Jade Beer chats to former Brides magazine fashion editor – and Tythe bride-to-be – Lucinda Turner.
Embrace the planning!
‘When I first started planning my wedding, I went back and dug out all my original notebooks from Brides. I used to work on these huge two-day productions. It was like setting up an entire wedding, just without the bit where two people get married. It was those checklists that I wrote for myself all those years ago that I’ve gone back to now – it all works in the same way. You need to be methodical and thorough with everything. My fiancée wanted to know why I already had 35 Pinterest wedding boards on my phone. We only got engaged in January 2022, so I had an eight-month turnaround but I’ve pretend-planned so many weddings so that’s fine.
Some things must wait
Don’t order the flower girl dresses too far in advance, children grow so quickly. Although I found my dresses six months ago, I still haven’t ordered them, and the wedding is less than two months away.
Separate fantasy from reality
My job was like living out every bridal fantasy you could possibly have. I’ve tried and tested just about all of them. It means I’m now almost going in reverse and my wedding will be very classic and simple. Creatively I love working with lots of bright and bold colours but in my day to day life and with my own personal style, I’m quite minimalist. I like lots of monochrome. So, it will be lots of greens and whites, really complimenting the space at Tythe.
It’s also about working out, what isn’t necessary. Do I want a cake shaped like a giant carousel horse? It would look great in a shoot but I’m not sure it would at my wedding.
I’ve created a wedding website through The Knot which I cannot recommend highly enough. On mobile and desktop, it’s fantastic. It’s such a brilliant way to control your guestlist. You can really personalise it and make it your own. I’ve put a lot of additional information on there for guests like the order of the day, what they can expect, telling people about games we’re planning in advance, so they’re not surprised, the gift list is all contained there. It builds a lot of excitement towards the day and allows you to subtly hint at your theme in the same way your invitations and stationary do.
I must have emailed every single barn venue in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. We both wanted a barn wedding but with extra wow.
I didn’t want the hassle of sourcing all the accommodation for the wedding party, working out how much of a drive it would be for people and all the other logistics. At Tythe, the accommodation is so close. When we went to see it, of course we thought the barn is beautiful but what really sold it to us was all the extra bits – the courtyard, all the hidden nooks where people can sit, the giant lawn at the front, all those different spaces for guests to enjoy. It’s so private but also very accessible. Most of our guests will be coming from London. So many practical elements at Tythe are great but it comes with that extra special feeling. I can’t wait to get into the farmhouse. We’ll have an intimate dinner there on the Friday evening, cooked by my fiancé and his dad. It will be wonderful to have that really special time with people who are so important. Several friends are threatening to host a tennis tournament on the Friday evening. All the boys are excited about using the hot tub.
I love the idea that the bride and groom have different areas to get ready in but that he’s not so far away – I can send my bridesmaid over to see if the boys are actually getting ready – and vice versa.
Make the speech!
It’s the one day over any other when you have all of the people you know and love in one room. If ever there’s a moment to get up and make a speech, it’s got to be then. I’ll be practising but I won’t be giving the speech off my phone. It looks dreadful in photos. I might buy some beautiful notebooks for everyone who’s making a speech. Once that’s done, I’m looking forward to taking a moment on the day to breath and think, wow this is actually happening.
Finding a dress may be harder than you think
It’s hard to pick a wedding dress because there’s your personal style to think about but also your venue, your type of day and what’s going to be practical. I’ve never been a ballgown person, but I tried on several and I had moments looking at myself and thinking this is fantastic, I look incredible. But looking back at the photos the next day I thought, that’s not me at all. I’m going to feel really silly on the day wearing that.
I remember the first time I walked into the Brides fashion cupboard and having that real wow moment. A wedding dress is a beautiful thing, it takes your breath away when you see all the layers of tulle, the sparkles and the glitter and it’s really overwhelming. For most brides, the first time they have that experience is at a bridal boutique, but I’d been having it for years. It made me very picky and actually able to home in on exactly what I wanted.
Some styles suit everyone – and some no one
I’ve seen every type of wedding dress you could possibly imagine. I always struggled on shoots with anything metallic or made from heavy jacquard fabric. It looked incredible on the hanger and then was just never as magical. But certain dresses are universally flattering, regardless of who is wearing them. A Bardot neckline on anyone was always absolutely beautiful, really elevated. A ballgown looks fantastic when you’re walking around, but will it look as good when you’re sitting listening to the speeches? Remember the retouched photos you see on the internet are not necessarily what you’re going to look like on the day. Dresses with lace fabrics and a nude underlay to give that barely there feel, photograph really well, but rarely look very good in reality. Think about how heavy your wedding dress is. We’d have models on set wearing the most beautiful embellished gowns and they’d have back ache by the time we were finished. You’ve got to think about how you’re going to feel after 12 hours of wearing it.
Affordable wedding dresses do exist
If you’re working with a tighter budget, look to the more expensive brands who also have a more affordable offering, sometimes referred to as a diffusion line. Katya Katya do beautiful boho lace dresses. Kate Halfpenny has an incredible capsule collection on Net A Porter. Look to the simpler dresses where you’ll get the quality and craftsmanship but maybe not all the bells and whistles. Theia, Needle & Thread or Self Portrait may not be the obvious choice for a wedding dress but they all have more purse-friendly looks. I would also check out Justin Alexander’s collections and Morilee.’
– Diamonds or pearls: Diamonds, always.
– Heels or flats: Heels for posture, flats for the dancefloor.
– Indoor or outdoor wedding: Outdoor! If you get a weather for it, it’s magical.
– Speech or no thanks: Absolutely make a speech but limit the time. We’re giving everyone five minutes and no more. If you’ve sat through a 45-minute best man’s speech before, you don’t want to do it again.
– Wear again or tuck away: Wear again, I’m very tempted to have mine altered and wear it as a summer dress.
– Honeymoon or mini-moon: Mini-moon. Everyone says you need that quick break afterwards. You’ve got so much adrenaline. For us it’s 4-5 days in Italy to completely chill then planning something longer for later on.
– First dance or no chance: It’s got to be first dance. You’ve got to have that moment. People want to see it. But definitely not choreographed or likely to go viral on the internet.
To watch the full interview with Lucinda, click here.