With the lovely team at Wedding Ideas magazine celebrating their amazing 100th issue, we thought what better time to introduce you to the winner of the recent competition that we ran with Wedding Ideas magazine, Allison Parkes! By answering a simple question, Allison’s entry was included in the draw to win a wedding gown of her choice, and after lots of rummaging around (with the HUNDREDS of entries we received) Allison’s entry was picked out of the hat by Madeline herself!
On the 1st April, a very excited Allison was told the fantastic news! Allison and her fiance, Barry Norris, are getting married on 25th May 2011 at Kilworth House in Leicestershire – and winning her wedding gown just over a year before the wedding was perfect timing! “When I first got the call to say I had won it was April Fool’s Day and I thought it was a really mean joke someone was playing on me. I was at work and started jumping around and crying on the phone and my colleagues didn’t know what was going on. Poor Natalie must have though I was a bit unhinged. I decided to make my appointment early so I could pick from Natalie’s 2011 collection as they were just the most stunning collection of dresses I had seen.”
Allison made her appointment to visit our Farnborough boutique with her very close friend, Eva Xydia (who took the images in the boutique shown in this post – thanks Eva!), and her mum, Maria – co-incidentally on the same day that we were shooting our 2012 Collection at the local Aviator Hotel (working with a fantastic team with images by the ever-lovely Jonathan Ryan – check out the amazing Behind-the-Scenes video) so she was looked after by Natalie’s mum, Gwyn (also known affectionately as ‘Grandma’ to many in the wedding business!).
Allison continues her story: “I came to the Farnborough boutique with my very close friend Eva who I could trust for a totally honest and balanced opinion. She always has my best interests at heart and she is a designer so I know she would have a good eye for what would suit me. Of course I brought my mum along too because I knew it would be important to her to be there and that instinctively she would help me find “the one”.”
“When we arrived Natalie’s mum looked after us and she was so fun to spend the day with. I was very grateful for her experience in the business and she really supported me through the whole process of trying on dresses and working out what veil and tiara would work with which dress. Her advice on accessorizing was invaluable! I must have tried on 10 dresses- I was surprised with the breadth of choice in the 2011 range. From slinky and sexy to full and commanding. The fabrics were all amazing quality and I felt like royalty with such luxurious silks shwooshing around my ankles! We got it down to three dresses we loved and found it hard to pick between the three…they were all totally different but all amazing. I did indeed find “the one” however and I am super excited about coming for my next fitting.”
Allison tried on lots of gorgeous gowns, and has chosen ‘the’ gown for her big day. Obviously we won’t tell you what gown she’s wearing, but rest assured, she looks utterly gorgeous and will WOW everyone! Natalie also invited Allison, Maria and Eva to the shoot at the Aviator Hotel and was delighted to meet all three ladies during a break in the shoot!
Allison has been featured in a previous issue of Wedding Ideas magazine, and we’re looking forward to seeing the images from the wedding in due course in a future issue of Wedding Ideas magazine! We’ll leave it up to Allison herself to sum up being a Wedding Ideas winner with Madeline Isaac-James: “I only hope Barry is as blown away by the dress as I was. It’s not what I imagined I would go for but when I finally got it on (it was a bit of a squeeze fitting in to the sample size) I had a little cry and I knew it had to be the dress I wore down the aisle. I cannot thank Natalie Gladman, her charming mum, and all at Madeline Isaac-James (and Wedding Ideas magazine) enough for running their wonderful competition. I feel so privileged to be spending the happiest day of my life in one of Natalie’s beautiful creations. Her talents are un boundless and I would urge any bride to be to call Madeline Isaac-James and make an appointment. The service is exceptional, the boutique comfortable, clean and spacious, and the designs all feature clean lines to suit any shape you happen to be. Thank you Natalie- you have made my wedding!!!!”