For any Bride-To-Be choosing who you want to accompany you on the journey is a special but also difficult moment. Some of us choose our family, sisters, cousins etc. Others feel pressure to choose the family members of their intended and the rest of us choose from amongst our friends. I’m definitely in the latter category partly because I don’t have any sisters or pushy new family members but mostly because there are certain friends in this life who know you better than you know yourself and love you just the way you are. They are also the ones who will be there for you no matter what. Heather and Jem for me are two of these friends.
But that doesn’t mean that choosing was easy. One other friend in particular took my choice, or rather the way she found out about it, quite badly. I knew that she would flip when she found out I wasn’t choosing her so I simply didn’t tell her. In hindsight I realise this was pretty stupid but honestly I just didn’t want the drama. Sadly it meant an end to our friendship and because of this my advice to the friends of any Brides-To-Be is do not assume that you will be asked to be a bridesmaid, just be there for her no matter what capacity that is in.
Some of the best advice I personally received during this process was that you need people around you who are going to keep you calm. Getting married, whilst a wonderful celebration, can also be a little stressful. In light of this, Jem was an obvious choice because she has been through it herself, I had been one of her bridesmaids, and she and I just get each other on a level that it is hard to attain with most people. As for Heather, she’s known me since I was seven years old and we have an amazing shared history together, she is also like a second daughter to my parents. Both of them feel closer to me than friends. I don’t know what its like to have a sister but the way I think of them can’t be too far off the mark.
Between them I knew I had everything I needed to support me along the way to my marriage to Roger. They threw me an awesome weekend-long hen party in central London and I shared all my planning ideas with them. We made sure, despite none of us living nearby, that we got together a couple of times just to chill out and enjoy a few bottles of wine after shopping for dresses and shoes.
Talking of dresses, after traipsing around traditional department stores and various shops it soon became obvious that the same dress was not going to suit them both. We also wanted to find dresses that would compliment the retro style of my own Candy Anthony dress. With this in mind Jem pointed me in the direction of Vivien of Holloway (VoH) and Heather and I made an Saturday appointment to see them. Jem couldn’t join us for the first appointment but she and I would later return separately.
Although not a dedicated wedding shop, VoH does have its own line of wedding dresses and is used to brides shopping for their maids outfits too. They specialise in 1940’s and 1950’s style clothing reproduction and have a shop on Holloway Road in North London. The staff in the shop helped us to first figure out what size we would be, their sizes are not the same as high street sizes and concentrate most on your waist measurement, and then helped us into some of their lovely dresses in the fitting room.
We eventually found two Royal Blue dresses of different styles that complimented each other and suited them down to the ground. Both Heather and Jem looked fabulous in their respective dresses and for Jem and me the experience sparked a new addiction. We have both since purchased again from VoH. Jem ended up with a halterneck circle dress in Royal Duchess and Heather found a classy sarong & bolero covered in golden dragon print. We also bought a white belt and flower to break up the block colour on Jem’s dress. It was then down to them individually to find some shoes and jewellery to match.
On the wedding day I felt calmer as soon as my girls arrived. Without realising it, up until that point I’d started to worry about everything running smoothly. As soon as they appeared I felt so much better.
Whilst we were all having our hair and make-up done Heather gave me a couple of very thoughtful presents. One was a real horseshoe which she had decorated. This is extra special as she keeps horses herself and we used to go riding together when we were younger.
The second was a cute picture with cats on it with the caption “Purrfect for Each Other”. It might seem cheesy but I like it a lot as I was brought up with lots of different cats for pets and I still love them to this day.
Jem and my Mum were the people who helped me into my dress whilst Heather was having her makeup done. Once we were both ready we sat on my sofa playing with our puffy skirts. It was entirely too much fun and, just like me, Jem could not stop spinning around in her circledress!
When we were all ready and waiting for the car to arrive, our photographer Louie took a shot of the girls with my parents and myself in our back garden. It’s probably one of my favourite group shots from the entire wedding. An explosion of colour against a bland background created by some of those nearest and dearest to me.
Once we arrived at our wedding venue, The Cavendish in Eastcote, it was agreed that Heather and Jem would precede me down the aisle. I thought it was particularly touching that Jem put a reassuring arm on my Husband Roger’s as a signal of good luck.
At the wedding breakfast afterwards it gave me and Rog great pleasure to hand out gifts to Jem and Heather as a thank you for all their support. And although I didn’t expect the gift to make Jem cry, it certainly made the moment memorable!
Now was the time for them to relax and enjoy themselves and that they did. I’ll finish this entry with a few shots of Jem and Heather with their partners, Rob and Lee, and ourselves relaxing and dancing at the evening reception. Thank you ladies you are both stars to me.
Our Wedding: The Bride (krazyangelkat81sobsessions.wordpress.com)