Seeing as it’s the week of our first wedding anniversary (yes I’m giving us a week – the wedding celebrations went on for far longer than just a day so why not the anniversary too?) I thought this would be as good a time as any to share some pictures from the day I got back into my wedding outfits, hiked to the top of a hill and took a bunch of photos in the rain with the lovely and talented Jess Withey Photo.
The idea of only ever wearing my wedding dress once never sat all that well with me. When something is so beautiful, and so much thought goes into purchasing the right one, we spend more money on it than any other item of clothing in our wardrobe and it has the ability to make us feel so special, it seems like madness that we only get to don it for about 12 hours before packing it away in a box for ever more, right?
It definitely felt like madness for me, and of course while I knew I’d probably never feel quite the same in it as I did that day, I always vowed to wear it again. It was part of the reason I chose separates rather than one dress, so that I had the option of mixing and matching the pieces for future outfitting. I honestly had so much fun designing and making my dress with Charlotte at Wilden London, and I’d love to be able to do the whole process all over again. Although stressful at times, I think it was one of the most creative and enjoyable things I’ve ever done and I adore the finished product. To know that I wore something which I had a hand in creating feels so special to me, and looking at it (which I admit I do often) reminds me of what a huge achievement it is to have got to the end of that journey and come out with the dress that I’d imagined in my head almost a year before.
So, yeah… I was basically DYING to put it back on after the day itself.
I love the intricacy of my dress (and in particular the top, which Charlotte applied individual pieces of lace, beads and crystals to lovingly by hand until it was just as I’d imagined it) and all the special parts that I sent ages considering and dreaming of, such as the trailing skirt of chiffon petals, the scalloped edge low back top, the sheer lace adorned sleeves and the cute silk pixie skirt underneath those layers of sheer pink material. It’s a true labour of love.
But I’m not silly – I realise a long pink sheer skirt with petals across the bottom isn’t exactly everyday wear, and when I say wear it again I don’t mean hit the aisles of Tesco in it. But I did have this idea of doing future shoots in the dress, perhaps anniversary shoots (although I’m way too preggo this year to squeeze into it) couple shoots at iconic locations within our relationship and just some more fashiony shoots to really capture all it’s beauty.
And that’s exactly what I did that day with Jess. My dress designer Charlotte introduced me to photographer Jess and at the time she was offering portrait sessions, and making women feel fabulous along the way. I asked if she’d consider doing something a little different in one of those sessions, and help me feel fabulous in my wedding outfit once again. And gladly, she was just as excited as I was at the prospect.
It’s probably hugely self indulgent but honestly, I couldn’t care less. I had THE BEST day with Jess and she felt like an old friend within seconds of meeting her. She helped doll me up before taking me on a trip to her local garden centre to hunt down a makeshift wedding bouquet and then we parked up at the bottom of this incredible peak and trooped to the top just to get those views. I never thought I’d find myself changing into my wedding dress out in the open air on top of a massive hill with sheep looking on, but hey it was totally worth it. Just as we got started the rain started to fall pretty heavy, and the wind got up making my perfectly tousled hair and freshly applied make up a thing of the past within minutes. But Jess is a true pro, and she encouraged me to keep going through the rain and wind and embrace the windswept look, and you know what? She was right, because just look at how great my cape looks with a bit of gusto behind it and that atmospheric moody backdrop to offset the pretty of my pink skirt.
As a blogger I admit that I do have that ‘blogger tendency’ to want to document everything and have every magical moment in life captured in photo form, to be relived and savoured at a later date. Photography is undoubtedly one of my favourite art forms and I could look at beautiful photographs forever and never get bored. There’s nothing that can replace or recreate your wedding photos of course, as that raw emotion that you feel on the day can rarely be re-found, and our photographer did a fantastic job of capturing all of the special moments from the day but of course it was a wedding day, a celebration of me and Stu, and not a blogger fashion shoot. Having more photos in my dress felt important for me for totally different reasons. I saw this as a separate project, something just for me, a chance to create images that I can look back at in years to come and feel amazing in and an opportunity to indulge the fashion blogger in me and show off all the pretty details of probably the best outfit I’ll ever wear, and the one which I spent months obsessing over.
I’m blown away by the beauty of these shots, and Jess captured so much more than I could have imagined when we first discussed the shoot (I’d originally suggested a woodland setting again but she persuaded me to give the open air views a go instead and I’m so glad she did). She indulged me with all the outfit changes I wanted, and even got on board with me donning my bunny ears (which I wore at my wedding party) for a couple of shots. We felt like best friends by the end of the day and Jess made me feel so comfortable and not at all awkward and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with her again on future photography projects.
I was also 8 weeks pregnant at the time of this shoot (which is to blame for that little pot belly I’m sporting in some of the pics) which makes the photos even more special. 🙂
Wedding Separates – Wilden London
Tiara – Samantha Walden
Leather Jacket – Iro (via Vestiaire Collective)
So what are your thoughts on re-wearing your wedding dress? Have you got plans to get back into it at a later date?
Huge thanks to Jess for helping me with this crazy idea, if you fancy checking out more of her photography work (she does weddings, maternity, fashion – you name it!), you can browse her portfolio here. And read more about the design of my wedding outfits, and how they all came together in my post on the making of a dress.