Posts from the ‘classic beauty’ Category
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
All 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 “
I am so excited to share Lizzie and Jake’s wedding !! We love this wedding so much, packed with so much fun colour and Love, truly unique and totally awesome, !! Lizzie and Jake were married at Birmingham’s Electric Cinema, and then went on for a mexican fiesta style party at the fabulous Bodega Bar in the city centre.
Lizzie chose our Gala dress as inspiration and we put some personal twists in it to make it unique to her, we added a cute little sleeve and over laid the spotty fabric onto the palest pink tuille, to give a really subtle pinky hue, It suited Lizzie’s colouring perfectly and she looked super cute
Huge congratulations on your awesome wedding guys xxx
These Glorious photos are by Camera Hannah
Lizzie writes “My now husband and I put our heads together one evening and decided what we really wanted our wedding day to be about. We wanted it to be personal. We met in Birmingham and wanted to support the local businesses we loved. We booked our ceremony and reception venue straight away but the part I was most nervous about was finding my wedding dress. I knew the traditional white dress wasn’t my cup of tea, found the idea of trying on wedding dresses quite intimidating and didn’t know where to start looking for an alternative… then I went to The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza in Fazeley Studios, saw The Couture Company’s heavenly dresses and the rest was history!
On my first visit to the boutique, Jo sketched out the dress, a combination of a few dresses I’d seen and adored and I placed my order on the spot. Each time I visited for my fittings the dress was more and more stunning, it didn’t stop me from being super nervous before my final appointment when I got to take my dress home with me! Jo and the team were so knowledgeable, professional and welcoming, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect and “me” dress and felt incredible wearing it on our wedding day.”
I am so pleased to be able to share Olga’s beautiful Greek wedding, Olga married in her native Athens!! just look at the views!!! I love the beautiful heavier silk damask pattern mixed with the soft honey tones of tuilles….Olga reminds me a 50’s film star xx so classic and chic xxx Please scroll down for Olga’s adventures with us x
Thanks Olga for your lovely write up, it was our absolute please to create this gown for you
“Our decision to have a Greek church wedding was kind of spontaneous and gave us less than 4 months to plan the whole event abroad. I always knew I wanted to get married at the highest point in Athens, the Lycabettus Hill. I also had an idea of my dream wedding gown; it had to be a big 1950s style gown with an edge. Most of the wedding gown stores I visited were only getting terrified in the idea they would need to have the dress ready in a fraction of time and I was getting frustrated as I couldn’t find anything that would match my dream wedding gown ready made. Also, the fact my mother is a costume designer always guided me towards having a bespoke and good quality dress. Anything else would be a compromise.
After tears and despair my online research led me to the Couture Company website. I was impressed by the unique designs and materials; these dresses had the edge I was looking for and most importantly they were real bespoke gowns. However, I was almost certain I would get rejected due to the short time I had left before I needed to travel to Greece for the big day. When I first contacted Jo and we booked the first appointment I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. The Couture Company provided me with the experience I was looking for the big day. I took some vintage dresses’ pictures with me and we discussed the design of the ideal dress. I will never forget how excited I felt when they agreed to actually create it for me and I had the opportunity to actually see and feel the fabric before the dress was made.
It only took three or four fittings before I could take the dress home with me. It was amazing. The first fitting was the a very plain material version of the dress and when we agreed on the details I started feeling like a princess, looking even more forward to the day I would actually wear it.
When I eventually travelled to Athens I knew straight away that my choice would be reviewed by my mother. She pointed out how spotless and perfectly made was the dress. My mother in law also commented I couldn’t have made a better choice on a dress. When the big day arrived, everybody commented on the design, the uniqueness of the fabric, how great it fitted me and that it looked much more expensive than its actual cost. The dress the Couture Company created for me is equal to quality and style, more than what I had imagined.
I very recently received the dvd from the wedding day. It brought me up all the memories of the day, but I also enjoyed so much seeing the way the dress moves and how it is captured on camera.
I can’t thank or recommend Jo and her team enough. They created a fantastic dress in a very short time. It is a bit over a year after the wedding day and there are still people commenting on my dress.
Thank you Jo!!! xx
These beautiful photos are copyright of Pantelis Chadoulis photography
Congratulations to our bride Kate and her fella Sean who got married in December on a gorgeous crisp day in the gorgeous picturesque town of Stratford.
