I was a little bit anxious as previous experiences at appointments hadn't lived up to my expectations, so I was hoping Y.A.P would! I had nightmares about making the wrong decision and having that captured in all the photos from my wedding day. As I’m not from the area and I was the first of my friends to get engaged, I didn’t have anyone to advise me on where was best to go for my wedding dress, so I’d just Googled boutiques in Newcastle and luckily came across Y.A.P. I had a good feeling about it even before my first visit!
I was immediately impressed by the look and feel of the boutique, and we were given a lovely welcome by Jo – I felt at home there straightaway. I remember thinking that a boutique that had clearly put so much thought into it's décor was likely to have put the same thought and effort put into the dresses it offered and the experience of it's brides, and I wasn’t wrong!
I really wasn’t sure on my style ideas, and the more dresses I’d tried on at my previous appointments, the more confused I had become. I knew what I didn’t want – a ballgown, anything too fitted, satin – but couldn’t put my finger on what I did want. I wanted to feel comfortable in my dress and I wanted it to be well suited to my vineyard venue.
Y.A.P Bridal was the only boutique which offered a full consultation. Jo took the time to sit down with me and she asked me questions about my style, my venue and the décor, and how I wanted to feel on the day. Having discussed all of this, I felt that Jo knew enough about me and my wedding to help me pick my perfect dress. She picked four dresses that she thought would suit me and my wedding day, and she got it spot on. They were all beautiful and what I liked was that the dresses were more unique and varied than the traditional styles.
I encountered all the stylists at Y.A.P during my journey and the whole team is really friendly and can’t do enough to help you. My first consultation and second appointment were with Jo, which was great as she explained the amazing story behind Y.A.P and that made me feel a connection with the boutique straightaway. Jo was instrumental in helping me find my dress and she made sure that I had a fantastic start to my bridal journey. My fittings were with Danni, who is amazing at what she does – I really couldn’t have asked for a better consultant. She’s so warm and welcoming and was able to give her expert advice on anything I needed, from alterations to accessories and even non-dress related things like my decorations! I really appreciated all Danni’s help and she played a big part in my Y.A.P bridal journey.
People had told me that I’d know when I found ‘the one’, but I genuinely could have got married in any of the dresses I tried on at Y.A.P as I loved them all! After my first consultation, I’d narrowed my options down to three dresses – all quite different and by different designers – and then had a few weeks to wait before going back to try them on again. I spent this time thinking about the dresses and Googling photos of them, but there was one that I kept thinking about more than the others. When I went back to the boutique with my mum, bridesmaids and friends to make my decision, Jo said that when she saw me she immediately envisaged me in one of the dresses. It turned out not to be the one I’d been thinking of, which threw me a bit as I really valued Jo’s opinion and I started to wonder whether I’d like my favourite dress as much this time! I left my favourite – Maggie Sottero’s ‘Patience’ – until last to try on, and I was happy to see that my entourage also loved this dress. I pretty much knew when I added the pale gold, cathedral length veil that this was the dress I wanted, but for some reason I still couldn’t quite make the final decision! I left the boutique and went for prosecco with my mum and friends, and we discussed the three dresses but they quickly realised that I kept coming back to Patience! I went straight back to Y.A.P to officially say yes to the dress.
Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the best things about planning a wedding. It’s important that the service you receive doesn’t stop when you place the order – you want to feel part of the family and to be well looked after during the whole journey, from placing your order to fittings, alterations, choosing your accessories and picking up your dress just before the wedding. That’s what makes Y.AP special as the team genuinely makes you feel like you’re their number one priority throughout. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and I was so impressed that I started recommending Y.A.P to everyone I knew! One of my best friends who was getting married just before me ended up being a Y.A.P bride too, so at one point it felt like we were at the boutique nearly every Thursday night! We both thoroughly enjoyed all our visits and always felt so welcome.
Tell us more about your day...
• ACCESSORIES •
Danni helped me choose my cathedral length veil and sparkly hairpiece, which were both from Y.A.P. I knew I wanted to get my veil and hairpiece from Y.A.P as it was great to be able to try on different options while wearing the dress and to get Danni’s advice. There are so many beautiful veils and accessories in the boutique so there really isn’t any need to go elsewhere!
Shoes were more difficult as I needed a pair that had a strap, were gold or silver, smooth so that they wouldn’t catch on the delicate material of the dress, and a fairly low heel so that I wouldn’t be taller than my husband! I eventually found the perfect shoes in Kurt Geiger.
I wanted to keep my jewellery simple, so I decided not to wear a necklace, but I had a bracelet and pearl drop earrings from Chez Bec as my gift from my husband on the day. I then had a sparkly brooch from my grandma that I pinned onto my bouquet, which was not only my ‘something old and borrowed’ but also happened to match the sparkly belt of my dress perfectly.
