When Anthropologie announced the were introducing their own wedding dress line, BHLDN, in 2011, I looked enviously over at my American friends who were able to buy them. The dresses were everything the UK wedding dress market was missing – super feminine and delicate heirloom-quality wedding gowns with an elegant and modern twist. Some of the most incredible and sought-after designers were creating collections for the brand too including Catherine Deane, Vantana Watters, Tadashi Shoji, Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller.
While British brides were always able to order the gowns online, I for one have been desperately waiting for the opportunity to see and try on these dresses in person. That time has finally arrived!
I’m sure you can imagine my immense elation when BHLDN got in touch with me recently to not only let me know about their first ever UK trunk show with. I was over the moon! But even more so when they invited me to come in and try on some of the dresses for myself. Needless to say, I hopped on a train to the city just as soon as I possibly could!
Trying on and being photographed in these stunning Catherine Deane dresses in an Anthropologie store is my idea of heaven. I mean, talk about a Pinterest-perfect location!
With a plunging neckline, embellished illusion back and silk tulle skirt, Winnie was the first dress I tried on. This intricate gown blends modern details with a sense of vintage nostalgia. I was instantly obsessed with the embellished neckline and I teamed it with the Winter Daisy headband.
If cute, quirky, outdoor weddings are your idea of heaven then prepare to stand at those pearly gates, because Phillip and Elena’s Colorado wedding is a beauty!
“Our inspiration was just love and our relationship”, said Elena. “All the things that brought us to that point. We had games instead of dancing because we got to know each other over UNO and Monopoly.”
The bride wore a dress from BHLDN, the bridesmaids picked their out outfits and nearly everything else was handmade by the bride or thrifted. “We made the bunting, table runners and the stationery”, said the bride. “We arranged every flower ourselves and I also made the cake toppers, escort cards and signs. It was so worth it.”
Bryan and Brittany live in New York but were married in Oklahoma where most of their friends and family still live. They’d planned a very different wedding originally, wanting an all outdoor affair, but, just five weeks before the big day they realised it just wasn’t going to work and they had to find another venue. Panic stations! Luckily, they came across The Womb art gallery, owned by Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips. They asked him if he’d consider letting them have their wedding there, which he not only agreed to but he came along and partied with them too! Now that, my friends, is pure Rock n Roll.
“Our wedding was a bohemian modern, inspired by Oklahoma and south west wild flowers and all things 1960s”, began the bride. “We didn’t follow a lot of rules. I really don’t like the uniform look that comes with most weddings. I hate when bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party are forced into outfits that don’t make them feel great and or confident so that’s why our bridal party all look different. We gave them a theme to shoot for so it still came up fun and cohesive! We really just had ‘throwing a party’ in mind for the whole wedding! We wanted to celebrate our love the best we could and the best we knew how! We just wanted something very laid back and uplifting and so very us!!”
Adam & Claire were married at Via Vecchia Winery, Columbus – well actually they were married in the alley behind Via Vecchia Winery but they had their reception indoors afterwards!
With the groom a wedding photographer himself, they put real importance on their images and so set up a pre-wedding ‘first look’ to capture some intimate moments before the ceremony kicked off. For this Claire wore a BHLDN dress designed by Orla Kiely, She changed back into this outfit for the reception but for the ceremony itself she opted to wear her mother’s vintage wedding dress. Adam had no idea she was planning to do this or to even get changed at all, so seeing her walking down the aisle in a different dress than he expected must have been a very special moment indeed.
“We DIYed as much as we could for the wedding”, Claire explained. “It was definitely super stressful at times, but the end result was well worth it! We wanted every part of our wedding to reflect our personal styles. I would also highly recommend Etsy…you can find literally anything on that site! We did everything from the invitations to the food to the décor exactly how we wanted and did not worry if people thought it was too unconventional or weird.”
Ahh Emily & Chris’ Florida nuptials is what my wedding dreams are made of. Getting ready in the Hard Rock Hotel (my spiritual home for sure) this achingly cool pair had their beautiful wedding at Ybor City Museum Garden in Tampa. Emily wore the Greenbow lace gown by BHLDN and Miu Miu shoes, while Chris kept it casual yet chic in a checked shirt and a vintage velvet jacket combo. The 1970s is an era that many might feel should be left back with the flares, disco and Woodstock hippies, but I’m am here to tell you the exact opposite. How bloody cool are these two?!
Although from Stacy Paul‘s amazing photographs it looks like the whole wedding was pulled off with ease, Emily explained that it was quite the rollercoaster to get there… “The wedding day was a stressful day of 50 degree weather, 30 mile an hour winds, a brief rainstorm, and panic about the cold, wind and rain, affecting our outdoor wedding and reception”, she began. “Florida weather is beyond unpredictable. I somehow maintained a little bit of composure with the understanding that my family and wedding planner were working to make sure that everything was perfect, no matter what.”
Words can’t express how my heart ached for New York and the East Coast of America when I heard about all the tragedies surrounding one of the worst storms in 100 years. I read eye witness accounts from my friends and saw terrifying images of the flood waters rising in the streets that I had walked down just a few days before… And I know it sounds strange, weird even, but being a wedding blogger I also wondered what might have happened to any weddings that we’re planned around this time.
Is that an odd thing to think about? Maybe… But needless to say, I was overjoyed to read Laura & Rich’s story and to see how they still managed have the happiest day of their lives, despite the destruction and chaos around them.
“We were married at The Inn at Millrace Pond in New Jersey on 2nd November,” wrote the bride, “and it almost didn’t happen… We were very close to postponing the wedding because it was all so crazy after the hurricane. We were without electricity and running water at home and the Inn’s power was only restored two nights before the wedding date. I got a frantic phone call from Peggy, our florist, the day before to tell us that she had received a call from the Mayor telling her that he could see that the Inn was illuminated from his house and that our wedding could go ahead after all! I really loved how everyone pitched in to make the wedding happen, we felt very lucky. From friends and family carpooling and getting gas in the middle of the night, to Rich having to pick up the tuxedos on the morning of the wedding from another town, to all the girls getting ready by generator power.”