This is a story of serendipity that beautifully frames Sassi Holford’s career to date. In 1983, Sassi was in her early twenties and relatively unknown. At this time she was selling her label-less wedding designs out of an occasion wear shop in Taunton.
A young bride called Caroline stumbled across one of Sassi’s gowns gracing a runway at a wedding show in Taunton. She instantly fell in love and knew she’d found the one. Thirty-six years on, Caroline’s daughter Alexandra got engaged and started sifting through every bridal magazine. Ultimately she also ended up wearing a Sassi Holford wedding dress. We interviewed them both to find out more about the beautiful details in their own words.
How did you hear about Sassi Holford?
Caroline: After months of looking for a dress, I took my mother to a wedding show at a hotel in Taunton and came across Sassi’s showcase. I saw a dress that ticked every box, but as Sassi was only just starting, she had no shop or label at that time. She was selling her dresses out of a small occasion wear shop. My dress didn’t have any branding sewn in, so my memory of her name faded over the years until it was my daughter’s turn to get married.
Alexandra: Initially, I saw adverts in wedding magazines and Sassi’s designs kept catching my eye.
Caroline: Every dress Alexandra picked out was by Sassi, she was very clear about what she wanted. One day, I was flicking through one of the bridal magazines, and there was a bio about Sassi and her background in Taunton, which sounded so familiar. I took out photos of my wedding dress fitting, and there was Sassi helping me into my dress. I sent the images over to Sassi and told her my daughter was interested in her dresses too. Then we booked a consultation and became the first mother and daughter Sassi had designed for. We went and looked elsewhere, but when I asked Alexandra who she liked, she said ‘they’re all lovely, but I love the connection between Sassi making yours and could make mine’.
What year did you get married and where?
Caroline: I was married in All Saints Church, Trull, in 1984.
Alexandra: I got married in 2018 in a marquee at my parents’ house in Iron Acton, South Gloucestershire.
Was your chosen wedding dress what you imagined before you’d started shopping or did you want something completely different?
Caroline: I knew that I didn’t want traditional white, and that was a challenge. When I saw the lovely deep cream colour of some of Sassi’s dresses, I knew that I had found the one. Beautiful material, well made, of exceptional quality and unique to me. I was attracted to the material, the colour and Sassi adapted the sleeves to what I wanted, so it was bespoke just for me. The dress is made of wild silk, and I loved the feel and texture of it.
Alexandra: I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted when I first started looking, apart from knowing I wanted it to have lace. I saw the dress I ended up choosing online before I saw it in real life and loved it.
What was your favourite part of the wedding dress process?
Caroline: It was incredibly emotional and very special coming back with my daughter. Sassi and I were so on the same page that she offered to design my mother of the bride outfit too. I met with her in Taunton, somewhere I hadn’t been in years, and it was a very similar experience to choosing my wedding dress 36 years previous.
Alexandra: I enjoyed everything about the process. From visiting the boutique and meeting Sassi to choosing the dress I wanted and then trying on the final version!
How did you know you’d found the dress?
Caroline: I loved the fact that it was different and so much better than anything else I had seen up to that point.
Alexandra: It made me feel amazing. The dress was everything I dreamed of for my wedding dress and made me feel incredible.
What was the most memorable compliment you received about your dress?
Alexandra: My most memorable compliment was from my husband, who teared up when he saw me. He explained that he knew that I would look amazing but didn’t expect me to look so incredible in the dress.
What was your favourite memory of the day?
Caroline: My favourite memory of my wedding was having all my family and friends together with my husband and I sharing our special day and helping to make it so enjoyable.
My favourite memory of my daughter’s wedding was the sheer bliss and happiness of Alexandra throughout the whole day. She was incredibly calm throughout the day, and she was in a beautiful little bubble of happiness and joy!
What is the one piece of wedding advice you’d pass on to a future bride?
Caroline: Allow and even encourage your mum to help and support you! Organising and planning a wedding is one of the biggest things you will ever do. Also, have realistic expectations regarding the budget. One of the most stressful things about organising a wedding is trying to keep to budget. When the budget is unrealistic it can cause such stress and anxiety and can ruin what should be the most wonderful day.
Alexandra: Enjoy the day! It honestly does go so incredibly quickly and will feel like the best day ever, so take a few moments to yourself to enjoy it.
What did you do with your dress after you got married?
Caroline: I kept it and still have it hanging up in the wardrobe. I wore it again on two occasions to different balls a couple of years later. I wore a brightly coloured sash and some jewellery, and it passed for a ball dress beautifully.
Alexandra: After getting it cleaned, I tried it on again and then packed it away to look at every now and again.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what to do with your dress after you get married, you can read our article of ideas.
To find your dream dress make an appointment at our London or Taunton store. Ahead of visiting us you can browse our magical collection of couture wedding dresses; please note our 2021 bridal collection is coming very soon. Also, you should know we’re very proud to still make all our gowns in the UK. Proving that even though Sassi Holford’s reputation as a designer has flourished her commitment to her original values remains the same.