• FEELINGS •
Once my mum and three bridesmaids had got me into my dress, I felt beautiful but still felt like myself. I loved the ‘diamond white over nude’ colour, the amazing tulle sheath skirt, the Swarovski belt and the lace appliques on the bodice. I’d had straps added to the dress and Anne had somehow found an exact match for the lace on the bodice – I couldn’t believe it!
• VENUE •
I live in Newcastle but the wedding was in South Wales, where I grew up. The ceremony was at All Saints Church in Penarth (5 minutes from my parents’ house), followed by the reception at Llanerch Vineyard. I’d always loved the idea of getting married in a vineyard, but I didn’t think it would be possible in the UK. I was thrilled when I found Llanerch – it had a lodge and secret garden overlooking the vines for the drinks reception, and a woodland marquee for the rest of the celebrations. It’s a stunning venue and it only recently started doing weddings, so I liked the idea of being among the first to have our wedding there.
• DETAILS •
Our colours were shades of purple and gold. I’ve always known that my wedding day would incorporate purple – apparently, when I was younger I used to tell everyone that my wedding dress would be purple!
The bridesmaids wore full length, deep purple dresses, complemented by the groomsmen’s purple ties.
Our invitations were ivory with foil pressed gold corners, so we replicated this in the table names, menu cards and various signs around the reception. We also had gold frames, spray painted gold jars for the centrepieces and a brushed gold cake.
Obviously we wanted to embrace the vineyard element, so we had a table plan made from hundreds of wine corks (handmade by Hayley, the other Y.A.P bride I mentioned above!), and cork name card holders. We served Llanerch Vineyard’s own ‘Cariad’ wine, which means ‘love’ in Welsh.
Chris and I met when studying abroad in Arizona, so we included a few touches such as having an ‘Arizona Sunrise’ as our signature cocktail and using towns in Arizona for the table names. As our guests had travelled from all over the world to attend, one of our friends made a directional sign that showed all the locations our guests had come from. We also had a globe as our guest book.
One of our favourite things about the day was our wedding favours – my uncle runs Break the Ice, which designs and supplies eyewear, so he provided personalised sunglasses to every guest which had our names on one temple and the date on the other. This resulted in some fantastic photos!
Most of our suppliers were based in South Wales, and they all played a big part in making our wedding day what it was.
Hair – Leanne Elliston from Blu Hair Design in Penarth understood exactly what I wanted, curls with a waterfall braid. Leanne also did a fantastic job with my bridesmaids’ hair, and was incredibly helpful on the day!
Make up – Alex McWhirter from Something Blue Bridal Beauty. All I had to do was show Alex a photo of a bride whose make up I liked, and she did the rest. My bridesmaids’ make up looked beautiful too.
Flowers – Sweet Peony Floral in Penarth were absolutely fantastic. I knew nothing about flowers – I showed Rachel my Pinterest board, said that my bridesmaids’ dresses were purple and that I liked greenery – that was about it! She created the most beautiful bouquets, buttonholes and centrepieces, and went out of her way to source the wooden slices for our centrepieces and pearls for my bouquet.
Light up letters – my main concern about not getting married in Newcastle was that I couldn’t have Coco Luminaire’s letters at the wedding! Luckily I found Written in Lights in South Wales, who provided our A&C initial letters. They looked fantastic and were a great addition to our dancefloor.
Cake – Wish Upon a Cupcake. Again, I simply sent Carly a photo of a three tier cake I liked with brushed gold, and she created the most amazing cake that people are still talking about now. We had three flavours – white chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and salted caramel, and lemon and lime, and it really was the most delicious cake I’ve ever had.
Photography and videography – Sian Owen Photography and Enso Wedding Photography captured the day perfectly. We’re so pleased that we have photos and a video that we can always look back on and remember our wedding day.
Music – I didn’t want a DJ, so we decided to go for a piano vocalist, Luke Yates, who travelled down from London. I was looking for a specific type of pianist who could create a great atmosphere during the evening and who had modern songs in their repertoire. I found Luke on Google, and as soon as I downloaded his song list – which featured a huge variety including Disney classics and some songs by lesser known American artists that are some of my favourite ever songs – I knew he had to be part of our wedding. Luke played guitar during the drinks reception, background piano music during the dinner, and then played piano and sang in lively sets during the evening. We asked our guests to write their requests on post-its and put them on Luke’s piano – this interactive element was a big success!
Stationery – our save the dates, invitations, menus and table name cards were from Minted.com.
Huge thank you's to Alex for sharing her precious Y.A.P journey and to Sian Owen for capturing the pairs day so beautifully! A truly unique setting and inspirational ideas for all our brides to be xxxx