Philomena by Willowby: Real Bride Jo’s Story

On 8th September 2018, our lovely Bridal Indulgence bride Jo wore Philomena by Willowby when marrying Mikael in his hometown of Malmö, in the south of Sweden. The day looked beautiful, as did the couple. We caught up with Jo to find out more about her big day…

Bridal Indulgence bride wearing Philomena by Willowby

The Hunt for Philomena by Willowby

“I found Bridal Indulgence through the Watters website and emailed Kerri about a few of the dresses, including Philomena by Willowby,” Jo explained.

“Not only did Kerri have quite a few of the dresses I wanted to try on, but unlike any of the other places I had contacted, she offered to track down several of the dresses she didn’t have.”

Bridal Indulgence bride Jo wearing Philomena by Willowby

Finding Philomena by Willowby

“As soon as I put Philomena by Willowby on, I didn’t want to take it off. I loved the vintage lace, the small but still noticeable train and the addition of glam through the pearls.

“To me, Philomena by Willowby was a wedding dress, it was something that made me feel beautiful and special, and it fit me, my figure and my personality perfectly.”

Love a lace design? Browse our favourite relaxed lace wedding dresses at Bridal Indulgence. 

Bride wearing bohemian wedding dresses

Jo’s Bridal Indulgence Experience

“Once I had chosen the dress, Kerri worked around me and my timings, and never failed to find time for me. Kerri also magically managed to produce the perfect veil at the last minute, which made me even more excited to wear my dress.

Bridal Indulgence bride Jo wearing her veil

“The Cart House was also such a relaxing and easy-going place. There are small things, like not having to worry about parking, that make it such an easy place to visit and try on dresses without any added stress.

“Kerri was so accommodating and extremely organised – I booked my appointment three months in advance and, on the day, all the dresses were there as promised!”

Read more: Leona by Watters: Real Bride Ali’s Story

Bride with bridesmaids

Accessories to Match Philomena by Willowby

“As Philomena by Willowby itself was such a big statement, I wanted to keep my jewellery simple. I sourced most of it from my ongoing love affair with Alex Monroe

“The bracelet I wore on my day was my mum’s, it matched Philomena by Willowby perfectly, as well as being my ‘something borrowed’ and my ‘something old’! I don’t think it could have worked better if I’d  planned it.”

Read more: Clairee by Wtoo: Real Bride Stephanie’s Story

Accessories to match Philomena by Willowby

The Venue

“Our venue, Agneshill, it is a converted farmstead with several rooms, including a separate Ceremony Room (the old Cow Shed), a dining room, a Mingel Room (the old Pig Hut, which still has its troughs!) and a Club Room, with a bar and seating area.”

Wedding at Agneshill, Sweden

We love the vintage scandi-chic styling of the venue, it goes perfectly with the bohemian aspects of Philomena by Willowby!

If you’re looking for a relaxed, bohemian wedding dress, you’ll love these beautiful boho-style wedding dresses at Bridal Indulgence.

Wedding at Agneshill wedding venue

A Touch of Britain at a Swedish Wedding

“With the wedding being in Sweden, one of things I was adamant about was having Afternoon Tea-style food. Considering that the weather took a turn for the worse, I think everyone appreciated a warm cup of tea alongside their Pimms.

“What also worked really well is that our venue was BYOB so we asked guests to not provide a wedding gift but to bring a bottle with them.

Food at Swedish wedding

“So many of our guests were extremely generous – we received enough drinks to keep us going until Christmas 2020 – despite one of my Uncle’s attempt to drink the bar dry!

“The venue also encouraged us to have a very traditional Scandinavian late-night snack of hot dogs – which were devoured by us and our guests after all the dancing.”

Read more: Bridal Indulgence Imogen Wears Rowena Gown 

Open bar at wedding

The Groom’s Suit

“The one thing I did push for was for Mikael to get a great suit. I wanted him to have the same experience we get as brides – and after a bit of searching, we settled on Burberry

“Mikael chose a three-piece style so he could wear just the waistcoat in the evening, and I loved how it all looked together and separately – it’s definitely now my favourite thing in his wardrobe!”

Groom on his wedding day

Adding that Personal Touch

“Overall, our wedding ended up being very much DIY. I designed and created all of our wedding stationery and wedding favours, which allowed me freedom with when and how things were made.

“I’m still happy with how it all turned out, but it was an added stress (and distraction) I didn’t really need. But, it meant I could make decisions, such as using recycled paper for all of our on-the-day stationery, trying to reduce the waste and environmental impact of our wedding.”

Read more: Bridal Indulgence bride Jo wears Lupine gown

DIY wedding stationary and signage

A Memorable Coach Journey

“Transport-wise, we organised a coach to take all of our guests to and from our venue, which worked perfectly – it even resulted in an alcohol-fuelled singalong to Oasis on the way home. Some of the best memories of the day you just can’t even predict will happen!”

Guests at Swedish wedding

Jo’s Valuable Wedding Advice

“Think about what will give you the most joy. I think we get bombarded with images of ‘perfect weddings’ on Instagram and Pinterest, but so much of this is just aspirational and so difficult to attain.

“A lot of it is also incredibly wasteful – I started to reflect on this as our wedding got closer, hence trying to source recycled paper for the stationary!

Bride and groom hugging

“One final bride-specific advice for those doing DIY weddings: get everything done before the day. I ended up leaving a few (what I thought were small) things until the morning, and it just made everything way more stressful than necessary.”

Bride wearing Philomena by Willowby for her first dance

Jo looked undeniably beautiful in Philomena by Willowby, book an appointment at Bridal Indulgence and try the dress on yourself! Or, keep reading our happy brides’ stories and find out more about why our lovely bride Stephanie chose Clairee by Wtoo.

Image credit: Anna Maria Liljestrand.

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