Wedding Dress Shopping at Charlotte Casadéjus

September 8, 2011

I’m very excited to share Roo’s first guest post as the Rock n Roll Bride intern with you all today. A couple of weeks ago I took Roo dress shopping (to one of my favourite designers Charlotte Casadéjus) and asked her to write about her experience. Just call me the fairy wedmother!

♥  ♥  ♥


Walking into Charlotte Casadéjus‘ unassuming South-East London studio, I felt mostly like my usual old self. Fluffy, flyaway hair, a bloke’s jumper, a flick of eyeliner applied on the train – nothing special. But then, it’s not often that I feel special.


I’d always had this vision in my head of what trying on wedding dresses would look and feel like. A montage of me stepping out from a double-door changing room in a series of puffball dresses, meeting the disapproving stares of my girl friends, all to the tune of Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women – until, of course, we found the one. Cue squealing, high-fives and nods all ’round. Almost wistfully, I can’t say that this American prom idea of a dress fitting was at all what I experienced in the presence of Charlotte and Emma, her adorable assistant.


Not only is Charlotte a talent with a needle and thread, but she has a marvelous eye for vintage – from sourcing to selecting, from beading to repairs. Some people have a negative preconceived idea of vintage, particularly that it has once belonged to someone else and therefore isn’t technically your own. This isn’t a view that I’m on par with, but if you are, never fear. Charlotte can nip and tuck and tweak till the cows come home, to make one of her vintage gowns uniquely you. This is a talent that should be wholeheartedly respected by dressmakers and appreciators of dressmakers alike, particularly because it takes a special eye for someone to see a dress on you and instinctively know what could be improved to suit you better (she hit the nail on the head with me every time).


Above all else, I cannot describe how tactile her bridal collection is. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that in nearly all of Lisa‘s photos from the day I am in one way or another copping a feel of the pieces that I tired on for size. Our collective favourite was Audrey – met by sighs from all in the room once I’d stepped from the changing screen, I felt as though I was wearing something from the fantastical recesses of my imagination – picture a skirt of flower petals tickling your ankles, and a waistband of reassuring hands gently holding your waist. I’m known to be fanciful but this isn’t an exaggeration – a silk habotai lining made the gown feel invisible against my skin.


My equal favourites were found in Maimuna, along with a couple more vintage pieces in the same understated, short-sleeved ilk. I am a sucker for antique lace, in that it is special enough to maintain all its elegance without the need for accessories, but in the same light it is simple enough to dress up with just the right touches. Although not to my personal taste, Coco hints at the simple glamour of the 1970s with its tuxedo cut and opaque sleeves, shunning the need for any other sparkle besides the smile of the bride and the glint of her wedding ring.

Coco (also available in black)

And sparkle I did – at least, sparkle I felt. Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought about my mum helping me with an unreachable zip or an impossible button. I imagined the look on Lamb’s face if he were to see me almost float down the aisle in one of Charlotte’s dresses. I pictured doing over-pronounced spins on the dance floor so that those silky skirts billowed all around me. I let those images collate, and beyond everything else I felt in that moment, I felt special.

Vintage feather jacket

Thank you so much to Charlotte & Emma for inviting us into their studio and for letting us run riot with their dresses!

You can make an appointment to see and try on Charlotte Casadéjus‘ collection yourself by contacting the studio on +44 (0)20 3176 4561 or by emailing

Photography Credit: Lisa Jane Photography
All dresses/accessories: Charlotte Casadéjus