Bride Guide to Wedding Planning

Kendra Leaver-Rylah, 28, Brides retail editor & events director married Joshua Rylah, 29, on 3rd September 2016. Here’s what she has to say


I had set her up on Instagram and Pinterest and we sent each other tons of photos, but everything was either too structured, old, boring or frilly. However – ater a Brides’ reader event at Amanda Wakeley – I sent her a picture of what I thought was the ideal style: full-length, elegant and with a long jacket. Perfect.

Bride Guide to Wedding Planning Photo Gallery

So, we booked to go back to the Amanda Wakeley store… and to my horror Mum asked if she could try the entire outit on in pure white. My irst reaction was shock: “How could she think that wearing white was a good idea? he mother-of-the-bride isn’t supposed to wear white! How can this be happening? Is this normal? What will everyone think? What do I think?!” I turned to my dad for support, (we had gone shopping as a family) but he was very much on my mum’s side. “She looks beautiful – it really suits her,” he said, growing misty eyed.

Bride Guide to Wedding Planning

I knew I’d lost when even I had to admit that she looked amazing. And that’s when I started to think: does it really matter if Mum picks white? When I went into work the next day, I told colleagues and more than anything, apart from the initial surprise, they just found it funny. I worried about it not being “normal”, but then we aren’t a traditional family. Yes, before the big day it was a talking point, but on the day itself, everyone was so happy for Josh and me that the whole wedding lew by in a blur of happiness. People will simply remember my mum looking so happy and joyful. Will they remember the colour she wore? Probably not.’

Kendra’s mother Sylviané Leaver reveals why she chose to wear white to her daughter’s wedding


wanted to go for classic and stylish, but didn’t have anything speciic in mind. I didn’t set out to wear white; I just wanted to ind something that was graceful and comfortable. When we got to Amanda Wakeley, I irst looked at the dress and jacket in dark pink.

Bride Guide to Wedding Planning

I loved the cut of the dress: demure enough for a mother-of- the-bride, but also shape-enhancing and with a playful calf-length slit. But the colour just wasn’t me. I could see in Kendra’s face that she was seriously confused when I asked to try it on in white. Perhaps I should have asked her irst if she minded, but it was a spur of the moment thing; I was just going with my gut instinct.

Bride Guide to Wedding Planning

Initially she said, “Don’t you think the dark pink outit is more appropriate?!” and I could tell she wanted me to stick with that. But once she saw how I looked in the white outit, and more importantly how it made me feel, she found it quite funny and, straightaway, we both felt more settled on the idea (although we quite quickly agreed my accessories had to be black!). And with the right pairing (black shoes, hat and bag) it would look a lot more subtle, less “bridal” and more occasion wear. Ultimately, I just wanted to feel like the best version of myself – I wanted Kendra to feel proud of me and think that I looked fabulous, not stufy or stif.

And if that was in white, then really what does it matter? Kendra and I are very close, and so I knew she wouldn’t react too badly to my decision. Every time I wear this outit now, I will have the happiest of memories, and I’m so pleased I didn’t look like a mother-of-the-bride. I looked like me.’

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