Italy)
I work with a printer who did my Save the Dates as a favour – the rest was digital ⌨️
Table plan theme
Rustic vineyard wedding
First dance song
Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
We remixed a slow version and the original so everyone joined us at the end.
Fancy following in Heather’s Friends couch footsteps?