Real bride Selina in her ivory crepe bespoke gown

The making of a bespoke wedding dress is beautiful, creative and joyful experience…and that’s just for me, the dressmaker! Meeting Selina for the first time, I was not only bowled over by her zest for and love of life, I could also see a very careful, creative and thoughtful lady, beneath that composed, friendly and beautiful face. I was over the moon when we both discovered swiftly that we were the right match of wedding dress designer and bride, to create something exceptional that would perfectly reflect that natural and vivacious personality.

So we sat together and looked at fabrics and I sketched ideas, until the plan came together. Selina descirbed a little about her fiancé and the natural, country vibe of the wedding they were planning, at her family home, She told me afterwards…”I was a shy bride and didn’t want the fuss of a big studio and trying in front of people….your informal design studio certainly made me relax and made the whole process an unforgettable one, that not only just me but my nearest and dearest where able to be part of…”

It was Selina’s beloved Auntie Doreen who was by her side for much of the wedding dress experience – not only accompanying the bride for her fittings, but being so constructive and supportive and encouraging, she was an absolute delight. It became clear this was a very close family, and this was reflected in the care they each showed…right down to Auntie D helping us work out what on earth we were going to do about the grease stain from a recently cleaned watch, which accidentally appeared on the dress at the final fitting! (FYI, warm water, fairy liquid and a little white vinegar to prevent a water mark…carefully applied with cotton bud by yours truly, whilst heart in mouth!)

So to the dress…this was made in two stages. Whilst this blog is about Selina, and not me, I should probably mention the leap of faith this wonderful bride took in trusting me to make her dress, because in fact we took a 6 month break in the middle of the making, for me to have open heart surgery. Not ideal, but sometimes stuff happens and you just have to work around it and do your best. We planned carefully together…I had of course lined up a family dressmaker of my own to take the reins should the plan not go to plan, but as it was, it did.

We made the toile for the dress before surgery, and then picked up again several months later to check and amend the toile, before cutting into the real fabric and making the real gown. During the fitting process, we changed the fabrics from lace to a combination of satin and crepe…eliminated buttons for the smooth clean lines of a concealed zip, and changed seam lines to create the vision Selina imagined. She was right all along.

These beautiful photos show just some of the flavour of this beautiful wedding – captured by Julian Portch, photographer,

It’s impossible not to notice the absolute joy of this fabulous couple, reflected in the faces of their friends and family…so full of life, and a wonderful welcome for me, back to the world of the wedding dress designer.

Ashley and Selina were married on 26th April this year (2016), and Selina said about the experience of having her dress made…

“I came to Caroline with a strong vision, and was impressed and surprised that she so quickly turned my description into a sketch that perfectly reflected that vision. I felt I had been really listened to, and understood. One of the best things about having my wedding dress made was how the initial decisions that were detailed in the sketch, were allowed to change and evolve during the dressmaking process – for example the original design included lace panels and buttons down the back, but during the early fitting stage, it became clear that I really wanted more clean lines, and for some of the seam lines to change, so opted to lose the lace, and the buttons altogether. The dress ended up being a very contemporary style, but which fitted perfectly with the country inspired setting of the day.”

The fabulous gentlemens’ outfits were also bespoke by John Brocklehurst tailors. I hope you also enjoy sharing these inspiring images – you can find more on our social media, and also read the blog by Love My Dress.

If you’re thinking about having your own bespoke wedding dress made for you, Selina kindly summed up her reflections of the experience: For her it was the LUXURY- choosing and discussing the best option with all the fabrics, seams etc even down to the length of sleeves. The freedom to PERSEVERE, and having the patience available of a designer dressmaker willing and keen to offer the level of attention to detail that was needed. And lastly, the UNIQUENESS of having a dress like no other- ” minimalist and sleek that really did compliment a country wedding that portrayed both mine and Ashley’s lifestyle.”

If you’d like to find out about having your perfect bespoke bridal gown made, you can try our fun web app to design your own wedding dress, and simply send it through to the design team so we can quote for you and arrange to get together for an appointment at one of our boutiques in Surrey or London. Thank you for reading! x

You can also enjoy the blog about Selina’s gown by amazing wedding blogger Love My Dress

Men’s outfits: John Brocklehurst tailors

Hair: Sian Denman

Cake: Auntie Doreen – who also came to the fittings and played a vital role when Selina got watch grease on the dress!

Catering: –Two many cooks-

Flowers: – Lady Lissy Floristry

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