Céline and Dean Cummins on their wedding day. Image supplied.
Designer Céline Chapman from womenswear label Céline Rita became Mrs Céline Cummins this month after marrying her longtime beau Dean Cummins at Matarangi. The talented designer designed her own gown and her bridesmaids dresses going for a suitably chic all-white theme for each look.
We caught up with Céline to find out what it was like to design her own bridal gown, how it all came together and her advice for brides-to-be on choosing their gowns.
What inspired the design for your gown and your bridesmaid’s gowns?
There was no specific inspiration for my gown, I knew I wanted something elegant and timeless, yet was still modern and relaxed. I wanted simplicity, but still with some wow-factor. I wanted to just feel myself in it, and not feel too ‘bridal’.
I worked with each of my bridesmaids one-on-one to come up with a design that they loved, they felt a million dollars in and that suited each of their individual styles and personalities. They all have so many CR styles in their wardrobes from over the years, so these were a great starting point to working out what style would be best for them.
I think ‘relaxed elegance’ describes all of the dresses perfectly.
How did you go about your fabric/colour choices?
The fabric for my wedding dress was probably one of the most important elements for me. I found the most beautiful, intricate fabric I had ever seen. I thought it was ‘the one’ but it didn’t end up quite right for the overall look I had in mind. When I came across the modern 3D floral lace, it really ticked all of the boxes.
My simple underdress was made in the same fabric as the bridesmaids, so we matched perfectly in beautiful soft ivory crepe de chine.
I love the all-white look, and knew it would look incredible with the ivory roses I wanted the girls to hold.
How long did you gown and the bridesmaid gowns take to make?
The designing of the dress took months, but I didn’t cut my dress out until 3 weeks before the wedding. This worried a lot of people, but I knew how quickly the process would be once the design and pattern were done. If I had done it too far out I would have changed my mind on the design details! But there had been a lot of sampling and ‘playing’ as I call it, in the lead up.
The bridesmaids were a similar time-frame, with lots of back-and-forth with each of the girls. We had so many other bridesmaids to dress before doing ours too, so they had to be at the end of the line! One of the bridesmaids flew in from London two days before the wedding, but she and the other girls trusted me and the process.
I also did our 3 little flower girls each in different styles. I wore a ‘party dress’ for dancing made up in the same fringe fabric as they wore.
Is there anything you would have done differently with your bridal look or did it come together exactly how you wanted it to?
It really all came together perfectly. I had this Italian Riviera vibe in my head, with the big ponytail, off-shoulder dress and big earrings. I hunted high and low for earrings, and found the most incredible Oscar de la Renta ones, but they weren’t out yet! I ended up looking through my mum’s jewellery and finding the perfect pair I can remember her wearing when I was young, so that was pretty special!
How did it feel to be wearing your gown on your special day?
I felt incredible in it. I love that it is completely a one-off.
What was your favourite moment/s from the day?
I really can’t pin-point one moment. I literally loved every single second!
Being a bridal designer yourself what was it like to be working on your own bridal designs and did having inside knowledge of the process help you or make it harder to decide?
I think it made it harder! I knew too much, and knew how quickly I could get something made up if I had a last minute change of mind.
What’s your advice for brides to be choosing their gowns?
Go with your gut and make sure you feel 100% comfortable in it. Only talk to a few people about it, as too many opinions will get confusing.
Images by Jody Lidstone from I Do Photography.