‘It always feels like a real privilege, and it’s one of my favourite times, those last few moments of calm reflection before she leaves the farmhouse and heads across our lawns to the church or the barn to join her family and say her vows. In my experience working with hundreds of brides over the years, the focus quickly turns to the wedding dress once the venue is booked. So often, this is when a snap decision can be made, and a dress is chosen in isolation from all the other considerations. The time of year you’re marrying and whether you may be too hot or too cold in your dress. The weight of it and, if you have chosen something heavily embellished or with multiple underskirts and plan to wear it all day and all night, will it hinder your ability to have fun? Have you built in enough time for the alterations your dress may need, particularly if you bought it online or from a sample sale?
The last thing a bride wants to be thinking about once the wedding day is here is whether the dress fits or suits her well, which is why we sought the advice of bridal designer Savannah Miller, whose Spring/Summer 2023 Spellbound collection is in boutiques now. She has been dressing brides since 2016 and attends all the major bridal fashion shows in New York, Barcelona, London and Milan. Here she shares all her expertise for a no-regrets wedding day look.
My design process has evolved. I used to design things I liked, but now I know very clearly who my brides are and what they want from me – and that is to look like the very best version of themselves. They don’t want to look alien to the woman they are in their everyday lives. For me, it’s about designing comfortable, wearable dresses that are very flattering and that have a touch of fashion detail that elevates them and makes them feel modern and special.
It’s critical that people feel good, and I certainly wouldn’t feel good in a bias-cut slip dress. I’d be very conscious of all my lumps and bumps. So, now we do very clever built-in, smoothed-over corsets that are very soft, not at all like the traditional corset that might feel more like armoury. Ours make you feel held in and supported. It’s about balancing elegance, comfort, and your best self.
You have to get very close to the bride to see some of the detailing on my dresses; that feels very sensual and intimate to me because, ultimately, a wedding is between two people, it’s a marriage, so I want her to reveal herself slowly to her partner. That feels like the ultimate sexy thing rather than everything being on show. This is more about subtle suggestion. I love using tulle and chiffon, so when a bride walks, you see a hint of her leg. That’s much sexier than if everything is visible.
Tythe is beautiful, and my Fleur dress is perfect for a Tythe wedding. The train isn’t too long, so it isn’t going to get muddy. You’ve got a gorgeous understated slip dress, a cold shoulder detail with chiffon, then a scattered pearl tulle on top and over that is a Chantilly lace, so it feels very considered and very English countryside, which I love. Aria with oversized taffeta puff sleeves is incredible for the bride who wants a bit more structure. It has a balcony bust line with little peeping satin bust cups that are very Bridgerton-inspired. I love that Regency fashion period; I always have. The beauty of this dress is that the sleeves are detachable. So, you might have a dramatic silhouette for the service, but they unsnap, and you’re left with a clean square neckline that feels very modern and cool. Another look I would adore to see at Tythe is Winter because I think those barns fully lit with candles at an evening wedding with a backless satin dress would be an absolute killer.
I am embracing the veil because the second you put one on, it’s very clear, here’s the bride. It can be very understated, simplistic and beautiful when you just get a suggestion of the woman’s face. Even if it’s not worn over the face, just having that suggestion around her back is very dramatic and a good way of switching your look up from your ceremony to your party. You can be this beautiful ethereal creature at the altar, whip off the veil, and be a sex bomb in a slip-dress.
In the past 18 months, I have started doing many more bespoke looks where I work one-on-one with my brides. They are creative, and I love working that way. Generally, when people come to us for bespoke, they do so because they can’t find anything out there that they want. Often, they think they don’t know what they want, but they do. They just haven’t found it yet. So, we work with them to pick out exactly what they like and then develop the design into something that we feel would suit them, in line with what we do already.
It’s amazing because I get to work with the most amazing pattern cutters and seamstresses; it’s a couture service, so it’s made to measure to the last millimetre and incredibly satisfying. I’m involved with every bespoke appointment, so the next step will be to open an atelier in London; it’s very embryonic, but watch this space. Remember, if you want something made bespoke, you would ideally come to us with a minimum of six months before the wedding because it’s so detailed.
I just wanted to look like a fairy queen for my wedding last year. I wanted to wear golden lace and a crown. I had to chat with myself because this is very off-brand for me! The wedding was in London at Christmas time with lots of carols—an incredibly romantic venue and perfect for a candlelit wedding. Coming to the design process as a bride was very strange; it was like, ‘Who are you, and what have you done with Savannah Miller?’ because it was like nothing we’ve ever done before.
Spellbound Collection SS23
Our Spring/Summer 2023 collection, Spellbound, was inspired by the poem of the same name by Emily Bronte. Poetry, in its very essence, evokes feelings of ethereal romance for me and in this piece, the hypnotic depiction of Winter and its grip gave rise to inspiration for our hero gown of the season by the same name, an incredibly romantic and dramatic, liquid satin gown with sleeves that extend to the floor and a completely open back. We emerge as a society from what has been truly the winter of our time and look forward to the brightness of the coming wedding season.
Savannah Miller can be found nationwide, but the closest stockists to Tythe are:
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