Saturday, 9 August 2014

Helmsley Wedding Dress Festival 2014

This week I went to visit Helmsley where they were holding their first Wedding Dress Festival at

 Well being in the occupation I am I could never miss out on a chance to look at wedding dresses. I am so glad that I did too, there were some beautiful dresses on display from 1912 right through to 2013. What was interesting was to see how styles have changed over the years, high neck, open neck, long sleeve, short sleeve, long dresses to flirty short dresses of the 50's. What could certainly not be missed was the distinct influence that Princess Diana's Dress had on the 1980's, what with the puffed sleeves and frilly necklines. 

The other thing that made this exhibition special was that the brides and families had provided photographs of the weddings, so it was lovely to be able to visualised how they looked as brides on their special day.

So take a look below and let me know which dress do you like best?

Long Coat, Ivory Silk with Iris detail, the embroidery detail is beautiful and of all the dresses this was my favourite. This dress belonged to Susan Higgs who got married in 1998

This beautiful close fitting Vera Wang dress was worn by Caroline Saunders who married at this church in 2004. It came from Liberty in London and definitely blew their budget and was apparently so close fitting that she was unable to wear underwear with it! 

This dress belongs to Lilly Allenby who got married in 2000, is was blush pink made of tulle and satin

This is a beautiful 50's short vintage style lace and satin dress. It was worn with a birdcage veil and peep toe shoes. It belongs to Gemma Bicknall who is the owner of The Topiary Tree florist in Helmsley who said that she may use it to have a christening gown made from it. Gemma got married in 2013

This lovely dress is a Pronuptia Duchess Satin Ivory & claret bustle dress and belongs to Katie Atkinson who was married in 2005

This dress is white with lace detail, and was worn by Ann Barnes who got married in 1972

This dress is a lovely dress made from Duchess Satin and organza and had the most beautiful 3ft train with oyster pearls scattered all over it. It belongs to Sally Mintoft who got married in 2002

This dress is made from Cream Silk and is owned by Mrs Teasdale who got married back in 1947

This dress belongs to Susan Smithson who bought in from Brides of York and got married in 2001. It is made from white Dutchess Satin and has a beautiful long train. 

This ballerina length dress from 1962 had beautiful detail with a light brocade of lilly of the valley. It belongs to Mrs Wray.

This dress belongs to Carol Beswick who got married in Leeds in 1964.
At the time she bought it she was a student nurse living in and it cost her £16 which back then was a months take home pay! As you can see from the photograph below she looked beautiful in it.

Gorgeous ivory silk and lace short dress had button sleeves was worn by Eileen Howson back in 1957. The dress had been kept locked away until it was found just after her death last year. 

This was definitely my second favourite, I just loved the white brocade detail. The dress belongs to the Otterburn family and was worn in 1959

This lovely Ivory satin dress was made by the brides aunt in 1961

This white short lace dress from 1960 belongs to Mrs Hall

This white Georgette Silk dress is from the 1930's and was on loan from the Rydale Folk Museum

on the left is a 1930s dress and next to it is a beautiful Blue silk 2 piece family dress

Terrecotta silk crepe dresses from 1930s
all on loan from Rydale Folk Museum

This dress from 1986 was made from Ivory silk and antique lace and belongs to Alison Richardson.

This lovely Ivory satin dress has flower detail and belongs to Brenda Teasdale who got married in 1972

Made by her mum in 1987 Mandy Silk wore this Ivory silk, taffeta and lace dress for her wedding. I love this dress too but not sure if the dropped sleeves and off the shoulder style would suit me.

Karen (nee Campbell Trotter) Ivory Silk dress was designed and made by Andrea Wilkin of London for her wedding in 1986

This Dress actually belongs to a friend of mine Rhian Crusher who owns a business called Celebrate Country Cake Design, so she knows a thing or two about weddings! Her beautiful dress made from Ivory Silk. After picking it out on a sale rail  for her wedding in 1990 later found out that it had been designed by the Young designer of the year.

This very pretty dress belongs to Christine Garnett who got married in 1984 and was made  from white satin and lace with a pale pink sash, a fairly typical style of dress of its time.

Joy Barkers dress was made by a dressmaker from Sunderland for her wedding in 1970, she made the head - dress herself as she used to be a milliner. It was made out of white polyester and flower detail.

So the Helmsley Wedding Dress festival actually finishes tomorrow 10th August at 4pm, it is definitly worth a visit. If you cannot make it to the festival it is still a beautiful spot to stop off and spend a few hours, some lovely quaint shops that sell home made local foods, I always come back with a cake or two - no its not good for my figure I know, but it has a beautiful relaxed feel about it so well worth a visit.
for more information visit

Whilst this was not in the exhibition but I recently lost my mum just over 12 weeks ago very suddenly and in her honour I would like to re share her wedding photo. I have found it very difficult to get back into my work and re focussing, but I know she would be now saying "come on Julie, time to get back to it!"

So here it is, I dedicate this blog to you Mum xx Forever in my thoughts and heart til we meet again