o obvious wedding dress had ever really appealed to me. I was browsing Johanna Ortiz, one of my favourite designers, for a dress for the cocktail party the night before our wedding when I suddenly discovered that Ortiz had just launched her first bridal collection. It so happened that the Johanna Ortiz trunk show was finishing the next day in London, so I organised an appointment to try the dresses on before they got shipped back to New York. It was meant to be. I knew before I even got there that one of them was going to be my wedding dress.
I was looking for a party dress. The dress that I then purchased was the exact one that I wanted from the whole collection. It was more expensive than I had planned so the obvious thing was to commit to selling it afterwards. However, I didn’t feel sad about that. As it was so unique, I hoped I would have a good chance of selling it because there might be someone like me, who would love it so much they would sniff it out.
I then found these fabulous earrings that also had a Johanna Ortiz vibe. My very generous maid of honour bought me Gianvito Rossi leopard print shoes and because of the cut of the dress you could see a flash of them when the dress moved. The dress didn’t lend itself to wearing a veil so I didn’t plan on wearing one. It was so easy. I was so comfortable. I just love Johanna Ortiz dresses and how they make you feel.
We had the legal ceremony in London and then got married a week later in Rome on 27 May 2018. We loved the idea of getting married in a city. We wanted something quite sassy, nothing country garden-y or lace-y. The whole weekend was based around a party and we found an amazing villa on a hill overlooking Rome. The flowers were so vibrant in colour while the vases were blue and white ceramic. It was maximalist but I decided to put my bridesmaids in black – wearing black floor-length outfits, gold jewellery and red lipstick. I wanted sort of Mafioso vibes! My husband, Josh, wore this beautiful velvet salmon dinner jacket which perfectly complemented the flowers. The dress code was black tie, which definitely works in Rome.
After the wedding, friends suggested dyeing the dress. But was I really going to dye it and then wear it again? Storing it away in a cupboard felt like such a shame. It seems absurd that so much time, money, fabric and man hours go into making these dresses for them literally to be worn once. So, I found Still White, a wedding dress marketplace. It’s a global platform, so I had people contacting me from all over the world. One woman who got in touch was English but lived in Australia and was getting married in Mykonos next year. She was lovely and we ended up having lots in common but unfortunately, she left it too late.
Then, another woman, Bridgette, a fabulous singer who had been looking for my exact dress came across my listing on Still White. I invited her over to my house and we got on so well. I loved the idea of giving it to someone who I thought was so fabulous and who was planning such a wonderful wedding. She took the dress to New Orleans where she got married, which was coincidentally two weekends before our first wedding anniversary. Bridgette and I joked about if she sold it, where it would go next.
Bridgette and her husband had a street party in New Orleans and the groom wore a cream dinner jacket. They obviously had a similar aesthetic and ideas for their wedding which I totally love. When Bridgette wore the dress, she like me, chose big earrings and statement shoes. She also wasn’t interested in a veil, and we both wore our hair up. Yet, as we have different body shapes, the special gown that connected us both, remarkably almost looked like a different dress.