Kate cames to us wanting a vintage inspired dress with modern twist, so we got to work on designing her dream gown, and included her favorites a Dragonfly and snowflakes
Kate wrote us a lovely testimonial, and we are so happy and proud to have been able to make her dream dress 🙂
“I initially found the thought of wedding dress shopping mildly terrifying to start off with. I knew from the start I didn’t want a traditional style of dress, but had no idea what other options I had available. Some serious internet research later, (and a little hint off the lovely Sassy!) I made my first and only appointment at a wedding dress shop and the awesome journey began!
From the first moment I walked in to Jo’s gorgeous store full of nerves, I knew I had found the right place for me. Jo listens to your ideas (I had literally none!) and then lets you rifle through the rails of what can only be described as dress heaven 🙂 I picked out three or four I wanted to try then the fun bit began!
After going home to ponder, I finally settled on ‘The One’ and went back to the shop the following day. Jo listened to my ideas, gave some fabulous ones of her own and together we settled on a final design.
All through the process, Jo and her team were absolutely lovely. I enjoyed every single one of my fittings and was made to feel at ease at every stage. To see your dress take shape each time you pop in was fabulous to see, and you knew that what you were getting was absolutely one of a kind. Not many brides can truly say that.
The finished dress was so much more than I could have ever dreamt of, I was absolutely blown away. Happily so was my husband! He has said that it was better than he ever could have imagined (there were even a few tears! ) All day long I had comments from friends and family saying how wonderful and original it was, even the registrars complimented it!
I really cannot recommend Jo and her team enough. If you want the dress of your dreams, and I genuinely believe that no dream is too crazy! Then Jo can make them come true for you….. Kate xxx ”
These wonderful photos are by the very talented Sassy from Assassynation
Last year we were absolutely over the moon to be asked to get involved in this windswept wedding shoot on the beautiful Isle of Tiree, with Zoe Campbell Photography.
I can’t get over how gorgeous these photos are !!!
There are so many beautiful images that I am going to share them in 2 parts so here is your first dose! Here is our La Robe Blanc gown in french chiffon , embellished with hand made roses and french lace applique and our Elise Corset with sheer tuille skirt (on the beac)
Flowers – Planet Flowers – www.planetflowers.co.uk
Hair – Jano Six Bridal Hair – www.janosixbridalhair.co.uk
Make Up – www.angelhairandbeauty.com
Model – Catherine Crimin
Photos – Zoe Campbell
Natalie got married in June, on a perfect summers day on the beach at Bournemouth, we loved working with her, she was pretty much our perfect client!! We had such a lovely time every time she came to the shop with her mum, Lots of laughs and excitement and the odd happy tear from mum ;-P
Natalie’s dress was made from an aqua blue silk, that was overlaid with french lance all over the bodice and sleeves, and the skirt was made from layers of tuille that were finished off in a hi-lo shape with a layer of silk organza. Natalie commisioned us also to make a bespoke belt that incorporated a blue poppy along with some shells and star fish embroidery and a matching 50’s inspired headpiece Natalie can tell you much better than I about her whole wedding experience so please read on as you look through these beautiful images by the talented Mia Photography
“I have so many lovely things to say about Jo and her team at The Couture Company I really don’t know where to start. Once I found Jo this was by far the easiest part to the wedding planning process!I guess you can say Rob and I are childhood sweethearts; I waited 13 years for him to pop the question but it was definitely worth the wait as the boy did good proposing on my 30th birthday in Vegas with a Tiffany ring!
Being plus size I was a little worried about the wedding dress part, I read lots of articles online about the difficulties people faced. I started to panic a little and was wary about stepping into a wedding dress shop.
Then I stumbled across The Couture Company, I think it was fate. I was being nosey on Facebook one day and I noticed one of my friends modelling some of their beautiful wedding dresses. I went online straight away and was so excited. Some of the dresses were being modelled by curvier girls so I felt a bit more confident about booking an appointment.
I live in Bristol but I’m from Birmingham originally so it was a great excuse to head home and it meant my mum could join me. On my way to the shop I was thinking it was going to be an awkward experience but how wrong could I be.
