Winter Wedding at Highclere Castle – Suzanne Neville
Suzanne Neville has made countless dreams come true for celebrity brides including Kirsty Gallacher, Camilla Dallerup and Danielle Lineker. But when it was time for the couture bridal and evening wear designer to create her own wedding gown it was her hardest commission yet.
SUZANNE NEVILLE – COUTURE DESIGNER TO THE STARS IS A CELEBRITY ON HER OWN SPECIAL DAY
“I sketched and sketched — and probably have enough sketches now for my next two collections,” she says, sharing the happiness of her December wedding day with HELLO!.
“I must admit the design did change a few times, and my brides were asking me every week if I had made my dress yet and what it was like. I’m such a perfectionist when fitting all my clients, I found it hard that I couldn’t stand back and pin my own dress fitting.”
Suzanne, 38, reveals there were three dresses over the last few years that she has loved more than most for the shape they give and the detailing. “So I decided eventually to combine all three into one and create my dress in the finest silk Italian duchesse satin and French chantilly lace, with silver thread running through it,” she explains. “I loved the simplicity and wanted to keep it very elegant and in keeping with my style and the setting, too.”
The venue for Suzanne’s marriage to Richard Moir, a 45-year-old management consultant for Ernst and Young, was Highclere, one of England’s most beautiful Victorian castles, set in 1,000 acres and recently the location for the hit TV drama Downton Abbey.
“We were looking for the perfect place for a winter wedding. A friend recommended Highclere and when we saw it, it gave us both goosebumps and we knew it was perfect,” says Suzanne. “Being close to Christmas made it even more magical, and being the 12th day of the 12th month, we shouldn’t forget the date!”
Suzanne first met Richard in 2009. “He completely swept me off my feet,” she says. “After hearing all my brides’ amazing romances, it was great to have finally met someone like him.” And, adds Suzanne, who got engaged on Valentine’s Day: “It has been a fairytale romance. He’s one in a million.”
Their dreams for the day all came true. The ceremony took place in the Saloon, in the heart of the castle, and the couple wrote their own vows. “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the castle,” Suzanne says. “It was perfect in every way; I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.”
Newlywed Suzanne is happier now she is back designing solely for other brides rather than herself. Her classic designs with a modern twist are much sought after: “It gives me such a buzz and is an honour when women choose me. I get real pleasure creating the dresses of their dreams and being part of the most special day of their lives.”
Looking ahead to the designs royal brides-to-be Kate Middleton and Zara Phillips might choose, Suzanne says: “I think Kate would look lovely in a dress that is elegant, classic and timeless. She needs something that shows off her figure and is beautifully cut, with stunning fabrics and detail. It would be amazing to create Kate or Zara’s wedding dress — what designer wouldn’t love to do that?”
Having created gowns for celebrity weddings including that of Danielle Bux to Gary Lineker (rightt) and Camilla Dallerup to Kevin Sacre (far right), Suzanne designed a classic for her own big day (above top). She married businessman Richard Moir at Highclere, with (above left) Suzanne’s daughter Abigail, 12, son Stephen, 10, and Richard’s daughter Gabrielle, 11
They evening was elegantly set in the main hall, with its high atrium sparkling with a talented performance by Tom Rust and high live band set. To find out more about Tom Rust the vocalist visit his website Tom Rust | Vocalist