Wedding planning is an amazing experience, with some inevitable stress added to the mix. Part of the fun for a couple looking at various wedding venues and for a bride the wedding dress. These two are often linked reflecting the personalities of people.
One of the little gems I came across recently is Hampton court Golf club. Its charm lies in the fact that it’s connected to the iconic Hampton Court Palace. Historically and literally. The club, with spectacular views, is nestled in the Royal Park grounds adjacent to the palace sharing its 400 years history.
My last and by no means only visit was a large-scale wedding collaboration photoshoot. These events do require lots of planning, which I have some extensive experience of now. But my expertise lies in wedding dress design. This new venue definitely deserved its own bespoke wedding dress. So, with a clear brief, I set about creating our latest dress addition.
I am still heavily invested in lace, have become an expert on bustier bodice structure, and love lighter fabrics with more movement and translucency for movement. All of which fitted perfectly into the narrative we wanted to convey. Romantic, unique with a hint of opulence.
Choice of materials and the style
My mind went to a few creative corners where ruffles, florals, and sparkling details permanently live, just waiting for their opportunity.
Just like with any bespoke wedding dress I talk about on our bespoke page, https://tatianaporembova.co.uk/bespoke-process/ I started with some research into how I want the ruffles to look, their density, flow, playfulness. I settled on a ruffled overskirt train as a detachable option. With that, I knew I could be more dramatic without compromising on practicality.
A strapless bodice would be a combination of perfectly fitted bustier-style semi-transparent structures. I had some wonderful beaded tulle, which worked perfectly as an overlay. Then hours of hand ruching tulle panels and cutouts of sequined lace motifs added the intricacy and texture. My last detail was a little pleated tulle frill that framed the neckline neatly.
Initially, I wanted to add a shoulder cape or straps but the top turned out just right as it was. Knowing when to stop is a skill that took me some time to learn, as any creative person will know!
The skirt was equally intricate, made of two separate parts. I wanted to create a contrast with the dress and overskirt detachable part, yet still, make sure the dress can be just as beautiful and look complete on its own. That meant tulle layers and the same hand-cut lace details as on the bodice. The other factor I didn’t want to compromise was comfort ( wedding dresses by definition are not designed for comfort, but with some forward planning, suppliers connections and prior knowledge I knew what to do). My choice of lining was jersey satin mix. With that a good degree of stretch was guaranteed even with a fitted silhouette of the skirt. I also cut tulle layers with horizontal stretch, so when it was all put together the skirt materials stretch all the same.
I played with the placement of lace rosettes and vines, aiming to strike a nice balance between a busy top part and larger motives on the bottom part of the skirt. Freestyling and being left to my imagination is one of my favourite parts of the design process. I had to partially bear in mind the fact that the skirt needed to look good with the detachable overskirt too, which I knew would be quite elaborate and sit on top covering part of the skirt.
I started on an overskirt before completing the lace parts so I could work out how voluminous my overskirt would be. I decided to bring my overskirt towards the front, extending the train past the sides and making sure when it’s on, it would change the slim fitted skirt to an A-line silhouette.
Then the mammoth task of creating multi-tiered ruffles from tulle. I wanted this to be quite a statement, but not to look over the top. So, I eventually settled on medium-length tiers with six layers of tulle each. With some spare glitter tulle as a base for a subtle shimmer.
From the start I knew I would want to create an ombre effect, blending dusky pink into ivory. I knew it would be a rather complex task of calculating how many layers of different pink shades to add to different tiers. What took me by a complete surprise was the amount of tulle this took. In the end, it totaled 20 meters of tulle! And of course, cut individually into around 100 long curved stripes, each strip gathered and joined onto the train panel. Needless to say, I cursed my decision a few times late at night after hours and hours of working, only to pin it onto a mannequin and see how fantastic it was beginning to look and making me look forward to another few hours of the same.
I suppose my choice of cutting the tiers as large semi-circles was to blame, but the result looks like effortless inflow and movement.
When creating, expect unexpected
When the last piece of the tulle was in its place, I allowed myself to step back and admire my masterpiece. I was happy with it. It looks almost identical to my initial sketch and turned out even better than expected. Whilst I gave myself a lot of artistic freedom, I still followed my bespoke process.
What I hadn’t mentioned was my realisation I needed to order more tulle midway. Unfortunately, the stockist runs out. This sent me on a seemingly endless search for an identical replacement. In the end, I ordered a slightly lighter shade of dusky pink, which created an even ombre effect. It’s funny how some unexpected ‘mistakes’ can in fact turn out to enhance the original intentions. You would be surprised to learn how often that happens with bespoke wedding dress commisions.
The real test nevertheless was the big day of the photoshoot. It all came together including the weather.
The images by very talented Karoline from https://www.bykarolina.com/were so wonderful that the prestigious wedding blog ww.weddingsinc.co.uk has published them! You can read their blog on the link below
Other talented suppliers who made this editorial happen are:
Planning, Photographer, Videographer – @bykarolinaphotography
Planning, Dress – @tatianaporembovabridal
Venue – @hamptoncourtpalacegolf
Florist – @event_stylists
Decor – @silverswanevents
Stylist – @laurenpedgeevents
Cake and deserts – @simplyirresistiblecakeslondon
Candy Crystal favours – @candyrockshop
Stationery – @paper_swan_stationery
Model (bride) – @karola3623_
Male model (groom) – @christopherlane
Suit – @dapper_dorking
Bridal HMUA – @ema.bridal
Shoes – @shoesbylarisa
Accessories – @pearlandhugo
Bridesmaid 1 – @super_girls_just_fly
Bridesmaid 2 – @thatsurreycouple
Bridesmaid dresses – @confetti_bridesmaid
Bridesmaids MUA – @makeupbyemmamcg
Bridesmaids Hair – @reenuplahemua