Move over Ladies of London, there’s a fab new Brit in town and she comes in the form of a stunning summer wedding captured by Caught The Light. This affair may be indoors but it’s wholeheartedly summer thanks to florals in every shade of sunshine by Hayford & Rhodes and simple details that scream chic. See even more of this light, bright beauty right here.
From The Bride…Hywel and I met two weeks after I arrived in London, five years ago. I’d just moved over from New York (ostensibly for a year…!) and happened to move into a flat with one of his best friends from university. One day I walked into the living room, saw this gorgeous Brit sitting there, and that was basically it. I was a goner. It took us a couple of months to make it official, but ever since then we’ve been happily living out our little London love story. I work as an account director for a branding & design agency, while Hywel oversees brand partnerships for the men’s health charity, Movember. We got engaged on a Saturday morning, lying in bed:
Me: “What shall we do today?”
Hywel: “Shall we get engaged?”
I’ve never been interested in a big, traditional proposal, so for us it was just right. After crying, laughing, family phone calls and a couple of Bloody Mary’s, we went into town to buy me a wedding ring! That night, we had friends over for a big Italian feast, shared our good news, and basked in the excitement. We got engaged in November, and knew right away we wanted to try to fit in a wedding within the next seven or eight months. Then the panic set in! Thankfully, we found One Marylebone fairly quickly, and once that was booked, everything else fell into place. We were able to give my American friends & family six months’ notice in order to book flights across the pond.
Our wedding planning was definitely a partnership – I was very lucky that my groom has event planning skills and industry contacts in spades! We share a similar aesthetic and are both pretty decisive, so we were able to keep the process moving along pretty quickly. The day itself was just absolutely amazing. It felt like ‘us’, which is exactly what we wanted. I walked down the aisle to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” on the piano – just hearing the opening bars to the music now make me start to tear up! My grandfather, who is a federal judge in New York, delivered a sort of secular sermon with an incredible presence that moved everyone. Our friend Libby, who introduced us, read “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)” by E.E. Cummings. Hywel and I also wrote our own vows, which is much less of a thing here in the UK. It was wonderful to commit to each other in a way that was personal to us. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Another friend, Miranda Heldt, a professional singer, performed the soulful “All over again” by Sharon Jones during the register signing. And then finally, we walked back down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, which was such a fun, unexpected thing for our guests to hear after a heartfelt ceremony. It definitely changed the tone – it was time to party! I worked with the lovely Charlotte at Hayford & Rhodes on our flowers. For our ceremony, we chose beautiful silver birch trees for the front of the room. They added drama and a simple, natural feel to the space.
Seasoned Events worked with us to create our menu. Hywel and I love to host dinner parties, and we wanted our wedding to feel like the best one yet. We chose to have antipasti sharing platters to start, which really got people chatting and interacting with each other and the food. We served a delicious chicken breast with summer pea risotto cake and pea puree for the main, followed by truly decadent chocolate fondant. We worked with family friend and wine merchant, Simon Taylor, to choose a subtle Champagne, bright Sauvignon Blanc and yummy Pinot Noir to serve throughout the day. Our beer choice was just as personal: Camden Town Brewery is situated just down the road from our flat, and I’m a Boston girl by birth, so it only made sense to have Sam Adams for both our Yankee & British guests. We placed little cork-topped bottles of Welsh whisky at every guest’s place as name cards. Hywel’s entire family hails from the same area as that particular whisky distillery, and our relationship was definitely cemented over a shared love of neat whisky.
We hired huge light letters (H&L) to transform the space for the evening dancing. It really added fun to a space that is usually so elegant and refined. Plus they look awesome in pictures! Our phenomenal DJ had the dance floor packed from start to finish, and the whole thing just had such a fun & joyful feel to it. Some of our wonderful friends got us a guestbook & Polaroid camera to help us capture moments throughout the day. There are some pretty epic shots and very sweet notes in there.
My advice to every bride is simply to soak it all in. Everyone says it’s important to take a moment, just the two of you, to step away and just look at what’s happening all around you. Hywel and I were able to do that a few times throughout the night, and it was pretty incredible. I also made myself stay very present during the ceremony. It sounds like an obviously or silly thing, but someone once gave me that advice and I found it invaluable. Also, I found wedding morning yoga a really special and calming way to start the day! Oh, and pay as much as you can for a great photographer. It is the best investment you can make! After all, what are you left with after the fact, other than your photos?!
Photography: Caught The Light | Florist: Hayford and Rhodes | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Shoes: LK Bennett | DJ: Wedding Smashers Limited | Groom's Suit: Canali | Caterers: Seasoned Events | Ceremony & Reception: One Marylebone | Earrings: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Cufflinks: Tiffany & Co. | Groom's Shirt: Thomas Pink | Groom's Shoes: Stemar | Hair & Make Up: Roseanna Velin | Professional Singer: Miranda Heldt | Wine Merchant: Simon Taylor