Real bride: Sarah wears our Elsie in Gold at her elegant, intimate Suffolk wedding

Real Bride Interview: Sarah S.

Sarah Stevns Nigel John Sabina Motasem

On this evening's blog, we're sharing a Real Bride Interview with Sarah S! Sarah had a lovely and elegant wedding at the Anchor Pub on the Suffolk coast and looked absolutely incredible in our Elsie in Gold. From lovely, intimate moments to beautiful stylish touches, read Sarah's full 'Real Bride Interview' below.

Hi, Sarah! Lovely to have you on the blog—thank you so much for letting me do this interview. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you were envisioning in terms of style (your dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen), theme and/or colour palette, and overall look for your wedding?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Wedding Real Bride

Our wedding took place at the Anchor Pub in Walberswick on the Suffolk coast, so we always wanted our day to feel quite informal and fun, but still elegant and special. Our original wedding had been planned for May 2020 and finally took place in November 2021 after a couple of postponements, and luckily the colour palette of blush pinks, light and dark greens, deep reds etc worked perfectly, or even better for a winter wedding!

We wanted to focus to be on our guests, the food, music and creating a really cosy atmosphere (we got married in the middle of Storm Arwen!) so we kept the décor simple, with sheepskin rugs on the benches, fairy lights, posies in vintage bottles (beautifully arranged by my Mum and aunt) and pebbles my Mum and I had collected from the beach. We offered the posies as favours to our guests so as not to waste any of the flowers. I love flowers and wanted them to be an integral part of the day, and our florist, Jess from Blooming Brilliance, created stunning bouquets, buttonholes and a flower arch to provide a backdrop to our ceremony.

My style is quite simple, so the Elsie dress in gold silk was a perfect fit and felt absolutely wonderful to wear on the day. I found beautiful bridesmaids dresses and jumpsuits from Rewritten – all in a dark teal green but individual styles. We asked the groomsmen to wear dark grey suits and found some lovely matching ties and pocket squares and the bouquets/buttonholes pulled the whole look together.

How did the pandemic effect your wedding? How many of your original concepts for your wedding were kept and what changes did you make?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

The postponements were inevitable, but also stressful and really disappointing, but the wedding we ended up having in November 2021 was possibly more special than we ever could have hoped for. The joy and happiness were off the scale! Our original plan was for a blessing and drinks on the beach, but a winter wedding put paid to those plans. Our guest list also shrank from around 100 to around 60, due to various factors, which meant we had a far more intimate experience, which suited us perfectly. We’d pushed forward our legal ceremony to the 19th March 2020 – I think we were the last wedding at the Islington Town Hall pre-lockdown – so we had those memories to hold onto while we waited for our big celebration. Style-wise I didn’t change a thing, but we had to tweak the food and make sure there were plenty of heaters/blankets to keep people warm. 

I would love to know how you styled your look for the day! Walk me through your look: how did you style your hair and what look did you choose for your make-up? What accessories did you go for and what did your other half wear?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

I wanted to keep things simple, so I went for a low side bun and makeup focusing on the eyes. My Mum gave me a beautiful antique opal necklace to wear on the day and an opal ring. My earrings were from Comfort Station, who had also designed my engagement and wedding ring. Simon wore a charcoal grey suit and looked very handsome!

Congratulations on getting married—you looked stunning in all the photos! Can you tell us a little bit about how special that day was? Were you able to go on a honeymoon after the wedding or is there one planned?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Brides

It makes me smile every time I think about it. The feelings on the day more than made up for having to wait such a long time. We actually just got back from our honeymoon – 2 weeks in Egypt – which was really special.

What made your heart skip a beat? Any special moments you will cherish forever and forever?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

So many! Watching an amazing sunrise with Simon on the morning of the big day; getting ready with my bridesmaids and Mum in the morning drinking champagne; being walked down the aisle by my Mum; exchanging vows with Simon in front of our family and friends; our wonderful friend Jen being the best celebrant; brilliant speeches; dancing and hugging on the dance floor surrounded by all our friends linking arms creating a love bubble as it rained heavily on the marquee; but the most treasured memory is being surrounded all day by our loved ones who all shared our happiness and love.

Would you recommend getting married during the pandemic? How was your experience?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

I don’t think I’d necessarily recommend it, but I know from my experience and others that it can be incredibly special. A pandemic wedding is an exercise in letting go and constantly reshaping expectations, as well as really focussing on what is important. For example, we decided not to spend thousands of pounds on a very beautiful sailcloth tent, but rather to use the marquee the pub could provide for a fraction of the price. Ultimately our day was just as special and we relieved some of the financial burden. The best memories from the day are about the moments shared with others, rather than the venue itself.

I also think having brilliant suppliers who were flexible (despite being under huge pressure themselves) and clearly invested in their clients having a great experience made everything a lot easier. We couldn’t have been better looked after by the Anchor staff, our photographer, florist, band and makeup artist.

What is your best tip or advice you can offer to other brides looking to get married in a virtual or more intimate wedding environment?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

Intimate weddings allow the possibility to chat and relax with your guests rather than feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Our pre-lockdown legal wedding was only attended by our parents and I’m so grateful we had that experience together.

Tell us about some of what you are planning for post-pandemic?

Sarah Stevns Sabina Motasem Nigel John Real Bride

Well, I’ve just got Covid, after avoiding it for 2 years! But once I’ve recovered the focus is on preparing for the imminent arrival of twin baby girls!



Sabina Motasem - Elsie Dress


Nigel John

Groom's Suit

Leonard Jay


Blooming Brilliance


Astrid Kearney


Astrid Kearney



Bridesmaids' Dresses



The Anchor, Walberswick


Comfort Station



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Thanks for reading Sarah's amazing real bride interview! If you're one of our brides, feel free to contact us - we'd love to hear about your incredible love stories in our dresses x 





See our brides - here

May 20, 2022 by Emily Rees

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