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Wedding Pictures!

Hello everyone!
We have been inundated with requests both in the shop and via email to share some pictures with you of all the dresses my mum and I made for my wedding day.
I'm so sorry its taken this long to get to writing this blog post. The Monday after the wedding we went straight on our honeymoon (we had an amazing time!) and were away for 3 weeks in total visiting New York, Vegas and Mexico. Since I've been 8 years old I've never had that much time away from Minerva! So coming back there has been so much to catch up on, hence me taking a couple of weeks almost to get around to writing this post!
The morning of the wedding was lovely. My mum, auntie and all my bridesmaids were there to have our make up and hair done. We were all reasonably relaxed until we realised...the little flower girls dress (Lexi) had been left at work! How on earth we managed to do this I have no idea, except to say that the day before had been a whirlwind in getting everything up to Astley Bank ready for the following day, getting presents wrapped for the bridesmaids etc., and all the other million and one things that seemed to crop up!
So anyway, we sent my dad off to work to pick the dress up and the day was saved :) Thanks Dad!
Here's a picture of my mum with a big grin/relieved look on her face when the dress was at home! 
Whilst my dad was picking the dress up at Minerva HQ he spotted a couple of cards addressed to me that had been delivered that morning. When I opened them there was a lovely card from Lucie (One of the bloggers on our Minerva Crafts Blogger Network team), thank you Lucie so much for the very thoughtful gesture. Here's me opening the card whilst getting my hair done!
Everything got a bit frantic when the clock was getting closer to 11 o'clock, when the cars were due to pick us up. My bridesmaids were brilliant and got themselves organised...and all the men too!!
Here is a picture of Lexi in her beautiful flower girl dress...
Doesn't she look absolutely stunning! The fabric we used is our beautiful Florentina Couture Bridal Lace (currently the most expensive fabric we sell!) Im so glad I picked this fabric for her. When she spun round (and she spun and spun all day!), all the little daisy on the dress came to life. It really is a princess dress fit for our little princess.
Next up some pictures of the bridesmaid dresses...
Didn't they all look gorgeous! The fabric on the dress is our beautiful Sarina lace. It fit perfectly with the theme of the day 'Classic Elegance', don't you think?
And here is my mums outfit...
Didn't she look beautiful. I'm struggling to find a picture of her dress underneath, if I manage to find one I will update this post.
Now onto other things we made for the day (I'l keep you waiting to see my dress until the end hehe).
We made the seating plan from a large mirror I bought cheap on eBay. We then printed out all the guests onto our cream card, mounted it onto black card and then onto the cream card again. We stuck all the pieces to the mirror using scotch tape, the idea being we can just peel them off afterwards and re-use the mirror. I must admit I haven't had the heart to pull it to pieces yet.
We also made all the table centres. We used wishing trees (unfortunately we don't sell these anymore and I used up every last one we had!) I used pearl garlands and randomly placed them on the trees. The pearls moved ever so slightly and looked so pretty. I am really glad I went with this idea in the end.
We also made all the stationary for the tables. I say 'we', it was mainly Anne (who some of you may know if you are a regular in the Minerva Craft Centre). Anne was a fantastic help on all things paper and card for the day. She made our invitations, order of service for the church, place cards, table numbers, menu's and was a big help in making the seating plan too. So a big thank you to Anne for all your help :)
I also made all the guest favours. These were really quick and easy to do. Chocolate hearts (covered in ivory foil) in an ivory feathered gift bag for the ladies, and black pearlised sugar balls in a glass bottle for the men (all keeping to the colour theme of course!)
Here's a view of the top table (love this photo!)...
And here's a picture of the room before all the guests were seated...
Didn't it look beautiful. I must say Astley Bank did a fantastic job on setting the room. The day before I left everything I could made up and ready for them to just put straight on the tables. But there were certain bits I had to trust them to do...and I'm a bit OCD with things like this! I left them a rather lengthy 'list' of what to do and they followed it to a T! We hired a company for the chair covers and I think they were the icing on the cake and really brought the whole scheme together in that room.
And now on to my dress. I've spent a couple of days picking out photos to show you. And now I'm writing this post I realise just how many I've picked, so I hope you don't mind :)
Whilst on the subject of photos, a quick mention to our lovely wedding photographers Lizz and Danny from DJ Archer Photography. They really were fantastic on the day and we would highly recommend them. I was really lucky with the photography because my cousin Sam had recently set up a wedding photography business not long before I got married and he offered to be an additional photographer for us for the day as an extra wedding present - so very lovely of him! So we have over 1500's photos of the day now - how lucky are we? And they are all really fantastic, I will treasure them forever as a beautiful reminder of the day. 
