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Posts tagged “Bridesmaids and flower girls”

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?  
 

1930s Wedding Dresses 

I was thrilled this week to be given this photo of the wedding of my grandparents on 25 July 1933 at Sutton Church in Norfolk. The styling immediately reminded me of the wedding of the late Queen Mother, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage to the Duke of York in April 1923 
 
Lady Elizabeth's wedding dress was made by the court dressmaker in the Coco Chanel drop waist style. It was medieval in nature and made of ivory silk chiffon moire  
 
On her head the late Queen Mother wore a Flanders lace veil, which was lent by her husband's mother, Queen Mary. The veil was held in place by a circlet of myrtle, white roses and heather 
 
 
1930s wedding group with bride, groom and five bridemaids and best man

1930s Veils and Headdresses 

Lady Elizabeth's headdress was worn very low on the brow and this was in line with the popular 1920s flapper style. A 1922 Charles Worth sketch shows a veil enveloping the body to create a misty aura around the body  
 
The royal veil swept to the floor and trailed behind the bride. My grandmother's headdress was also worn relatively low on the brow and her veil was on the long side  
 
Also on trend was the orange blossom included the headdress. This followed royal precedent as when George V and Queen Mary's daughter, Princess Mary, married in 1922 her silver wreath was entwined with orange blossom. Again, the court dressmaker created the bridal gown, a tradition no longer popular with royal brides  
Flapper girl wearing black dress with white pearls and black feathered headdress

1930s Bridesmaids and Flower Girls 

My grandmother had three flower girls and two older bridesmaids, although they were all described as bridesmaids. The term 'flower girl' was not in common usage at the time 
 
The two elder bridesmaids are described as wearing Norwich silk crepe, a type of silk made nearby. Both girls wore hats, which would not be fashionable at all today but were definitely de rigeur then. It was a church wedding and all the female guests would have had a hat  
 
The local newspaper describes the small bridesmaids as wearing pink satin. It's hard to tell from the photo in which everything appears white or ivory. Ivory flower girl dresses would not have been common in the 1930s 
 
Interestingly the flower girls have long, ankle length dresses. Again this was the trend. Whilst many modern brides go for knee length flower girl dresses, Lychgate's Bluebell dress shown in the image is a popular choice. Girls aged 8 - 11 like to feel a little more grown up  
Girl age eight wearing ivory long length flower girl dress in silk with puffed sleeve

Recipe For 1930s Wedding Pie 

So, if you fancy a 1930s themed wedding the six key ingredients are: 
 
1. A beautiful village church (rural Norfolk optional) 
2. An enormous bouquet, seriously, how big is that! 
3. A fine upstanding Best Beloved 
4. Two adult bridesmaids in, well, frankly odd hats, and three little ones in Lychgate Bluebell dresses 
5. A 1930s Rolls Royce Phantom motor car (you know you want to) 
6. A Lychgate bespoke silk bridal gown. Doesn't have to be like Grandma's  
 
Nic 
XX 
 
Images from top: @davidhellman; @marvelous both courtesy of Unsplash 
 
burgundy colour rolls royce car
What would you put in a Farmyard Wedding Pie? Read more to find out our recipe for the perfect farmyard wedding 

Relaxed wedding dresses for farmyard weddings 

Last week I took us to Italy to explore the ingredients for Italian Wedding Pie. This week we're going down and dirty with good old Farmyard Wedding Pie. Research by John Lewis published in Bridal Buyer magazine has shown that British couples have fallen in love with farmyard weddings  
 
Of course ingredient one is the wedding dress and its suitability for unpredictable terrain. If your farmyard venue looks like the one in our picture a long train is not going to be the answer. Not unless, you want a nervous breakdown as your second ingredient  
 
Go for an ankle length hem, in something floaty. Chiffon, georgette and tulle are all great options and look great with a relaxed bodice. A spaghetti strap perhaps or even strapless, but nothing too heavily corsetted. This is not Westmnister Abbey. You are not being Kate Middleton. You are a romantic maiden wafting through the corn to marry your best beloved  
Find out the top reasons for marrying in Italy......... 
Italian Church for your ceremony? 
 
