Tilly Thomas Lux Real Brides: A Ziegfeld Girls Inspired Star Headband For A Botanical, Festival Style Wedding In Yorkshire
There’s something of Yorkshire that I’ll always carry in my soul. The rugged, undulating, wildness of the moors, the air so fresh it never fails to clear your head and settle your mind, the open, honest, friendly nature of its people. I’ve been living in London for a long time now, but the North will always feel like my heart’s home. So when I got the chance to work with bride I’m featuring today, a fellow Yorkshire girl (and total glamazon), I was beyond excited.
LJ wed her beau Charles Watson on July 23rd 2016 at All Saints Church in Kirkbymoorside, and the couple followed up their ceremony with a Papakata teepee reception in the groom’s parents’ garden just across the road. Just like me, LJ and Charles grew up in the Yorkshire countryside and they chose to return to the beautiful place of their youth to become husband and wife. It’s obvious how special it was to them to hold their celebrations at the Watson family home, in such a beautiful, nostalgia-invoking setting.
“Nature was our loose theme, and we named all of our tables after trees. Each place setting also had a tree design vintage Wills Cigarette card and a copy of the Observer Book Of Trees as a wedding favour. We wanted a relaxed garden party, festival feel - nothing too formal or polished. It was also important to us that our amazingly creative friends and family added their personal touch to the day; everything from the wedding invite design and illustrated map, to the band, which was made up of Charles and several of our brilliant and talented musician friends.”
LJ chose a heavenly two -tier sheer veil and Ferragamo platform sandals to complement her Art Deco inspired lace dress, which she found unexpectedly while on a work trip to New York. Convinced she’d be a vintage bride, LJ never-the-less booked some bridal shop appointments for her time in the US, never thinking she’d try on the dress of her dreams.
“Originally I had my heart set on a vintage dress and was convinced that that’s what I’d go for. But I booked some appointments at several bridal shops while I was over in the US, as one of my bridesmaids Gingi lives in the city and we thought it might be fun. I wasn’t quite prepared for how overwhelmed I’d be when I found ‘the one’ and I burst out crying when I put it on, then we both ended up crying and then laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. I’d literally been talking seconds before to the assistant in the store saying I wasn’t sure if I’d be one of ‘those brides that did that.’ Karma eh?!”
“I love Vatana Watters designs, I think she really draws on the heritage of Balenciaga and Lavin and the designs feel fresh and unexpected. The gown I chose, the Beilin, I actually first spotted in BHLDN but ended up trying on and buying at Lovely Bride in Tribeca. The dress itself is quite graphic, with Art Deco-inspired lace, a subtle shimmer, short structured sleeves and an open back.”
With such a beautiful gown, I knew I had to create a truly unique bespoke piece for LJ, drawing on her inspirations and style icons, The Ziegfeld Girls, Ginger Rogers, Veronica Lake and Marilyn Monroe. The fact well established that we were kindred spirits, and with a brief of ‘stars, stars and more stars,’ I was absolutely in my element.
Using the ‘jazza star’ as a starting point for our custom design, which LJ spotted on the Tilly Thomas Lux Instagram (in between shots of my pup Walter of course), LJ and I ran from there. Her bespoke piece centred on two of these celestial shapes, nestled alongside a plethora of smaller shimmering stars.
“I discovered Tilly Thomas Lux through a mutual friend, Claire Foster, Director of Accessories and Footwear at WGSN. Claire wore a one of a kind, beautiful bespoke Tilly Thomas headband for her wedding in Florence, and like a magpie I was hooked! It was so beautiful and such a unique design. I love old Hollywood glamour as well as the 60s Parisian set (Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Catherine Deneuve) and wanted something that would give a nod to the silver screen of yesteryear while also looking fresh and modern. So when I discovered that Sally was also a huge fan of the film The Ziegfeld Girls, I knew she was the perfect person to envisage what I wanted.”
“Designing a custom headpiece with Sally was one of my favourite experiences and she was a total dream to work with. She is incredibly talented and knew just what I wanted from day one, it was definitely the highlight of planning my look for the day. I adore my headband, having a bespoke piece feels truly special and it already feels like a family heirloom to me - it’s a classic and I can’t wait to wear it again. We’re planning an anniversary dinner in Paris this year, so perhaps I can rock it then!”
Expanding on the festival-feel, natural vibe of the day, LJ’s incredibly crafty mum made crocheted bunting and dream catcher hoops, oh and then there’s the small matter of the gorgeous naked wedding cake she baked (I’m suddenly starving!) LJ was inspired by her love of floristry; simple, unfussy blooms which she decided to arrange herself for the teepees, as well as tackling the button holes.
“How hard could it be right?! Turns out it takes quite a while to do flowers for eleven tables, and buttonholes wilt pretty quickly! Luckily I had my gorgeous bridesmaids Susie and Gingi to help out. The bouquets were all made by a local florist, Busy Lizzy’s, and I also ordered buckets of seasonal blooms from her for the tables, including some sweet peas from a local garden club. Having fragrant flowers and herbs was something I was really keen on and I also bought several dozen pots of fresh rosemary and lavender for the table centerpieces.”
LJ and Charles chose India Hobson to capture their day on camera, a fellow botanical loving lady who totally put our girl at ease. I think it must be one of the marks of a truly wonderful photographer if the bride and groom feel this person was more of a guest or a friend than a supplier at their wedding. And these images speak for themselves, just stunning.
“We know India through friends in Sheffield and she is so talented. She has an amazing eye, is a wonderful person to have around, and I trust her completely. I’m really not that great at having my picture taken, I always feel a bit like a deer in headlights if someone points a camera at me, but she put me totally at ease and really captured some beautiful moments. I’m also a huge fan of her and her partner Magnus’ greenhouse tour and photographic journal @haarkon - I definitely share their appreciation for all things botanical.”
“There were so many special moments but one of the most memorable was Charles getting me up on stage with the band and singing Roy Orbison’s ‘You Got It’ to me. Surreal and amazing. Charles is obviously really comfortable being on stage, but it’s a totally new experience for me. It was a lot of fun!”
I’m more grateful than I can express to LJ and Charles for allowing me to share an intimate insight into their beautiful day, working with this gorgeous lady was a dream come true and so utterly inspiring. I also wanted to take a moment to say a huge HUGE thank you to all the fabulous women I met at A Most Curious Wedding Fair in Shoreditch recently.
You will never know the happiness that filled my heart spending time with such wonderful people. Your ideas and inspirations were fascinating, exciting and never-ending, and I’m over the moon to be working on a whole set of bespoke pieces for some very special ladies who I met over that weekend. So here’s to the future Tilly Thomas Lux real brides, in all their sparkling, shimmering glory!
With love and sparkle,