Tithe Barn Wedding in The Times!

I am super excited to see Catherine and Paul’s wedding in The Times paper! I designed and created Catherine’s bespoke blush pink silk wedding dress with heavily beaded and embroidered lace top with matching lace on a cathedral length veil. Doesn’t she look just stunning!

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Read their story below:

Catherine Budd, 36 a jewellery designer and Paul Mullan, 38 head of sports science and medicine for the British sailing team, were married on November 25, 2017 at the Tithe Barn on the Symondsbury Estate, in Dorset.

Choosing an engagement ring can be challenging – especially when your partner is a bespoke jewellery designer. ‘It was a bit of a tricky one,’ says Paul. He ended up making a ring out of a coiled copper wire and a wooden box to put it in.

Cat thought Paul was taking an unusually long time putting shelves up in their living room in the run up to Christmas 2016. “He was always in the garage” she says. All became clear on Christmas day when they went for a walk with Digby, their cocker spaniel, on Sandbanks beach in Poole.

As Digby ran towards Cat, she noticed that he was wearing a bib. She bent down to read it: “Will you marry my daddy?” – and then noticed Paul on one knee holding the ring box that he had made. His copper ring was a “stand in” because he knew that Cat would want to design her own.

“Being a jewellery designer made it quite hard,” Cat says about the process of designing her engagement ring ” I am aware that there are so many options” She eventually decided on a vintage style with a diamond centrepiece. Hidden from view is an aquamarine gemstone – the birthstone of her father, who died eight years ago.

Cat and Paul met via a dating app in 2015. Their first date was a pub lunch in Millford on Sea, Hampshire, followed by a walk with Digby, who originally belonged to Paul. ” We chatted like we had known each other for ages” says Cat who grew up in Surrey and was then living in Bournemouth.

“I certainly felt very early on that Cat was the one,” says Paul, who was captivated by her smile. He took Cat to Paris on their seventh date in an attempt to be memorable. A few months after they met, he went to Rio as head of sports science and medicine for the British sailing team in preparation for the 2016 Olympics. On his return Cat moved into his house in Poole.

Raised in London, Paul studied sports science at the University of Brighton. He has introduced Cat to a range of outdoor pursuits including hiking. Their first expedition took them nine hours. “I actually got us lost” he admits.

Cat studied psychology at the University of Southampton and then worked in human resources. In 2010 she started metalsmithing as a hobby. Her decision to follow her dream of becoming a jewellery designer was prompted be her fathers death. “It hit me really hard how precious and fleeting life is.”

She enjoys Paul’s sense of adventure. “The feeling of us being a team” she says. “He cares so greatly about us. Our life is full of laughter.” He had planned to propose on a six-week trip to India and the Himalayas, which included a trek to Everest Base Camp but the right romantic moment never presented itself. Instead, he waited until Christmas.

Cat an Paul wanted a winter wedding to avoid uncertainty about the weather. About 100 guests were invited to the 1:30pm civil ceremony at the Tithe Barn on the Symondsbury Estate in Dorset. She designed Paul a rose gold lapel pin inscribed with “I love you” He had two best men his younger brother and a friend from University.

Walking into the ceremony on the arm of her mother, Cat carried a charm with a photograph of her father attached to her bridal bouquet. Her mother wore a matching charm on her corsage on her jacket. “He walked down the aisle with us” she says.

Cat wore a bespoke dress. “I’m quite a perfectionist,, but I’m not a dress designer,” she says explaining her challenge to find the right dress. “Pinterest and Instagram become your best friend, but also your worst enemy. My dressmaker was incredibly patient.” When the newlyweds exited the barn, what began as a shower of confetti became a flurry of snow.

A Very Georgian Affair

It’s not a party unless there is a Chandelier! This was me pretending Upton House was where I live and this costume is my normal clothing…. I wish! Maybe a new years resolution to dress like this every day!? As you can imagine alterations and sometimes bespoke work isn’t always very creative so I like to keep my hand at costume design on the side.

Photography by Captured by Light and Ian Hamilton, modelled by me and Samantha Shapley, MUA/Hair myself and Sapphire Styling at Upton House.

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Merry Christmas!!

Sending you all my love this Christmas, past and present customers and those who I work with, venues and fellow wedding suppliers. I really do love creating, sewing and getting to work closely with lot’s of lovely brides and their friends and family couldn’t ask for a better job! Don’t get me wrong at times it can be super busy and stressful but I am already planning for a super organised 2018 and am looking forward to it.

Have a lovely Christmas and an amazing New Year!! Love Chantelle xx

Escaping Into A Fairytale

I grew up in a forest. It’s like a room. It’s protected. Like a cathedral…it is a place between heaven and earth.

Photo shoot organised, designed and shot by Sophie Nina Photoraphy, MUA by Jacqui Cee and hand dyed ombre silk dress with blossom and pearl detailing by ChantelleSophia.

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It’s That Busy Time Of Year Again!

Thank you all so much for your patience with my slower than usual reply to emails and messages at the moment. This time of year is a very busy time for me as a lot of wedding dates are all close together! The longer than usual weeks are more than worth it when brides send me photos and even lovely thank you cards in the post. I do love my job! Here are mixture of photos of this years fabulous alterations customers so far this summer, it’s been a pleasure ladies! xxx

First and last images by Robin Goodlad Photography.

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As tradition goes the 1st anniversary is paper. An original hand drawn wedding dress illustration is the perfect idea for a unique keepsake anniversary gift! I hope that you enjoy your little surprise gift in the post Lizzie Elkins! Happy 1st Anniversary!

See more illustrations under my portfolio for my past work and send me a message with photos of the bride for quotes. Prices vary on size and style from just £25 for a personal and modern twist on the traditional paper anniversary gift!

How beautiful does Lizzie look! Wedding photo by Anna Morgan,  bespoke illustration by ChantelleSophia.

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8 Stone Gone For Good!

The Tulip’s are out and the perfect time of year to write a little blog post about a very inspiring lady called Tulip! During The Bath and West Wedding Show a couple of months ago I met the lovely models backstage who kindly wore my catwalk wedding dress designs. Tulip wanted to model as a celebration for all of her hard work achieving her goals.

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This post is to encourage others to have that body confidence that so few of us do have and to show everyone that if you put your mind to it and work hard with determination you can achieve your goals!

Now without sounding any more cheesy! I would like to say a very well done to Tulip who is well on track with a healthy, positive new lifestyle! You are such an inspiration Tulip, thank you so much for modelling for me. Beautiful lady inside and out! xxx

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Bath & West Wedding Catwalk Show

Lovely to hear lots of bride’s wedding dress design ideas at this 2 day wedding show in Shepton Mallet. My blue example dress was the talk of the catwalk because it is so very unusual! I wasn’t sure whether to make this at first as it is so different but it really does stand out for the crowd, no bad thing when it comes to your special day! Go big or go home haha! Thank you to all of the wonderful models from the show, For keeps jewellery and bouquet and hair and makeup, images by JH Photography Love Chantelle xxx

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