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Posts from the ‘Bespoke embroidery’ Category

Peacock accents for our Sooz’s festival wedding- Alternative wedding dresses

So happy to share Sooz’s gorgeous festival style wedding, we loved creating Sooz’s dress and especially the additions of the teal mix tuille and beaded peacock feather to complete , She was such a dream to work with , a gorgeous girl inside and out  🙂 We do love our bridesthe-couture-company-alternative-wedding-dresses-midlands-birmingham-bespoke-short-peacock-detail-teal-dress-wedding-bridal-gown-1the-couture-company-alternative-wedding-dresses-midlands-birmingham-bespoke-short-peacock-detail-teal-dress-wedding-bridal-gown-4

Sooz writes “Before I even entertained the thought that one day I might get married, I used to imagine cringe-worthy meringue-type stuffy wedding dress shops where you don’t like any of the dresses but you feel obliged to pick one.  I just felt in my heart that IF I should ever get married, how would I ever deal with that part let alone all of the other scary stuff you have to do.

However, one day it actually happened and my boyfriend proposed!! How exciting it was!! And how TERRIFYING at the same time – where do you start??  At that exact point once I calmed myself down, I thought “let’s just start with the NICE bit – THE DRESS!” and googled “ALTERNATIVE” “ FESTIVAL” “CIRCUS” “WEDDING DRESS DESIGNERS NEAR BIRMINGHAM” (Because my mum lives near there and I thought it would be nice for us to do the dress thing together.)  Couture company came up, and as soon as I saw the website and all the pictures I knew that this was THE PLACE FOR ME.

I emailed Jo and she replied straight away and invited me for an appointment once I’d sent a few ideas.  The first visit was really exciting, the place is a true atelier fantasy-enchanted-fairy-tale-dream come true! All the dresses and accessories in there are unique and WOW!

I had 3 or 4 fittings over the course of about 6 months and I would get really nervous on the way, as if I’d been imagining it wrongly in my head since the last visit and that suddenly somehow it would have all changed or I would have changed shape or that the dress would no longer suit me… (??)  This was just wedding paranoia and Jo is an expert on how to deal with this.  She has a down-to-earth, matter-of-fact style (“of course you’re gonna like it”!!) which puts you immediately at ease as you can see she’s creating something stunning, which gets even more like your idea with each fitting but with extra little beautiful embellishments.  My mum loved her too.  Each time I came out of the atelier feeling excited and confident.

The actual dress on the day was everything I’d wanted it to be!  I managed to get away with no bra (clever Jo) so it was really comfortable and looked great with my sapphire DMs for our festival style wedding! I could dance about all I wanted to.  Everyone was blown away by the dress and remarked how gorgeous it was! My Esther is a designer and made an amazing sequinned, peacock-feathered headdress without even seeing the dress, which I loved and it looked perfect with the dress.  I’m now trying to come up with occasions when I can have an excuse to wear it all again!  I am so glad I found Jo – she made the whole experience really special and I would highly recommend her for those brides wanting something sassy, beautiful, alternative and cool!

These gorgeous photos are by Ten Foot Tall Photography 


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12 Mar 2017

New York I Love you ……To the moon and back- Alternative Wedding dresses

Oh I do love a New York wedding!!!! and I was so Over the Moon to see Jo’s wedding pics and read her lovely write up, I must admit it brought a (happy) tear to my eye…especially  reading when she was heckled by a New York stranger saying “OMG – you are THE most gorgeous curvy bride”,

Check Jo and John Paul out in New York City!!!- so cute x

By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - By Laura Pennace - Laura Pennace - Photos above are Laura Pennace Photography

Thank so much to Jo for putting her story down for us xxxx

“Here’s the deal – I have always been fat. And I really don’t mind the word fat, it’s not negative, it is just one of the many words that explain what I am. But in my head I wouldn’t never have expected to put the words fat and bride together… I just thought ‘oh well, a wedding will push me to lose lots of weight’. But it didn’t, and it didn’t because I was marrying a man loved me for who I was, tells me I’m beautiful every day, and well, let’s be honest, is a bit of a chunk too!  We can style it out! However, as little as I ended up caring about being a thin bride it seemed that the wedding industry still has some work to do (let’s not even get on to the speccy bride thing…).

So when I was thinking about, and started looking at dresses I knew that a traditional bridal shop wasn’t for me. I’d been dress shopping with friends in the past, watched size 12 friends being told to ‘lose a bit’ on their hips, and frankly, the one thing I never do is what people tell me to do! And only having the option of trying in two awful designs because I’m nowhere near sample size – eurgh!

So I looked online and discovered The Couture Company – wow! Amazing dresses, my tattoos wouldn’t be hidden, but enjoyed, and the individualism of the dresses and just seeing them on ‘plus size’ (awful phrase) models really helped me visualise what I could look like. 100% amazing! 

Now here’s the thing, we were on a budget, and at the time I really didn’t feel I could justify a bespoke dress. So I did some hunting and after a bit of exploration settled on a 1950s style dress from ASOS – not quite the dream, but yes, I’d still look pretty good if I styled it right and wouldn’t need to go in a bridal shop. I then spent as much money again on some gold glitter Joy Folie heels, and got a pair of cat flats from ASOS for the reception.

