Laura Smith wore ‘Loren’ with the 3D flower shrug by the very skilled and talented Stephanie Allin for her Scottish wedding to her fiancé, Alasdair and wow, did she look amazing! I met Laura in the autumn of 2011 when she hobbled into the boutique on crutches after an op on her knee… She was my 1st bride to pose what I guess could have been seen as an issue to get in and out of gowns as I was slightly scared she’d fall over in the dress and hurt herself in heels so we kicked the heels aside and did lots of funky moves to dress her! Laura was looking at the fitted fishtails to start with but she just didn’t light up in them… A few ideas later and I asked her to try Loren… This is her story….
“As I was recovering from knee surgery whilst trying to organise a wedding under quite tight timescales it was my amazing buddy Sarah who arranged a day of dress shopping appointments for me while I sat with my leg up. I’d told Sarah I was in love with the Stephanie Allin collection so she searched online for stockists and we were really impressed to find one in the north. I was envisaging a trip to London on my crutches but luckily The White Room prevented that! Contact through the website was really easy and responses were quick.
Chloe spent time listening to what my ideas were and asked about the overall theme of the wedding. She seemed genuinely interested in this rather than just ‘going through the motions’ like some of the people we’d met previously. I’m not really into prancing around in my bra and pants in front of strangers (especially with my lovely knee bandages) but Chloe put me at ease and the whole experience was relaxed and comfortable. I thought I knew what style of dress I wanted and tried on some lovely gowns but nothing was jumping out at me. Then, right at the end of the fitting, Chloe advised me to try on ‘Loren’, which was completely different to the dress I thought I wanted.
As soon as I put the dress on and walked in to see my Mum and Sarah the look on both their faces told me I had found ‘the one’. I’m not sure how someone who had met me about 30 minutes previously judged my taste and what would suit me so perfectly but Chloe did and she is 100% responsible for me finding Loren”
Asking Laura about The White Room gown collection and our initial service, she says:
“There is a really good selection of gowns at The White Room and the designers complement each other beautifully as there is a great mix of styles. The lovely selection of shoes, accessories, veils, even vintage brooch bouquets all mean that you can build your whole bridal look and don’t need to imagine anything. Standing in my dream dress, shoes, veil and a headpiece was awesome – it really hit home that I was going to actually be a bride!
I was very lucky because the week after I had my first appointment Chloe was running a Stephanie Allin designer weekend. I wanted a particular shrug to go with my dress so I was able to come back when a larger collection of pieces was available and try it on. Buying my dress at the designer weekend also meant I got a made to measure service which was an added bonus”.
And the boutique?
“The boutique is such a welcoming place, always warm and cosy (most of my appointments were in winter). After a day of shopping for dresses I think Mum and Sarah would have stayed sitting on the sofa in there all day it was so comfy. When I came back for the designer weekend I brought my mother-in-law and 4 bridesmaids for a second opinion and didn’t feel for one second like we were imposing as the boutique was all ours for the duration of the appointment. This is vastly different to other shops I have visited with friends where there is a limit on who you can bring with you or you have large groups of mums and bridesmaids tripping over one another whilst more than one bride has an appointment at a time. I had eight bridesmaids in total and whilst I wouldn’t have wanted so many people at my initial appointments, once you’ve chosen the gown you’re dying for them all to see it so they can help with opinions for the rest of the wedding. My bridesmaids weren’t all able to attend any one appointment with me but I know that if I’d wanted to bring them along I could have done as Chloe is very accommodating. After all – you can hardly just pick one or two and tell the others they can’t see it until the big day can you? The White Room is a truly beautiful boutique. Every time I visited I felt like I could spend the whole day in there. I’m not really a girly girl and pretty things don’t usually excite me that much but The White Room had some sort of crazy effect on me where I could have spent hours dressing up and trying things on!”
And the fittings?
“I was really pleased to be able to have my final fitting so close to the wedding so I felt like I had the maximum time to get my body into wedding day shape. Coming in to try on my dress for the first time was brilliant and it felt like Chloe was genuinely as excited as I was. The alterations were really well done and there was no sense of being rushed when I spent about 15 minutes deliberating about moving the hem up half a centimetre…
I work away a lot and had just started a new job before I got married. Chloe was great at being flexible for appointments and the whole process worked really well”.