And so here we go with my dress. If you remember, these below were my 'inspiration pictures' for the dress. I truly believe we captured everything I loved in these old photo's.
My mum had at least 3 rounds of applause on the day (in the 3 speeches) for what a fantastic job she has done on making all these dresses.
But the wedding dress, I don't think anybody except myself and her will ever know just how much work, time and love went into this dress. I know just how many sleepless nights she had tossing and turning, wondering the best way to do every little detail. And I was by no means easy to sew for! We know a bridal seamstress who has been a customer at Minerva for more years than I can remember and has worked in the bridal business sewing wedding dresses for decades, and even she said she wouldn't touch the task my mum had with this dress! I had chosen an unusual fabric to work with (the beautiful Caroline panelled lace), I couldn't find a single pattern in the whole world that was just right so my mum had to mash different patterns together and free style parts of it. I kept losing weight so we couldn't properly start it until a few weeks before the wedding. And then there is the diamante 'cape' (although I'm not sure what the technical word to describe that part of the dress is), that was completely free styled from diamante appliques (over 150 metres of hand stitched thread went into this part alone). Plus I can't even remember the amount of times I changed my mind on what I wanted. Only my mum would have put up with all this :)
My mum has said to me this is the most demanding sewing project she has ever undertaken in the many years she has been sewing! But also the most rewarding. I think through the stress, anxiety and worry, she did actually love making it...it think hehe! So even though I've said this to her a thousand times, I want to say it again...thank you mum so much for making my perfect wedding dress become a reality. Thanks to you I had the perfect dress to wear on my perfect day. I'm actually getting a bit teary writing this!
In this full length picture below it shows off the details in the dress to its best I think. And I just love the backdrop (within Astley Bank);
Here's another full length shot...
My dad and I walking down the aisle...
My dad congratulating Richard as we walked back down the aisle as man and wife (or more likely him saying 'haha there's no going back now!')
Outside the church sipping champagne...
Some more detailed shots of the dress... 
This picture shows the beautiful neck line...
Here's a close up of the beautiful diamante detail...
Me and Richard on the dance floor (we are both such rubbish dancers haha!)...
And I've included this next picture just because I love it so much...
Have you ever seen a dress quite like it? I certainly haven't. I got so many lovely compliments on the day. And everyone said they had never seen a dress like it. Isn't sewing such an amazing skill to have? I'm so proud of my mum for making this dress. Hasn't seen done an amazing job?
This last photo of us all that I have to share with you shows all the outfits my mum made for the day...
My mum always loves it when I make something for her and I really wanted to make her something to give to her on the wedding day that had lots of hours and love poured into it. I researched ideas on google and saw some embroidered handkerchiefs, the idea being you give them as a gift so they can wipe away their tears of happiness as you walk down the aisle. I loved this idea so decided to make my own, one for my mum and one for my lovely mother in law. 
The fabric I used was our silk dupion which is the same fabric my dress was made from - I thought this was a nice touch. I then (painstakingly) embroidered this lace trimming around the edges. This took me ages, but I have to admit it was very neat and looked beautiful. I then used some stranded cotton embroidery thread and embroidered 'To Mum, Handmade with Love, 4th July 2015' in the centre. I also researched for wedding thank you poems on the internet and found some that I adapted to be more personal, one each for my mum and mother in law. I wrapped the handkerchiefs in tissue, printed the poem off on ivory paper and gift wrapped them together in an ivory gift box with a big black satin bow and a diamante brooch on the outside.
I had arranged that Richard give the box to my mother in law and my brother to give my mum hers, just in time so they could read the poems and open the handkerchiefs before I walked down the aisle. I'm so happy to say they both loved them! My mother in law has even framed hers...
So I think that's everything! Both my mum and myself would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us, cheered us on, or even just been interested to see our progress along this, what has been our most epic sewing adventure yet!
Would I recommend sewing your own wedding dress or having it made for you? Absolutely! I couldn't imagine picking a dress off the shelf could ever be so amazing as designing one yourself. And to have a truly bespoke, unique dress is something I think most of us dream of. But if you are making your own, be prepared to spend more time thinking about it, planning it, choosing materials and actually sewing it than you would think possible! This dress certainly took over our 'sewing lives' for a year or so, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Thank you again for reading. We are both looking forward to bringing you some 'regular' sewing posts now our sewing schedule has been freed up a little :)
Until next time,
Vicki xx

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