To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to wedding dress shopping. I don’t have a lot of self-confidence, and felt under immense pressure to find the perfect dress which would surpass everyone’s expectations and make me look beautiful. I was terrified about making the wrong decision and having that mistake captured in my wedding photographs forever. It’s fair to say the ladies at Y.A.P had a difficult task on their hands!
I immediately felt a sense of ease – the boutique was beautiful and inviting and Jo went out of her way to make me and my family feel welcome and relaxed. Everything about the boutique is luxurious and done in the most thoughtful way, in order to give brides the perfect wedding dress shopping experience. But most importantly, thanks to the lovely staff, the sense of pressure melted away, and I felt all the excitement that had eluded me so far.
I wanted gown with a wintery feel for my January wedding and I knew I wanted long sleeves and lace. Other than that, I had no idea what style would suit me, so was open to suggestions from the Y.A.P experts.
I truly felt that the main goal of all the staff was for me to find my dream dress, not necessarily for me to buy from Y.A.P. This meant I felt I could trust what the ladies were saying – they were there to help me, not to make a sale. Everyone was extremely knowledgeable about the gowns in stock, my stylist knew immediately the style that would best suit my body and the theme of my wedding. But when I struggled to say “Yes” straight away, I was given the time and understanding I needed to allow me to be 100% certain in my decision. I could not have asked for more supportive and dedicated guidance from the Y.A.P team – I felt special from start to finish.
The minute I described my wedding, the stylist said she had the perfect gown in mind - it had just come in, so none of the Y.A.P stylists had seen it on a bride yet. When I saw it on the hanger, I wasn’t certain about it, as it wasn’t how I had pictured “my dress” – it had a lot of beadwork and I had imagined something simpler. However it seemed like fate, so I just had to try it on.
I had never expected to fall for the first dress I tried on. I put it on and I felt instantly beautiful – taller, more elegant, “bridal”. I showed my mum and sisters, and they fell in love straight away – my mum was already talking about champagne! But I wasn’t 100% certain – I had put so much pressure on this decision, and I knew I had to try on other gowns before I could be sure. My stylist brought me other options, other stunning gowns, but nothing compared. Nothing else I tried on could match up to my dream gown – I had fallen head-over-heels for my Maggie Sottero beaded sheath!
I cannot praise Jo and the Y.A.P team highly enough. They transformed me from an anxious, uncomfortable bride-to-be to a relaxed and elegant bride. I never felt pressured or pushed into making a decision, and they never showed me anything over my ideal spend. Jo even opened the shop late for me one evening so I could try the dress on for a second time, just to be sure. Nothing was too much trouble for the team. Everything went smoothly from start to finish and, on my wedding day, I walked down the aisle towards my husband-to-be, looking and feeling more beautiful than ever before.
Tell us more about your day...
• ACCESSORIES •
With such a stunning and detailed dress, all my other accessories were kept to a minimum. I wore simple heels and no jewellery – the gown said everything that needed to be said. I was honoured to wear my mum’s veil, which she had worn to marry my dad, 30 years previously. I have grown up looking at pictures from that day, always thinking how stunning and how happy she looked, so it was wonderful to have some of that magic with me when I married Thom.
• FEELINGS •
I felt utterly glamourous, and yet still very much like myself. The gown was very “me”, and from the moment I put it on it gave me confidence. Everybody loved it, I felt like a celebrity with all the compliments and flash photography! I have never felt better!
• VENUE •
At our winter wedding, Thom and I wanted our day to feel like coming in out of the cold – we wanted our guests to experience the warmth and love we feel for each other. We got married in our church, the Church of the Holy Name in Jesmond, and from start to finish it was a celebration of marriage and commitment and love. The reception was held at Eshott Hall, with open fires and mulled cider, fabulous food and live music, emotional speeches (not a dry eye in the house!) and lots and lots of dancing…
• DETAILS & SUPPLIERS •
I could not have been happier with the suppliers we chose. Helen at Vanilla Teas provided simple yet stunning centrepieces, and the most delicious wedding cake with carrot, lemon and rhubarb tiers. Hollie at Fleur Couture put together beautiful bouquets and buttonholes which celebrated our purple and grey colour scheme and the wintery feel of the wedding. Carli at The Big Event Hair and Make Up did an amazing job, not only on my hair but on my bridesmaids’, mum’s, mother-in-law’s and auntie-in-law’s. And our photographer, Paul Liddement, worked magic to capture both the beautiful, intimate moments of the day, and the lively, joyful ones!
Massive thank you to Natalie for sharing your bridal journey with us all - you looked so beautiful and your chosen gown was absolute perfection! Thanks to Paul Liddement for capturing such stunning shots of you both on your day xxx