I would tell any bride to go to The White Room and it’s a shame I’m one of the last of my friends to get married or I think I’d be able to set up a referral scheme I’d be sending so many people to the boutique! The White Room is the perfect blend of style without pretention, professionalism as well as friendliness, and all with a drop of good old northern charm. They can accommodate dodgy legs and crutches. You never feel like you’re on a conveyor belt. All of your party will enjoy the experience. And you even get a Twitter shout out on your big day!
All in all The White Room proves you do NOT have to go to London to get the perfect designer wedding dress!!
So… tell me all about your wedding day!
We got married at Boturich Castle on the banks of Loch Lomond, a lovely Scottish castle with a purpose built marquee for weddings. When Alasdair and I got engaged he told me I could do whatever I wanted for the wedding as long as it was in Scotland and there was a good golf course nearby (he’s Scottish and obsessed with golf in case you couldn’t guess). I immediately started searching for castles and when I found Boturich it looked perfect. I booked appointments to see 3 different venues in one day but Boturich was the first and within about 15 minutes of getting there I knew I would be cancelling the other appointments.
We got married at the castle and had a humanist ceremony there – something I would highly recommend to anyone getting married in Scotland as you can personalise the whole thing which is really nice.
Which gown did you chose and why?
I chose Loren by Stephanie Allin with the 3D Flower Shrug. I loved Stephanie’s collection but thought I wanted a fish tail style gown. Chloe suggested I tried Loren on and I fell in love with her straight away. My friend Sarah who came to the first appointment said she loved Loren as I just looked ‘so nice and clean’. I’m not sure what she’s trying to insinuate I look like the rest of the time but I totally know what she meant! I don’t think people knew I had a waist until I wore that dress – it was just beautiful. I’m not usually a girly girl and it was so good to be ladylike for just one day in my life….
Which shoes & accessories did you chose and why?
I got some Rachel Simpson shoes from The White Room for two main reasons 1. The lace matched my dress almost perfectly and 2. They fitted my wide feet really well. I often struggle to get shoes wide enough to fit me but Rachel’s shoes are amazing. I have a friend with wide feet who said the same so I would definitely recommend Rachel’s shoes to anyone who usually struggles to get a good fit.I kept them on for the whole night and only changed into some flip flops about half an hour before the end because I’d bought them so thought they deserved a wear. I did a LOT of dancing in those shoes and they didn’t let me down.
My veil was also from The White Room and was another of Chloe’s recommendations (I’d learnt to just go with what she said by this point as she was always right…) and I borrowed my headpiece from my very good friend Rachel. I loved the way the headpiece sat up on my head and very quickly started calling it my crown, which I thought was hilarious. I wore pearls that originally belonged to Alasdair’s grandmother and the garter my Mum wore on her wedding day.
What was your groom’s reaction to your gown? Did the guests love it and more importantly, did you feel amazing?
Alasdair isn’t really a man of many words (unlike me) but he said I looked ‘great’ in his speech which got a big cheer (because everyone knew that public displays of affection aren’t his thing). He then said he decided that was too weak and upgraded me to a ‘stunning’.I felt amazing in the dress and was very proud of myself as I walked towards him standing at the front.
The guests gave me lots of compliments and one of my Mum’s friends couldn’t stop saying how much I reminded her of Grace Kelly and the dress she wore. If that’s not a great compliment then I don’t know what is. I actually looked it up after the wedding and although her dress had long sleeves, I totally know what she means. The one thing that was said to me on lots of occasions was that people didn’t think I would have a dress like I did. Lots said they thought I would have something that was quite plain. I like the fact that I surprised people,I think that’s pretty cool.
Was your wedding day everything you wished for? Did everything go to plan? Did any little things go wrong?!
The day was absolutely amazing and I loved every minute. I’d been planning it in my head for so long (and then planning it in real life whilst juggling work and all that other boring stuff that’s not as much fun as weddings), and when the day came I can honestly say it was everything I dreamed of. I wanted the day to just be one massive party, with everyone who meant something to us there, all eating and drinking and dancing and laughing. And that’s exactly what happened.
What was the best part of the day?
