Wedding Dresses


This has to be one of my stand out weddings from 2015, as featured on Style Me Pretty recently – a small and intimate garden wedding at Barnsley House & Spa, which I designed and planned for the sweetest couple from Hong Kong.

The inspiration for this design plan actually started with the bride’s favourite scent – Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay – from wild berries in the florals, to fresh rosemary, lavender and rose petal confetti – even the bridesmaids crowns featured fresh herbs, all created by the super talented Georgia from Westwood Design. We almost didn’t have the outdoor ceremony thanks to good old British weather and spells of rain all morning, but at the last minute it cleared in time and we put the brollies aside for a candle lit affair in the gorgeous grounds. This followed with a reception where guests were treated to sweet treats, refreshing drinks and canapés, before inviting them to watch a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony in the late afternoon setting sun.


After the most delicious dinner served by the team at Barnsley House on long tables set with hundreds of rosemary & bay scented candles and flowers, the happy couple led their family and friends back into the gardens for signature cocktails, and cutting of the cake surrounded by sparklers. Faye at The Natural Cake Co creates insanely beautiful cakes whilst using all organic natural ingredients – I styled this rose flavoured cake with Westwood Design using fresh figs, flowers and herbs.

The Bride wore the most gorgeous sparkling evening dress for the first dance a little later on, before The Wedding Smashers kicked off a great night of dancing and entertainment for the newlyweds until the early hours of the morning.

A huge thank you to the cast of amazing artists and creatives involved in this wedding – all credited below.



Photography: Depict Photography | Event Planning, Design + Styling: Jessie Thomson Wedding Planning | Floral Design + Styling: Westwood Design | Cinematography: Mark Brown Films | Wedding Dress: Temperley London | Cake: The Natural Cake Co. | Stationery: Gemma Milly | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan| Hair: Kasia Fortuna | DJ: Wedding Smashers | Celebrant: Grace The Day | String Quartet: Arioso | Transportation: Alex Cars | Venue: Barnsley House | Desserts: Contemporary Cake Designs



“Minimalism is not a style, it is an attitude, a way of being. It’s a fundamental reaction to noise, visual noise, disorder, vulgarity. Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance. Minimalism is beyond time. It is timelessness. It is the stillness of perfection” ~ Massimo Vignelli

I honestly have no idea why it’s taken me quite so long to blog this editorial shoot in full – I published little previews from it here and here but seeing it all together again has made me realise just how talented this group of vendors was (see end of this post for full credits), and it was an absolute joy to curate the shoot for Katie Julia who produces such ethereal and gorgeous images from film.

It was featured by Magnolia Rouge magazine too, and the whole thing just looks even more luxurious in print.

This is a pretty long blog post, but I wanted to put it all in one place without you having to jump all over the place with links, and take you through my design and styling process a little more than I usually would. Hopefully brides-to-be will get little more insight into how I work together with them to create and curate weddings that are personal to them, but also fitting to the setting and the mood of the day.


The first tablescape I created was inside the barn at Thyme in Southrop (such a gorgeous wedding venue for intimate celebrations). I commissioned the softest silk linen in a silvery grey which perfectly blended with the grey dining chairs, and I paired it with a slightly more textured greige linen napkin for contrast at each place setting. The fresh white flowers kept the table simple and elegant, with mini grey urns that I reused throughout the shoot. All cutlery and glassware was kept simple too – anything too ornate or pattered would have distracted from the minimalist look I wanted to achieve – yet still keeping it feminine and fresh. The calligraphy grey ink on an off white textured care stock – again, nothing cutesy or themed to the stationery elements. I used my own candles along the table (they actually smelt amazing – “joy” by St Eval if you’re interested!), and brought my own grey, clear and white crystals for the place settings to add a personal touch with individual flower blooms sitting pretty alongside them.

