Sarah & Andrew
Deep red dahlias, faux fur wraps and twinkling sparklers make this burgundy winter wedding magical
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hannah McClune,
Valentine’s day set the scene for Sarah and Andrew’s engagement. “We’d just returned from a film and romantic dinner when Andrew mentioned he had another gift for me and asked me to close my eyes. When I opened them, he was kneeling in front of me and asked me if I would be his wife!”
Having decided upon a Victorian, vintage wedding theme, Sarah set about finding a wedding dress to suit. “I’d tried on several other styles and designers at other boutiques, but when I put on the ‘Torla’ Pronovias gown at Tilly Mint Weddings, Hampshire, I knew it was the right dress for me.” The princess gown featured a sweetheart, organza neckline, gemstone embroidery and guipure lace appliqués. “The amazing Zuzanna at Tailoress Design took care of my alterations – she made me feel incredible on the day!”
An Ivory & Co hairpiece, Liberty in Love earrings, Rainbow Club shoes and an Alice Temperley garter enhanced the bride’s look. “I also wore a feather shrug to keep warm.”
“The most special item I wore was a surprise from my aunt – a lucky sixpence in a leather pouch. It had belonged to my grandmother and been worn in the shoe of every bride in our family since 1946!”
The groom enlisted the help of Village Grooms in Berkshire for his aisle attire. “He wore traditional tails with a pale pink cravat and handkerchief to match the colour of his buttonhole flower. Andrew chose a superhero theme for the cufflinks and socks, which he then gifted to his best man and ushers.”
Two bridesmaids, a childhood best friend and the groom’s sister, joined Sarah, alongside a young usher and flower girl. “My bridesmaids wore the ‘Victoriana’ dress from Courtesan Boutique, which featured a cowl neckline, button detailing at the back and lovely chiffon fabric.” Makeup artist Katie Gulley also joined the bridal party, using MAC, Chanel and Clarins products to create the bride’s beauty look. “She also advised me to invest in a perfume with staying power, so I chose Chanel’s ‘Coco Mademoiselle’.”
The bride walked down the aisle with her father to Elvis Costello’s ‘She’.
“Our registrars balanced being humorous and professional, which really put us at ease. It was lovely to see so many smiling faces as we exited together after the ceremony!”
It was a desire to celebrate their venue’s history that inspired the couple to choose a vintage, Victorian theme. “The Elvetham Hotel is so stunning – we were blown away by the scenery on our first visit and it all followed from there. Lou from Beyond Vintage did a brilliant job with our theme and brief, creating invitations, RSVPs and thank you cards to match.
We also hired the mantelpiece floral spray, floral pedestals for the ceremony table, top table flower arrangements and vintage flower bowls from Beyond Vintage.” A chalkboard displayed the order of the day, with an original Victorian white post box, hired from Perfect Post Box Hire, offering a decorative way to collect cards. “My aunts decorated the ceremony room for us on the wedding morning, too. They used fabrics, ribbons and beads I had collected to style the space.”
Sarah opted for a rich and romantic bouquet of Quicksand and Memory Lane roses, calla lilies, aubergine dahlias, white astrantia, pale pink limonium and dusty pink cymbidium orchids. The table displays and centrepieces featured a selection of the same blooms, incorporating eucalyptus for a flash of foliage, too.
“Our florist, Flowers by Becky, also brilliantly included my request to feature both my grandmothers’ eternity rings in the bouquet.”
The couple added a dummy tier to the base of their four-tier cake for dramatic effect without an overload of cake. “Each layer featured floral iced decoration and flowers. The top tier was a gluten-free lemon sponge, the middle chocolate and the bottom a vanilla sponge.
We chose Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ for our first dance. Three months before the big day, Andrew’s parents surprised us with a two-hour ballroom dancing lesson so we were ready for the big day. Our instructor helped us to coordinate routines to the Rhumba and the Waltz for our song!”
“The last song of the night was ‘I’ve Had The Time Of My Life’. Dancing round with everyone, I felt like the day couldn’t possibly have been better!”
Diving into married life in style, the couple flew to Venice for five days, booking with Expedia, where they enjoyed gondola rides, great wine and a trip to the picturesque Murano island.
Later in the year, Sarah and Andrew honeymooned in South Africa for two weeks. “We booked with Trailfinders who interpreted everything we wanted to see in the time frame perfectly.” Spending four nights in Cape Town, one night in Stellenbosch wine region, three nights driving the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay and a final three in Greater Kruger National Park, it’s fair to say they had a truly memorable honeymoon.
VENUE The Elvetham Hotel, Hampshire
DRESS Pronovias at Tilly Mint Weddings, Hampshire
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Courtesan Boutique, West Sussex
GROOM Village Grooms, Berkshire
ACCESSORIES Ivory & Co, Liberty in Love, Rainbow Club
MAKEUP Beauty Infinity by Katie Gulley
DÉCOR Beyond Vintage
FLOWERS Flowers by Becky
CAKE Lynne Hassani Wedding Cakes
ENTERTAINMENT Berkshire Events
HONEYMOONS Expedia, Trailfinders