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Autumn weddings, good idea? Yes or no? 
I launched my autumn/winter 'Scarlet' flower girl dress this week. It's available in a range of beautiful jewel colours, including an autumny orange and gorgeous green. So this got me thinking about autumn weddings and how to make the most of this most vibrant of seasons 
 
Some thought has to be given to the weather and that's what George and Amal Clooney did, marrying in Venice. Venice in the autumn is north Italy so a bit chilly, but there is still a fair amount of sunshine. Southern Italy retains sunshine and warmer temperatures slightly later in the year. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel took advantage of this, marrying in the autumn in Puglia. Ann Hathaway also married in the fall, but chose Big Sur in California, with guaranteed sunshine 
 
Of course, we're not likely to be so lucky with the weather in the UK in autumn so what ingredients would you include to make the most of what the UK has to offer?  
 

Are high-necked bridal gowns making a comeback?  

What did you think of Ellie Goulding's high-necked wedding dress? Do you think high necked gowns are going to make a comeback?  
 
High-necked bridal wear is considered to be very modest and reminiscent of a time when most marriages took place in church. Propriety demanded that brides cover up. Few modern brides go for this look. Perhaps Ellie felt she could afford to rock a high-neck wedding dress. She had three other bridal gowns in her wardrobe for later in the day. These gorgeous gowns got noticeably less modest as the day wore on! 
 
One gorgeous example of a high-neck wedding dress was that worn by Grace Kelly on her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco on 19th April 1956. READ ON to find out about her fabulous bridal gown 
Bride wearing high neck wedding dress with pink bouquet

How to be a princess (for the day anyway) 

Kelly's bespoke bridal gown was designed by costume designer Helen Rose of MGM. The designing of formal and evening-wear by studios at the time was commonplace. Starlets were contracted to the studios and their look was a huge marketing asset. MGM gifted the dress to Kelly 
 
Kelly and Prince Rainier actually had two services, civil and religious. On both occasions the princess wore high-necked gowns. For the civil service her dress was pale pink and covered with Alencon lace. For the religious service in St Nicholas' cathedral she had long-sleeves and a huge billowing skirt. The dress was said to have cost just over $7,000 not including the designer's fee 
INterior of cathedral showing stained glass windows

Fancy a river of whipped cream?  

As you know, we love a little flower girl or pageboy attendant. Kelly did too, with six flower girls and two pageboys as well as two older bridesmaids. The little ones wore white and the older ones were in yellow organdie  
 
Kelly's bridal gowns went down well with the media who raved about them. The train on her cathedral gown was likened to a river of whipped cream. What a fabulous image! 
 
For your very own river of whipped cream make a free intial appointment HERE  
 
And click HERE to ensure your six flower girls and two pageboys are worthy of your very own media storm 
 
Love 
 
Nic 
XX 
 
Images: @phuong-nguyen-2k; @jennymarvin @sophieskipperphotography 
 
 
Three flower girls wearing pink and white colour bridesmaids dresses
 

Is it okay to wear a purple wedding dress? Yes or No?  

Ed Sheeran has been in town this week and half the population of Suffolk seem to have been to see the final performances of his 'Divide' tour. Ed is known for being born in Framlingham in Suffolk. He still has a strong allegance to this small market town with its fabulous 12th century castle on the hill 
 
Some time ago I was lucky enough to be able to view Mary Tudor's wedding dress in an exhibition at Framlingham Castle. Her bridal gown was purple and gold, traditional colours for royal wedding attire in those days. I remember being struck by how tiny the dress was. It was in very good condition if somewhat faded 
 
The only other celebrity purple wedding dress I can think of is Dita Von Teese's bridal gown for her marriage to Marilyn Manson. This enormous and lavish gown was made of deep purple silk taffetta and was worn with a tricorn hat 
 
 
Woman wearing lilac bridal gown carrying a pink bouquet

Purple - would you dare?  

So would you dare to do purple on your wedding day?  
 
