Tag Archives: England

Styling a "Destination Downton" Wedding for Lover.ly!

Destination Downton for Lover.ly
Season 5 of Downton Abbey has just started.  My best friend Janice and I have discussed what it would be like to plan a wedding there because we recently found out that Highclere Castle (the location of Downton Abbey), would be available not only for tours, but for engagement parties, receptions and weddings!  If I could do it all again and plan another wedding to my loving hubby, I would invite a small party and have it at Highclere Castle.  So it was perfect timing to be contacted by the folks at Lover.ly to choose and style my ideal wedding dress for my dream destination wedding.
Lover.ly is your one-stop-shop for wedding planning where brides and grooms find ideas, people to hire and things to buy.
I’m very partial to dresses with a slight sleeve.  But because my dream wedding would be at Highclere Castle, I also wanted a wedding dress that looked like it was straight out of the 1920’s.  With that in mind, I actually chose two dresses because of the different retro feel of each and styled everything through Lover.ly.  What’s great about Lover.ly is that it truly is a “one-stop-shop” for all wedding needs, and their search feature provided me with so many options on gowns, accessories, shoes and everything you need to complete your ultimate dream wedding day.  It’s really up to you on how you want to design it, and with Lover.ly, you are only limited by your imagination.  Thanks again to the folks at Lover.ly for this fun styling challenge, and I’m definitely recommending them to friends who want an easy and fun way to plan their future weddings!

Confessions of an Anglophile

I have always had a love affair with all things British. When I was a teen in the 80’s, I wore “badges” not pins and spelled “colour” instead of “color” and said “Zed” not “Zee” when reciting the alphabet. Currently, I have read any and all Bridget Jones books and articles (yes, even the ones from The Telegraph) and adore the “Confessions of a Shopaholic” series. A few of my favorite online shops are Topshop, ASOS, Plumo and Caro London. I follow soccer (“football”, thank you), drink tea with cream and sugar, and enjoy a proper English breakfast when I get a chance to. I even subscribe to the British Delights website so that I can get tasty treats that are only available in the UK.  My boss, who hails from England, has officially named me an honorary Brit.

Ever since I was in my teens, my dream trip was to go to London. I dreamed of where I would go and what I would see, knowing I would be enveloped in the sound of English accents everywhere I went. I had even planned to go to London with a classmate at the end of our senior year of high school. He went, but I couldn’t afford to go. I remember he told me about the record shops he went to and returned with loads of fantastic music, things I could only hope to own and now he did. Jealousy consumed me, and I vowed that someday I would get there.

As far as fulfilling those dreams of London travel, I’ve been over there twice now. When I got married, my husband promised me that we would go to London as part of our honeymoon trip. When we rode in the Chunnel from Paris to London, he just let me to sit with my iPod, taking in the moment while listening to everything from Depeche Mode to New Order, and finally putting on “London Calling” by The Clash as we pulled into the station. I recall the rush as the train stopped and the happy anxiousness as I heard the porter cussing under his breath in his British accent at the previous passengers on my approach to give my passport. I didn’t care, I was in London!

The first trip was a whirlwind of activity because we tried to fit so much into just 2 and a half days, including seeing “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, my husband’s all time favorite movie and musical. Plus, the exchange rate was at its highest in years, so shopping was done within reason because we were basically paying double for everything. Even with the high exchange rate, I still made it a point to shop at Miss Selfridge and Topshop.

For our second trip, I was 5 months pregnant and we went to see the San Diego Chargers play the New Orleans Saints. We had more time in London, so we slowed the pace down and got the chance to walk up and down Oxford Circus. My shopping was only limited by my pregnancy, but that didn’t stop me from making a few purchases, including one of my favorite coats.

I think the adoration began with my love for the music coming out at the time in the 80’s and just developed from there. To me, there is just something so very rock-n-roll about the English and their style. It’s preppy and irreverent all at the same time. I remember when I bought my first spiked belt, which I still wear to this day along with a belt buckle of the Union Jack. I remember when a limited edition line from Miss Selfridge came to JC Penney. I wore the t-shirt with pride because I knew it was distinctly something British. When I got my first full-time job, I remember buying my first pair of Doc Martens and how excited I was because it made me feel a little punk.

I also adored the mod scene borne out of the late 50’s and early-to-mid 60’s. The clean lines of the color block shift dresses, swing coats, go-go boots and mini-skirts had a different vibe than they did in America. When I was 5, my favorite outfit was my white patent leather go-go boots and red furry coat with matching white-collar. I think even then, I had some sort of innate British love already brewing.

No matter what the reasons are (and there are many more), the love affair has never stopped. In fact, now that I’ve been there twice and have met Alan Wilder formerly of Depeche Mode and now of Recoil (see the post here), the desire to return grows each year. Since my husband is quite saturated with trips to London (he’s been one more additional time than I have), I will have to find other people to travel with. My mother-in-law even suggested getting a flat there since we all love travelling to Europe anyway. So friends and family, look out because I’ll be hitting you up to take a trip across the pond to one of my favorite places on earth!


1. Tea and accessories from my desk at work

2. Union Jack belt buckle brought back from a friend’s trip to England before I was able to go

3. At a pub near Wembley stadium, photo taken during my honeymoon in 2007

4. Primark jacket I found online, but had to travel to London to get it (see original post here)

5. Shopping at Harrods, photo taken 2008