Donna is probably one of the most stylish brides I’ve had the pleaseure of shooting recently, although there has been quite a move towards a more dramatic look for brides on their wedding day. Deciding how to finish off your look with great hair and make-up can be a difficult choice to make, so I thought I’d ask Donna how she managed to pull off a look that everybody agrees definitely has the wow factor:
Donna, I presume you don’t have a beehive hairdo every day of the week – what inspired you to go for such an amazing look?
I wish I could have that hairdo every day of the week! As soon as we started planning the wedding, I was pretty sure how I wanted to look – I generally lean towards a 60s look in my everyday style so I wanted my wedding hair and makeup to be an exaggeration of what felt natural. So I found a fantastic vintage stylist who completely understood what I was going for…..I was a little concerned that the beehive would be too much but she convinced me it would complete the look and looking back, I totally agree.
What did guests (and more importantly, Matt) think when they saw you!
I think I’ll let Matt answer that one………
Matt: Father Coles told me not to look around when Donna walked up the aisle so I didn’t know what she looked like until she stood next to me. When I saw her, it was all I could do to a) not cry and b) not faint. Her dress looked spot on and I loved the 60s look; her hair and make-up, as that’s my favourite style. I thought it was very Donna, very us and perfect for our day. Ultimately though I felt extremely proud to be with her.
You also decided against a traditional style of make-up – did you enjoy going for a bolder look, and what make-up advice would you give future brides who worry that “natural” is the only option they have?
I wear bold eye makeup every day and would have felt naked without my eyeliner. I knew that it fell outside of tradition and I was a little nervous about what the guests would think but when I had my makeup trial I knew I’d made the right decision. I felt pretty and, more importantly, I felt like myself. So the only advice I would give would be to stick with what you know. I guess I didn’t want to pretend to be something I wasn’t by going with the natural look but, equally, if you’re not used to wearing a lot of makeup, I wouldn’t suggest you choose your wedding day as the testing ground!
Did you choose a dress that really matched the overall look you wanted to achieve, or did the dress you love just happen to go spectacularly well with the look?
I knew I was looking for a lace dress to match the overall 60s look but I also knew that my dad had his heart set on me wearing white so going down the vintage route would have been pretty tricky. I found the Cymbeline dress at the first store we visited and had the ‘epiphany’ that so many brides talk about (which I honestly thought I was never the type of person to have!). Saying that, I really wanted a dress with long sleeves but we found out the French designer was based near to where Matt’s parents live in France, AND that they would be able to make all the adjustments to the design I wanted, so it all seemed to fall into place. I am completely obsessed with my dress. I wish I could wear it every day……
Matt also looked great on the day with his modern suit – where did he find this? Did he always want a modern suit or did he contemplate something more traditional?
You would never find Matt in a traditional suit – it was slim leg or no leg – and that was fine with me. Matt has such fantastic style (it was what first attracted me to him at a party!) and there was no question over who would be finding his suit. I know he really loved it and I think he looked incredible on the day.
The church you were married in was amazingly grand, and the hotel was a plush central London affair – yet the day was beautifully chilled out and relaxed – how did you manage this?
We kept the champagne flowing! Just kidding (although I’m sure that helped!). Both the church and the hotel were so gorgeous but we chose those venues because, no matter how grand they were, they still managed to seem relaxed. In the hotel, I think this was down to our fantastic wedding planner, Rachel but also down to the impeccable service we received from all the staff. In the church, this was absolutely down to Father Coles – ex member of the Communards! – who managed to bring our service to life with his fabulous wit and charm.
You decided to make your family photos quite informal – did this help everybody enjoy themselves?
I like to think so. We absolutely loved your style of photography and wanted the majority of our photos to reflect the real atmosphere of the wedding, not to look like a staged affair. I’m so pleased we kept them more informal because it meant everything ran smoothly and the group shots didn’t interrupt all the guests chatting and enjoying the sunshine on the lawn!
How would you describe your wedding vibe?
Hmmm, 60s I guess although we definitely didn’t want the wedding to have a ‘theme’. All we wanted was for everything to reflect us as a couple and for all our guests to have a relaxed and fun day. The London location was also very important to us because we wanted it to feel like home.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
That’s such a difficult question to answer because it was such a wonderful day!
I really loved all the speeches. They were all so funny but also very emotional. But I guess my favourite moment was walking down the aisle. The wedding may have had a 60s vibe, Matt may have been in a slim leg suit and I may have had a beehive with bold make up, but, at the end of the day, I believe in many of the traditional aspects of a wedding and being ‘given away’ was an important moment for me. You actually caught this moment on camera and it’s one of my favourite photos from the bunch!