How did you find out about Sophia Grace Couture?
My Mum lives in London, therefore I went for my first dress shopping experience down there as I thought it might have felt like more of an exclusive experience. I was so wrong. I felt dis-heartened by the whole day. One particular shop told me they would have nothing that would suit me and my style. I felt bigger bridal stores were like a cattle market, and I was left feeling sad – particularly after watching shows like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ religiously. I realised you have to put a little more groundwork in prior to dress shopping. I looked into designers I liked, and thankfully this influenced my next shopping experience – when I found my actual dress. I liked Demetrios as a designer, which led me to find Sophia Grace Couture. Once I explored their social media I knew it was somewhere I wanted to shop for my dream dress. The first dress Naydene put on me (not my choice) ended up being ‘the one!’
Tell us about your dress choices and your experience at Sophia Grace Couture
The gown I wore for most of my day was the Demetrios Style 778. It was ivory, off the shoulder with a sweetheart neckline. It had beaded lace that extended out to an a-line skirt, with romantic lace detailing.
My evening gown was a Paloma Blanca. This was also off the shoulder in style. It was ivory, and form fitting, with a romantic train. Perfect for dancing in, as it was much more lightweight that my first gown.
Having had a back surgery (a microdiscectomy) less than 2 months prior to my wedding, the weight of my first dress meant I was unable to dance in my Demetrios gown. The team at Sophia Grace Couture were incredible throughout this very stressful time. They went over and above to find my second dress, and ensure both gowns were altered in time for my big day. I was struggling to heal, and travel to my fittings, however their regular contact and assurance kept me cool, calm and collected. Naydene, Hannah and Paula were my ‘fairy godmothers’ and they truly made me feel like Cinderella. The process from picking the dress, to sharing it with loved ones, to fittings, through surgery to finally being the last customer to leave in 2019, I can’t thank the team enough. Happy and sad tears were shed, and throughout it all it felt like being at home in the store. Upon leaving for the final time both my Mum and I (who also ended up buying a dress for my evening reception) felt like we were leaving friends, and were sad that our journey at Sophia Grace had come to an end. I would highly recommend a visit to Sophia Grace Couture to any future brides, the service is second-to-none.
How did you meet? Are you happy to tell us about the proposal?
Dean and I met in school, however with Dean being 2 years younger than me – I can’t say it was love at first sight! He was in the lighting team as first year student, whilst I played the lead in South Pacific. He maintains he always shined his spotlight on me, however it wasn’t until the end of my Probationary year of teaching that we met and began to build our relationship. His Aunt was my line manager, and as I posted a picture of our end of term night out he ‘slid into my DM’s’ with a ‘I didn’t know you worked with my Aunt Jen’ message. We went on 3 dates in 3 days, and the rest was history.
After a night in Cancun where we discussed moving in together, Dean suggested financially he would have to save for something I didn’t need to. Clueless – I asked what? When Dean replied a ring, I asked when he wanted to get engaged. He replied ‘someday’, but I could swear he said ‘Monday!’ It then became a running joke that we would get engaged on a Monday, with Dean saying most Sunday nights ‘ohhhh it could be tomorrow!’
True to form, Dean proposed Christmas 2017, which was in fact a Monday. He did so in our flat whilst opening presents on Christmas morning.
Amidst my presents was a scroll, that I thought would be telling me about a trip we might go on. It was lyrics and quips about our lives together, and the final line read ‘you’ve been reading long enough now, let’s get round to what I want to say… isn’t it funny how this year Christmas falls on a Monday!’ And just like that, he was down on one knee.
What was your inspiration for your wedding? Did you follow a specific theme or colour palette?
Due to the Christmas/festive period we decided on colours that would suit this time of year. We were set on wine/burgundy from the offset, however then built in the gold, navy and ivory as the planning and meetings with our suppliers progressed.
What made you decide upon your chosen venue?
We chose Mansfield Traquair as it had the ‘wow’ factor that took our breath away on first sight. It was the first venue we looked at, and nothing else lived up to it for the grand and whimsical feel we wanted for our big day.
Tell us about your wedding
I had cried at every opportunity during wedding planning, however when the red Mansfield doors open I was excited. I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom and see Dean. I expected to cry, but I was just so delighted to see the wedding have all come together, and I was able to look at guests on the way down and smile. The love was immeasurable, the kindness unimaginable and the laughter never ending.
What was the most memorable moment?
The highlight of the wedding was when the red doors of Mansfield open and I saw everyone I loved (including my incredible husband) for the first time. Seeing everyone I loved in the one room, there to support us, was a feeling I can’t describe. In that moment I’ve never felt so grateful and loved in my whole life.
Do you have any advice for future brides visiting Sophia Grace Couture?
My advice would be to trust Naydene and Hannah. I almost didn’t try on my Demetrios dress, and wouldn’t have done so if it hadn’t been for Naydene’s expertise. She asked all the right questions to understand me and my wedding, and knew me better than I knew myself when it came to picking the perfect dress! This was similar when it came to picking my second dress. Put your trust wholly in the ladies at Sophia Grace – they only do perfect!
Photographer: Duke Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Mansfield Traquair
Florist: Fiona Hay from Narcissus Flowers
Cake: Mimi’s Bakehouse
Hair and Bridesmaids Make-up: Katie Malin
Entertainment: Capella String Quartet, 22 Red and James Muldoon
Videographer: Candelight Pictures
Humanist: Chris Gray