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The BBC3 crew filming Mike and Becky being married. Photography Alistair Veryard

Don’t Tell the Bride

Have you ever wondered about the reality of TV shows like BBC 3’s Don’t Tell the Bride? For me, it’s the practical things such as …If it’s all really a surprise for the Bride, how does the shop know her measurements? …Surely you would brief your fiancé on the kind of dress you wanted? …How can anyone seriously produce a dress in a week? Well, starting with an email from a researcher at the BBC, I was about to find out!

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Mike and Becky and their monster truck after their wedding. Photography by Alistair Veryard

The bridegroom in my episode was professional wrestler Mike and he had very specific ideas about his bride’s dress. His design was, however, out of his price range, but I showed him how we could create something similar and equally beautiful with my Bespoke Collection, which allows you to design your own gown without the designer pricetag. Mike chose a silver silk organza and metallic lace, and I customised the gown with butterfly and crystal detail and a lace up back. Sensibly, Mike brought a dress with him, which he said fitted Becky, and suggested I make the wedding dress to the same measurements. I set to work, and Mike came back a week later to see progress. I showed him the butterflies I had sourced from Couture Milliner Ilda di Vico, and we then spent some time adjusting the pleated swags on the dress, to get them just right.

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Becky and I after filming at the studio, when she saw her dress for the first time

The final visit from the BBC 3’s Don’t Tell the Bride crew was the big reveal on the day before the wedding. Instead of midday as agreed, the camera men appeared at my door at 9.15am. Having stitched through half the night, I was still in my dressing gown with no make-up on – I told them they’d have to stall the bride – the wedding dress and I wouldn’t be ready till midday! I was very relieved when Becky (size 6 but also a wrestler) later arrived and absolutely loved the dress. The fit was fine, it just needed an inch off the hem. I made her a little matching silver lace wrist-cover to hide the splint on her arm, which she had broken in training. Becky said: “When I pictured my dream dress, I didn’t even consider the possibility of the end result. I didn’t think such dresses could exist. Caroline Arthur went above and beyond the exceptional, with delicate butterflies floating across the train of my dress just making it the most beautiful display of love from my husband that only someone with her skills could dare to achieve.”

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Becky in the silver wedding dress I made her with sparkly butterflies. Photography Alistair Veryard

A few weeks later, I invited some friends round for an “I’m on the TV!” party and we watched the episode together. Twitter and Facebook were ablaze that night – lots of very interesting reactions to the dress – you either love it or hate it, but it was great to have the feedback and contact with viewers. I’d love to know what you thought of the dress. Would you have a coloured wedding dress? One lovely thing about having your gown made is you can choose the material – for ideas and inspiration, see more coloured dresses.

Professional Photos by alistairveryard.com

For more info about how it feels to be on the show, see this excellent BLOG: Rock n roll bride