I was very excited to start trying dresses on, it’s the one part of the wedding preparations that I was looking forward to the most. However, I did also feel nervous and anxious due to being a plus sized bride. I worried that the experience of trying dresses on may have been disappointing in case they didn’t fit me or I looked frumpy in them.
I’d been to several boutiques before heading to Y.A.P and found the place to have a lovely light and airy atmosphere which felt very welcoming from the moment I first walked through the door. It’s how I always imagined a bridal shop to be - with the colour scheme and the way it was laid out. I was a bit like a magpie as there was so many lovely dresses and accessories to look at.
I initially wanted something alternative in a tea length, as this is the style I normally wear on nights out with friends. I had seen vintage style, full skirted, lace dresses that I also liked. I thought I didn’t want to try strapless and would prefer a full lace or sheer top to cover my back, shoulders and upper arms. I wanted to feel like a fairy queen in my dress and loved coloured dresses (I’d even considered green or purple at one point).
As soon as I arrived for my appointment I was asked questions about our wedding style and what look I was wanting, how I wanted to feel in my dress - questions that no other shop had thought to ask. I had already seen a dress I really liked prior to going to Y.A.P that I knew they had a sample of to try on. This style was also used as a basis for picking other similar dresses that may have had other elements too that I liked.
I visited the boutique twice before I decided on my final choice with help from my stylist Louise.She put me in dresses that other boutiques stayed away from, which had more of a drop waist and showed that actually I had the figure to wear them, that they suited me just as well as the higher waist ones. This helped my confidence again being plus sized, I didn’t feel prejudged on my appearance. Louise was very patient and allowed me to go away and think about the dresses I had seen and return with my mum who wasn’t able to be there for my first visit.
There were two dresses in Y.A.P that made my final shortlist. The one I picked I just couldn’t get out of my head. I felt so grand in it and it had the biggest skirt in the boutique! I could just imagine myself walking into the ceremony room and the look on my husbands face as well as everybody else’s when they saw me, as it was not what they would expect- in a very good way! The fact it came in caramel was definitely the deciding factor as I knew deep down I didn’t want all white or ivory and wanted an element of alternative style.
The final dress I chose was available in other boutiques however the service, experience and the staff themselves at Y.A.P is what made my bridal journey such a fantastic element of the wedding process and it wasn’t just about going into a shop to buy a dress. I was made to feel very special. The team at Y.A.P are very personable and dedicated. I felt like every time I went to my consultations and fittings I was meeting back up with friends. They are all so interested to hear about your wedding planning, to see how your wedding look is progressing at each visit and to give ideas on the styling. They were all very reassuring about how fantastic you should feel trying dresses on and in ‘the one’. I felt very sad going for my final fitting feeling that my journey with them was nearly over.
Tell us more about your day...
• ACCESSORIES •
My shoes were by Ruby Shoo- I worried a lot about finding shoes as I take a size 9 and wanted a more vintage/alternative look. These were a perfect match to my dress. I wanted to wear my mums veil however the tulle was too white but the trim was the perfect shade to match my gown. Anne the seamstress detached the trim from my mums veil and sewed it onto my newly chosen veil. This made for a lovely talking point for the day and will be forever cherished by my mum and I, as I got to wear an element of her wedding outfit on my day. I wore two vintage looking diamante hair slides attached together by two strands of pearls in my hair which my friend had lent to me, it was my something borrowed. On the evening when I took my veil out I wore a diamante and pearl slide in its place.
• FEELINGS •
I felt like a cross between a fairy queen and Scarlet O’Hara! I swooshed around the venue feeling amazing. I had worried a lot about wearing a strapless gown incase it slipped down or showed any ‘back fat’ however it was fitted so well I need not have worried- as the seamstress Anne and the rest of the Y.A.P team had promised. I really felt very sad to take the dress off. Danni came to the venue as part of the dressing service which I could not recommend enough. She was a very calming person to have around who knew exactly what to expect of the morning. The bridesmaids and I had run late with our preperations on the morning, however Danni had cleared my room of all the clutter and laid all my accessories out on the bed ready. I think if I had tried to get ready alone or with help from the bridesmaids it would have been a more fraught experience and I would have been very late to the ceremony! On the evening reception when I took my veil out I wore a light gold bolero for dancing the night away in. The Y.A.P team helped me decide on my final fitting if it looked good with the dress which it did. A simple change in detail turned my dress into a party gown!
• VENUE •
My day was held at Woodhill Hall. Although it was held in such a magnificent venue with formal dress I wanted the day to feel relaxed for everyone from getting ready, throughout the ceremony and into both day and evening receptions. I liked the venue as you had full use of all the rooms which allowed guests to move freely around and mingle rather than being sat on certain tables in one big function room. When looking for a wedding venue we looked for one that involved the outdoors and beautiful Northumberland countryside. We were very blessed to have sunny and warm weather on the day and were able to get married in front of the open doors of the orangery and look out onto the countryside views.
• DETAILS •
We chose an enchanted garden/woodland theme as I love fairies! Our colours were teal, purple, blues and greens. My bridesmaids wore a different coloured dress each. We had lots of colourful ribbons on the back of chairs and hanging in the trees. We also handmade some amazing mossy centrepieces with toadstools, flowers and fairies peeking out and fairies trapped in jamjars carefully sprinkled around the venue.
• SUPPLIERS •
Jamie Penfold - Photgrapher. He knew our venue and it's owners very well, which meant he already had amazing ideas of where to capture us on our day, our guests and our themes. We found he was able to capture awesome images without us even feeling like he was there or being made to stand for ages getting boring group shots taken. He was also very chilled out which added to the relaxed feel of the day.
Jules Fleur- our eccentric florist who we found at Tynemouth market. She took my vision of an enchanted garden full of fairies and helped us turn it into reality. We had wild looking flowers in addition to flowers that we grew in our garden when I was a child. She also included birds, peacock feathers and butterflies in my bouquet and on the decorations and centrepieces. Our mossy, fairy garden centre pieces were a great talking point and Jules was the brains behind it.
Maximillion makeup and hair: Maxine managed to do hair and makeup for three bridesmaids, mother of the bride and myself in the morning with good time. She captured the vintage/glam look well. I have very fine hair and this aspect of my look I worried about a lot, but she got it spot on and it lasted all day and night.
Olivia Lilly Cake Company- Samantha Rudd made our totally awesome cake. She has made a lot of cakes for us over the years including birthdays and our engagement. She made a very elaborately decorated woodland cake including us and our cat, fairies and a unicorn! It was three tiers- the bottom was made to look like a sliced log with a two tier cake on top.
Moonbooth- We had these as an alternative to a photo booth to help capture a vintage feel. Who wouldn’t want to be photographed sitting on a moon!?
Such a magical day - it was amazing to be with you from the beginning to sending you down your aisle Samantha - Your quirky personal touches were just so wonderful! Big thanks to Jamie Penfold for the perfectly captured precious moments xxx