The bride wore a bespoke ivory duchess satin Phillipa Lepley wedding dress featuring softly tied bows on each shoulder: A classic wedding look, where the beautiful fabric was expertly sculpted to form a timeless silhouette.
Against the odds, this happy couple were able to wed at the end of the summer of 2020 in front of their nearest and dearest at a beautiful traditional church wedding. The bride says, “I hadn’t been able to get on with looking for a dress in earnest before Lockdown 1 happened. Our wedding had originally been planned for July, but when Covid happened, we postponed until late September. We decided that, come what may and even if our wedding would need to be much smaller than we had originally planned we would go ahead if at all possible in September. But that meant that, by the time the restrictions were eased in the summer, I had a very tight timeframe to find a dress.”
When starting the ‘search’ for a wedding dress, there were a number of covid complications. Despite that, a number of other boutiques were considered.
“I had long been aware of Phillipa’s reputation through friends and in the press. I looked at a few options elsewhere. Then I had a video consultation with Phillipa’s team, and straight away had confidence that I would be able to have a beautiful dress that suited me and that I really loved.”
The process officially started with a virtual consultation. From that moment on, it was a joyful and happy experience.
“When I came in to try some samples on, my Mum joined by Zoom, and it was the first time that the process became fun. The team were brilliant and guiding me through the different options and there was a very “can-do” approach to getting the dress ready even in a short time frame. As soon as I tried my dress on, I loved it – and it was a credit to the team that, despite the time pressure, they really wanted to make sure that I was happy and certain about my choice.”
The wedding was in September 2020, so 30 guests were permitted. The bride said, “Throughout the process, I felt like the whole PL team was rooting for us and wanted to do everything they could to make sure we had a special day, despite the circumstances. I never felt like any short cuts were being taken with making my dress – quite the opposite, that a huge amount of care, skill and expertise was being invested in it. I was so touched by the way that the team made the fittings fun. It was nothing other than a pleasure, despite masks and PPE and all the extra safety measures that had to be taken. I felt that everything was completely safe, without losing the happiness of the experience. I also found it honestly fascinating to observe the process of building the dress from nothing, and the attention to the tiniest details which my fitter, Ethan, lavished on it.”
When speaking about the wedding day itself, the bride said, “The wedding day was honestly the happiest and most special day of my life – perhaps all the more special because, in this year where there have been so many difficult times for so many people, seizing happiness and celebrating it was a wonderful feeling.
My dress is inextricably tied up in all the emotions of the day. My wonderful friends put me into it, and it fitted perfectly. I felt elegant, and happy, and completely confident . The fabric of the dress has a glow about it, which I loved.
The dress was certainly a talking point of the wedding and everyone loved its simplicity and elegance. As I walked to get into the car to go to Church, complete strangers came up to wish me well I think people were so happy to see something happy, and really wanted to celebrate with us. My father’s eyes filled with tears when he saw me in my dress, and my husband adored it. It is now known in our family as The Dress, which I think sums up what everyone felt about it!”
“Our wedding service was very, very special – we were able to have a choir and I will always remember sitting next to my husband by the altar as the most gorgeous music lifted around us, with sun streaming through the Church windows. I will also treasure memories of being together with our closest family over a very special dinner, candles flickering as the light faded outside, and holding my husband’s hand – we both just felt very uplifted and supremely happy. I will also always remember my husband’s speech – he said the most beautiful things about our life together, and had us all in alternating bouts of laughter and tears. When I look back, the whole day – short and simple though it was – was just infused with happiness and love, and so many of our family have said the same thing.”
When asked what advice the bride would give to those looking for a wedding dress now she said, “Whatever madness the world has in store for us, your dress is something that you can control! I had promised myself that, even if our wedding was just the two of us and a priest, I would wear a wonderful dress and look the best I ever have for my husband. I’m so glad I did so. It was not the wedding we had planned, but far more special and intimate and joyful than we could ever have hoped for when we first became engaged.”
Phillipa Lepley is widely recognised as being the leading British couture wedding dress designer. Her wedding dress shop in London, Chelsea, has over 50 dresses, all of which have been made in England from start to finish at her atelier.