There's probably a purple for all skin tones as purple is a wide-ranging hue with more or less blue and red undertones depending upon the shade. It's considered to be a very royal colour and is also said to be associated with luxury, ambition, wisdom, dignity and peace  
 
Still not sure you're either Mary or Dita? Best stick to white (or similar) 
 
Lychgate bespoke silk (white or similar) wedding dresses available. Book a free intial consultation HERE  
 
Love Nic XX 
 
 
Couple sitting on a bench, woman in purple dress, man in suit
 

Why do we 'get hitched'? 

I'm really pleased that this week we have signed up to wedding planning website 'Hitched' This website offers engaged couples lots of suggestions for how to make their wedding days perfect, including getting that all important wedding dress and those cute little flower girl dresses and pageboy outfits 
 
I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you where the phrase 'getting hitched' comes from. This is where the lovely image on the right comes in. Horses are traditionally hitched together. This helps them to pull the load in the wagon behind them. When couples get married they are joined together to share the responisbilities and pleasures of life, hence the phrase 'getting hitched' 
 
Nic XX 
 
Image @grafx6 c/o unsplash 
 
 
 
 
Two horses together in a field
 

Dogs at weddings, yes or no, which way do you go?  

So, what do you think - is having your dog at your wedding super cute or just downright daft?  
 
Quite a lot of celebrities thought it was super cute. I've got to admit that the little fluff-ball in the image on the right is the very definition of super cute. So perhaps having your beloved dog at your big day is a no-brainer provided you're happy to be upstaged..... 
 
Not afraid of the competition, all time favourite girl-next door- Jennifer Anniston had her dogs, Dolly and Sophie at her wedding to Justin Theroux in 2015. The lucky ladies had a doggie make-over from an LA dog spa to ensure they looked their very best. They're still in Jennifer's life, Justin isn't, oops  
white dog wearing purple bow tie
 

Creased Bridal Gown? - Ewwwww, No! 

I want to talk about 'The Dress of a Thousand Creases'. It really needs no introduction but of course I'm talking about Princess Diana's wedding dress. Why exactly was it creased, you ask? Well, apart from the obvious, which is that it was enormous and stuffed into a less than spacious carriage? My theory is that the designers overlooked one of the basics of construction - a simple net lining 
 
Where there's any danger of creasing we back our wedding dress silks with net. Due to its honeycomb design net is essentially forced to spring back to its original shape when crumpled. This takes the silk with it. 'Simples' as Alexander and Sergei would say 
Soldiers on horseback
I promised you more on the Dior exhibition 'Designer of Dreams' at the V&A and here it is. Read on to find out about one of Dior's own bridal designs 

Dior - Designer of Dreams and (lover of surprisingly light fabrics) 

It might surprise you to learn that Dior was not a fan of heavy fabrics for bridal wear for young brides. He advised them to wear fine cottons instead, with a simple veil and small tiara or bow 
 
The dress on the left was designed by Dior in 1953 and was made of cotton muslin and metal thread. It was heavily embroidered with a beautiful flower pattern with a gold stalk and leaves. Today it would be unheard of for muslin to be used. This is now a fabric that we use in the construction of the toile for a gown. This is the prototype garment we make to test a pattern 
 
Ms Jane Stoddart wore this wedding dress at the age of 19 and she said the dress was very light and easy to wear. This is unsurprising given the fabric used. It was traditional at the time to wear a heavy corset underneath. Although with this style of dress that would not strictly have been necessary 
 
All over embroidered fabrics are not trends we see much of today but with the advent of some gorgeous new printed organzas I predict this trend may return. Read on to find out about the current incumbent creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri and her take on flowers..... 
 
