Tell us about your story with Ben!
I met Ben through friends, he worked with two of my closest friends (who were our bridesmaids!). As soon as I saw him I was like 'WHO IS THAT'?! I just remember thinking he is SO TALL! I loved his sense of style and he was so down to earth and funny. I spent all evening desperately wanting him to come and talk to me but he didn’t so I sucked it up and made the first move, luckily I timed it just when he was buying a pint (it was buy one, get TWO free?! Why don’t places do that anymore?!) ‘Would you like me to hold one of those for you?’ (also I totally got a free pint) and it went from there. Later I found out that he had felt the same about me but was terrified of making a move!
Where did you get married?
We have lived in Bristol for the past two and a half years and it’s where we have made our home, it wouldn’t have felt right getting married anywhere else. It was really important for us that it was easy access for all of our guests; we wanted lots of transport and hotel options so Bristol was perfect. Getting married out in the middle of nowhere is beautiful but the practicality of it for guests is so tricky sometimes. We wanted to make it as easy and affordable. The Square Club was the first and only place we saw in Bristol. As a private members club for those in the creative industries (and attached to a beautiful boutique hotel) it was intimate and a bit different, just what we wanted. The thing we fell in love with the most was the exposed brick wall and the gigantic gold mirror that we would be getting married in front of, the mirror allowed us to see everyone whilst we were saying our vows and they could see our faces, not just our backs!
What was your inspiration to go dress-less?
I’m just not that princessy. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE wedding dresses and some of them are just so beautifully made and gorgeous but they just aren’t me. I really thought that the dress was going to be the worst part of the experience for me, I tried on a couple of traditional ones but I just felt like a fraud in them, it was like I was playing dress up. I knew I wouldn’t have felt like myself all day and I knew Ben would see right through my discomfort and identity crisis! Just as I was feeling like giving up I stumbled upon HoO, it was honestly so exciting that I nearly ordered the Le Fay combo there and then straight from the internet before I realised I could go and meet the brilliant Hannah and have a try on (I LOVED THE TRY ON!). As soon as I put it on I knew it was perfect. I swooshed around immediately and my hands slid straight into the pockets, I felt at home.
How did you feel in your outfit?
The best I have ever felt in my entire life, seriously. I felt so confident, so sexy and so cool. Most importantly I felt really comfortable and like I was me. I was so worried about being a ‘bride’ but the outfit made me feel like the best bride going - something I never thought I would say!
Best buy? (doesn't have to be your HoO outfit!)
I really want to say my Le Fay combo but that's so obvious! I’m not an overly fussy person, I like to keep my clothes quite simple and classic. I like what I like. Because of that it was super hard deciding what to wear on the day and everyone had lots of opinions around what I should or shouldn’t do (hair, jewellery etc). I got the outfit done super quick and I did the same with my sparkly shoes. The jewellery was the hardest part. I knew I needed something but I also knew I didn’t want to do fancy silver jewellery/diamonds. I’m a yellow gold girl. A month before the wedding I found Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery and the most AMAZING yellow gold vintage style locket with the letter ‘C’ (for Cavanagh, my new name!) inscribed on it. It was perfect and classic and it's something I now wear all the time. I'm going to put a little photo from the day in there.
It wasn't so much a surprise on the day because I knew beforehand, but my Grandad and his wife flew over from Cyrpus to celebrate with us. Margaret, his wife, has been unwell for a long time now so it wasn't easy for them. It meant the world to me.
Did anything not go to plan?!
Going into the day I kept saying 'something will go wrong at some point and that's okay' but it all went really well, I was shocked! It just went by so fast and so smoothly, the one thing we were gutted about was missing out on the hog roast in the evening!!! Ben and I were running on so much adrenaline that we just forgot to eat it! But honestly, we were very lucky, the day was perfect and it was exactly what we had hoped for.
Surely walking down the aisle? That must be everyone’s thought right? As soon as I heard the music I literally didn’t know how I was going to make it to Ben without being a blubbering mess but then as soon as I saw him I felt so unbelievably calm and couldn’t stop beaming. It felt even better when I got to him and he said ‘hi’ super casually, who does that?! It made me laugh so much. I still remember him trying not to burst out laughing at me when I kept getting confused by the words I had to repeat, I found it so hard!
What did you family and friends think about your outfit?
Everyone was in love with the two piece! Ben said to me 'can you wear that for the rest of our lives?'. So many people had been guessing what I would wear and no one was even close. They knew I wouldn't go for a big princess dress but they just couldn't imagine what I'd wear, they just knew it would be something different. We had two best men and one of them said 'sometimes when you see a bride she looks like a new person, like she's being someone else and not who she usually is but this is totally still you' and hearing that made me so happy. There was a big cheer from everyone when I was handed the marriage certificate and put it in my pocket! We had a lot of people telling us we looked liked we had planned our suit/dress combo because we looked very 60's in our style but it just kind of happened! Ben had a mod style suit with some doc martens and a skinny tie, it was perfect with my humongous bun and beautiful outfit.
Will you wear them again?
I really hope so! It's so lovely that they can mix and match with other things, I still think a leather jacket with the skirt would look insanely good.
There are not enough words to do House of Ollichon and Hannah justice. Thank you. Thank you beyond words for everything. From the very first email I sent Hannah, she has been outstanding. I've said it before and I will say it again, Hannah made me feel so at ease shopping for something that filled me with dread. Her designs are gorgeous and so brilliantly and beautifully made, such lovely quality. The best part had to be Hannah herself and the way she made me feel about myself, that was the best bit for me. I'm not always body positive, I'm not always confident, being a bride was making me feel out of my comfort zone BIG TIME but Hannah changed all of that. Not only had I found the perfect outfit but I felt comfortable shopping for it too and I knew I was in safe, kind hands. Hannah was there every step of the way, she even included instructions on how to work the zip! The combo was delivered in a fancy box which had a hand written note, a sixpence and a lovely calming balm included. Thank you so much.
Huge thanks to photographer is Joab Smith, such a lovely guy! http://www.joabsmithphotography.co.uk
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