Wednesday, 17 October 2012

My Wedding Dress

When I was a little girl I had a rule, I liked to wear dresses, but if I did they had to pass the spin test. The spin test involved me spinning around as fast as I could to see if there was enough swish in the skirt. Even as a bride on my wedding day I gave my dress the spin test - it passed with flying colours, cornflower blue mostly, and that was how I knew this was the perfect dress for me.

The time has come. I'm finally posting on my wedding dress.

This is probably to most important post I'll ever write on the most important dress I'll ever wear. I don't want to sound shallow, but even as someone who hadn't planned on what kind of wedding dress I wanted, I still knew that I wanted to look my best on that most important day of my life.

I previously described my route to finding my dress here and the need to shout from the roof tops about it has been burning in me ever since.

My dress was designed and made by Joanne Fleming at Joanne Fleming Design.

Her studio is located in Brighton opposite the famous Pavilion and during the design process I visited the studio four times. Each visit I felt very welcome and excited to see my dress getting closer and closer to completion, what was really wonderful was that while constantly remaining calm and cool about the process Joanne became like a friend that I could go to when I wanted to gush about all things wedding.

I went with a fairly certain idea about what I wanted, something like the Annie design I had seen online, but with a few tweaks and changes, most importantly the change in the sash around the waist. Small things like choosing fabrics,  lace finishings, colours and beading meant that I could make the dress my own and that helped make it all the more special. I wasn't really looking for something specifically vintage, but it ended up being heavily inspired by the Dior new look dresses of the 50s but lets face it, they suit my shape so why not?

The original sketch design for my dress

My final dress was a tea-length silk and organza dress in ivory with a lace overlay over the bodice and a cornflower blue (that and teal are my favourite colours) silk sash and flower. Something that made the dress so different was that in the tulle underskirt there was a silk binding in the same cornflower blue silk (this is something that I believe is one of JFD's signature flairs) that gave a flash of colour as the skirt moved.

Photos courtesy of JFD on Facebook and my mum @JanetteWphotos on Instagram

The dress was surprisingly comfortable, the fabric was light and the bodice was secure but wearable, I can't really describe the feeling the moment I put the dress on I felt fantastic and I knew without looking in the mirror that I would probably never look that good again. It felt magical.

Adding a few accessories, a simple veil also made by Jo, my Irregular Choice shoes and my vintage cream gloves, bought and monogrammed by my maid of honour Sadie and I was ready to go.

I wore the dress all day, and the next day I was really very sad that I couldn't put it on again. I am now trying to create elaborate costumes that would mean I could wear it again.

I received so many compliments on the dress, as I'm sure every bride does, and a lot of people seemed surprised by what I ended up wearing to be married in (in a good way) saying that a long traditional dress wouldn't have suited me. I think I agree with them, I wouldn't have felt right in a long dress.

Dress in Durham City copyright Alan Gibson Photography

I was and still am so pleased with how it all turned out. My husband said I was stunning, or that he was stunned by me (...he then proceeded to make a bad Star Trek joke about 'Set Jennie's to stun!') and that's all that really mattered to me. You can probably tell from the smile in the pictures how happy I was and it wasn't all down to the dress - but it sure helped.

The Swish
Copyright Alan Gibson Photography


  1. Oh Jennie, you looked absolutely beautiful, exactly how I imagine the perfect bride to look. The dress was gorgeous. You should definitely find some way of wearing it again! Even if it's just doing the washing up in it every anniversary haha :D xx

    1. Thank you so much. I will definitely be attempting that! I think it would look fetching with some yellow rubber gloves :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks - I was so pleased with how it turned out.

  3. Replies
    1. Haha, me or the dress ;) and thanks. It really was the best day of my life.

  4. One of my favourite moments of the morning was the look on your dad's face when he walked in the front room and saw you in your dress for the first time. Not to get too soppy or anything ;)

  5. It's beyond beautiful and you're such a lovely bride! :)


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