Finding the perfect wedding dress is a huge part of planning for the big day. In our new series, Katherine Thomas Botham shares their journey to finding ‘The One’
Katherine and Lewis, an American and a Brit based in London, had their fairytale wedding weekend this September in France, in a small town outside of Bordeaux. The ceremony was at a 12th Century monolithic church, followed by the reception at a beautiful château.
I initially did some online research of different London designers/showrooms based on friends’ recommendations and TWE articles, to get an idea of the look and feel I wanted.
I was then able to narrow down my selection, and booked appointments at 3 different showrooms whilst my mother was visiting from the States. We visited Browns, Sassi Holford, and Suzanne Neville in London.
At the appointments, I showed the salespeople the general designs/silhouettes I liked, but I was also quite open minded and willing to try on anything they suggested. In doing so, this ultimately led me to finding ‘the one!’
I knew I wanted a dress that was simple yet elegant, modern yet classic/timeless, with a gorgeous yet functional and comfortable fabric. I communicated this to the dress specialists and let them offer suggestions based on their experience, which clearly worked!
Most of the dresses I thought I’d love I didn’t, and the dress I ultimately chose I wouldn’t have initially picked without the lovely salesperson suggesting I try it.
I ended up finding ‘the dress’ at Suzanne Neville – from the moment I tried it on, both my mom and I knew it was the one.
I was a bit nervous before trying dresses on, but really enjoyed the process, and felt quite lucky that I ended up finding ‘the one’ on the first day. Given my mom flew in specially to experience this with me, we had such a lovely time and really made the most of it – filled with a beautiful lunch, a few happy tears and of course lots of champagne!
THE STYLE SUPPORT:
I consulted Kendra from TWE various times throughout the process, who consistently gave great advice! But generally speaking I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and kept everything rather simple and elegant – Grace Kelly vibes. I wanted to look like (the best version of) myself, glamorous but relaxed, not deviating too far from what I normally look like. I wore my hair down since that’s how I usually wear it, makeup was glam but quite natural, and I wore simple yet meaningful jewellery, as I wanted the dress to speak for itself.
THE EVENING LOOK: Did you change in the evening?
I did change into the evening into a fun, short, slightly sparkly dress that I found on Revolve. Whilst my wedding dress was comfortable and easy to move in, I really felt that I could let my hair down and dance the night away once I’d changed!
My shoes were chosen on recommendation by Kendra Leaver-Rylah, the absolute wedding pro! They were from Freya Rose; super comfortable and chic, with beautifully handcrafted mother-of-pearl heels. For my ‘something borrowed’ – I used the same veil that both of my sisters had used on their wedding days, and thankfully it went perfectly with my dress. My pearl bracelet was a gift from my mother on the wedding day, and it was originally my late grandmother’s. My pearl earrings were a lovely gift from my mother-in law. And I also had a bespoke belt stitched on the dress, which gave it a little extra touch of sparkle.
THE SECOND DAY OUTFIT:
The day before the wedding we held a rehearsal dinner and welcome party, where I wore a simple, form-fitted white dress by BCBG, paired with Malone Souliers shoes and a vintage white Chanel bag. The day after, we arranged a BBQ/pool party at the château, where I wore a fun, colourful sundress by Alexandra Miro, over a simple white bikini by Eres.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES:
Do your homework, but keep an open mind. Listen to the professionals and don’t be afraid to try anything. I also personally found it best to try on dresses with only one person (my mother) –as she knows me best and it felt less overwhelming than having several different opinions to digest. Also – baby steps. I only booked 3 shops to start off with (which turned out to be enough)! Any more than that and I probably would have felt too overwhelmed with choice.
FAVOURITE PHOTO (OF THE DRESS):
I love this photo because, for one, the golden hour lighting is magic, but also because I think it shows how beautifully the fabric draped and flowed when I walked. It’s also a bit of an interesting contrast, the white silk dress against the rustic French countryside. This was also a lovely, intimate moment for us two, as our photographer briefly took us away from dinner to capture this light as the sun was setting. It allowed us to take a deep breath together and drink in how wonderful the day was.
Related Article: Inside: A Lavish Wedding Weekend In France