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Rochelle & Ben-real weddings
Rochelle & Ben

We want to know your story; how did you meet?
Ben and I have known each other for around 14 years. We met when we were in our early teens at a local carnival. We dated on a couple of occasions over the years but it never seemed to be the right time for either of us. We bumped into each other for the final time in 2012 at a mutual friend’s party and we have been together since.

How did he propose?
Ben whisked me off for a 2 night stay to Newcastle and we stayed in a gorgeous penthouse apartment. Although it’s so close to were we live, it has always been one of my favourite cities. I had no idea he was going to propose though, he just kept saying it was a treat for how hard i’d worked within my business – especially over the busy festive period. As it was a few days before Christmas, he had small gifts wrapped up which he gave me throughout the days while we were there. On the second night we were getting ready to go out for a meal to the Baltic Flour Mill (Six). He told me to open the gift on the table which was a set of Swarovski champagne flutes. When I turned round he was down on one knee and I was gobsmacked! Little did I know the flutes were for a toast, and the meal was for our engagement. I liked how confident he was that I’d say yes! He proposed with the LeVian ring I’d pointed out around a year prior, I had said If I ever got engaged I would want something like it – rose gold, distinctive with coloured stones. It still baffles me how he remembered, as it was only said in passing!

How did you know that your Ian Stuart Dress was the right choice for your big day?
I knew I wanted to be an Ian Stuart Bride as soon as I laid eyes on his designs. Run of the mill dresses just didn’t appeal to me and I love how unique his style is. Whether they are your taste or not; each of his dresses are timeless and a work of art in their own right, nobody can deny that. The closest stockist to where we live is Y.A.P Bridal Boutique in Newcastle. At my appointment I tried on only four of Ian’s gowns and I loved them all, but there was just something missing from first three I tried. The final dress I tried was La Fayette. Before my bridal consultant (Danni) got the zip half way up, I burst into tears. I knew I had found my dress instantly. When Danni pulled back the curtain for my Mam and Auntie to see, they both had the exact same reaction! I didn’t think the ‘bridal moment’ was a real thing, but it clearly was for me. I opted for the matching cathedral veil and I purchased my headdress from here also. The three of us had the most magical time at this boutique. I also decided to have the dressing experience that Y.A.P offers. The girls came out to dress me and my bridal party on the day and honestly, I couldn’t have managed without them. I would highly recommend it to anyone, even more so if if you have a big dress.

Real Weddings

Was there a theme/colour theme at your wedding? 
The theme for the wedding seemed to evolve as time went by. We knew we wanted something glamorous as it reflects our personal taste both as individuals and as a couple. I’ve always loved really bright, punchy colours and I was getting so bored of seeing the usual anaemic colour schemes in bridal magazines. When I looked at La Fayette, I saw mix of say –  Marie Antoinette & Southern Belle. So I decided to run with that… you could say the theme was very much centred around the dress. The only way I could describe our theme is – Parisian Sophistication and New Orleans Colour Pop, with a hint of British Etiquette. The fabulous Kat from ‘The Whole Sch-Bang’ in Gateshead created the full decor including the flowers, our guests were simply blown away. They said it was so different to anything that they’d seen before.

Did you incorporate any specific traditions in your wedding, such as ‘something old, something new, borrowed and blue’?
Although the wedding itself was quite a modern affair. We still tried to do all of the usual wedding traditions. Myself and Ben stayed in separate houses the night before on Rockliffe grounds and didn’t see each other till I walked down the aisle towards him. My something old was also something borrowed, my mam’s white handkerchief that belonged to my great grandma Annie. It is over 60 years old has an A embroidered on it. This was so relevant with my new surname being Anderson and was perfect for dabbing away the few tears I had on the day. Most of the things bought for the wedding were new and my Aquazurra Bridal Booties had powder blue soles. My Dad also placed sixpence in my shoe for the ceremony.

