Updated: May 23
From meeting on the dance floor at Vodka Revolution, to hosting an effortlessly elegant wedding at Dodford Manor. This delightful couple have had quite the journey.
The concept of the 'first look' shot is a relatively new one for us Brits. And on first reflection, for the overly superstitious, the idea could seem like tempting fate. Almost like inviting bad omens to befall your celebrations. But for those unwilling to let old wives tales rule their lives, or their big day, the first look is a wonderful opportunity to capture a moment when you're both looking your very best.
For the uninitiated, the first look shot is an American import, and it is the point when the couple sees each other for the first time, but before the ceremony. An intimate, staged moment whereby, in heterosexual relationships, the bride would typically surprise the groom to create a wow shot as he sees her and her dress. But of course, you can put together your first look in whichever way feels right for your relationship.
This scene is usually seen, and captured, solely by the photographer, so it's quite a nice thing for the couple to do before all the madness of the wedding begins. As it allows them to have a few moments together, away from everyone, to remind each other why they're doing all this. Plus, you get some really charming shots of you both in your big day outfits, minus any red wine stains, and with your hair and makeup done perfectly.
Obviously, the idea of the first look is not for everyone, and there is certainly something to be said for seeing each other for the very first time on the aisle. But that's the beauty of weddings! There are no right or wrong answers!
For Kimberly and Charlie, the first look shot was certainly the right choice for them, and it actually became one of their highlights of the day. A day that was a fabulously elegant, with a really cosy vibe that suited perfectly their wintery wedding date. And the wedding venue, the delightful, and award-winning Dodford Manor in Northamptonshire.
We were so thrilled to find Kimberley the perfect dress for the occasion, a look that matched the very chic styling of the celebration, and suited her silhouette just so well. D2761 from Essense of Australia, a modern ballgown that could have been designed just for her.
The Real Wedding of Kimberley & Charlie at Dodford Manor
We are delighted to be sharing a few pictures from Kimberly and Charlie's wedding at Dodford Manor, a long with a little about the couple from the bride herself.
How did you two meet?
Charlie and I met on the dance floor at Vodka Revolution nightclub in Cambridge. A few vodka lemonades later, and we were re-enacting the Ross and Monica dance routine from F.R.I.E.N.D.S and I knew he was a keeper.
How did you get engaged?
We got engaged during my 30th birthday trip to Vancouver. He caught me completely by surprise, down on one knee, in a beautiful park overlooking the city and mountains.
What was your favourite moment(s) from the wedding?
There's two that stand out. We did a first look before our ceremony and that was so exciting. We were both just beaming from ear-to-ear, and seeing Charlie's face when he saw my dress was amazing.
But the moment straight after the ceremony was also a favourite of ours. We'd walked back down the aisle covered in confetti and had 5 minutes to ourselves. We both felt so giddy and on such a high!
Tell us all about your wedding dress. What details do you love, how did it make you feel?
I felt a million dollars in my wedding dress, it was so elegant to wear, and I loved that it had so much drama. I secretly enjoyed getting in everyone's way as I was walking around. And the bow that was added to the back of the dress, I was obsessed with! Danielle had the idea during my first appointment, and I fell in love. It was so beautifully executed by Dale during my fittings, and I was so pleased with how it all came together.
What was the general decor for your big day?
We opted for quite an elegant and romantic theme, with our main colour being navy, alongside deep red roses in my bouquet. We used countless candles to give things a real cosy vibe for our winter wedding.
Do you have any advice for future Bellissima Brides?
Relax into the process, go with your gut, and the dress will choose you!
Do you have any local suppliers you would like to recommend?
We were very lucky to have a team of fabulous suppliers. The ones I'd definitely recommend would be our photographer Luis Holden, our florist Albetine Floral, our wedding band Happy Hour and our cake supplier Iced Delights Cakes.
How was your Bellissima experience?
Wedding dress shopping was a journey for me. I tried on lots of dresses at many different shops. But at Bellissima, at every point, their team were responsive, supportive, and so helpful! The shop is so stunning, and you get well looked after from start to finish. I was lucky to have the wonderful Danielle and Dale super combo helping me and I couldn't recommend them both more!