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We then moved things outside as I wanted to show my clients how they could achieve a more relaxed al fresco dining style without compromising on the luxe detail that sets their event apart from the rest. You’ll see we installed huge garlands above the tables – which in real life may have wilted in that strong Summer sun, but since we used faux flowers and foliage, no problem there! I used a slightly more relaxed style linen napkin, and switched out the mini votive candles for tall straight edged glass hurricane vases with ivory pillar candles (my pet hate is bright white candles!).

I tore off the back of the folded place name cards so that they’d lie flat on each napkin, and I used a spring of foliage at each setting to pull through the greenery in the setting.


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I adore it when my brides wear colour on their wedding day – whether a bold statement, or more refined in blush or champagne – I also wanted to show how beautiful soft grey can be for a bride, but also for her bridesmaids. This dress was designed by British duo Belle & Bunty and it just draped so amazingly in all the right places. We used a large hand tied bouquet of white flowers with foliage and trailing ribbons and lace. Oh and we couldn’t resist including Katie’s GORGEOUS chihuahua pups!

If you look closely you’ll see I selected natural diamond and gemstone jewellery that matched the simplicity and texture of the dress – the low back would have looked lovely with an up do, but I actually adored how different the softly curled low side pony tail looked with it

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Oh how I adored this wedding dress. Again, it has a beautifully low back (I have a thing about them, evidently!), a soft streamlined silhouette in silk with long face sleeve and gorgeous detail on the cuff. Perfect for a church wedding as it’s not too revealing, yet will please those brides not wanting to look too modest. I asked Heidi to create a soft and undone up do, with fresh flowers – though looking at this again it would have absolutely worked with a veil too.

Don’t you love how the lace ribbons mirror the lace in the dress, with the grey ribbons allowing a subtle contrast with all the white? Note too that we purposeful posed this dress against a solid white wall for maximum impact. Nothing detracts from the dress other than natural beauty of those amazing flowers in the bouquet.

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I commissioned this from Jennie as she’s one of my favourite cake designers locally to me in the Cotswolds – she manages to combine delicate detail with a modern touch, and she totally nailed this brief! I styled it against the softest grey painted wall with pillar candles in straight edged glass hurricane vases again. The flower on the cake is in fact made of icing…. stunning.

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From soft grey calligraphy on textured card stock, to ethereal jewellery, pretty ribbons in contrasting or tonal colours, candlelight and crystals… the success of any design plan for a wedding is to not forget the details. It’s what makes it personal, it ties it all together so the day feels coherent and the atmosphere flows from room to room. The bridal party looks perfect, and not one element looks out of place in the setting. When styling shoots I often use my own props and other vendors loan me their amazing products of course, but I also always try to work in the decor and furniture that already exists in the venue – it really helps give my clients an idea of how this will work in practice, and is the perfect example of helping couples to translate styled shoots into real weddings.

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I hope you enjoyed that little journey? I know it’s long but trust me, there were SO many more pictures I could have shared here. I think Katie just couldn’t take enough of it in on her cameras! Please do look through the list of vendors below – each and every one of them are amazing.

To see more of my real weddings and editorial shoots featured in blogs and magazines, visit

Jessie x

Photography KATIE JULIA / Styling, planning & coordination JESSIE THOMSON / Florals THE ROSE SHED / Gowns BELLE & BUNTY / Stationery GEMMA MILLY / Jewellery RUTH TOMLINSON / Linens TABLE TO DINE FOR / Hair & make-up HEIDI VINCE / Floral garlands FRIEND OF FAUX / Assistant stylist WESTWOOD DESIGN / Model AMY NEVILLE / Venue THYME AT SOUTHROP

To browse Jessie’s favourite products, visit the shop at Jessie Loves!


I adore collaborating with like minded artists to create amazing and inspiring editorial shoots for my clients and future brides, and this one with Rachel at The Rose Shed and UK film photographer Katie Julia was no exception. One of my absolute favourite details was the oversized classic all white bouquet which almost any bride could make a stunning statement with.