However, wedding plans changed – plans for a big barn wedding were ditched and following a text exchange with hubs-to-be about how much of a faff the whole thing would be, and some genuine heart searching from me about the kind of wedding I really wanted having lost my dad in 2007, we cancelled the barn and booked ten days in NYC! Boom! 

We opted for a Humanist ceremony in the Central Park Ladies Pavillion, it was so much like an old band stand, and as we met playing in a brass band it just seemed right. We followed that by a small registry office ceremony in Lichfield the day after we got back – full house jet lag.

An important note to make here is that my mum is a legend! And as such she just wanted us to be happy – so I offered to pay for New York. (Love that woman!). So we had significantly slashed our budget and were much happier about what we had planned. 

That just left me questioning the final piece of the jigsaw, the dress.

And I knew that to have the perfect dress I had to go and see Jo at The Couture Company. I booked an appointment, went along with the three most important people in my life – mum, John Paul (my husband), and my big brother, David.

I went in with a drawing for a belt design that I wanted – pearls and crystals with ‘to the moon and back’ written in a banner. And I tried on several dresses, eventually going back to the lacy one I tried first – asking for a more structured top and a blush fabric underneath with some gold detail. The thing that got me was the lace – stunning! I just wanted to twirl!

The important thing to say about Jo and her team is that at every appointment they were excited with me, genuinely passionate about what they do and made me feel like I could look amazing! (Without a single mention of my size 20 ass and tummy, or my epic bingo wings).

Every visit to them filled me with excitement, seeing the dress come to life and the tweaks to show off my tattoos or those added little details that made the whole dress and experience so special.

Jo nailed it! As one of crazy guys  in Central Park shouted, on a raining day in late March “OMG – you are THE most gorgeous curvy bride”, I genuine was in agreement (no shame here!) and I took that with immense pride. 

So at the end of it all I got my perfect dresses, and married an amazing man. I cannot thank Jo and the team enough. I know my experience was tied up in my size, but that didn’t cross their minds at all. I have no doubt that every bride that they see comes away feeling like they made the best decision ever. I know I did!   Jo Sweet xx “

photos  below by Mustard Yellowjosweet-mustardyellowphotography-6 josweet-mustardyellowphotography-4 josweet-mustardyellowphotography-3 josweet-mustardyellowphotography-2 josweet-mustardyellowphotography-1 By Laura Pennace -

30 Nov 2016

A badass kick ass Rock n Roll wedding at the seaside- Alternative Wedding dresses

We really love our brides, we are so so lucky that we get to work with such awesome people!! Tahmina is no exception, we loved creating all her bespoke tattoos to go her dress, and our skull design “boris” got an outing too!!

Tahmina was having a Metal Festival wedding down by the sea in Whitstable- so her dress tattoos reflected her and Tom’s favourite bands. This wedding looks like it was BAD ASS and a LOT of fun!!

As if Tahmina wasn’t one of our alltime favourite brides already , she went and got Tattoo maestro Tim Hendricks to emulate one of our Tattoo designs on her skin, so she has apermanent reminder of her day and her dress….. #ourbridesrock #weloveourbrides

Check out these awesome photos by Bella Poco Rae Photography


Thank you so much Tahmina for coming to us and your lovely testimonial

“When I got engaged, dress buying was the least important part of the wedding planning…having been to a few wedding dress shops with friends who were getting married , i just knew no”regular” shop would have anything that firstly I would fit into and more importantly would suit my weird style. My best friend then sent me a picture from the “trailer trash” shoot with the Inkspiration dress and instantly I knew The Couture Company would be the one for me! I swiftly made an appointment and I can honestly say, it was the best decision I ever made! The dresses were all amazing and the one i picked was perfect for Heavy Metal Festival theme wedding. The tattoo designs were personalised to go with our theme, the bands we love and the tattoos we have. From the very 1st e-mail right up until I collected the dress, Jo was amazing and had great suggestions and came up with the most perfect dress that I felt fantastic in! I loved visiting the beautiful shop and never felt awkward at all! On the big day itself, everyone commented on how beautiful it was! Even my mum who wanted me to wear a traditional dress admitted that there is no other dress for me! Thank you so much Jo and the Team. You guys are brilliant and you made my day extra special! Anyone thinking about using the Couture Company….do it! It will be the best thing you decide for your wedding! xxx

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15 Nov 2016

A dark fairytale elfen wedding for our Swedish bride Lina

Well , I am very very excited to share this gorgeous wedding with you because we just LOVED working with Lina on her gown!! the brief was “Dark Fairytale” and we loved it!! We created the embellishments and hand painted the hem line and Lina created most  the colourful creatures  on her dress!! . When she told us she was wearing antlers and elf ears for her Swedish waterside woodland wedding we knew this was going to be an amazing wedding !!. We love everything about this and think that Lina and her new husband Karl look like absolutely magical creatures too

Photos with thanks to Studio 56, Sweden013149


Thanks so much to Lina  for these lovely words 🙂 , seeing and ready about the weddings we work so hard on is the best part of our job

