Diary of a Boho Bride – Charlotte and Alan, Entry 3: A Busy Busy Bride To Be and Choosing the Dress

diary of a boho bride

Today on Diary of a Boho Bride today we are chatting to Charlotte and Alan, well Charlotte really. Last time we spoke to them Charlotte was telling us all about their amazing honeymoon plans, and I wasn’t at all jealous! (no really go and check out their plans, it all sounds AMAZING!) Today it’s all about the dress! Charlotte had a good idea of what she was looking for before she went, which I know isn’t the case for everyone. However she does give some good advice and some useful tips on choosing your dress if you are currently in the process of looking.

diary of a boho bride 

I’ll pass the Blog over to Charlotte…………

Hi peeps, as my title suggests its been a busy period in the Battle/Muff household. On hitting the 4 months countdown, its been all systems go.

Big changes at work and the arrival of a new boss have shaken things up a bit and given me a new added pressure to contend with. In a way it’s made me appreciate and enjoy my wedding planning and projects even more. To come home and have lots of lovely stuff to do has been a release from the day job and taken my mind off things I would otherwise worry about.
Alan has been really supportive, he has helped with everything from deciding on the guest list and making invites to finding guests accommodation and sorting out all the lads attire for the day. Safe to say he is a good ‘un and is earning lots of brownie points at the moment.

As a little reward for all the hard work we had both been putting in, we treated ourselves to a little break in the Lake District. The great british weather wasn’t too cracking but it was great to spend some quality time together in a cosy little cottage, do lots of walking and enjoy some seriously good homemade food at “Lucy’s on a Plate” in Ambleside.

diary of a boho bride

The most amazing highlight of the past few weeks though has been stepping into my customised Ian Stuart gown for the first time and not wanting to take it off….ever!!

As soon as Al “put a ring on it” all I thought about was the dress. I am a self-confessed shopaholic and this was going to be the most important outfit making decision of my life. So armed with bridal magazines and an iPad full of Pinterest pictures I made the all important phone call to the girls at Ava Rose Hamilton Bridal Boutique in Silsden.

Ava Rose Hamilton Bridal Boutique in Silsden.

I was never in any doubt where I would purchase my gown from. When I was a little girl going out for the day with my parents I would always ask if we could drive past the shop with the pretty princess dresses. Then as I got older, I would insist on whoever was driving to slow down on approaching the shop and hope someone would be using the zebra crossing outside just so I could get a prolonged glimpse at the beautiful shop window designs. Needless to say after years of staring at those displays not knowing what was on the other side, I was completely overwhelmed at the thought of it being my turn to walk through those doors. I am such a GEEK, I know!!

I wanted to be an Ian Stuart bride. By his own admission his brides are very directional as to the kind of look they want on their big day. They are fashionable, quirky, fun and most of all want to be different. He sources the the most unusual fabrics and colours creating a theatrical style that’s modern yet wearable…..what more can I say.

Ian Stuart

Being open minded is the key to finding “the one”. I probably tried 10 gowns on, all different in colour, fabric and style. On trying each one my bridal consultant would ask what I liked and disliked about it, as to build a picture of what the perfect dress would look like. In the end it came down to two and I could not for the life of me make a decision. Mum and my bridesmaids had been a great help throughout the whole process but were as indecisive as me. Luckily the professionals were on hand to inform me you can actually customise an Ian Stuart gown by choosing the colour, completely change necklines, remove the aspects you don’t like and add the ones you do like from another of his designs….absolute genius!!

Ian Stuart Wedding Dresses

Six months went by whilst my gown was created. It was more than a little nerve racking, panic mode had set in. I had basically taken a gown, made all sorts of changes and as a result all I had was a picture in my head. Having paid my deposit there was no going back and i kept everything crossed that I had made the right decision.

Ava Rose work with a host of suppliers to provide the whole package which meant we were able to play around with accessories, shoes and headpieces at my fitting, it was so much easier being able to do this under one roof so I could see what it all looked like together.

wedding accessories

When I stepped out and gave my nearest and dearest a twirl there were a few tears, it was the turning point in the whole wedding process that made it all feel 100 percent real.
I wanted to keep it on and go pose in that famous window display to show all those little and not so little girls passing by slowly in their cars as i did, what awaits them. I absolutely love it….It makes me feel taller, it makes my heart flutter and it makes me feel like a bride.

Ian Stuart Wedding Dresses


Looking for your perfect dress? Follow my top tips:

  • Before you start the hunt, take a deep breath and stay cool as a cucumber, you need a clear head to find something that is 100 percent you.
  • Do your homework but stay open minded
  • Think about your wedding style, is it a destination wedding, rustic or modern. Think about what you want to look like in your  wedding surroundings
  • Know your budget, you can find jaw dropping gowns at all price ranges
  • Accessorise, think about the whole shebang when purchasing your gown. Veils, shoes, jewellery and headpieces finish it off.
  • Make an appointment and choose,who you take carefully. Most bridal boutiques require you to make an appointment rather than just walk in off the street. This allows them to give you there full attention and reserve the shop just for your use. Be sure to only take the right people with you. You want people whose opinions you trust, will make the day fun and who will still allow your opinion to reign.


 Lots of love Lottie x x x


  • Photo credits:

Ian Stuart Dresses – www.ianstuart-bride.com
Accessories – Irregular choice shoes,  side birdcage veil  birdcageveil with feathers,  shoes on book,   accessories on teacup



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    Ooh Charlotte, I have dress envy already.. and I dont even know which one you’ve chosen yet! :)
    I just know it’s Ian Stuart and there is absolutely no doubt that you are going to look amazing!! And totally customised aswell.. love it!!
    Great advice hun, I completely agree on the keep an open mind when dress shopping because I found out the hard way!
    I had fallen in love with a dress online but had to travel to Castleford to see it in the flesh. In my head i’d already bought it.. like you do haha! Got there, tried it on & I couldnt believe how ridiculous I looked in it! It just didnt suit me at all and I was gutted. But then a week later I was at a local bridal shop and there was a dress that just totally shone in comparison to all the rest. So different from the dress i’d trailed all the way to Castleford for and it’s such a cliche but as soon as I tried it on it i knew it was the one! xx


      I’ve just got married in an Ian Stuart from Ava Rose and it was amazing. I’m not much of a ‘bridey’ type but i got the Jetset dress and felt incredible and comfortable in it all day – enjoy yours! x


    Can’t wait to see what you’ve picked!

    I ended up buying something by the designer I’d liked best before getting engaged in the end – but I did try on lots of other things first. Having the right dress is just the most wonderful feeling, isn’t it!

    Kelly + Paul

    Soooooo looking forward to photographing this Ian Stuart dress Charl. Loving the pic with Paddy :) xx

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    Wonderful post! We are linking to this great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.


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