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Photography KATIE JULIA / Styling, planning & co-ordination JESSIE THOMSON / Florals THE ROSE SHED / Gowns BELLE & BUNTY / Stationery GEMMA MILLY / Jewellery RUTH TOMLINSON / Linens TABLE TO DINE FOR / Hair & make-up HEIDI VINCE / Floral garlands FRIEND OF FAUX / Assistant stylist WESTWOOD DESIGN / Model AMY NEVILLE / Venue THYME AT SOUTHROP – See more at: MAGNOLIA ROUGE


Whether you are a bride wanting something super chic, or you are looking for the perfect bridesmaid dresses to compliment your leading ladies – I always think dresses by British designer duo Belle & Bunty are a beautiful style choice, and the colour of this petrol blue dress totally stole my heart on a recent shoot I created at Thyme Barn at Southrop, in the Cotswolds.

I can’t wait to share more from the full shoot with Katie Julia, but this dress absolutely deserved its moment in the spotlight. Would you dare to switch traditional white for bold blue? Or would you choose something blue for your maids?

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Styling: Jessie Thomson | Photography: Katie Julia | Dress: Belle & Bunty | Hair & Make Up: Heidi Vince | Jewellery: Ruth Tomlinson | Flowers: The Rose Shed | Venue: Thyme Barn

As featured in Wedding Sparrow.


So I recently shared Taylor Barnes Photography and Belle & Beau Photography‘s images from our styled shoot earlier this year as featured on the Style Me Pretty wedding blog, and I also promised one more amazing photographer feature from the day too (as well as a series of DIY tutorials which I can’t wait to show you!).

So I’m delighted to introduce Alex Miller Photography and his beautiful work. This gent really will go to the next level to get the right shot, I spied him climbing up trees, hanging off branches and creeping up on deer in just one day of styling!

As usual, jump to the end for all supplier credits. You want amazing florals and pretty stationery at your wedding too right?

Coombe Lodge, Somerset Wedding Venue





unusual tree at coombe lodge

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grey and white floral stationery

simple grey and white letter press stationery

twine wrapped church candle


twine and purple wool wrapped cutlery

pretty french rustic and floral wedding table








deer at wedding venue Coombe Lodge







diamante low back wedding dress



romantic wedding veil in sunlight

{Photography: Alex Miller Photography | Flowers: The Rose Shed | Make-Up: Nina Norman MUA | Hair: Melanie Giles Hairdressing | Venue: Coombe Lodge | Gowns: The Mews, Clifton | Jewellery : Bees and Graves | Mensware: Clifton Suits | Stylist: Jessie | Tableware: Stylists Own | Vintage Furniture Hire: Virginia’s Vintage Hire}

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the three different styles, which photographer most appeals to your personal design aesthetic? Do you see a difference between male/female photographer’s work?

I love the evening light in the final shots, and always tell my brides to make sure they get some portraits at sunset if possible (even if it means sneaking out during pudding!).




Did you see Part 1 of the gorgeous gowns featured in Cotswold Life and shot by White Room Images at Barnsley House and Spa? No? Well hop on over there now, because that first Sassi Holford dress is a stunner!

The lovely team from Dragonfly Contemporary Designs came together with top local Gloucestershire suppliers to showcase some of their beautiful wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses in a typical English country garden setting, with ethereal veils and pretty accessories to match.

barnsley house cotswold wedding venue

This gorgeous dress is “Lantana” from Alan Hannah’s MiaMia range, and the veil is by The Couture Veil, both available at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs.

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Again, I love how the look can be totally transformed by adding or taking away a simple veil. The bouquet is by Bloomers of Cheltenham and perfectly complimented the setting at beautiful Cotswold wedding venue Barnsley House.

alan hannah dress with veil lantana alan hannah mia mia

Dragonfly Contemporary Designs have also recently launched their own bridesmaid dresses in a variety of colour-ways and lengths – seen here in a blush pink shorter style and a navy maxi style.

navy bridesmaid dress blush pink bridesmaid dress

I love this next Sassi Holford dress called “Olivia” so much because of it’s versatility. The lace detail at the top with a more simple skirt is just the right amount of pretty. The glittery headpiece is by Polly Edwards, again all available at Dragonfly Contemporary Designs. The freshwater pearls are from Cheltenham based RJ Spicer.