I walked into the shop and was greeted by the lovely Jo, we got chatting straight away about the wedding and the kind of dress I was thinking of. I remember Jo saying “right let’s get you in a dress” and that was the start of my awesome wedding dress journey!!!
I popped on a dress in a similar style to what I wanted; we were getting married on Bournemouth Beach so I knew I wanted a shorter dress and something a bit different. It was really important it had sleeves as I don’t like my arms to be on show and I really didn’t like the thought of wearing a separate jacket or bolero.
I had already chosen my bridesmaids very cute tiffany blue dresses and I loved the colour so much that I wanted to have it in my dress. I originally thought I would just have it as an underskirt so a tiny bit poking out of the dress. Then Jo suggested something a bit more daring to have it on the top part of the dress under the lace. So with a bit of blue material pinned on me I was quickly convinced to go for it.
I have one small complaint to make about The Couture Company; they have designed and created way too many beautiful dresses!! Half way through the dress making process I changed my mind about part of the dress because I kept seeing pictures of their gorgeous dresses online so I rang Jo. She was great really understanding and booked me in for another appointment to chat over things.
It was such a wonderful experience; I trusted Jo and I knew that I was going to love my dress. If you have an idea in your head of what your wedding dress would look like then I would highly recommend you book an appointment with Jo and her team straight away, it was the best decision I made.
On the day I couldn’t wait to get the dress on, I was actually ready way too early as I was so excited!
So many people complimented me on my dress and it felt so special to know I had been involved in designing it.
The Couture Company also designed a beautiful belt and head piece for me it had gorgeous sequin starfish, shells and an extra special Poppy. Robs mum sadly passed away and her favourite flower was a Poppy so it was great to be able to personalise the dress by having a lovely blue Poppy on my belt in memory of her.
Jo was amazing to work with. We had lots of giggles in the shop, the whole process was so easy and it was really exciting to see the dress come to life. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
You made me feel like a million dollars, on the best day of my life.”
Images copyright of Mia Photography
Photos from the “Underworld ” series by acclaimed alternative photographer Rebecca Litchfield with our wedding dresses
A few weeks ago we were invited by creative photographer Rebecca Litchfield to collaborate with her on her ” Underworld” project, after seeing the images she had already done on this , I was absolutely honoured and super excited to be able to provide some of the gowns for her Muse to wear at this daybreak shoot in an abandoned manor house….
These photographs just blew us away……so so SO beautiful
Here is what Rebecca wrote about her wonderful and inspiring project ”
For so long I dreamt about this scene, my heart torn apart that I would never be able to make it a reality. But then one day while talking to a friend, I was made aware that it was possible, it wouldnt be easy, but that has never stopped me before.
I was lucky to have an amazing model, Jessica Nicole Griffiths recently arrived in London from Melbourne. She was so up for it, it made me the happiest person alive and with the help of amazing Matthew Adams and Richie Gowen we had made it into the house in pitch darkness, arms full of beautiful gowns made my The Couture Company
During the mission to get inside, Richie had already faceplanted a shallow river as he slipped on the log across it. Poor Rich was freezing cold as we slept in this beautiful abandoned manor house.
Sleeping in such a decaying building, with the bitter cold coming through the windows and dust coating the floor, it was a test of endurance, but worth it when the sun finally came up and revealed the beautiful house ready for us to get these photos.I’m so happy I made this a reality finally. I hope you enjoy the photos”
Model: Jessica’s Wanderlust
Acccessories: Natasha Jane
We have known the lovely Julia for a while as she works with the awesome girls at The Vintage salon, just down the hall from us in The Custard Factory, so ever since Julia said she was getting married we were looking forward to making her gown, as she rocks the vintage look and we just knew a 50’s style dress would be the perfect one for her… I am sure you will agree she looks bloody awesome in her polka dot ensemble, and we loved adding the headress as the finishing touch!
“I knew when the time came to look for my wedding dress, that a “normal” wedding dress shop wouldn’t be my first choice, but I visited a couple just to confirm! Working just a couple of doors down from The Couture Company certainly spoilt me. The gorgeous designs which I had already come across through photoshoots for work and looking through the window were just fantastic and none of the ones I tried on before visiting Jo lived up to what I’d already seen. I should have saved time and gone straight to visit Jo!
