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Behind the Scenes: Maids to Measure

We are all about supporting small businesses around here, and this next one is a true gem! Located in London, England, Maids to Measure is a one stop shop for all things custom bridal party and we’re lovin’ on every inch. With photos from Claire Graham, there’s more where this came from right here. And you might want to hold tight because we’re going behind the scenes!

SMP: Tell us a little about Maids to Measure!
Maids to Measure is a specialist Bridesmaid company that allows brides to come to the studio and design their own dresses!
Alternatively brides can order dresses already designed (and named after the bride) through our website (or through one of our wonderful stockists).

SMP: You’ve designed some of the most uniquely beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. Where do you get your inspiration?
We’re lucky as its the brides themselves that bring their own inspiration to the appointments and we convert them into dream dresses for their maids, catering for all shapes and sizes.

We’re constantly evolving and always welcome new ideas. We recently launched 6 new colours with Ciate London which have proven very popular (iced frappe, empress, apples & custard, ferris wheel, cookies & cream, regatta).

SMP: What’s it like to run your own dress shop?
There’s never a dull moment! I set up Maids to Measure with my sister India when from our own experience we found their were little options for fashionable bridesmaids. We’d find a dress but not in the right colour of vice versa, with Maids to Measure you can choose any design have it in any colour, size length or fabric etc allowing the girls to create unique dresses.

SMP: What was the turning point in your business where you knew it would really take off?
It started with us working from home, just doing friends weddings and then friends of friends and before we knew it we had random people contacting us, from then it simply snowballed and we knew our idea and concept had legs!

SMP: The most difficult part of entrepreneurship?
Never switching off, I live and breath bridesmaids and I think thats what it takes. Even when Im away I cant relax but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

SMP: One thing you wish you knew when first starting out?
Theres no end, once you have the website done or say the first collection completed you just want to update and change things again, always wanting to improve and better everything constantly.

SMP: Do you have any tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
You need to be prepared that it becomes your life and you have to be super organised, not just in terms of work but also for a work/life balance. Id be on my laptop 24/7 if I didn’t specifically schedule in lunch/dinner with friends or family, after all its them that have supported us on this journey.

SMP: What’s one thing you’d tell someone who’s hoping to start their own business?
You have to bee passionate about what you’re doing and have 100% conviction that its going to work, any doubts will cause problems down the line. Theres an amazing event by Flourish & Prosper that has some amazing speakers sharing their business stories, which I cant wait for.

SMP: Three things every fashionable woman should have?
Knowledge! of what to spend on (shoes and bags) and what to save on (jeans and jersey), the latest apple product and the confidence to wear what you want, how you want.

SMP: One thing you just can’t live without?
My fiance Andrew!!!

Photography: Claire Graham | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Maids To Measure

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Chic Summer Wedding in London

Move over Ladies of London, there’s a fab new Brit in town and she comes in the form of a stunning summer wedding captured by Caught The Light. This affair may be indoors but it’s wholeheartedly summer thanks to florals in every shade of sunshine by Hayford & Rhodes and simple details that scream chic. See even more of this light, bright beauty right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Indoor
Styles
Elegance

From The Bride…Hywel and I met two weeks after I arrived in London, five years ago. I’d just moved over from New York (ostensibly for a year…!) and happened to move into a flat with one of his best friends from university. One day I walked into the living room, saw this gorgeous Brit sitting there, and that was basically it. I was a goner. It took us a couple of months to make it official, but ever since then we’ve been happily living out our little London love story. I work as an account director for a branding & design agency, while Hywel oversees brand partnerships for the men’s health charity, Movember. We got engaged on a Saturday morning, lying in bed:

Me: “What shall we do today?”

Hywel: “Shall we get engaged?”

I’ve never been interested in a big, traditional proposal, so for us it was just right. After crying, laughing, family phone calls and a couple of Bloody Mary’s, we went into town to buy me a wedding ring! That night, we had friends over for a big Italian feast, shared our good news, and basked in the excitement. We got engaged in November, and knew right away we wanted to try to fit in a wedding within the next seven or eight months. Then the panic set in! Thankfully, we found One Marylebone fairly quickly, and once that was booked, everything else fell into place. We were able to give my American friends & family six months’ notice in order to book flights across the pond.

