Hi there lovelies, I can hardly believe that we’re half way through March already. I do love the cheeriness that comes with the longer, brighter days. Our Friday morning wedding this week is that of lovely bride Maddy, a programme manager at Teach for India, and Louka, a special projects manager for an education trust on the 2nd of July 2016 at the magnificent Sandon Hall Estate in Staffordshire. They weaved their wanderlust with their love of nature using bright florals, colourful birds and a delicious Indian feast, and the groom was the entertainment, singing for the bride alongside one of their bridesmaids. It looks quite epic.
“Our main objective was to have a wedding that reflected us, our diversity and our love of nature and travel. We chose Sandon Hall Estate primarily for its proximity to Louka’s family home but when we visited it to look around we really fell in love with it. The grounds and the conservatory were incredibly beautiful and serene but we also loved that it is still used as a family home which gives it a feeling of authenticity. We felt instantly at home there and knew it was the place for us.”
Photography by Alice the Camera
I’m in love with Maddy’s gorgeous two-piece dress, a Rime Arodaky creation from The Mews bridal boutique in Notting Hill.
“I chose the dress as I felt it was unique. I hadn’t seen anything like it at the weddings I’d already been to. I loved that it was a top and a skirt and the buttoned lace top was irresistible. Its shape also had hints of India which fitted with that aspect of our theme.”
Maddy paired her dress with shoes from John Lewis and a bracelet given to her by her sister.
Hair and makeup was expertly done by bridesmaid Becky and some flowers in her hair were the final flourish.
“We met at our Teach First training when Louka, intrigued by my name, approached me to ask me about it. We got engaged seven years later in Spain.”
“Louka had prepared all of my favourite Spanish things – Rioja, Spanish ham and a special playlist. Needless to say we were both quite tipsy before the moment arose and he presented me with a ring!”
“We are both lovers of travel – we lived in Delhi for two years before getting engaged and love spending time in Africa. We were keen to incorporate elements of other cultures into the wedding. We also both love nature in particular bird watching so we had something of a bird theme running throughout the day too.”
“I gave the bridesmaids free reign to choose dresses and shoes themselves. I’m not a very matchy matchy person and my bridesmaids are all strong, unique women with their own tastes and styles. So I just said ‘grey’ and let them take it from there. I think they looked gorgeous!”
Maddy’s favourite moment was walking down the aisle and seeing all of her favourite people smiling at her. For Louka, it was arriving back at Sandon Hall after getting married.
They sipped champagne on their own, reflecting on what they had just achieved and what was yet to come, before the guests arrived.
“My dad walked down the aisle with me while ‘Trumpet Voluntary’; Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke (c1700), played. We didn’t tailor our vows but we did have readings that were very personal to us. ‘Ithaca’ by CP Cavafy, a greek poem about the island that Louka is from.”
“It’s all about what it means to be on a journey. We also had poems by Rosetti and Yeats, and a Plato reading by a friend who is a classic teacher. We chose it because it celebrates tolerance and equality which is really important to us. Our final hymn was the South African national anthem to celebrate our shared love of Africa and as a reference to Louka’s heritage.”
Louka purchased his Emporio Armani suit at the Bicester Designer outlet and picked up his houndstooth waistcoat at Joshua Kane in east London. Both of his pocket watches are family heirlooms (to make extra sure he was on time).
“The waistcoat was actually the first item Louka bought for his outfit. He liked it’s kookiness. Louka’s sister was his best woman and we gave her and the two ushers free reign to dress however they chose.”
“We chose simple gold bands from Williams and Sons. We want to be able to wear them all the time and think these are really elegant and versatile.”
Little Book for Brides member Flowers by Breige is based at Sandon Hall so the couple were lucky that such a talented florist was on hand to help them create their vision of colourful, vibrant blooms.
“Blue is my favourite colour so I knew I wanted blue flowers but we also wanted a bit of orange to add contrast, colour and a touch of vibrancy.”
Alice the Camera was recommended to the couple by another photographer and they loved her work right away.
“We were looking for natural, documentary style photography as we wanted to capture real moments as opposed to lots of posed pictures. We are so happy with our pictures and an extra bonus was that she slotted seamlessly into the day. We really felt ourselves around her, as if she were an old friend.”
“Because everything took place on site we didn’t really need transport but we did use my friend’s blue soft top Mercedes to get us the short journey from the on site church to the house.”
“All of the stationery was designed and made by our bridesmaid Becky. We gave little bottles of Greek olive oil and mini Rajasthani elephants to represent the Greek and Indian aspects of our lives as favours.”
“Louka was the chief entertainer. We opted not to have a band because Louka was not going to miss the opportunity to have a captive audience. He’d secretly rehearsed for months with one of my bridesmaids and one of his ushers to perform a set of songs that were special to me. They performed ‘All of Me’ by John Legend, ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy and a Greek song which we both love from an old movie.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Our main piece of advice really is to make sure that you take some time throughout the day to find eachother and savour the moment because it passes so quickly.”
Our thanks to Maddy and Louka for sharing your wedding with our readers, and to Alice the Camera for the beautiful images.
Love Caoimhe xx
- Photographer - Alice the Camera
- Venue - Sandon Hall Estate, Staffordshire
- Wedding Dress - Rime Arodaky from The Mews, London
- Veil - The Mews
- Headpiece - Flowers by Breige
- Shoes - John Lewis
- Groom - Emporio Armani Suit from Bicester Designer Outlet + Joshua Kane Waistcoat
- Florist - Flowers by Breige
- Cake - Beth Lauren Cakes
- Rings - Williams and Sons
- Catering - Urban Turban