Wednesday June 20 2012.


Not long now, Saturday is fast approaching so as my last ‘all about me’ Wedding Wednesday it could only be THE DRESS!  Although I have to say it’s been a funny week so far that’s very much replicated our first Wedding – Mr Bijou leaving everything to the last minute and thus me getting annoyed that I have to do all the organising for both of us.  It’s only Wednesday but I’ve already shopped and paid for the Mr’s outfit (as he couldn’t work out ASOS!), ordered drinks, finished all the decorations, made music playlists, organised a dog sitter, booked our taxi home whilst he simply played around with his DJ set.  People don’t change but what’s suddenly dawned on me is that after 6 years together I know Mr Bijou inside out, I’d planned for his tardiness, his panic moments  and his general lastminute dot com existence.  And more surprisingly, I know myself a lot better than I did at 25yrs rather than flap around like a headless Chicken, I’m a lot more organised and calm knowing that we have the most wonderful friends who would turn an ice cream in the rain into a party.

Of course as a complete fashion addict the thing I have obsessed most about and organised before anything else has been the dress.  I knew I wanted something special and unlike anything in my wardrobe or in fact my original Wedding dress.  I also thought it would be nice to incorporate a hint of blue,  as something blue, true blue and also my engagement ring’s centre stone is Aquamarine.  Apparently Aquamarine is the stone of  ‘courage and serenity’, which I only discovered whilst writing this post perhaps that explains my new found calm!  My thoughts manifested into…

You will have heard me say it before but I have met the most amazingly talented people working in the Wedding industry and one of them is Charlotte Wilden owner of Wilden Bride London – read all about her here.  Charlotte amazingly found time in her hectic schedule to create a bespoke dress for me.  Charlotte is the most softly spoken and gentle person I’ve ever met, she kept my crazy in check throughout the whole process.  First we started with above board and a lengthy discussion from which Charlotte came up with these sketched ideas.

The middle design was by far my favourite it incorporating the big skirt I so wanted, short sleeves (which were a must as I’m self conscious about my arms) and the most bananas idea – a burn hole pattern around the hem.  Charlotte and I had been discussing how amazing the Giles Deacon LFW show (read the post here) had been and being the incredible designer she is, Charlotte fancied putting her own spin on it with a bespoke Bijou design.

All the way through the process Charlotte would share images with me like the above to show how the bespoke patterns were coming along or what the fabric layers would be like together.  As much as I trusted Charlotte to make something with wow factor my biggest fear was how it would suit my body shape and if I hated it what could I do about it.  My only previous experience of bespoke design was funnily enough at my Wedding.  The two bridesmaids couldn’t find a dress that suited them both and whilst having my final Wedding dress alterations the seamstress mentioned that she could whip something up.  My sister found a designer grecian style dress and asked her to use that as a basis but to add sleeves and use a grey fabric.  As it was all rather last minute (seems to be a running theme with my family) the girls went to collect them on the morning of the Wedding.  They came to pick me up from the hairdressers hysterically relaying how awful the dresses were – nothing like the picture, frumpy etc etc.  We raced home and they showed me… they were dreadful and we fell about laughing.  I tell my client’s that there will always be one thing that doesn’t go to plan on the Wedding day and this was mine.  My styling skills came into good use though and I found two black dresses in our combined wardrobes, adding the only salvageable thing from the bespoke dresses the middle sash and they looked fab.  So as you might expect I was nervous when it came to the first fitting.

The dress was in two parts and given the plain toile it was hard to picture how all the colours and patterns etc would come together.  Most importantly though the shape was lovely and Charlotte was very accommodating with my suggestions of a slightly lower neckline and dipped hem.  Charlotte having got my style so perfectly found these awesome shoulder pads for me too.

I’m happy to report that I had the final fitting 10 days ago and the finished article is stunning and has exceeded all my expectations.  I cannot wait to get it home on Thursday night and try it on with all the accessories.  As it is so beautiful I’m going to change into something else for the riotous disco in the evening, this dress has been so carefully crafted it deserves some respect.  And as a final sneak, I can reveal that it is going to have feathers just like the Louis Vuitton dress I so adore.

I cannot sing Wilden Bride London’s praises highly enough, Charlotte is an absolute doll and definitely one to watch.  If you want to ask Charlotte as the expert or myself as a client, any questions about bespoke Wedding dress design do leave a comment below.   Or just wish me luck for Saturday!