Banish those January blues with a blissful reminder of the best that summer can bring: a wedding by the sea…all in brilliant blue.
Married in St Agnes Parish Church last summer, Philippa and Tom embraced the rugged cliffs and swirling seas around this gorgeous North coast town, choosing the iconic Beacon headland for their reception.
The wedding styling was a clever fusing of the fun of the fair - channeled by the caravanserai marquee and tepee village erected on the cliff top - and effortless chic.
Exuding sophistication, Philippa’s elegant silk gown (by Suzanne Neville) was straight from the wardrobe of Carrie from ‘Sex and the City’. Like Carrie, Phillipa is not afraid of making a statement – cue Holly.
“Philippa wanted it to be really fun and out there whilst looking elegant and classy,” explains Holly. “These happen to be my two favorite things! That was my only brief and she let me have complete free reign on my design.”
“If I’d arrived at the altar swathed in a lacy veil I’m not sure Tom would have recognised me,” Philippa remarked. “I’ve never been a ‘floaty floral’ sort of a girl. I asked Holly if she could create a headpiece for me which was big, blue and constructed entirely of feathers. The blues were to tie-in with the sapphire in my engagement ring. I wanted the headpiece to be fun, different and dramatic – with a dash of rock chick.”
As well as her stunning ring, Philippa’s sparkly navy Jimmy Choos were another point of inspiration for Holly’s creativity. She decided to accent the outfit from toe to top: tying the show-stopping headpiece into the blues of the shoes. In this way, the girls ensured that the accessories – and the way they set off the beauty of the bride - were the talking point of the bridal outfit.
Holly’s knowledge of millinery material came to the fore in the planning process for the final design. She took her cues from the natural plumage of a variety of birds – ordering blue mallard feathers, tiny peacock feathers and Jaybird wing feathers. Dyed blue pheasant feathers and white duck feathers complemented these organic blues for the final, fabulous piece.
Holly individually wired each feather and arranged them on a teardrop shaped base.
“There was lots of tweaking and adding more feathers,” she explains.
In testament to the importance of client-hatter relationship on such important custom commissions such as this, Philippa came in a couple of times to try the work-in-progress on, so that Holly could get the proportions perfect for her face.
Swarovski crystals were added in silver, teal and navy, along with a side-sweep of navy veiling, which sat just so, over one eye.
Philippa marveled at her bespoke piece talking shape: “At each fitting we added height, sparkles and yet more feathers. The headpiece naturally evolved into something I had exactly hoped for and I loved wearing them on the day.”
Like a luscious river, the blue colouring ran throughout the wedding. As well as deep-blue suits for the groomsmen, the bridesmaids had teal petticoats - which got the Holly treatment in the form of matching silk rosette and Swarovski crystal hair clips with a little sprig of navy veiling.
“Philippa's mum is also very creative and wanted a hat with wow factor,” says Holly. “She went for my popular wide-brimmed hat shape which has a shallow crown: great for keeping the face open and accessible for those all important kisses!”
Always flexible, Holly created a hat design that would work with either of the two dress choices the mother of the bride might have decided on: teal or natural.
Holly explains, “We went for a natural coloured hat which would work with both. I trimmed it with bleached peacock and pheasant feathers and a large curled ivory 'burnt' ostrich feather. The two flowers at the front in ivory just soften it and finish off the look. The bleached pheasant feathers were also a nod to the blue ones used in Philippa's headpiece.”
Holly’s organic, stylish, yet fun creations characterised the vibe of the wedding. “I think there were half a dozen Holly creations at the wedding in the end,” Philippa notes. “Each and every one was a masterpiece and a talking point!”
With a little help from Holly and her magical feathery styling, Philippa and Tom have proved that blue is very much the colour to be tangled up in…in love, forever.