Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier is well accustomed to making decisions under pressure – but shopping for her wedding dress was still an emotional experience.
Army Captain Hannah Winterbourne, 31, got hitched to her actor fiancé Jake Graf, 40, in March this year, after giving themselves a time frame of just six weeks in which to find the perfect gown for the blushing bride.
Channel 4 cameras followed their pre-nuptial journey for the TV show The Posh Frock Shop, in which an emotional Hannah can be seen struggling to choose between two dream dresses.
Trying on a dress in the boutique, the then bride-to-be, who was born male, tells the cameras how her ‘younger self could never have dreamed of being stood where I am now’.
The high profile transgender couple – who both say they were born in the wrong body – walked down the aisle at Chelsea Town Hall in London on March 26, before jetting off on their honeymoon to Tel Aviv earlier this month.
The then Captain Hannah Winterbourne, 31, was filmed for Channel 4’s The Posh Frock Shop, as she tried to choose her dream wedding gown
The cameras followed Hannah, who was born male, as she prepared for her wedding to actor Jake Graf, 40, who was born female
Hannah, who is Britain’s highest-ranking transgender soldier, and Jake, who is also a director, tied the knot in a romantic ceremony at Chelsea Register Office in March
Transgender couple Jake and Hannah Graf jetted off on their honeymoon to Tel Aviv, after tying the knot in March
Hannah explains to bridal boutique owner Ian Stuart in the programme, which follows women from across the country on the hunt for their dream dress, that she wanted a fitted ‘elegant, feminine’ gown in which to meet her groom at the altar.
Jake is seen accompanying Hannah to the store and sharing his own input with Ian, picking out different sparkling gowns, but ultimately leaves the final choice up to Hannah.
‘I remember thinking that when I first transitioned that I would just go wedding dress shopping anyway, just for the experience because I never really believed it would happen,’ Hannah says during her fittings.
‘So being here and trying on these dresses is really emotional.’
It was love at first sight for Hannah as she donned the first gown which was heavily embroidered
She tried on a second gown which she also fell in love with, it was adorned with floral designs in colours that matched their colour scheme
Bridal boutique owner Ian Stuart in the programme advised Hannah to try on other gowns just to make sure
The newlyweds, who both say they were born in the wrong body, got engaged when Jake popped the question on a romantic trip to New York
As she nervously heads out to show a dress to her waiting best friend, she reveals she had butterflies in the frock.
Shop manager Ian doesn’t want Hannah to make the common mistake of committing to the first dress, and so advises her to try on more.
HANNAH AND JAKE’S PATH TO LOVE
Hannah Winterbourne and Jake Graf met back in 2015, after a mutual friend told Jake that Hannah thought he was ‘cute’.
The pair exchanged a few messages, before going on their first date together – when they had their first kiss.
The couple have described how their shared experience of transitioning was something they quickly bonded over.
Hannah and Jake – who have previously been dubbed a transgender ‘power couple’ – dated for a couple of years before getting engaged.
Jake proposed to Hannah while on a rowing boat in Central Park, New York, in September last year.
Hannah, 31, and Jake, 40, tied the knot in a romantic ceremony at the Chelsea Register Office in March, with their story hitting headlines all around the world.
Ian’s second option is another fitted gown adorned with pink and blue flowers which matched Hannah and Jake’s colour scheme, along with more that matched the LBTQ flag.
‘It’s so difficult to pick between the two, it’s stunning,’ Hannah says of the second look.
But the first dress – a £2,350 fishtail gown with a sweeping train and matching veil – wins the day.
‘My younger self couldn’t possibly have dreamed of being stood where I am now,’ Hannah says.
‘It’s been a long journey and it’s far from over.
‘At this point in time, knowing that I am getting married to the man I love, looking like the woman I am. I can’t wait,’ she says.
The pair revealed previously that Jake had popped the question while on a holiday in New York and planned to get married this summer – moving the date up to March.
Hannah who joined the Army as a man, came out as transgender and started transitioning four years ago after a tour to Afghanistan.
The couple, who are now based in Sandhurst, Berkshire, previously told the MailOnline how they are looking forward to spending some quality time together, after a whirlwind two months since their wedding.
The Posh Frock Shop airs weekdays at 5.30pm on Channel 4