Working for Liberty in Love, I have scrolled through and pondered on so many different looks over the past few years knowing that I would soon be making the decision I have loved watching many Liberty in Love brides make too…
With an extra 28 months to re-plan my 2020 wedding, I got to enjoy this experience for that extra bit longer.
The 2020 Bride Experience
Like many 2020 brides and grooms, it was not possible for us to get married on the original date. We had planned to be married in Santorini, in June 2020. (Ah)! This date was finally rescheduled for September 2022 in The Algarve.
…Or should I say, the dresses?
Originally, I had chosen two dresses from a designer bridal brand and had quite a clear idea of the two looks I wanted to create. Throughout the two years prior to the new wedding date, I started to change my mind about what kind of dress I wanted. Below is the tale of how I ended up with four, yes FOUR, wedding dresses.
For a long time, back in 2019, I couldn’t decide what kind of bridal style I wanted to wear. I was torn between two looks (flirty and bohemian, or modern with a touch of glam). I finally decided to opt for both looks; a princess meets bohemian look for the ceremony and a fitted, glam look for the reception. I chose both dresses and eagerly awaited picking the finishing touches closer to the date. However, 2020 arrived and we allllll know what happened next…
For wedding number two, I was a little bit lost. I had fallen out of love with the original gowns I had chosen (as beautiful as they still are) and wasn’t sure where to go from there. I spent weeks searching for a designer or collection that offered something that made me think ‘Oh, now that is The One’... But, nothing. I finally decided to contact an independent designer I found online. I created a brief, an overly-detailed moodboard and notes for the designer - and triple, probably quadruple checked that the creation was going to be exactly according to the brief. The designer was very confident and seemed to understand exactly what I was looking for. I was so elated. Why hadn't I thought of this earlier?
The first step in the dress creation process was a sketch. I had got into a routine of obsessively checking my inbox several times a day, as I just couldn’t wait to receive the likeness of this special dress we were creating. After a couple of weeks, I got the notification. The sketch wasn’t what I was expecting. I had asked for a slightly fitted gown with a split, plunge neckline and soft glitter. The sketch showed a very a-line dress without a split. I discussed this with the designer at length and she assured me the sketch was a little bit off because the render had come out ‘puffier’ than expected. We continued the process.
The wait passed very quickly (doesn’t everything when planning a wedding?) and the dress arrived safely via express shipping. I will never forget the feeling of disappointment that washed over me when I opened the beautifully wrapped gown. I knew immediately that this dress was not what I had hoped for. The material was overly glittery and see-through, and the gown was extremely puffy. To finish all of this off - the torso was too short and the plunge neck was too wide.
I knew I wasn’t going to walk down the aisle in this.
After some internal dialogue, I approached the designer and politely explained my concerns. I sent her pictures and a video and she agreed to a refund pretty much instantly. I shipped the dress back to her at my own expense, as I admittedly did feel a little sorry for her.
After this experience, I became a little panicked. It was now only a couple of months until the Big Day and I (THE BRIDE) didn’t have anything to wear. I considered altering one of the original dresses I had purchased hat hadn’t yet sold, but as it wasn’t really what I wanted to wear, it just felt so disappointing after this extended wait.
I scrolled the internet and decided that I would purchase a ‘ready to wear’ gown to avoid any more mishaps. At the end of this saga, I chose the Sorvete gown by Willowby Watters from BHLDN and couldn't be happier. The dress was 100% charmeuse silk with a medium train, thigh length split and puff sleeves.
Following on from all of the dress drama, I enjoyed the experience of choosing my accessories SO much! After an extra two years to scroll through accessories (and falling in love with different pieces many times over) I couldn’t help but wonder how I would ever choose just one look now the time had finally arrived. However, the decision was made for me when I re-looked at the Loren alice band from Liberty in Love.
Once I decided on this all-sparkling look for my hair and accessories, the dress just came to life.
I chose the Loren crystal alice band, the Skylar crystal drop earrings by Aria and the Evangeline crystal leaves bracelet by Aria. The three pieces are all-sparkling, with multi-faceted crystals that reflect the light beautifully - it looked like they belonged together as part of a set. The earrings are perfectly-sized for a touch of drama.
The Make-Up and Hair
From the first stage of planning I knew I wanted a full coverage make-up look. I found a very talented make-up artist (Whitney McGee) from the UK who flew to The Algarve to beautify myself, my bridesmaids and my Mum. She also saved the day by changing my hair at the very last minute. I opted for a sleek bun.
The Ceremony and Reception
In 2020, we had planned to get married in Santorini. I wanted to choose a place equally as beautiful for the re-planned wedding. We chose The Algarve. Our totally outdoor ceremony location had to change the day before the wedding due to a forecast of rain. We got married in the garden of the villa we’d hired for the reception (with coverage on hand in case the rain showed). Luckily, the rain held off all day. Our reception was under the stars and a stunning electrical storm!
For Brides and Grooms
After so many twists and turns, even up to changing the location the day before the ceremony - we weren’t sure the wedding would go ahead. The journey really taught us what’s important in life, and honestly all the stress was made that much easier with my (now) husband by my side. My advice to future brides is to appreciate every single part of your special day, as well as the bits leading up to and following it. As long as you’re present in the moment, you’ll have the most magical time.
Loren crystal alice band by Stephanie Browne at Liberty in Love
Skylar crystal drop earrings by Aria at Liberty in Love
Evangeline crystal leaves bracelet by Aria at Liberty in Love
Dress: Sorvete by Willowby Watters
Veil: Todos Velos
Makeup: Whitney McGee
Photography: Marry me in Portugal
Video: Bamboo Fotografia
Planning: Dream Day Wedding Planners
Flowers: Flores de Lotus Faro
Suit: Gabriele Pasini
Accessories: El Corte Inglés