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Isabel Stephenson

Dress Ivana & Bespoke Sleeves

Photographer: Rachel Fraser
Make-Up: Victoria Holdstock
Planner: Jennifer Staniforth 
Florist: Flowers Unlimited
Bridesmaids: Maids To Measure

Isabel and Guy envisioned their wedding day to be a balance of a traditional English country wedding and a joyful summer party with personal touches to reflect them as a couple. Isabel’s family home in County Durham was the perfect choice to hold the reception, with the ceremony nearby at Blanchland Abbey. Very remote and looking out onto the moors, the wedding venue was personal, striking and totally unique. A dress to reflect this wedding theme was a top priority for Isabel – the strapless A-line Ivana dress with high split and bespoke sleeves was the most fitting choice.

Rachel Fraser

Sassi holford Bride with Maids to Measure Bridesmaids

What were your wedding day non-negotiables?

Great music, delicious food and flowing drinks. We knew if we nailed those, the rest would fall into place and all our expectations were surpassed and beyond. I wanted flowers everywhere and we created beautiful flower arches to lead you through the garden, from champagne on the lawn down the hill to the marquee. Food was really important for us to get right and was a big part of our day – crab crumpets, cote de boeuf and Mille feuille followed by a wonderful selection of cocktails into the evening.

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Sassi Holford Bride Ivana Wedding Dress on Wedding Day

Did you always know what you wanted your wedding dress to look like?

I went into my search open to suggestions and didn’t have a clear idea of shape or style so I wanted to try on as much as possible. I was looking for something playful while remaining timeless, and I wanted to have a dress with personality. It took a lot of trial and error to find the right balance, a few separate trips to the flagship store, but when when I tried Ivana I knew it was the dress.

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Sassi Holford Bride Mini Wedding Dress Puff Sleeves

What made you choose Ivana?

Initially I thought Ivana was striking and very beautiful, however it was strapless and I didn’t want to show bare arms. I asked if we could create detachable sleeves to match the dress fabric, and they brought a great balance to the whole look. With the sleeves added, it was the first dress that made me think “this is how I want to feel on my wedding day”. I also remember my mum and sister commenting that it was the first dress where I really looked myself. I love that it’s incredibly classic, particularly when closed at the front, and the long train gives fabulous effect. Although on first look very traditional, what makes the dress so special is the playfulness of the split and the mini skirt hidden underneath. I think it adds so much character and versatility – a real ceremony to dance floor dress.

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Sassi Holford Bride Strapless A Line Wedding Dress

How did your Sassi Holford wedding dress make you feel?

My dress was a perfect reflection of the day. The super classic shape, simple lines and long train, made me feel incredibly elegant and I felt so special walking down the aisle. Even with the long train the dress didn’t feel heavy and I could still move and properly celebrate with our guests – I felt amazing. An added surprise was that my dress took on extra character when the skirts blew apart and really showed off the mini skirt below.

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Sassi Holford Bride Walking Up The Aisle

If you could go back and relive one part of your wedding again, what would it be?

Walking down the aisle, giggling with my dad, looking on to a waiting Guy. It was an incredible moment and I know the dress made a real impact.

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