I was lucky to be in Todi, Italy this week. If you haven't visited Umbria, the green heart of Italy then I thoroughly recommend it.  
 
It's chock full of medieval hill towns, flanked by poppy filled valleys. The Italians do churches really, really well and each town has it's own gem, usually standing proudly at the end of a charming square  
 
Say 'Ciao' to our chic Italian bride  
 
Her beautiful, silk and lace wedding dress flows behind her. She is standing at the top of the steps leading to the grand front door and might be straight out of Vogue. Following behind her, like a gaggle of geese are a plethora of charming little girls in silk flower girl dresses, and a line of tiny pageboys in silk shorts and shirts 
 
Truly the belle of the ball she proceeds up the mosaiced aisle. As she reaches the top, she turns to her precious love in her exquisite bridal gown, ready to to plight her troth...... 'Best beloved' she whispers 'I am here...........'  

Wander in your wedding dress 

The streets of Umbrian hill towns are a rabbit warren of adorable narrow streets, adorned with flowers in pots and window boxes, as far as the eye can see.  
 
Hidden in the walls are doorways that open into artisan shops, filled with ceramics, paintings, and fabrics. Solid wooden doors give way to shady courtyards and secret homes. I can imagine the Italian bride, her exquisite lace train flowing behind her, holding hands with her beloved after the ceremony, wandering through the streets towards her reception 
 
See how the silk billows in the breeze.... 
 
Her flower girls and pageboys, now released from the bounds of their ceremonal duties dart in and out of the myriad alleyways. The girl's silk bridesmaids dresses and boy's silk shorts and shirts reveal their lustre as they catch the last rays of the evening sun that sinks lazily in the sky  
 
The wedding party are hungry now, and looking forward to an evening of fine wine, classic Italian dishes, good company and mischevious festivity....... 

Kick up your heels with your bridesmaids  

I travelled to Umbria with Ipswich Choral Society. We sang at Calvi dell Umbria, a small hill town with the best view in Italy.  
 
After the performance, and a thrilling exhibition of traditional flag throwing (check it out on youtube) we were honoured guests at a feast in the grounds of a convent. Traditional Italian mamas in black dresses prepared succulent dishes for us, pasta, pizza ...... I could go on. My waste-line suffered  
 
A stylish departure 
 
There's our traditional Italian bride, kicking her wedding dress up with her bare feet. Too excited to eat, she sits on her beloved's lap, as her guests wine and dine. The guests dance in the warm evening breeze  
 
Finally it's time for our Italian bride to leave. She and her beloved climb into an ancient powder blue Fiat 500 of course, ready to power down to the coast. Wave goodbye, as she disappears in her Lychgate bespoke silk bridal gown.....  

Our recipe for your perfect Italian wedding pie 

So, the six key ingredients for a quintessential Italian wedding are (make notes): 
 
One gorgeous church in a classic Italian square 
A generous handful of flowergirls and pageboys in cool silk flowergirl dresses, and pageboy shorts and shirts, all by Lychgate 
One 'Best Beloved'  
A great big Italian feast 
One fiat 500 (ancient) 
And last, but definitely not least, a Lychgate bespoke silk wedding dress 
 
Go on, you know you want to..............CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY 
 
Images: @kamileleo; @laurag82; @jfeiber.car; @photos_by_lanty, all courtesy of Unsplash 
 
I've been thinking this week about how much weddings have changed since the early 1990s when I got married..... 
Flowers in your hair, where do you stand?  
 