A few things stand out – one was when Alasdair’s brother Stuart read the lyrics to ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Billy Joel. He did such a good job and the lyrics really reflect how I feel about Alasdair (and hopefully him about me!) and I just stood there smiling like a crazy person the whole way through. Another was when our friend Pete sang an acoustic version of ‘In My Life’ by The Beatles. His version was more Johnny Cash, it was totally awesome and was my Dad’s favourite part of the day. In fact the whole ceremony was the best bit (is that cheating?) as my friend Emma also read some lyrics that I chose and really love, we got to drink whiskey from a Quaich (an old Scottish tradition) and our celebrant – Linda Britton from the Humanist Society of Scotland – helped us write such a personal service, it was just brilliant. When we wrote the service Alasdair and I both told Linda separately the 3 things we loved most about each other and neither of us knew what the other had said. When she told everyone what we’d said about each other it was a very special moment (Alasdair’s not great at giving compliments and I could see all my friends having a little chuckle to themselves as they knew how chuffed I’d be at what he wrote).
But if I wasn’t cheating and I had to pick one thing I would say the speeches were the best bit (although I think that’s still maybe cheating as there were four…). My Dad’s speech was everything I knew it would be – just the right balance of comedy and sentiment (he’s a big softy), Alasdair did a great job especially considering that getting up and doing a speech in front of everyone he knows is probably his single worst nightmare (and he had to tell everyone I looked nice which meant two sets of compliments in one day), my friends Sarah and Alexis did a best woman’s speech that was brilliant even if they did give away my best pulling techniques (guess I don’t need them now anyway) and finally Alasdair’s brother Fraser was hilarious and had everyone in stitches with some classic Alasdair stories. When we got the photos back from the photographer it made me laugh all over again just to see how much we were all in hysterics. One of my favourite pictures is of Alasdair and I both properly belly laughing and I’m clutching my stomach I’m laughing so hard!
What was your 1st dance song? Does this have special meaning to you both?
Our first dance was to Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. We’re both hugely into music and love their album. We’ve been to see them twice in concertand both times were awesome. So we chose the song because we love it and it has memories of happy times, although after the first dance experience it maybe now reminds me more of being totally embarrassed at Alasdair’s inability to dance! Luckily the song gets very dancy after the first minute so my bridesmaids all got on the floor to help us out…
The first dance was on a CD but then we had a band called Callanish who did a mixture of covers ranging from Primal Scream to the Rolling Stones, with Ceilidh songs mixed in. It was such good fun and I think I danced non-stop for about 3 hours.
Is there anything you would change?
There were a few people who couldn’t make it for various reasons and I would have liked them to have been there but other than that not a single thing. Oh, apart from the fact that I missed out on the canapés because we were getting our photos done and I was looking forward to those!
Do you have any advice for brides to be?
Everyone says this but it is very hard advice to listen to when you’re all caught up in it all…. do NOT do things just because they are expected of you or because you feel you have to. Do what you want to do, the way you want to do it. Everybody has an opinion on everything when you arrange a wedding and whilst it’s nice to hear people’s ideas you need to make sure you do what you and your husband-to-be want to do. Plus, people change their minds so much anyway – I never wanted to get married in a church and some people commented on this and didn’t think the humanist ceremony sounded like a ‘proper’ wedding but then after our ceremony couldn’t stop going on about how nice and personal it was! So just remember that it’s your day and you can do what you want. Including wearing a crown, having 8 bridesmaids, having cheese instead of cake, and loads of other stuff that I’m so glad we did!!!!
Oh, and obviously blow the budget on your dress and get the most fabulous one you can find (from The White Room!!)
Would you recommend The White Room and why?
Absolutely. As I have said above, The White Room is the perfect blend of style without pretention, professionalism as well as friendliness, and all with a drop of good old northern charm. They can accommodate dodgy legs and crutches. You never feel like you’re on a conveyor belt. All of your party will enjoy the experience, And you even get a Twitter shout out on your big day!
All in all The White Room proves you do NOT have to go to London to get the perfect designer wedding dress!!
Wow… what a beautiful wedding and even more so, thank you for such kind and heartfelt words about The White Room. Laura was a wonderful bride to dress, support and work with throughout all of her wedding style process, and I think she looked just so ‘her’ on her wedding day. I would like to wish both Laura & Alasdair all the luck for the future and hope they have a very happy marriage. Thank you for being a White Room bride.