I went to a few boutiques and tried on some different styles to give me an idea of the shapes that complemented me, and which I felt comfortable in. I have always loved Sanyukta Streesha’s ethical approach to design and her materials. Once I had a clear vision of the design I wanted, I went to her and we collaborated on a beautiful bespoke dress for the day. The dress was created in organic silk, with chiffon round the shoulders and then lined in a bamboo fabric.
Celebrated British shoe designer Freya Rose married lawyer Matthew Attwood Archer, whom she met via a dating app, in St Hubert’s Church in Idsworth, a picturesque hamlet with medieval village origins in East Hampshire. The bride wore custom gowns by Sanyukta Shrestha and Amanda Wakely, and shoes she created just for her nuptials. She talks about her love for designing wedding footwear.
Congrats Freya! Tell us more about the proposal!
The proposal was six months since we had met and took place on Christmas Eve, which is always such a magical time here in England with roaring fires and candlelight.
I was overwhelmed by the relevance and detail of the ring that Matt presented me with, as it was a ring that I had sketched as a child, which my mother had kept (who is a celebrated British jeweller). It has three beautiful pear shaped diamonds and my mother made it.
What was the most special and memorable part of your wedding day?
My emotions were truly amplified walking up the aisle. Feeling immersed in the love of my family and friends, is something I’ll never forget. Seeing Matt so full of emotion when he saw me, filled me with complete love and happiness.
As a bridal shoe designer, what came first for yourself: the shoes or your wedding dresses?
Both, and simultaneously. As a designer, I am so inspired by the different eras of fashion and history so the dress was really important, too.
I’d already started on the heels, but only worked on the colour and pattern of the uppers once I decided on the dress, so they would complement each other perfectly.
How did you find and decide on the perfect wedding dresses?
In the evening, I wanted a more relaxed but glamorous look with warm golden tones. I envisaged a natural look with my hair down and a style that would work beautifully against the golden evening light in the forest. I discovered a shimmering silk 1930s-style Amanda Wakeley dress that echoed the golden Hollywood era. I paired it with a delicate gold rose headband in my hair.
Also read: STATEMENT TO PUFFY: SLEEVES ARE THE LATEST WEDDING DRESS TREND YOU’LL WANT TO WEAR NEXT YEAR
Was designing your wedding shoes more challenging and what did creating the three concepts entail?
Yes, it was more challenging because I wanted to push the boundaries and create three unique and exquisite designs that were within a bridal context while being modern and timeless – and which I could also wear again. I see them as heirloom designs to be appreciated forever.
I even researched different types of rose patterns because the rose is a beautiful, iconic English flower and particularly significant because of my name. Then I worked out how to subtly incorporate our initials into the heel design, so they had a deeply personal element.
What is the most important aspect of selecting wedding shoes?
Choosing a design you absolutely love looking at all the time, and can’t wait to wear. People often say you can’t see the shoes, but shoes are magical.
They change the way you feel and can transform your confidence and posture.
What are your top tips for brides shopping for shoes?
This is your Cinderella moment! It is important to keep your feet comfortable, but if the ones you’re wearing to walk up the aisle don’t exactly check that box, get a second pair that you can dance in later. To make you appear taller, high platforms are more comfortable.
The shoes I wore were made with Freya Rose’s special soft suede with a subtle shimmer. I switched to a lower pair for walking on the grass and for the endless dancing!
PHOTOGRAPHY CARRIE LAVERS PHOTOGRAPHY
PRODUCT DIMPLES & DAISIES PHOTOGRAPHY
This story was originally published in Her World Bride LUXE October 2019.