Rochelle & Ben- Real Weddings

Do you have any advice to share with women who are about to embark on this incredible journey of planning their wedding and selecting their wedding dress?
Just try to enjoy it as much as you can. I spent far too much time stressing about minuscule details, that on the day I didn’t even notice. In hindsight, planning a wedding is very hard work – especially along with all of your usual daily tasks. I found it especially difficult trying to juggle running a house and two businesses, whilst also planning our dream wedding. Constant email threads, phone calls and questionnaires from suppliers became the bane of my life, my only regret is that I found it more of a hindrance rather than looking at the bigger picture. They were all just trying to make sure the day as seamless as possible; which is what it was.  Now I can’t believe it’s all over and would love to have the planning time back and re-live the day again. Select your suppliers wisely and most importantly, trust your venue. They will have likely done hundreds if not thousands of weddings before yours and they know exactly what they are doing. Oh and delegate… if someone can help you, let them!

With regard to choosing the dress, try and look at it more like the dress choosing you. You need to feel utterly beautiful & absolutely unstoppable in your gown while being the best possible version of yourself. Ian Stuart Bride certainly does that…


April & Andrew

April & Andrew

We want to know your story, how did you meet?
We met when we were kids (at 5 and 6) and have been lifelong friends, we were just always meant to be together. Our Families were close and always knew we would end up together, even when we tried to tell them we were just friends. We started dating when Andy came home on leave from his tour in Afghanistan in October 2012. The first few months that he was out there made us realise just how much we cared for each other. We stayed in contact during his deployment and have been together ever since.

How did he propose?
He proposed on a weekend away in the Lake District. It was a beautiful autumn day and we had gone for a walk in Keswick. While we were walking through Hope Park he got down on one knee, before he could ask me the question I threw my arms around him and said yes.

How did you know that your Ian Stuart Dress was the right choice for you big day?
I had looked at so many dresses online but none of them jumped out at me. I wanted something different, something that stood out from the rest. I had opened a bridal magazine and there on the first page was the dress – Evangelista. I hadn’t even tried it on but I knew it was the one. I called our closest Bridal shop that stocked Ian Stuart Gowns and asked if they had it. Unfortunately they didn’t but they had a Designer Day scheduled in the coming weeks and could ask to have a sample of it brought up. The weekend I was go try the dress on I was unwell and had to cancel my appointment, I was devastated but the teams at Ian Stuart and Anne Priscilla organised to have the sample dress kept in the shop a bit longer so I could try it. I am so grateful that they did. The moment I tried the dress on I never wanted to take it off. It was perfect. All I had to do now was order it and wait the 2 years until our wedding date to wear it again.

Andrew & April's wedding day

Andrew & April’s wedding day

Was there a theme/colour theme at your wedding?
Our colour scheme was Navy Blue and Silver and the theme was The Movies. My husband and I are a bit geeky and big movie fans so it made sense for it to be our theme. Instead of classical music or hymns we had overtures and iconic tunes from movies played throughout the day, at dinner and in our service. We had Capella Quartet play at our service and our guests were pleasantly surprised when we signed the register to melody’s from Gladiator and Jurassic Park and we walked out to the Throne Room Theme from Star Wars. We wanted to have a day that was relaxed and fun so nothing was too serious. We also had a popcorn bar and Navy Blue and Grey M&Ms for Favours.

Did you incorporate any specific traditions in your wedding, such as ‘something old, something new, borrowed and blue’?
We did. I wore my mum’s veil as my something old. My shoes were made with My Husbands Tartan and had blue glittery soles, this was my something blue. My something borrowed was a beautiful Tiffany Heart necklace and bracelet that my Maid of Honour Linsey wore at her wedding the year before. My something new was a beautiful ivory fur stole from my Maid of Honour Fiona and staying with tradition my Maid of Honour Catheren gave me a sixpence for my shoe for luck. Quite untraditionally I had three Maids of Honour and Andrew had two Best Men, Matthew and Cameron. Andy and my brother Matthew have been friends since they were children so it was really nice to have him there supporting us both on the day. My Mum who is a minister with the Church of Scotland performed the wedding ceremony and Andy’s Mum did a reading that we had asked her to pick and would be a surprise for us on the day. The whole service was just beautiful and so personal having both our mums involved.

