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 “
photos below by Mustard Yellow