Real Bride: Morgan Shelly – A Bespoke Journey
We are so excited to share the beautiful wedding of our gorgeous real bride Morgan. You may be familiar with Morgan, who we have worked with for many years – shooting campaigns together, styling videos and bridal shows. The team were absolutely over the moon when Morgan told us she was engaged and would love our team to bring her dress design to life. What an honour!
We caught up with Morgan to find out more about her special day and dress journey…
Hey Morgan! Can we just say how absolutely incredible you looked on your wedding day, the whole team had such a wonderful time with you in your fittings and bringing your vision to life – it’s so special for us to see you so happy on your wedding day!
Can you tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your design & how this was brought to life with Andrea & our Team?
The inspo came from trying on multiple dresses and deciding I wanted something unique. I am a sucker for an asymmetric neckline — so this felt natural to be part of my wedding dress design. My style is timeless and simple at heart. I’m not a huge fan of trends or fads. An important part of the design was that I would love it for years to come, but also have something edgy. I think the one shoulder plus the seamless bodice is what ties together these two concepts.
We’ve tried so many dresses together over the years for shoots and styling videos – was this helpful when deciding on your own design?
To be honest, it made it harder! I love pretty much every AH dress. I feel like each one has its own personality which allows me to tap into different parts of myself. If I didn’t have the time to go for the entire bespoke experience, I would’ve felt totally confident taking any dress off the rail and wearing it on the day. However, the bespoke experience really meant I could sit down with the team and be part of the design process from start to finish — which really made it feel special to me.
What was your favourite part of your wedding dress journey?
The creative journey! The made-to-measure process means you’re involved every step of the way. Understanding how the fabric works, the inner workings of the dress and the entire fit only made me feel more confident on the day. It felt like it was truly made for me and in a way, BY me (with lots of professional expertise of course!)
How did you find the toile fitting, was it helpful to see your design before making in silk? What did you enjoy about the toile?
Absolutely! The toile was so gorgeous I would’ve walked down the aisle in it! Jokes aside, it really put me at ease. It helped me envision the dress at an earlier stage and allowed for any new adjustments to be made. This is an essential (and fun!) step for peace of mind
Let’s talk corsets! Tell us more about your corset, how it made you feel, what did you love about this couture construction of your dress?
I’ve got quite a unique body shape in the sense that my bust is big but my waist is small. I knew I didn’t want to have to deal with specific undergarments on the day, and I wanted something that would really make me feel secure. I would highly recommend a corset for anyone wanting to feel like a million bucks on the day. It meant that once I was in the dress, I was in! There was no room for gaping, no bits of fabric flying around and NO need for any double-sided tape etc. It contributed to a super stress free day and once I was in the dress, I felt like I could take on the world. It moulded me and I remember saying to my friend ‘I honestly feel like I am wearing nothing — this is SO comfortable!”
Tell us more about your wedding day! We’d love to hear all the details and how the dress worked into the overall feel of the day.
It was a dream, honestly! Our wonderful planners kept a lot of elements a surprise, so when my guests saw the decor for the first time, so did we! It was 30 degrees just outside of Cape Town and the Aperol Spritz was flowing. What more could you want? The fact that my dress was corseted meant that I could throw out my best dance moves without ANYTHING moving. As I said, it truly felt like it was part of me. It was effortless and chic, exactly how I pictured it.
Why did you choose to work with AH on your wedding dress?
I’ve worked with AH for many years as a fit and campaign model. However, I’ve also shot countless bridal campaigns and done many shows for other brands. The thing that really stood out to me was the fact that the team are genuinely LOVELY to work with, and the quality of the materials stood out to me. I’ve spent days on set in wedding dresses that just feel wrong. They feel uncomfortable and over-the-top and ‘unnatural’. AH dresses are the complete opposite. I also knew the team knew who I was as a person, and that they’d listen to my vision.
Was sustainability important to you? Natural silks, made in London, repurposing?
Carrying on from my point before, I’ve shot in many wedding dresses in my time. I’ve also worn many with synthetic fabrics, uncomfortable lace, and poor craftsmanship. AH fabrics have always felt breathable, light and non-invasive. The quality of the fabric really makes you feel amazing on the day. And knowing that you aren’t contributing to mass production with unsustainable methods is the cherry on top of the cake.
Will you plan to repurpose your dress?
I’d love to! When we tried on the corset part of my dress in the early stages, I had on a pair of jeans and said, “Wow, this corset looks really cool with denims! Imagine it with my Manolos too!” and the team’s eyes just lit up. We all had that lightbulb moment! I’m still deciding if that’s the route I’ll take, or if I’ll shorten it for a fun white dress to wear to a special occasion. Wimbledon, here I come!
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Having all of my favourite people in my favourite place celebrating my favourite thing – love.
Do you have any advice for brides to be when designing or choosing their wedding dress?
Just do it! If you have a vision, and there’s a little voice in your head telling you it’s too bold, too much effort, too simple, too out there — ignore it. If you have something that you know you’ll love, go for it.
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes of Morgans dress journey, we’ll be delving deeper into the bespoke process, showing you how it works and what it’s like to have a fully made to measure dress!
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