DESIGNER: Rime Arodaky
WHERE: The Mews Clifton
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’ve just turned 30 – so this year has been a big one for me – a milestone age and a wedding! I live and work in Nottingham (where I grew up) as a primary school teacher; sharing my engagement news and wedding planning with the children has been magical, they have been just as excited as me!
Ben is Bristol born and bred so our relationship was originally long distance for 2 years, then we spent a couple of years together in the West Country before finally settling in the Midlands where we have been for 2 years again; hopefully we will stay here for a while now.
How did you meet your Groom?
We met at an awful, cheesy bar in Nottingham (which has since closed down) where Ben was on a stag do and I was being a wing woman for a friend who wanted to meet a guy she was seeing. Ben noticed I had taken off my shoes (bad idea with the sticky, grungy floor in there) and offered his red suede loafers to me.
I ended up joining the stag do and taking them around Nottingham; at the end of the night Ben insisted on making sure I got home safely and took a mini bus full of rugby playing, inebriated Bristolians to the other side of Nottingham to ensure I made it back in one piece (you can imagine their reactions to this!) We met again a couple of weeks later and the rest is history!
How did you come across The Mews?
As things got more serious with Ben I decided to create a secret ‘wedding’ page on Pinterest for myself (I knew how picky I was and how I definitely didn’t want a corporate, traditional style wedding so was experimenting and exploring what other options were out there) and came across the Suki dress by Rime Arodaky.
I instantly fell in love but assumed I’d never be able to track it down and the most that would come from it would be that it would be used as inspiration for the dress I eventually chose.
After getting engaged and trawling shops in Nottingham for dresses (none of which gave me ‘the feeling’ and a lot of the time I cried because nothing there seemed to communicate my style) I googled stockists for Rime in the Uk – cue The Mews! After realising they had a shop in Clifton, Bristol, I immediately made an appointment, deeming it to be fate that one of the only places in the UK that stocked my dream designer was also the place that my dream guy was from!
What styles were you channelling whilst dress shopping?
I wanted something simple, clean cut and non traditional, preferably with a sleeve. The Suki ticked all of these boxes but I adored many of the dresses in The Mews boutique from almost every designer they stocked; they all had the timeless chic yet non-traditional look I was after.
As I am half French, it was even more perfect that all of their designers were French and as soon as I stepped foot in the Clifton boutique, everything felt right; I knew that this place got me and what I was about.
Tell us about finding your perfect wedding dress…
So, after tracking down The Mews as a stockist for Rime Arodaky, I made an appointment and emailed asking if they had the Suki in the boutique. Unfortunately they did not and nor did the Notting Hill boutique. Reluctantly, I had to put the Suki dream aside and believe that fate had another plan for me
(it’s just a picture from Pinterest, I told myself, you can’t tell what it will actually look like on you purely from a picture of a fabulous model wearing it).
Forgetting about the Suki dress was made considerably easier during my first visit to The Mews in Clifton where there was an abundance of other stunning dresses that fitted my style – I ended up choosing a completely different dress and putting a deposit down on it!
However, although this dress was beautiful, the Suki was still niggling away at the back of my mind. Whilst chatting to Grace (who, by the way, is the LOVELIEST girl ever) about other Mews boutiques, she mentioned New York having just opened. As fate would have it, I was visiting New York a few weeks later and after doing some quick checks online, Grace revealed that they had the Suki in stock over there!
Cue making an appointment at the New York boutique and allowing the Suki dream back to the forefront of my mind. A few weeks later, I visited The Mews New York, by myself (I was away with my fiancé and there was no way he was getting a peek) and finally got to try on the infamous Suki dress. It was about 4 sizes too small for me but it didn’t matter; ‘the feeling’ smacked me right across the face and I even shed a couple of tears; I was right, it was ‘The One.’ I contacted Grace who got me in for measurements when I was back in the UK in the October and my order for the Suki was sent across to Paris to be made.
I was informed it wouldn’t reach the Clifton boutique until the following June which, I have to admit, was an agonising wait. What if it wasn’t as dreamy as I thought it was whilst I was in my whirlwind New York adventure? I was by myself over there and made the decision to stick with the Suki purely on my own and the stylists in the boutiques judgements (thank you girls for encouraging me to go for it!)
The first time I tried on my dress in the Clifton boutique was like being part of a very happy ending in a fairytale; it had all come together, my instinct was right and the Suki really was ‘The One.’
Where did your wedding day take place? Was there any special theme/inspiration behind your day?
We were married at St Edmunds Church, Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham and had the reception at Holme Pierrepont Hall next door. There wasn’t a set ‘theme’ as such, but I knew I wanted a relaxed, non-traditional, English country garden type feel to the day.
What did he wear?
Ben wore a suit by Hugo Boss (his forever dream wedding ensemble – apparently he went in and asked them to make him look like David Beckham did at the Royal Wedding!) and a pair of Louboutins; I like to think I was his style inspiration for these as I had purchased a pair for myself as my wedding shoe back in New York the year before when I first tried on my dress.
What was your favourite detail of the day?
I hand made all the favours, decorations and centre pieces as well as sourcing garden games, photo props and other quirky added extras such as sparklers, toasting giant marshmallows on a fire pit and the jenga game guestbook. I think that doing it this way added to the authentic feel to the day and many people commented on how the day was so ‘us.’ One of our friends surprised us by making a super cute wedding cake and cupcakes and one of my best friends mums did our stunning flowers; I like that these elements came from people who mean something to us, they immediately made it that bit more special.
What advice would you give a bride to be about finding the perfect dress?
Trust your instinct all the way! I believe the entire story of my dress is based on instinct and fate, you can’t go wrong when you listen to it. Also, when you try on dresses, only take people who share your sense of style or whose style you admire. Otherwise you could get people picking out things that really aren’t your cup of tea, and, consequently having potentially awkward conversations about why you think the dress they believe is gorgeous, is actually hideous to you.
All images by: Gary Phillip