Jo knew exactly what would suit my figure, but patiently listened to my thoughts and the initial designs and pictures I sent were interpreted into a dress that was unique. It fitted perfectly both my figure and my style and I loved it and I had so many compliments on the day and since.”
Hair and make up by Le Keux Events
Photos with thanks and copyright of Tux and Tales Photography
Pretty in Pink – Anna Fur Laxis and Diablo Rose Rock our frocks in an Alternative wedding dress shoot
Kicking off the New Year with a POW!!!Here is a fab shoot we did at The Custard Factory with the lovely ladies and top beautifiers at Le keux Events and The Vintage Salon and stars the wonderful pin-up queens Anna Furlaxis and Diablo Rose
Photographs courtesy and copyright of Nikki Cooper Photography
Sian Came to us very focussed on the kind of dress she wanted for her Wedding day, she chose a corset from our Rawhide Corsets collection,the Francesca corset is trimmed with the most exquisite jet beaded french lace,and we designed a skirt and cropped organza bolero to compliment. Sian also brought a hat to us to be dressed to compliment her dress, and just puts the finishing touch to this Victorian inspired ensemble.
Sian writes “The day went well and the dress was extremely well received so thanks a million for that. The blue was just perfect and I hope with the recommendations I have passed on that you should get some work from those I have spoken to. ” Thanks Sian xx
We love the Cobalt Blue silk dupion that Sian chose and thinks it suits her wonderfully.
A very grand and Majestic set of photos for you dear readers
Photos are copyright of Mark Anderson Photography
We had the total honour of being involved in this gorgeous shoot with photographer Emma Case, Lauren was our gorgeous model and Jodie was the make-up artist. I don’t need to describe this shoot, the pictures tell it much better than I.
The corset featured is our Elise design and is pictured with a tuille skirt , and can be made in any colourway
The silk chiffon Gown is La Robe Blanc
The Full 2 part shoot is here on Emma’s blog – please go visit , it really is totally gorgeous
A dress fit for a Queen!!!- a special Red silk , Swan embroidered commission for a very special lady
Just over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting this lovely lady Regula aka acclaimed food blogger Miss Foodwise, to say she has transformed my life is an understatement….but she has in so many ways…and I will never be able to express my gratitude enough to her and her husband Bruno xxx.
The results that you see in this post make me very proud of my team , especially Sally and Alicja without whom there would be no such wondrous things that you see before you.
We are all so very proud of this collaboration, we think its one of our finest gowns and the embroidery by Sally is awesome!!! We are totally blown away by the testimonial that Regula wrote , I will hand over to her…..
“I wish I knew Jo before my wedding… Let me start by pointing out that I’m a terrible perfectionist, when it came to my wedding dress I was actually feeling slightly unwell when I saw it… Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty dress but to me there were various flaws in the dress that I couldn’t ignore. I kept silent about it, the dress did cost a huge amount of money but it wasn’t my dream dress, it wasn’t perfect.
Although I know you can’t ask for things to be perfect all the time, the flaws in the dress did disappoint me big time.
And then I met Jo.
When I saw Jo’s dresses my heart skipped a beat, not just because the styles were gorgeous but also because of the immaculate finish on them, the sublime quality of the fabric and the hand machine stitched embroideries that must have taken hours to complete to this standard.
As others might look at the exterior of the dress, I also looked inside, at the rims, the finish on the buttons and the way the lining was sewn in.
I studied fashion design and had to create a 9 piece collection for graduation, the finish of the garments was always the hardest part for me. So much time and effort goes into clean buttonholes, bindings, collars and lining … I remember evenings -nights- when I couldn’t see out of my eyes from exhaustion – trying to lay the last hand on a woolen jacked and ruining the finish. I would always see the uneven seam, the zip that wasn’t sewed in with a straight line… Nobody noticed the flaws, but I always will.
When Jo and I started my dress I knew I would be getting a perfect dress, I just had to decide on a fabric, a design and a color. We went from red to petrol blue to green, black and finally back to my all time favorite red. I had a few things I absolutely wanted, fabric buttons, puff sleeves and an embroidery with meaning.
That was my part of the deal and it was extremely difficult, this dress was so important to me that every time I decided I changed my mind again. I drove Jo absolutely crazy and she was so patient and lovely.