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Thanks to the beautiful girls Nikki and Olivia for wearing these dresses so beautifully. I think they were in dressing up heaven!



Photography: White Room Images |

Bridal Gowns: Dragonfly Contemporary Designs |

Flowers: Bloomers of Cheltenham |

Hair: Gorgeous Hair |

Make-up: Alice Tenton |

Wedding Planner: Jessie Thomson |

Models: Nikki Cooke and Olivia Pym

Wedding Venue: Barnsley House and Spa |

Wouldn’t it be Loverly? {A My Fair Lady Styled Shoot with So Sassi Wedding Dresses}

A little while I ago I gave you a preview of the My Fair Lady styled shoot arranged with Love Me Love My Wedding and So Sassi. Inspired by the classic film and one dress in particular, the Bianca peplum wedding dress, I created a moodboard and monochrome colour scheme of ivory and black, with some subtle blush pink to make it a little more feminine and bridal.

So often I hear amongst brides and industry friends that “vintage is over”. I really don’t think it is… there are so many era’s and so much inspiration. You can go for a glitzy and 20’s Gatsby inspired affair, a retro 50’s theme, or something more elegant as with this styled shoot. I guess it all boils down to what “vintage” means to you? It doesn’t have to be floral china and antique books, and even if it is… I’m just going to go ahead and say it, I love that look! Just because it’s not trending on pinterest doesn’t make it not beautiful. As long as your wedding reflects your personal style at the time, who cares anyway?!

“I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things I’ve never done before.” – Eliza Doolittle

old down manor styled shoot

monochrome wedding cakesassi holford wedding dress

pink roses feathers bouquet old down manor weddingblack and white wedding cakeso sassi wedding dress lace wedding cakepeplum wedding dressmy fair lady wedding stationerymy fair lady styled wedding shoot bride red lips

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{Concept & Co-ordination: Love Me Love My Wedding; Supplier Sourcing & Styling: Jessie Thomson Weddings & Events; Wedding Dresses: So Sassi Bridal; Bridal Shoes: Beloved Bridal: Wedding Venue: Old Down Manor; Bridal Hair: Anna White; Bridal Makeup: Vanessa Smith; Floral Design: Stephanie Saunders; Wedding Stationery: Knots and Kisses; Wedding Cake: Curtis and Co cakes; Vintage China + Glassware: Lavender and Linen; Parasol: Love Umbrellas; Photography: McAvoy Wedding Photography; Model: Sarah Smith}



Oz The Great and Powerful {A Ruby Red and Emerald Green Styled Shoot}

A little while back I shared the moodboard and video preview of the So Sassi styled shoot I collaborated on with Love Me Love My Wedding recently. Check out the inspiration behind the look and beautiful film by Vogue Wedding Films if you want a spot of visual pretty to cheer up your day!

Today I am delighted to be able to share the gorgeous images from this styled shoot showing off some amazing accessories and make up looks between the two good and wicked bride witches. The day was full of pantone colour of the year emerald green, with a healthy splash of ruby red and glittering gold. Oh and I couldn’t resist creating our mini “somewhere over the rainbow” with Things by Laura – perfect for a ceremony or photobooth backdrop dontcha think?


fur coat and wedding backdrop emerald city sign wizard of oz stationery


Things by Laura also made the amazing paper props, including giant poppies, pinwheels and geometric emerald gems. Whilst Knots and Kisses provided some Oz inspired stationery and helped us point the way to Emerald City.

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We had a good and a wicked witch bride (wearing the most incredible sparkly red wedding shoes!) and a wizard groom in a top hat.

rainbow wedding decorations groom top hat tree branch ribbons


The transformation from good to evil with by Make Up By Vanessa was pretty spectacular.

witch bride emerald green wedding red and yellow bouquet


Stephanie Saunders created the floral arrangements which just happened to sit beautifully against the leather armchairs in a rather smart room in Old Down Manor, our chosen venue for the shoot.

