Designing My Wedding Dress

After the game changing experience of wedding dress shopping at Phillipa Lepley, and all of your wonderful words of encouragement, and knew I’d have to go back.

And with the sand slipping through the wedding hourglass at a terrifying pace, there was no time to lose!

I was ready to commit.

After all of your help with the decision making process, I finally made a decision…

…to go for something completely different!

Together Phillipa and I went through everything I loved from all of her dresses, and started to design something completely new.

As I rattled off ideas, she sketched away.

We talked inspirations, styles, shapes, corsets, necklines and trains.

All guided by Phillipa’s years of experience dressing brides and her unparalleled eye for detail.

Each sketch appearing within seconds, as the dresses poured from her imagination onto the paper.

A truly magical way to while away an afternoon.

We finally settled on a design, which I’m keeping secret until the big day, and I asked to keep the sketch so I can have it framed in my office (after the wedding of course, wouldn’t want the groom peeking!).

Once the design was decided upon, Phillipa talked us through just what goes into making a couture wedding gown.

All of her pieces are made by hand in London.

All of the lace drawn out and planned before being stitched into life.

Every inch of every bride measured, and the pattern cut just for her.

Every seam, every fold, every bead is placed exactly where it should be, by hand.

The process takes months and months, so it will be a while before I get to see our creation. In the meantime I snuck into the workshop to see where she’ll be brought into existence.

Moodboards cover the walls, pictures of past, present and future creations, layered with silks, sequins and embroideries.

The effect is quite something, I could happily sit and gaze at them all day.

In the centre of each floor there’s a cluster of gowns, in various states of completion.

It almost feels as though they’re floating there, like my favourite scene, from my favourite ballet, Giselle.

via ROH

While patterns are being drawn up and fabrics cut downstairs…

…upstairs, Yoko is carefully sewing the handmade lace onto dresses, and finishing them with incredible care and precision.

In fact this floor is quite the hive of activity, with dresses being pinned, sewed and coaxed into life.

Ready for their big days!

See more of the lace-making here.

All overseen by Phillipa, who keeps a keen eye on every little detail.

Though the real boss is much harder to please.

Bobo runs a very tight ship.

Having designed my dream dress with my dream designer, met all of the craftsmen and women who will create her, and seen the true art of couture dressmaking in person, I left on cloud nine.

Utterly content that the best in the business are on the case.

The very best Christmas pressie I could have asked for.

I suppose now I ought to start thinking about shoes!

But that can wait ’til next year, time for a break and a few mince pies I think.

I’ll be snapping away through all of my fittings and the rest of the design process, so I can share it all with you after the wedding. It’ll feel just like having you there with me, which is something I really do treasure after all your years of support. I still find it so funny to think that while you shared in all my heartache and boy trouble over the years, soon you’ll be with me on my wedding day. It’s been quite the ride!

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  • Sounds like an amazing experience!

  • Jet

    Those fabrics are so beautiful and what an amazing idea to just make one yourself – can’t wait to see what it’s like. At least you know with someone as terrifying as bobo in charge it will be ready on time. What a great name for a dog, I love it!

    http://www.jettravels.co.uk
    J.E.T
    X

    • Rosie

      Ha! Quite! I know he’s got my back 😉 x

  • Isabelle Robison

    So exciting! Can’t wait to see the final design on your big day!

    • Rosie

      I’m so excited to share it!!!

  • Phillipa was my wedding dress designer too. I’m so excited for you!!! She’s the very best in town.

    • Rosie

      Oh how perfect! It’s funny how many people I’ve met who chose one of her dresses too, it’s like a little club!

  • Simone Rosini

    I’m so excited for you 😉
    Miki x

    https://littletasteofbeauty.blogspot.it/

    • Rosie

      Thank you! xx

  • The details are amazing!

    x Mariya

    http://www.brunetteondemand.com

    • Rosie

      Aren’t they just?!

  • So pleased to have joined you on this journey, Rosie! What a wonderful thing to look back on in the future. Cannot WAIT to see the final frock, it is going to be absolutely beautiful. EEP! Immy x

    http://www.immymay.com

    • Rosie

      I often think that about blog posts, how much fun it’ll be to show them to kids one day. Maybe I could have the best ones made into a book or something…

  • Rosie

    I really am very lucky! She refuses to miss a single fitting! (And then we get to go for champagne afterwards. Such a treat to have my best friend by my side.) xx

  • What a Christmas gift! It’s going to mean so much to have a dress that was customized just for you. Thank you for bringing us along with you!

  • Thanks for sharing Rosie – this sounds like such a wonderful and unique experience! The details look absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see the finished dress! Natalie xx

    http://www.tillygraceblog.wordpress.com/

  • This sounds SO exciting! I can’t wait to see the finished product. 🙂 xx

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • Rach

    This is so exciting about your dress!! I can’t wait to see it all done!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

  • Kela

    Beautiful! Have you ever considered writing a relationship advice post? Would love to hear your advice for dealing with boy troubles and finding and choosing to spend your life with someone special. Just a thought!

  • Eva

    You might have made me tear up a little there in the end. I discovered your blog maybe 4 or 5 years ago and I never missed a post since. It really feels like being on this journey with you and your style of writing only enhances that. I wish you all the best for your wedding and the future!
    Greetings from Germany
    Eva

  • What an exciting day! I can’t imagine how special it must be to have a bespoke creation made just for you. I can’t wait to see it all finished! Tracey xx

  • What an interesting post Rosie! Glad you’ve found your dream wedding gown… design 😉 Can’t wait to see the results. Have you mentioned already when exactly the BIG DAY is, or not? Maybe I just missed it. Hope you’ll have a very pleasant and joyful wedding preparations which lead to a happy, lifelong marriage!

  • Kay Nguyen

    Wow that is so exciting! Love your blog <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • This is such an exciting time ! I have also bought my wedding dress last September. Happy times!

    The Lisa’s World | Wedding Talks #1: Picking the Dress

  • I was thinking the same thing. It’s so wonderful, as readers/friends (frieders? can we make that a thing?? lol) to see you finally happy in love! <3 can't wait to see the Lady come to life!

  • Alessandra

    Touching end, this post. Following your adventures since ages, I’m really really happy for you, as if you’re a close friend. Actually, you are.

  • What a lovely idea to keep the sketch for the office! Can’t wait to see what design you both have come up with! x

  • I still can’t believe that you’re getting married! I’ve followed your blog from years back when you used to blog about dates and it’s so cool that you’re now designing your dream dress! Such a wonderful experience to watch 🙂

    Shannon

    http://www.shaykennedy.me

  • That last paragraph. It’s crazy to think that your blog inspired me to start mine over five years ago and I’m now a full time blogger myself! I’ve loved your adventures through life for so long. Since following you, I myself, got engaged and married (and turned him into a blogger too) – you actually met Ben on the Ted Baker/Belmond Train Trip last year.

    I don’t often comment on your posts anymore just because I tend to scroll through and read a batch of your posts then have to get back to work, but I’m still here, following along!

    So excited for this next chapter in your life and can not wait to see the dress!

    Katie <3

    http://www.kalanchoe.co.uk

  • Seeing all your beautiful photos has certainly brought back memories of my wedding. It’s so exciting yet so nerve racking….just relax and enjoy! The lace is absolutely beautiful! You are one very lucky girl!!!! x
    http://www.onesliceoflemon.com