Finally after 4 months there was a breakthrough at my end, we changed the fabric from sheer to silk and the embroidery was tested and decided on.
There were a few corset fittings because Jo -like me- is very much a perfectionist too and wanted it to be a perfect fit. She knew I was sad about my wedding dress not fitting perfectly and she wanted to make that right with this dress.
The first time I saw a glimpse of the dress was about 3 weeks before completion, it were the embroideries, the swans and Tudor roses… I was over the moon to see it, the finish was so detailed, so delicate, I couldn’t believe my eyes… It wasn’t easy, I had given her a sketch my husband -who is an illustrator- made for me. The inspiration was a lullaby I adore about swans and England. I never expected it to be the same, how can you expect an embroidery to be so detailed as a drawing made with a tiny pencil point. I gave Jo the design and told her I trusted her to make it work, I even made her a simplified version but she wanted to use the detailed one. When the embroideries were finished, they were able to sow the dress together and then a picture appeared in my inbox – teasing me- with a glimpse of the nearly finished gown.
I stared at that picture for a long time, there were dozens of buttons she had added to the back of the gown – I love buttons, I am obsessed with buttons. Collar till seam was a line of beautifully hand made silk buttons and hooks. Just beautiful… The next time I saw the dress was in a hotel room in London. It was the day of my husbands first UK exhibition and my birthday celebration. When she showed me the dress I was completely overwhelmed by emotion, fought against my happy tears and nearly hugged Jo to death.
I looked upon this dress as a piece of art, a collaboration between creative minds.>I couldn’t stop looking at the delicate embroidery, the feathers that were created on the swans by using different shades of white and silver, the tiny apples and the golden thorns on the roses … When I say the dress is beautiful, it is an absolute understatement. It is extraordinary, it is perfect, it is a work of art.
I can’t recommend Jo enough, she puts her every effort in your gown and she delivers nothing less than perfect. She is an amazing lovely lady, and she will make you a dress you will cherish for ever.
Jo, I can’t thank you enough for this”
All the photographs above are courtesy of the wonderful Assassynation
Emma came to us a slightly reluctant bride…when I say reluctant bride I don’t mean she did not want to marry the love of her life….she just did not want all the attention and pressure that sometimes comes with getting married, and with being a bride…..so I am extra grateful to her for sending me her gorgeous photos and for sharing her experience with you
We designed this gown in a silk chiffon as we wanted a light flowing fabric to give the gown a bohemian 1970’s …think Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. The chiffon is a gorgeous buttery ivory shade and gives the gown a real vintage feel. It is cut with a slash neck and is semi-fitted and we have given the skirt volume by adding godets of chiffon from the hip down. The gown is then delicately apliqued with a subtle and very pretty french lace….. I love the sleeve of Emma’s dress, it just falls beautifully over the deep Silk Satin cuff
Thanks Emma for this lovely testimonial
” I’ll never be able to thank Jo enough for creating my beautiful dress.
As a bride daunted by the idea of finding my wedding dress, not
revelling in trying on hundreds of different dresses, my experience at
The Couture Company was completely perfect.
I wanted a dress that reflected my own personal style so a traditional
large dress was out of the question. One appointment with Jo and I knew
she would create something special just for me. From the moment I
stepped in to the studio I felt calm and in control, not pushed or under
On the day my friends and family commented how “me” my dress was, which
was exactly what I wanted.
I can’t recommend Jo & her team highly enough and I’d say to any bride
out there who feels overwhelmed by the whole wedding industry and who’s
individual style is important to them to visit the Couture Company.
All images are copyright of Paul Ward
Photography Farm is a wonderful place where photographers go to improve and enhance their skills and knowledge and as part of it a full shoot set up is laid on….that’s where we came in in creating this decadently decaying gown inspired by Miss Havisham….the jilted bride from Dicken’s Great Expectations. We looked at decaying nature as our main influence, from skeletal forms of leaves and creatures, to fungi and decomposition, so we got to work with dyeing, embroidering, staining, manipulating and deconstructing fabrics…it was a lot of fun being so creative and exploring lots of possibilities. we were so happy with the finished gown and I think the farmers were too!
All the photographs in this article were taken by Sassy from Assassynation photography…We love them …they are dark, gorgeous and gothic!!
Thanks Sassy for letting us use your wonderful images xxxx