Image of Constance Freer-Smith
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Constance Freer-Smith

Dress Bespoke Alexandra

Photographer: David Wheeler
Marquee: Pole to Pole 
Venue stylist: Sara Kirkby
Co-ordinator: Georgina Rose Events
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo
Florist: Graham Harmer
Hair and makeup: Hair & Makeup by Gabby

A frosty December day, bagpipes playing and a shot of sloe gin set the scene for the guests of Constance and Robin’s wedding day. The perfect setting for the Sassi Holford Alexandra gown but with a twist. Constance personalised the dress by adding a fuller detachable skirt to encapsulate Princess Margaret’s wedding day look she was inspired by.

David Wheeler Photography

Set the scene of your wedding day

Our wedding took place on a frosty December day, with clear blue skies. We were married in my local church in the Hampshire countryside. Our guests were greeted with bagpipes playing and a shot of sloe gin to warm them up! After the service, mulled wine and mince pies were served by our ushers and bridesmaids, before heading up to the marquee. The tent was cosy and intimate, covered with twinkling candles, accents of gold and big bunches of mistletoe. The food was warming and indulgent, including our favourites – sticky toffee pudding and late night sausage rolls.  The party was the most fun we’ve ever had – a rousing rendition of ‘the 12 Days of Christmas’ from all our guests gave way to our first dance and we spent the rest of the evening boogying and drinking cocktails. 

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Bride Constance in Sassi Holford Alexandra

Tell us about your wedding dress journey

I was very fortunate that two of my bridesmaids got married in the same year as me, which meant that I’d been to quite a few boutiques recently and had some idea of what I might like! I first visited some local boutiques in Hampshire, which is where I tried on a couple of Sassi’s designs. Then, knowing that I liked them but having not found ‘the one’ just yet, I went online and spotted Alexandra. Immediately I knew this was the dress for me and called the London boutique to make an appointment. My wedding dress inspirations were Princess Margaret and Maria from the Sound of Music – that’s why the bodice of Alexandra was perfect, but I opted to build on a detachable fuller skirt for the wedding ceremony. This gave me the volume I wanted to walk down the aisle with, but the freedom of a slinkier skirt for the evening. 

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What made you choose Sassi Holford?

Sassi’s designs truly resonate with me – in particular ‘Love Conquers All’,  the collection that my dress was a part of. They are so elegant and graceful, but each and every one of them exudes feminine power unlike any other designer I have come across. These are not just dresses – they fill the wearer with joy, courage, confidence – whatever it is they need for this huge day in their lives. 

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Bride Constance in Sassi Holford Alexandra

What was it like to create your bespoke wedding look with the help of the Sassi Holford team?

Incredibly special – every member of the team is a complete genius when it comes to crafting a bespoke bridal look and I particularly loved working with Sanda, who totally ‘got it’. From the moment I first entered, I felt in the safest hands. They offered the perfect amount of guidance and wisdom, but without ever unduly influencing me or pushing me in any direction. From my experience in other boutiques, this isn’t always the case unfortunately. They really listened to me and made the magic happen, taking as much time as we needed to achieve exactly what I wanted. 

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Bride Constance in Sassi Holford Alexandra

What advice would you give to brides shopping for their wedding dress?

Be uncompromising in selecting or designing your dress – it can be a big investment and you want to make sure you take the advice of experts, as well as the trusted people you bring along with you, but at the end of the day it is your dress. You need to feel like a goddess and not have any worries about how you look, because fundamentally, the dress is important but it really just lays the foundations for you to enjoy what truly matters about the wedding day – being with your person, surrounded by your friends and family, to celebrate your love. 

On a more practical note, get comfortable walking around, sitting (even dancing!) in your dress during your fittings so that by the day, you know how it moves and feel completely at ease in it. And finally, don’t forget about any of your accessories – I was so busy with the party that I never even took my (gorgeous, personalised, handmade) clutch bag out of it’s box… my deepest wedding regret. 

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