Johanna dress winner!

Minna HepburnComment

Here you can read the second tear jerking love story that won our Johanna dress in the recent competition. 

Hello there,


I got engaged in October (no, I didn’t see it coming!) last year and wanted to share with you my story in the hope that I may win your beautiful wedding dress.


I first met Simon on set in the states 6 years ago this year, he’s a photographer and I’m a producer. I was sent to ‘spy’ on a shoot that was taking place for a client the agency I was working for had recently acquired - the second we began speaking I was like, oh, so this is going to be my husband then. After we returned I had a shoot come in, I emailed to see if he would be interested (he has the same name as a road I used to do my driving lessons on - I used that as an excuse as to how I remembered his name…). Then it began, my shoot fell through, but the emails to one and other didn’t - both quite shy, we entered in to this modern day penpal soiree that continued on a daily basis. My ‘e-ffair’ as he was known to myself and friends. 15 months after our first meeting we met again finally… Now over 4 years later we remain as inseparable as we were on that first shoot and don’t need emails solely to communicate anymore!


On August 17th 2014 things got tough for us. I have suffered with eczema all my life, it was never debilitating, but it was always there. It was getting worse and worse and then a friend of Simon’s introduced me to a way to ‘heal’ my eczema - to stop the steroid creams I had used for over 27 years that my doctor had prescribed. I went ahead with this, but oh boy was I not prepared for what was about to happen. Within a week my skin began falling off - within 3 weeks I had to quit my job (something I NEVER do, being self employed…oh and we were in the process of buying our first home…in London….bye bye ALL the money). I spent 4 1/2 months off work, skin bare, from head to toe, admitted to hospital, no sleep and lived in a bath tub for 20 hours a day - plus I had to move back to my mum’s as she had a bath tub. In essence my skin was an addict to steroids and did not simply know how to be skin - my story has been in the papers as I am trying to raise awareness of steroid addiction as doctors over prescribe these creams with no warning. Still, I take from it now that I had a pretty decent experience of what it must be like to be a mermaid.


Anyway, the reason I am saying this is because Simon was by my side the whole way, bringing my meals to the bath, buying me rubber ducks…telling me I was still beautiful - even with no skin on my face! He could only visit me on the weekends as he had to work in the week but he’d still come down to my mums’s even if for the shortest amount of time to visit me - and brought along our beloved pooch, Rolo too. He packed our old flat up himself, moved everything in to our new place (told myself if he broke any of my pretty glasses I could not complain), and when I had a massive relapse since July, he did the same again when we found our new flat was riddled with rising damp (having decorated it all!) and the place was ripped apart to be fixed. YAY. 


We decided we needed a break in October, despite my skin still being touch and go, and treated ourselves to a trip to Toronto and New York - Simon flew out to Toronto a few days earlier as he had a shoot there, so I was like, oh it’s never going to happen now (wondering if he might propose), then after a few days in Toronto we headed down to NY. As soon as we got to NY Simon told me his agent had been in touch with a meeting lined up for as soon as he got there…I was like go! (hey, I was in lower east and I could peruse the shops without getting moaned at for a few hours…sadly I did not do this though…I found someones wallet and spent ages trying to find the owner…). Loneliness without Si started creeping in a few hours later (we’re not good at being apart) when he called me to tell me he was heading back because of a mix up with times for his meeting. I met him back at the hotel and he asked if I fancied doing something touristy. I was ready to roll - I had only ever been to NY for work once which was like being in a sweet shop when you can’t eat anything. We took the Subway over to the Empire State and met a friendly man on the street who offered us fast track tickets up the tower…so up we went….we walked around for ages, and became fixated on one spot for quite a while. We were there from daylight til the sun went down. Now Si is usually quite quick at these sort of things, and I had asked for once if we could go down as actually I really needed a wee (and we had been up there for eternity at this point). He protested and said to stay a little longer. I agreed. Legs crossed. Then I looked over and he just whispered to me ‘sweets…will you marry me’ - there was no one knee or anything (see shyness in para 1!), and he was holding the most beautiful ring I have ever seen in my life - there was no meeting, he was off picking the ring from a selection he had already pre selected unbeknown to me! We stood there and hugged as the bright lights of NY turned on to which I then proceeded to tell every security guard that passed that we just got engaged! Simon had brought a headphone splitter so we walked around in a daze listening to some of our songs together. We then went for bubbles to celebrate and the next few days were a whirlwind of loveliness.


And now so the planning begins. We are planning on doing the vows just the two of us in Central Park - where we went the day after we got engaged. We are self funding our wedding, my father despite having the ability has very little interest in me so will not help us at all….and with the illness and our flat currently being ripped apart I saw your competition and just had to enter!


I googled fair-trade wedding dresses the other day and that is when your site pop up - the most random thing of all is that I started working in Oval on Nov 30th and frequently get my lunch in the veggie cafe. I took it as a sign that I had to enter this as your dresses are simply perfect and is the only shop I have looked.


Wow - sorry I can’t believe I have written so much - is nice to tell the story again and relive it for a moment :-)


Love Laura. X