We have a BEAUTIFUL story for you today, and some incredible photos to go alongside it! This anniversary shoot was sent into us by one of our Unconventional Supplier Directory members, Felicity Westmacott. This badass dress maker seized lockdown as an opportunity to finally finish her dream wedding dress. These photos not only showcase her incredible skills, but are a bold and proud celebration of identity and growth. Over to you, Felicity!
a celebratory anniversary shoot
My spouse Rachel and I have been married 14 years. A lot has happened in that time – six pregnancies, three babies, two houses, lockdowns and lots of smiles and tears. On our wedding day, I had so much dressmaking work to finish, not just for my own wedding, but three paying clients too. My wedding dress was finished, wearable and gorgeous – but it wasn’t quite as it should have been. There simply wasn’t enough time! I used my lockdown to finally finish my wedding dress.
My spouse also made a discovery with the extra headspace lockdowns gave us. A long-held confusion with her identity finally crystallized into the realisation that having been assigned male at birth, she was in fact, and had always been, a woman.
Our anniversary shoot was a celebration of so much, our love for each other, finishing the dress, Rachel’s self-discovery and our joy at knowing so much more goodness lay ahead.
more than just an anniversary shoot
It was important to me to make this anniversary shoot more than just a recreation of our wedding day. I wanted to plan photographs that would echo the sentiments we had exchanged on that special day and also show how we had grown and changed.
We returned to the Church where we married, St Nicholas, Charlwood. The church is over a thousand years old and has a very special hollow yew tree that may be even older than the church! We also visited a place very dear to my heart, the gardens of a big house nearby that used to be my family’s grand home back in Victorian times.
For the bouquet, I simply cut roses and cornflowers from my garden and gathered them with a ribbon. I love the scent of garden roses and the informality suited our vibe perfectly.
behind the scenes of a wedding wear designer
My wedding dress was handmade from scratch. The bodice was layered green shot-silk and gold floral lace. The silk skirt was simple at the front with a spectacular green and gold waterfall at the back. I hand embroidered vines of Fuschia flowers in Japanese silk thread all down the train and added a tiny bee to represent my spouse’s family crest.
To change things up from my real wedding, I went all-out on hair and make-up for our anniversary shoot! I wore a purple ombre wig and lots of pretty gemstone rings. I featured the heirloom pearl and diamond necklace that is handed down in my family to eldest daughters on their wedding day, as a forehead jewel. Just a touch of fantasy eleven styling!
Rachel wore a silk waistcoat I made for her in an eighteenth century style, with embroidered pockets. I also made her gold cravat and the bee-shaped cravat pin was my wedding present to her. Her hair was dyed in pinks and oranges and worn in a french plait. We added a little green eyeliner part way through the shoot, when she changed from trousers into the skirt we made together.
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