Hi.

Welcome to ASTW - the place for bespoke brides looking for unique handmade items, ideas & inspiration

Indie Bride Journal: Introduction

Indie Bride Journal: Introduction

Our new feature Indie Bride Journal will follow real brides on the run-up to their wedding day. A little way for couples to share an insight into their wedding planning and the whirlwind of excitement. We’re on the lookout for couples to feature. Get in touch if this could be you!

So to start the ball rolling I thought I’d share with you a little glimpse into my own wedding journal from when I got married in 2015. Here goes…

Jonny and I got engaged in Thailand in May 2014. He proposed in the sea with a ring he made from a palm leaf. It was the best moment of my life - as every bride can relate to. Obviously, my answer was yes and that evening we celebrated with a candlelit meal on the beach - just us two and a waiter called ‘Diamond’. I’m assuming that wasn’t his real Thai name! 

Photography || Charlotte Wise

The wedding adventure began from there! Like most, I’d thought a little about the style of wedding I wanted already. You know how it is - daydreaming like you do, that one day it’ll happen. We’d been together ten years, I waited and dreamt long enough! 

A barn venue was my dream. We did some research while laid on the beach and as soon as we got back from Thailand we made an appointment to visit East Riddlesden Hall. The Airedale Barn overlooking the lake within the East Riddlesden grounds was perfect for us and we said yes to the next available date, September 2015. As a wedding planner, I’d always advise couples to visit more than one venue before choosing so it’s funny looking back now that we jumped straight in on our first visit. However, we both knew East Riddlesden was the place for us straight away. Sometimes I guess you just have a feeling and go for it. 

Photography || Charlotte Wise

As a bride I was hooked on Pinterest, getting my fix as much as I could and pinning in circles. I visited wedding fairs, bought magazines and sent myself spinning with ideas before narrowing it down to exactly what we wanted. 

The wedding dress search was a rollercoaster ride. Flanked by my mum, mother in law and sister, I had a vision in my head of exactly what I wanted. Big mistake. Never have an idea for what you want for two reasons; (1) because you’ll be disappointed when that dream dress you cut out of the wedding magazine doesn’t suit you and (2) because it’s best to visit a bridal shop with an open mind and try lots of different styles. So my wedding dress decision looked like this…

I went from wanting a vintage lace dress to a huge princess gown with sparkly beading and eventually to a fishtail style with a low back. Very random and confusing way to go about things but I arrived at the wedding dress eventually. It caught me off guard when I tried it on. Unassumingly, I took loads into the changing room and thought I didn’t like any of them that much. Tried it on and voila! Winner dress. My advice to brides now is go, have fun, try lots of styles and don’t be surprised if what you wanted at first isn’t what you end up with. 

I’ve never been a fan of having my photo taken so when we got an engagement shoot included with Charlotte Wise’s wedding package, I was a little sceptical as to what it was going to be like. I’d never heard of an engagement shoot back then and cringed a little at the thought. However, it was the best thing we did! So if you are having doubts whether or not to get one with your wedding photographer, absolutely do! It was such a good opportunity to get accustomed to being in front of the camera without feeling awkward and it was really fun with Charlotte too. When we saw her again on the wedding day, it felt like a friend had arrived. The photos were included in our guest book for guests to write messages around on the day. 

Photography || Charlotte Wise

We chose music meticulously for the ceremony and I’d even practised walking in my wedding shoes to the rhythm of different songs to find the perfect walking tempo! Sounds nuts but the thought of walking in a straight-line into a room full of people seemed like a challenge from Crystal Maze! The more practise, the better and it gave me the chance to swoon over my Rachel Simpson wedding shoes and wear them in ready for dancing on our wedding day. 

I could go on and on about everything I learnt along the way from wedding planning. It’s something you only do once and you want to get it right and not face plant into the wedding unknown. There were times during wedding planning when I questioned whether all this time and effort was worthwhile. The answer, of course, was yes, it blooming well was! Because at the end of the day, I absolutely loved it! The burnt glue gun fingers, the lounge in our small London flat covered with invites, and finding lavender bits for months after - all totally worth it. There were ups and downs and a few family politics but they’re all chapters of the wedding planning story. 

The True Meaning of a Bespoke Indie Wedding

The True Meaning of a Bespoke Indie Wedding

A Love Story - Stock Florist

A Love Story - Stock Florist