For a start, wedding dress styles have changed enormously. Some might say for the better, but each era is entitled to put its own stamp on things. In the 80s and early 90s bigger was definitely better, with lots of flounces, puff and ornamentation. It was also the era of flower crowns and alice bands and I myself had one of them. I'm not knocking it, it felt really pretty and dried afterwards it made a nice keepsake. It will come back into fashion at some point but for now its tiaras or much smaller ornamentation all the way.  
 
Church versus Registry Office 
 
When I got married weddings were still really traditional. It was church or registry office by law. Most of us chose churches but there are some good Registry Offices. I would put a vote in for Felixstowe Town Hall here. This fine red brick building, overlooking the sea, has a gorgeous black and white checkerboard floor inside and the well kept municipal garden next door is good for photos. There is a lovely flower display outside in the summer. I went to a wedding there and the staff couldn't do enough to help (@felixstowetownhall). The odd thing is that this building used to be the court and still has cells (watch out all you misbehaving guests) 
 
 
 
 
 
Heartfelt congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the safe arrival of their son 
As I write this Harry and Meghan have just appeared on BBC News with their baby boy snugly wrapped up in a blanket. This was an eighth great-grandchild for The Queen, coming after Savannah and Isla Phillips (born 2010 and 2012 respectively), Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (2013, 2015 and 2018) and Mia and Lena Tindall (2014 and 2018) 
 
Most of the royal great-grandchildren have performed the honourable duty of being a bridesmaid, flower-girl or pageboy at a Royal wedding. Both Savannah and Isla were bridemaids for Princess Eugenie when she married Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. Rumoured to be mischievous Savannah was caught on camera standing on Princess Eugenie's train, whilst Prince George beamed a cheeky grin behind her. This followed her covering Prince George's mouth at the Trooping of the Colour and telling him off for singing. Savannah, we like your style! 
 
 
Also in attendance as a flower girl was Princess Charlotte, looking just gorgeous in her bridesmaids dress at the tender of just three. However this was not the first time she had been a bridesmaid. She first graced the stage at the wedding of her aunt, Pippa Middleton, in May 2017, and was caught on camera licking her confetti basket. She then repeated the honours in May 2018 for the Duchess of Sussex, sticking her tongue out at photographers as she went passed in the car 
 
Prince George is a pageboy stalwart and has been on parade at all of the above weddings. His most popular look (or at least the bride's) is silk knee breeches in a variety of colours, usually paired with an ivory or white silk shirt and a cummerbund. Check out Lychgate's silk shirts, shorts and cummerbunds for an upmarket look to accompany your bespoke silk wedding dress. But as an alternative he rocked a replica of his father's uniform for Harry and Meghan's wedding. The outfit even had GC for George of Cambridge monogrammed in gold thread on the shouder. Now that's what we call swanky 
 
Check out this row of beautiful first communion/flowergirl dresses awaiting finishing touches before going for photography.  
 
I have really enjoyed making these out of fabulous silk dupion and silk organza with sparkly crystal applique. Thank you James Hare Fabrics and Platinum Bridal Fabrics for supplying me with these gorgeous materials, such a pleasure to work with. 
 
These will be going on sale in February, so watch this space.  
 
Nic 
XX  
So, as the title says, more is more right? This work in progress has a five layer skirt and a net petticoat and will certainly mean the lucky little girls who wear it will stand out from the crowd.  
The phrase 'less is more' was coined by the poet Robert Browning in his poem 'The Faultless Painter' in 1855 but later used by architect Ludwig Mies Van de Rohe in 1947 to explain minimalist design. The idea being that less can give the same functionality as more. But hey, this dress is not about functionality it's about FUN! Who cares about the rest of the word - 'ctionality'. Hmmm, maybe I've invented a new word, watch out Oxford English Dictionary, then again maybe not, what's 'ctionality' after all? Answers on a postcard.......... 
It's fair to say that little bridesmaids and page-boys can steal the show at weddings and who better to do this than HRH Prince George, HRH Princess Charlotte and Theodora Rose Williams at the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank. 
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