 

Christian Dior - fashion legend and bridal inspiration 

Struggling to decide what sort of wedding dress design will suit you? Get yourself down to the V&A exhibition 'Dior - Designer of Dreams', without further hesitation. Dior loved women and adored ballgowns and this exhibition is truly inspirational  
 
In 1947, Dior swept away post-war utiltarianism, producing the iconic 'Bar' cream jacket and black skirt. This was his 'New Look' and celebrated fitted bodices, soft shoulders, wasp waists and acres of swooshy fabric in the skirt. Challenged about his design he simply said 'I am giving the women the dresses they want. They're fed up with war restrictions...My full skirts are a release' 
 
Diors designs were wildly popular with society women, particularly Princess Margaret. She was said to have a 23 inch waist (not since I was age 7, if then). Sadly, Dior died in 1957 but in the decade before his death he designed 22 collections and over 90 new looks. His legacy did not die with him and there have been a succession of outstanding creative directors since. Read on to find out about John Galliano's time in office.... 
Mannequin wearing Dior New Look jacket and skirt
 

Wedding dress or jumpsuit? Over to you.... 

Let me ask you a question. Would you be brave enough to get married in a jumpsuit?  
 
Sophie Turner was, when she married Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers in Las Vegas on 2 May 2019. The couple had attended the Bill Board Music Awards and got married in front of an Elvis Impersonator (who else) afterwards 
 
Super cool Sophie chose a Bevza ivory jumpsuit, which she wore with a wedding veil, as a nod to tradition. She paired it with gold 3.5 inch heel 'penny knot' mules from the achingly du jour Loeffler Randall. Sophie pulled it off of course and it was all filmed for insta (well, what else did you expect) 
 
 
Las Vegas sign

Bridal gown heaven.... 

One wedding is not enough of course, or is that wedding outfits? Royalty we know have at least two and Lady Gabriella Windsor had four (tut, tut, Lady Gabriella, that's what we call trying to upstage our beloved Princess Kate)  
 
You didn't really think that Sophie was going to sacrifice that lovely swishy feeling you get in a proper bridal gown? Of course not. Creative director at Loo Voo, Nicolas Ghesquiere did the honours and came up trumps I think 
 
Sophie was the poster girl for modest but revealing and proved beyond doubt that it is possible to be sexy without showing your bits. Go So! 
French church with sky

Sophie Turner's wedding gown essentials 

Here's the detail:  
White lace and satin bodice 
Split to the waist at the front  
Keyhole back  
Short satin sleeve with longer lace sleeve 
Full embroidered lace skirt and train 
Veil with lace and floral embroidery  
 
White wedding flowers, white roses, green foliage

Our top ten brides (chosen for effortless style and all over super-dooper bride-y-ness) 

We've only chosen three at the moment but watch this space... 
 
1. Kate, needs no other description, she was gloriously princessy but graciously modest all at the same time, we just love her  
2. Princess Eugenie, boldly went where no other princess had gone with her low-back and inspired many, we salute her 
3. Sophie Turner, didn't feel she needed to show her bits to be sexy, watch and learn ladies  
 
BTW, Loo Voo is nice if your other name is Sansa Stark and you've married a pop star, but if not, try Lychgate  
 
Nic 
XX 

Top tips for hot destination weddings 

In a previous blog I extolled the virtues of an Italian wedding. Who could resist a white sand beach, gently lapping water and a barefoot bride and groom? A hot foreign wedding destination comes with its own set of issues though (and not just what type of cocktail should one have next) 
 
The most important issues of course relate to the all important bridal gown. Key are these: 
 
What type of wedding dress will be suitable? 
How will it get there? 
Will it crease? 
 
Let me help 
beach scene at twilight, sea, sand and palm trees

Wedding Dress Fabric 

Do a bit of research on what temperature you can expect. Heavy silk fabrics are wonderful but not in 90 degree heat. Ideally go for light fabrics. Chiffons, laces, organzas and crepes flutter gently in an off-shore breeze  
 
I particularly like crepe backed satin from James Hare fabrics @jamesharefabric. This has a gorgeous light feel with lots of movement and a wonderful sheen that catches the light beautifully. Check out my bridal gallery page. The bride in the long ivory bridal dress in front of a blue door is wearing this fabric  
 
Boho is another great choice. Not just the preserve of the country bride, boho can look and feel great on a far-flung beach. Its staple is a light flowing fabric. We love the idea of our boho bride wandering romantically down the beach to her Best Beloved.  
Bride on sandy beach in ivory dress long sleeves and shoes and flowers in hands
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