English country garden bridesmaid dresses

I’m delighted that the incredibly creative Lucy from Lucy Says I Do, a recommended TNWC supplier who designs beautiful wedding stationery, will be joining us for a series of guest blog posts whilst I’m off on maternity leave.  Lucy had a stunning wedding that was featured on Love My Dress and she booked wedding photographer Mark Tattersall after seeing his photos of our wedding.

Lucy created so many lovely things for her wedding, that I’m really excited to share some of them here with you – I just know you’re going to be inspired.  Love Charlie x

Over to Lucy…

I knew I wanted to make dresses that suited the wedding, so my thoughts were: English Country Garden, summery, fun, and natural.  In addition to this I wanted the girls to feel really special when wearing them, so they needed to be high quality, feminine, soft and elegant.

My sister (one of my lovely bridesmaids) and I designed the bridesmaids’ dresses together.  We decided to design the print as an English country garden story.  When developing the design I created an ‘English Country Garden’ inspiration board to help focus my ideas for the print.  Here’s my print inspiration board:

Moodboard for English country garden bridesmaid dresses

Taking different natural elements of the English Country Garden idea we developed the print to include lots of detail including: flowers, fruits and insects.  I loved the way the print developed, and the way that every time you looked at it you’d notice something different.  Including the little bumblebees!  We made sure we incorporated botanical elements such as the strawberry plant, but we balanced this with soft painterly effect flowers to make sure the print maintained a softness, like that of wild flowers.

Here’s a sample piece of the print, how many different elements can you spot?

English country garden fabric

In terms of the shape of the dress, because I knew I wanted something with a detailed pattern, I avoided anything too fussy, as the print itself was a big statement.  I wanted the dresses to be vintage inspired but with a modern edge.  In order that the dresses reflected the outdoor location of our wedding, I designed the shape of the dresses so that they could move in the wind, rather than be structured and stiff.

In order to make the dresses really feminine, as well as fun I opted for heavy Crepe de Chine silk circle skirts for lots of movement and drape, with a structured ballerina bodice and scooped neckline to flatter all the girls shapes.  I also ensured the dresses fell just below the knee to give the dress a romantic feel.

I collected a number of images that I felt were a good starting point for what I wanted the dresses to look like in terms of their shape and fit, and slowly whittled them down until I had an inspiration board I felt represented what I was trying to create.  From here I drew a number of sketches of what I wanted the dresses to look like.  Here’s my dress shape inspiration board:

Bridesmaid inspiration board

Once we had designed the print for the dresses and determined the material they would be made from, we had the design printed onto the chosen fabric.  Then working together with the ladies at Finiks, taking them through the drawings and inspiration board I had created, we developed the design of the dresses.   The bridesmaids were then all measured and the dresses were made to fit each of them.  Here are the finished results…

English country garden floral bridesmaid dresses

Floral bridesmaid dresses

Country garden floral bridesmaid dresses

I love the way that the print and colours of the bridesmaids dresses work so well with my wedding dress.

Antique lace wedding veil

We wanted the English Garden idea to run throughout the attire, so we made pocket squares for the groom and each of the ushers from the bridesmaids dress fabric.  They really helped add to the sense of occasion, and worked really well with their blue suits.

English country garden groom pocket square

We also made a little dress from the material for my niece.  We edged the neckline with some vintage lace.

English country garden flowergirl dress

I was thrilled with the results, completely original and so very personal.  All the girls looked gorgeous.

We didn’t just use the print for the dresses and pocket squares, later we used the design to create some wedding stationery as well as paper flags to decorate the venue as well as various signs throughout the day, I will be sharing details of these here later.

What do you all think?  Aren’t they stunning!  Whilst the idea of creating your own bespoke bridesmaids dresses and print design might sound daunting at first, Lucy is happy to help and answer any questions you have.  Alternately if you love the idea, but don’t want to have to do it yourself, Lucy offers a bespoke dress design and tailoring service, so just drop her an email at

Wedding Images: Mark Tattersall

Inspiration Board #1 Image Credits: top row left to right – (1) Preen skirt; (2) Victorian vintage strawberry plant; (3) Brambles via The Lane; bottom row left to right – (4) Cabinet of Natural Curiosities book cover; (5) The Blue Carrot; (6) Saipua; (7) Antique Butterfly Botanical Print Papillons

Inspiration Board #2 Image Credits: left page clockwise from top – (1+2) Katie Ermilio; (3) Samm Blake wedding; bottom page clockwise from top – (4) Edeline Lee; (5) Modcloth Dress; (6) Etsy Dress

Blog post kindly reproduced with permission from Lucy Says I Do.


Lucy on 6. November, 2013

Thanks Charlie! It’s lovely seeing our photos again! x

Julie Annis - Hollyhock Lane on 6. November, 2013

These are so lovely – well done Lucy! What an amazing idea. Something to really cherish too.

jennie hill on 2. December, 2013

What a beautiful design totally love these dresses and the fabric pattern is totally gorgeous. Well done Lucy

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