Jessie and Robbie Smart tied the knot in a beautifully rustic ceremony in The New Forest with talented wedding photographers, E&O Photography capturing those all-important special moments. The bride took to the aisle in a striking Grace Loves Lace lace gown with statement back and delicate veil…
Read my Q&A with bride, Jessie below and discover how she found her dream wedding gown.
Photography by E&O Photography
Q. How did you start your wedding dress hunt?
“My wedding dress hunt was thoroughly enjoyable and special. In the early days I loved scrolling through Pinterest but I also scrolled through Instagram and loved flicking through magazines and searching brands online! I tried not to narrow down too specifically what I was looking for, but instead get a general idea of what was out there.”
Q. Did you have a clear idea in your head of what you wanted or did you try a few dresses with an open mind?
“As a little girl you often imagine yourself in your wedding dress and I was no different (although it was the only thing I actually fantasised about before getting engaged)! I thought a sweetheart neckline would be my go-to. Turns out that changed once I tried them on. I then envisioned a subtle mermaid-style before I imagined a long sleeve style suiting me. I was wrong on all counts!
So trying on different styles of dresses was vital for me! I ended up choosing a style which isn’t far off from my usual day-to-day neckline. It was comfortable, it suited my shape and I was so relieved I tried it on even though it wasn’t a “classic” choice.”
Q. How many dresses did you try on before finding the one?
“I wouldn’t say I counted, but a rough estimate would be between 10-12 dresses because of all the various styles I just had to try! Plus, I didn’t want any feelings of regret for having not given something a go…”
Q. Was it the dress experience you always wanted when it came to finding the one?
“In the search for my dress, I went to only three different wedding dress shops, all offering something very different (from affordable, to boutique, to luxurious and unique). The experience was very different each time, but all very special and very memorable.
On that note, I would recommend only taking a couple of people with you, otherwise it makes any appointment a little more overwhelming than it needs to be! Everyone’s envisions their dress experience differently. I tried not to expect anything too specific from mine, i.e. crying (myself and my entourage!) when I found the “one”.
However, when I did put on my dress it felt incredible. I was sure it was the “one” that I would choose because of how it was so undeniably “me”. I didn’t want to take it off and I finally looked in the mirror and saw a bride looking back. It was also the dress I was most excited about Robbie seeing me walk down the aisle in!”
Q. Did the theme or style of your day and your venue effect the style of dress you chose?
“Robbie and I didn’t necessarily decide on a theme, we just went with what was most “us” which subsequently impacted our choice of location, venue, decoration etc. It all ended up being very woodland-y, natural and rustic. It was beautiful. But mainly, it was beautifully us.
So my choice of wedding dress, most importantly, reflected me (not that I’m all that rustic…but desire comfort and authenticity).”
Q. Where was your wedding dress from? What was the brand? Tell us about how you found it?
“My wedding dress was from Grace Loves Lace, an Australian brand who use European Lace, stunning silhouettes and forward-thinking style to create the most stunning dresses. Honestly, they have breathtakingly beautiful dresses and ones that would make any bride undeniably excited about trying them on!
I found Grace Loves Lace by scrolling through Instagram (p.s. they do own the award for the most pinned dress on Pinterest!) and through recommendations from friends.
When I booked my appointment (with a 3 month wait!), I had a sense I was in for something special and I was right.”
Q. What accessories did you opt for for the big day? What shoes did you choose and why? Where were they from?
“When it came to accessories I think I kept it quite simple. I chose a cathedral length plain veil because of its simplicity and elegance. My earrings were from a high street store but I adored them! And when it came to my shoes, I saved money by ordering them from ASOS but I also ordered Indian anklets to add a bit of sass and personality. They were a dream.”
Q. What would be your advice to brides-to-be starting the dress search?
“Being an advocator and writer on self-esteem and body image, my advice would be not to rule anything out because of how you think you will look. Try everything. And love what is looking back at you in the mirror whilst also knowing that some dresses won’t look great (because that happens to ALL of us no matter what our shape is) but that doesn’t mean that your body isn’t great.
Work with your friends, family and the shop stylist to explore what suits you best and what reflects you, your style and your character. Your fiancé will love that about you. And YOU will love that about you.”
Congratulations Jessie & Robbie!
A big thank you from Bridal Editor to Jessie for sharing her beautiful photographs and dress journey with me, and to E&O Photography for the incredible imagery!
Discover more from E&O Photography here.