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I can’t wait to show you the final scene from the So Sassi inspired shoot, a My Fair Lady theme with a vintage afternoon tea and the prettiest of sweet treats!



{Concept & Co-ordination: Love Me Love My Wedding; Supplier Sourcing & Styling: Jessie Thomson Weddings & Events; Wedding Dresses: So Sassi Bridal; Bridal Shoes: Beloved Bridal: Wedding Venue: Old Down Manor; Bridal Hair: Anna White; Bridal Makeup: Vanessa Smith; Floral Design: Stephanie Saunders; Wedding Stationery: Knots and Kisses; Wedding Cake: Curtis and Co cakes; Paper Crafts + Assistant Stylist: Things by Laura; Photography: McAvoy Wedding Photography; SuitsA Suit That FitsTop HatsTip Top HatsShrugWraporHair Accessories: Julia David Vintage Designs & Triflerabbit; Models: Natasha Holli & Will Shave}


Oz The Great and Powerful Theme {Styled Shoot with So Sassi}

A few days ago I showed you a little insight into the Rapunzel scene from the styled shoot I did recently with So Sassi and organised by Love Me Love My Wedding. The full set of images will be landing here soon, but a little preview is now up on Jenny’s pretty blog today.

Here is the moodboard I created for the “Oz The Great & Powerful” scene, to help guide all of the suppliers involved and pull together the creative vision:

Oz Theme

All images via Pinterest


Featuring lots of the Pantone colour of the year, emerald green, with a little pop of red and gold. On the day Laura from Things by Laura and I created an actual rainbow too. Ok that’s a lie… but it was almost as good!

To give you a little insight into the shoot on the day, Vogue Wedding Films made this preview, I challenge you not to lust after the sparkly shoes! I nearly died when I spotted them in my research for suppliers.

Giant poppies rock right? And that evil witch make up was incredible… it would take one bold bride to pull that look off though!



Bridal Boutique Announces Super Saving Spring Sample Sale

Cheltenham designer wedding dress shop, Dragonfly Contemporary Designs, has announced a new Spring Sample Sale, which will be taking place on Friday 12th April and Saturday 13thApril from 10am – 5pm.


wedding dress sample sale cheltenham cotswolds


Every girl loves to hear the two words “sample sale” being spoken! This is especially true when they are in the midst of planning an expensive wedding at a time when purse strings are being tightened and we’re witnessing the rise of the DIY bride on a budget. Dragonfly Contemporary Designs, a bridal boutique based in the regency town of Cheltenham Spa in the Cotswolds, is holding a Spring Sample Sale offering up to 70% off all their dresses in the sale. With the average cost of weddings now rising to just over £16,000 in 2013, what more could a girl ask for?


Just before the busy wedding season really kicks off, owner Suzi Hounam-Brooker will be opening her shop doors from 10am – 5pm on both days to offer all brides-to-be the unique opportunity to buy a beautiful couture wedding dress made by one of Britain’s premier bridal designers for as little as £500. These dream wedding dresses are all ex-shop samples at high street sizes 10-12 and will include designs by Stewart Parvin, SassiHolford and Suzanne Neville.


Suzi said: “I have been delighted with the excellent feedback I’ve had since opening the boutique in its new location earlier this year, but I’d really like to make way for some of the new designs I’ve seen on the catwalks recently”, she continued, “I’ve also been approached by some fantastic new British bridal designers and am really excited about introducing them to the Cotswolds very soon!”


Sale opening hours:
Friday 12th April: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday 13th April: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Additional information:
– No appointment necessary

– Sizes available: UK high street 10-12

– All dresses purchased must be taken on the day
– Free street parking and car park nearby
– All major credit and debit cards accepted

Where are we?
Find us here:

9 Great Norwood Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2AW

Need more info?
Please contact Suzi at or call on +44 (0)1242 224 466.


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