Mum saves the day once more! It seems that there is nothing that can quite compete with the skills and experience of the previous generation's matriarch when it comes to creating a wedding gown for her daughter. Of course, it is the unique and personal love between these two close family members that makes all the difference - a quality which cannot be bought and that is somehow stitched, woven and embellished into the very dress itself. We got in touch with Pauline Bennett and her daughter Catherine to find out their story.
It is a sequence of events that we hear regularly from our customers - an excitedly-begun tour of bridal shops leads to trying on a seemingly-endless selection of pret-á-porter wedding dresses under the beady and pressuring eye of a sales assistant, gradually becoming utterly convinced that the dress you want simply doesn’t exist. Here, some brides-to-be take the second-best option and choose a gown that is almost (but not quite) right - Catherine and her mum were having none of this and decided together that, if ‘the’ dress didn’t exist, then they would have to MAKE it exist!
With a love of the warm weather and fresh air, Catherine knew that she wanted a short wedding dress and, torn between two summer-dress patterns she had found, presented mum Pauline with both. Equally torn, Pauline did the only logical thing and combined the two, creating a unique style with a fitted bodice and an overlay with full, flamboyant skirt. The lower part of the dress, sensual and floating, needed balancing with a heavier lace above and, after agonising over the many samples ordered from us, Pauline and Catherine jointly decided that Lucy wedding lace was the perfect complementary fabric - our quick delivery service meant that Pauline was able to get straight to work, boldly making the first deep cut into the lace, an event she describes as ‘traumatic’!
A dramatic back and neckline, both bang on trend (see our latest article about Barcelona Bridal Week), also gave Pauline some sleepless nights as she gently worked with the fabric but, she tells us, she discovered as she went along that, “the lace is so beautifully made, it can put up with a lot of cutting and piecing”. A good job too - Pauline let her imagination run wild and completed much painstaking and complex work to a professional standard. We especially love the small, subtle and shimmering glass beads that Pauline individually sewed onto the floral motifs of Lucy bridal lace.
Thanks to Pauline and Catherine for sharing their story and to Dan Prettejohn at the Event Studios in Devon for the kind permission to reproduce his photographs here.