We were contacted during lockdown by a lovely American couple planning to get married at Leed’s castle in the summer of 2022.
She had chosen her dress but was yet to find the accessories she wanted, so we set to work on a planning meeting on a wet day in September 2021. We worked on what she was looking for and the materials she wanted to use; of course, we brought many samples to a meeting like this. They were over for a visit to do most of their planning.
She wanted a cathedral-length veil; we also decided to work in the ears of corn for prosperity and a lover’s knot. But to mark her new stepchildren, we added a few flowers in a different shade (a pale blue). The veil was to be hand stitched in silk thread, with a motif off her dress, created in 3d and applied to the veil.
She also knew that she was not going to manage the entire day in heals, so she requested some custom Converse shoes, again to match the dress; this is not an unusual request as many brides know their feet will be aching about halfway through the reception, let alone the evening party.
The groom also requested a garter, so we picked a pattern and chose silk thread to make the lace, as the bride found synthetics scratchy, and the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable down the aisle.
Finally, as unique gifts to each other., the groom requested a silk negligee and silk velvet wrap for the wedding night, and she asked for bespoke pocket squares for the groom’s men.
So, to work, we began; we finalised a cherry blossom pattern, remarkably like the bride’s gown, and stitched each panel of the wrap and negligee by hand. Being a bit sneaky as this was a special gift, he managed to through a bridesmaid to get us the number of the bridal shop for her dress, so we could get her measurements without her suspecting a thing.
Cut the 1000 silk chiffon flowers, shape each individually and then bead the centres. Once we could hand over the negligee and wrap to the seamstress team, we got to work on embroidering the veil and applying each flower by hand. Making sure they were beautifully spaced. The bride wanted it to look like the flowers were falling from her gown and gathering at the end of the veil. Once we had completed the veil, it was carefully packed into one of our bespoke boxes in acid-free tissue to prevent crumpling.
Then finally, we moved on to the handmade lace garter, shoes, and pocket square. The laces were hand done on a lace pillow in a fine silk thread and finished with a silk velvet ribbon, then carefully packed into one of our boxes, along with 15 hairpins made using spare flowers. The shoes the bride provided, and we transferred the pattern and stitched the same motif from the veil in a silk thread and finished with matching beads; we also sprayed the shoes with waterproof spray to protect them. She loves them so much that she has ordered another pair to wear daily.
The groom’s pocket squares were in silk and stitched in actual silver thread, each one with the owner’s monogram.
The day before, we packed all the items into the care, including the framed designs as a gift, and headed down to Leeds Castle; we delivered the items the evening before to allow the bride to relax. The early next morning, we were back to steam the veil, to remove any creases, and press the grooms’ men’s suits and bride’s maid dresses, which had suffered in packing—to help the bride into her veil and be about to support her needs. But after the ceremony, to help her out of the veil and pack, it was ready to be shipped back to the United States. When the bride felt prepared to change from her main gown again, we were on hand to support her, clean, and pack the dress ready for shipping.
They adored the day and had this to say “Thank you for making our day so incredibly special, as my mum could not be there. It was so special to have someone there to focus entirely on me. The pieces were unique, and I will live in the Converse for months. ”