Our wedding planning was definitely a partnership – I was very lucky that my groom has event planning skills and industry contacts in spades! We share a similar aesthetic and are both pretty decisive, so we were able to keep the process moving along pretty quickly. The day itself was just absolutely amazing. It felt like ‘us’, which is exactly what we wanted. I walked down the aisle to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” on the piano – just hearing the opening bars to the music now make me start to tear up! My grandfather, who is a federal judge in New York, delivered a sort of secular sermon with an incredible presence that moved everyone. Our friend Libby, who introduced us, read “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)” by E.E. Cummings. Hywel and I also wrote our own vows, which is much less of a thing here in the UK. It was wonderful to commit to each other in a way that was personal to us. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Another friend, Miranda Heldt, a professional singer, performed the soulful “All over again” by Sharon Jones during the register signing. And then finally, we walked back down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, which was such a fun, unexpected thing for our guests to hear after a heartfelt ceremony. It definitely changed the tone – it was time to party! worked with the lovely Charlotte at Hayford & Rhodes on our flowers. For our ceremony, we chose beautiful silver birch trees for the front of the room. They added drama and a simple, natural feel to the space.

Seasoned Events worked with us to create our menu. Hywel and I love to host dinner parties, and we wanted our wedding to feel like the best one yet. We chose to have antipasti sharing platters to start, which really got people chatting and interacting with each other and the food. We served a delicious chicken breast with summer pea risotto cake and pea puree for the main, followed by truly decadent chocolate fondant. We worked with family friend and wine merchant, Simon Taylor, to choose a subtle Champagne, bright Sauvignon Blanc and yummy Pinot Noir to serve throughout the day. Our beer choice was just as personal: Camden Town Brewery is situated just down the road from our flat, and I’m a Boston girl by birth, so it only made sense to have Sam Adams for both our Yankee & British guests. We placed little cork-topped bottles of Welsh whisky at every guest’s place as name cards. Hywel’s entire family hails from the same area as that particular whisky distillery, and our relationship was definitely cemented over a shared love of neat whisky.

We hired huge light letters (H&L) to transform the space for the evening dancing. It really added fun to a space that is usually so elegant and refined. Plus they look awesome in pictures! Our phenomenal DJ had the dance floor packed from start to finish, and the whole thing just had such a fun & joyful feel to it. Some of our wonderful friends got us a guestbook & Polaroid camera to help us capture moments throughout the day. There are some pretty epic shots and very sweet notes in there.

My advice to every bride is simply to soak it all in. Everyone says it’s important to take a moment, just the two of you, to step away and just look at what’s happening all around you. Hywel and I were able to do that a few times throughout the night, and it was pretty incredible. I also made myself stay very present during the ceremony. It sounds like an obviously or silly thing, but someone once gave me that advice and I found it invaluable. Also, I found wedding morning yoga a really special and calming way to start the day! Oh, and pay as much as you can for a great photographer. It is the best investment you can make! After all, what are you left with after the fact, other than your photos?!

Photography: Caught The Light | Florist: Hayford & Rhodes | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang, Evelyn | Shoes: LK Bennett | DJ: The Wedding Smashers | Groom's Shoes: Stemar | Groom's Suit: Canali | Caterers: Seasoned Events | Ceremony & Reception: One Marylebone | Earrings: Gold Tiffany Elsa Peretti | Groom's Cufflinks: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Shirt: Thomas Pink | Hair & Make Up: Roseanna Velin | Professional Singer: Miranda Heldt | Wine Merchant: Simon Taylor

Color-Filled London Engagement of Blogger Bright Bazaar

If you are a follower of blogger extraordinaire, Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar, then you know he fully embraces a life filled with color. The brighter and more cheerful the better. And his engagement session to his love is no exception to that colorful rule. Captured by Jean- Laurent Gaudy, this shoot outside of London is a little glimpse inside the beautiful world of Will and Toby. Click here for the full gallery.

From Jean-Laurent Gaudy PhotographyThis couple is one of the reason why I love my job so much. Will & Toby live near London. They are the sweetest, deeply in love, always smiling. Their engagement session was therefore so natural. I simply spent an afternoon with them capturing who they are with no artifacts.

Photography: Jean- Laurent Gaudy

Jean-Laurent Gaudy is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jean-Laurent Gaudy Photography

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