” A HUGE thank you for everything! The whole process was a joy, I felt you got the idea straight away and it couldn’t have been realised better. The dress is simply stunning, it made me feel amazing the whole day and everyone loved it. It’s a fairytale dress, it more than any other part really made the wedding theme work! Your attention to detail, the experimental parts of the process, the imagination – you and your team have been fabulous! I almost want to get married again for an excuse to wear the dress again (or get another one!). The wedding was great fun – a big party with everyone more or less dressed up. We had werewolves, elf warriors, fairies, even a demon or two.Thank you so much, words can’t express how happy I am with the dress! ”

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The photos are by Maria at

10 Nov 2016

I felt like a superhero in heels!!! Meet our Roller derby space goddess !!! -Alternative coloured wedding dresses

Meet our awesome bride Karen, we love our clients so much and Karen is no exception, she was as crazy as a kipper , mad as a hatter and just downright bloody awesome!!!, She knew exactly what she didn’t want and most of time exactly what she did want.

Sparkles, bubbles, colour and more colour and oh a bit more colour!!! We think she looked completely stunning on her wedding day and here we see her as our very  own intergalactic boho bubbled up space goddess, that’s the only way to describe this gorgeous girl.  🙂

Congratulations to you both you look awesome


Thanks so much Karen for your awesome testimonial, we know our brides will LOVE reading your story 🙂

I knew from the start I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress. In fact, that was really the only thing I had in my head when I started looking for what to wear on my wedding day.
I had searched online for ideas and found a breadth of conflicting themes that I liked… none of which I was completely sold on.

We planned a tiny wedding (just us, our witnesses and their partners), so it didn’t feel like a “proper wedding” to me. Because of this I knew whatever I chose to wear, I didn’t want it to look like your typical wedding dress. I wanted to be comfortable but pretty, dressed up but not over-dressed. And it had to be true to me… which meant a racer back top (so I could wear a sports bra – how anyone wears a wired bra all day is beyond me), sparkles of some sort and a healthy dose of colours.

I was drawn to Jo because of a picture on her website. I Googled local dressmakers because I wasn’t finding what I wanted in the shops. I landed on the Couture Company website where I was greeted with a picture on the front page from the Intergalactic ( range; a Florence and the Machine-esque image that I immediately loved. It showed a dancing woman in flowing sheer colours. Very festival. Very ethereal. Very NOT wedding. Very me.

I booked an appointment to talk about what I wanted, and when I went in for my first meeting, the outfit in question was standing in front of me on a mannequin. Fate right?

I tried it on and I put down a deposit there and then.

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As much as I hate to be that person… I had several pre-wedding freak-outs (that Jo dealt with very well). In the time between trying on, and falling in love with the outfit – a wraparound sheer georgette masterpiece with a sequin dress beneath – I was suddenly really scared that actually it made me look frumpy. I had opted to not wear the dress underneath so that I could pick something more to my style, but then spent so long overthinking what these under garments would comprise of that I nearly changed my mind on the whole thing overnight.

Jo laughed it off, told me I looked stunning, and calmed me down with talks about sequin hotpants, racerback tops and a promise that whatever shoes I opted for she would be able to make them work. She let me try the outfit on again and beamed “See!” at me when I gave a relieved smile at seeing it on again. I didn’t look frumpy. Stupid brain.

I picked the colour of the dress based on a coin-toss (between teal green and purple… it landed on green) and let Jo run wild with the theme of “bubbles and all the frigging colours”. She used colourful bead and sequin detailing to create the illusion of bubbles coming down from my shoulders, and added a huge pop of colour with a fuchsia sash – which also got the bead and sequin treatment. The bubble theme ran throughout our engagement and wedding, it has a meaning for us and I wanted that reflecting in my outfit, which worked out perfectly.

I spent a few weeks customising some old shoes, adding layers and layers of glitter and accents, and creating my own fabric bouquets to perfectly match my dress. I had rainbow colours put in my hair too, so altogether I really did have “all the frigging colours” and felt amazing.

I brought a friend along to my final fitting. I hadn’t brought anyone along up until that point because, as I said, it wasn’t “a proper wedding” in my head. The friend I brought is a local jeweller, Bella, from Magnus & Bella (based in the Jewellery Quarter). She made my engagement and wedding ring and knew how important the bubble theme was to me. When I came out of the changing room she welled up and said I looked perfect.

On the day of the wedding I remember putting the parts of my outfit together. I felt like a super hero in high heels and short shorts drinking mimosas while my best friend helped tie the bow on my sash. In the sunshine and light winds the dress looked beautiful, flowing behind me as I walked. Strangers came up to me to tell me it was gorgeous and ask where I had got it from. It was pretty cool to say it had been handmade just for me.


So thank you, Jo and the team, for understanding my desire to not look like a bride and for making me a piece of walking artwork. I would highly recommend The Couture Company to anyone looking for a special outfit because you don’t need to have a big white dress on to feel like a princess.





All photos above copyright of Shirlaine Forrest

Below Karen with her mum and Dad xxx, so cute14183820_10153667047701640_8493351224350355179_n

18 Sep 2016