Patricia & Jimmy Brace got married at Brinsop Court on 17th June 2023. The most important thing for them was that the day was full of joy and the vibe was relaxed (just like when they host at home!) so the most important things were good music, good food & drink and great flowers (more bride than groom for the last point!)
I knew even before we were engaged that I wanted a dress from The OWN Studio. I just love their vibe so much – pared back, contemporary designs with gorgeous details – it just very ‘me’, which was so important to me in what I would be wearing.
I decided to take only my sister to the appointment, she is my best friend and knows me better than anyone so I know she would understand my vision best and be totally honest with her thoughts. That said, I did want to give my mother, mother-in-law and sister in law the experience too so I booked a second appointment at another bridal shop where I tried on loads of dresses that were probably less ‘me’ but SO much fun to play dress up and have a girly champagne-filled morning.
I went thinking I knew exactly the dress I wanted, and when I put it on we all loved it so much but I thought ‘why not try on a few others now I’m here’ and that’s when I found the dress. I left thinking it might still not be the one but every time I thought about the day in any way I saw myself wearing it so I guess that was the sign. I still love the other dress but the relaxed style, and gorgeous sleeve detail felt very in line with the vibe I wanted for the day.
The slip dress element was the only thing that changed during the process, originally I was having a more simple design with no split leg but Jess & Rosie brought out a new collection featuring this and the pearl detail on the straps and I couldn’t resist! We also changed the overtop slightly, adding more pleats to the shoulder to make it a little more dramatic.
The best bit is I can continue to wear the top so easily – I actually wore it out with jeans and heels for my husband’s birthday last month and it felt so special to still be able to wear it without any tailoring or anything needed.
I loved it! The team at OWN are just the absolute best and make the process so much fun. I think I also had quite a clear vision – more so of how I wanted to feel rather than what I wanted it to look like and that definitely made the decision easier!
The Style Support
Given what I do for work I think I know my personal style quite well and I loved the idea of keeping the dress a surprise so I decided not to show anyone but my sister (who was MOH & is my best friend). It definitely made me nervous not being able to ask my best friends/mums/fiancé what they thought but I am still so pleased I kept it quiet, it made it special both to have something kept between my sister and I, and as a surprise for everyone else on the day.
I really struggled with shoes, so in the end I wore three pairs! I found a stunning pair of Aje (my favourite brand) shoes for my first look which were perfect for tying in the pearl straps with their pearl detail. I then changed into a pair of platinum Camellia heels by Loeffler Randall for the dinner and finally put on some sky high platforms for dancing (which I knew from experience were very comfortable, importantly!)
In terms of jewellery, this was where my ‘somethings’ came in. Something borrowed were my sister’s pearl earrings by LLR Studios. For something old, I wore a wedding ring that belonged to the great-grandmother of an old friend (who was like a second mum to me while I was away from my own at boarding school here in England) and for something blue I wore a pendant that belonged to my own late Nana. I thought my something new would be the dress but Jimmy surprised me on the day with a beautiful Cartier necklace that I’ve not taken off since the day.
One more thing that I am still so pleased about, is the veil. I wasn’t going to wear one for a long time but made a (very last minute) decision that I wanted to, so I rented a gorgeous Grace Loves Lace veil from HURR Collective and it was one of the best decisions I made!
The Evening Look
The dress was in two parts so I first took the overtop off for the meal, leaving just the slip dress and showing off the pearl straps. Initially I thought this would be my evening look, but the lovely girls at The OWN Studio offered to loan me a second dress and I absolutely could not resist.
I changed into a long-sleeved mini dress, big fun earrings & mega heels for the party and am so pleased I did! I now think, you only get to be a bride once (hopefully!) so why not go all out and wear all the dresses you want to!
The Second Day Outfit
We had a rehearsal dinner and Sunday BBQ as part of our weekend. I wanted to wear white on the Friday night to set the tone, but equally didn’t want it to outshine my dress on the day so I went for a simple white dress by Sau Lee which was perfect. For the Sunday, however, I wanted it to be more vibrant and fun. I wore a really cute, colourful mini dress by Rhode which was great for a day out in the sunshine to send off the weekend.
Advice For Brides
I would say go with your gut and perhaps don’t get too many opinions! I think most brides (myself included!) find the length of time between choosing and the big day quite daunting in terms of worrying you’ve made the right decision, so trying to listen to yourself more than others is a good way to feel confident in this.
Also, I think people worry a lot about the dress being ‘timeless’. Style changes, and trends come and go so the likelihood is in years from now you might make a different choice but I think that can be said for anything so go with what you love and then at the very least the way you feel on the day will be timeless.
Favourite Photo Of The Dress
My favourite part of the dress was the sleeves on the top and I think you really see the drama of that in this photo. I also just love this moment with my dad before we drove to the church together, it was so special and makes me smile every time I look at it.
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