April & Andrew- Wedding Day

Do you have any advice to share with women who are about to embark on this incredible journey of planning their wedding and selecting their wedding dress?
I think the most important bit of advice I can give is the same advice that so many people gave me and that I struggled to follow, ‘This is you and your partner’s’ day, it is about your love, your partnership and celebrating the life you have and will continue to build together. Do it your way and stay true to who you are as a couple. Your wedding is just one day, you still have the rest of your lives together so don’t get too bogged down with the details because things in life never go to plan and that’s ok. At the end of the day all that matters is that you love each other. You can’t ever please everyone and no matter what, someone will always find something they aren’t happy about. Fill your day with love, joy and people that love you both and it will be perfect.’

And as for finding the perfect dress I can safely say from shopping for my own and a few of my friends ‘The right dress is the one you put on and never want to take off again, the one that gives you confidence and makes you feel beautiful’

April & Andrew's Wedding Day

Signing the registry

Brides Name: April Hickman (now Sutherland)
Spouses Name: Andrew Sutherland
Gowns Name: Evangelista
Boutique: Anne Priscilla Bridal Glasgow
Wedding Date: 6th January 2018
Location: The Lochside House Hotel, New Cumnock


We want to know your story, how did you meet?

We met at a ‘disco animals’ fancy dress party. Tom was wearing a monkey suit minus the head and feet and I was in leopard print and an afro wig. We spent most of the evening talking about our favourite Bob Dylan songs. The next day was his birthday so I took him out for a birthday breakfast and the rest is history.

How did he propose?

Tom proposed on a Tuesday morning in February. We were both getting ready for work, I was pulling my boots on when I turned around to find him on one knee! He proposed, I cried, and said yes and then we had to get the train for work! It was a complete surprise even though we’d been together for 6 years!3
How did you know that your Ian Stuart Dress was the right choice for your big day?

I had already tried on 30 dresses before I found my dress. They had all been quite floaty, unstructured dresses so this was my wild card dress and I tired it because I was really attracted to the layers on the bodice. When I tired it on, it all suddenly made sense!

It was just such an amazing fit, so surprisingly comfortable and looked so much better than anything else – I didn’t ever want to take it off. I felt really upright and self-contained in the dress and that felt amazing, and just what I needed on a nerve wrecking day. I still wish I could wear it everyday it’s so beautiful!

Was there a theme/colour theme at your wedding?

I did my doctorate in evolution and Tom is a keen gardener so we had a naturalistic/botanical theme, with things under bell jars as table centre pieces (shells, lotus flower heads, microscopes, phrenology heads to name a few). There were ivy trails everywhere and succulents for favours. It was just as we pictured and everyone was so curious about the bell jars!2

Did you incorporate any specific traditions in your wedding, as as ‘something old, something new, borrowed and blue’?

I’m Jewish, so we were able to incorporate some traditional Jewish customs, such as the breaking of the glass and our fathers recited a lovely blessing in Hebrew and English. The prayer is usually said to children on the Sabbath and wishes them wellness and happiness. It was a really special moment for us.

Do you have any advice to share with women who are about to embark on this incredible journey of planning their wedding and selecting their wedding dress?

Don’t rest until you find the dress that is going to be with you on that day of transition from single women to married women. Even if you’ve been together for years, it really does feel different being married, so that day is so special.5

Bride: Tanya Carpenter
Groom: Tom Carpenter
Bridal Gown: Monet, Killer Queen Collections
Boutique: Fairytale Weddings, Towcester
Wedding Date: 24/05/2015
Location: Burloes Hall, Hertfordshire
Photographer: Michelle Lindsell Photography


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