Lawyers Catherine and George tied the knot on 11th June this year with a beautiful ceremony at St Mary The Boltons Church in Chelsea, followed by an intimate reception at The Cadogan Hotel.
The couple wanted a classic wedding that mixed traditional and contemporary elements. Catherine loves the Victorian and Edwardian eras and sought a bridal look inspired by the heroine’s of Victorian gothic novels – which she achieved through her beautiful lace gown by Love My Dress recommended supplier, Katya Katya London and her gorgeous finger wave / Marcel wave hair style.
Location & Venue
We chose this pretty Victorian church (aside from the religious element, which was important to us) because we lived nearby for many years and always found the lovely garden square setting a haven of tranquility, particularly during long walks in the depths of lockdown.
Although it is one of London’s most upmarket addresses, it also has a very active local community based around the church. The church also has a fascinating history, being damaged extensively by bombs during World War II.
Bridal Beauty, Shoes & Accessories
I hired Pam Wrigley of Wedding Makeup & Hair. I’m always fretting about my thin hair but was blown away with what Pam achieved. I loved my loose chignon bun with finger wave at the front, which I took down in the evening so I had bouncy curls for the dinner and dancing. Pam was also so much fun to spend the morning of my wedding with.
My scent was Hermes – Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, a perfume George has gifted to me on many occasions and which I love.
I wore George’s grandmother’s pearls – a beautiful bracelet and set of earrings. I also wore George’s grandmother’s pearls – a beautiful bracelet and set of earrings. George wore his grandfather’s gold cufflinks. My vintage style shoes were from Rachel Simpson.
I wore a dress by Katya Katya London – bought from their boutique in Chelsea (a five minute walk from the church we got married in). It is a really beautiful boutique with staff who will do anything to help make your wedding dress dreams come true.
When I ordered my dress they gave me some seed paper to plant in my garden, which has since grown into some lovely flowers – whenever I see the flowers I’m reminded of how special I felt in my dress! I couldn’t recommend Katya Katya highly enough.
I also wore a simple double tier veil from Katya Katya. I wore it down over my face as I walked up the aisle and my dad lifted it when we reached the altar.
How They Met
We met in a London pub in 2014. I was in a pub with a friend when she saw George (who she knew) walk by outside – she dashed out and made him to come in to meet her friend (me).
We got engaged in Florence at Villa San Michele in August 2020. We were eating dinner in the hotel’s ‘Lovers’ Corner’, where we had spectacular views over the whole of Florence, when George got down on one knee.
George wore classic morning dress by Hackett, a butter yellow waistcoat by Sirplus, a powder blue shirt from Turnbull and Asser, his favourite Hermes tie (red with birds and aeroplanes) and shoes from Crockett and Jones.
His grandfather’s gold cufflinks and favourite Hermes watch.
My dad walked me down the aisle. As we did – the choir sang the hymn ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ by Folliott S. Pierpoint (arranged by John Rutter). I was reminded of it when we heard it in church when we went to hear our banns be read – I then listened to it on the tube when going to work and knew it was the only song I wanted to walk down the aisle to when I became so overcome with emotion I cried.
My wedding band was gold with diamonds, made by the super talented jeweller, Gee Woods, who had worked with George to make my art deco inspired sapphire engagement ring. George’s wedding band was a classic gold band from Cartier.
For our religious reading we had The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) (read by George’s brother) and for our other reading we had Love’s Philosophy by Percy Shelley (read by my brother).
Musician and singer Robin Phillips played a jazz cover of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’, by Frankie Valli.
Mick, our photographer of The Kensington Photographer, was absolutely faultless. He achieved everything I could have hoped for and more with our photographs – he was full of ideas and captured so many special moments beautifully.
He was dedicated all day to getting the perfect shot, while at the same time he was unobtrusive and sensitive to our wishes. I couldn’t recommend highly enough!
We loved the day from start to finish. I loved spending some special time with my parents and bridesmaid before the ceremony. I loved standing at the front of the church beside George and exchanging our vows while the organist and choir filled the church with beautiful atmospheric music.
I loved how much fun everyone seemed to be having at every moment and I loved how much everyone mingled exactly as I’d hoped when we’d decided to keep numbers to around 40. I loved the speeches with everyone speaking genuinely and from the heart. It was wonderful to spend such a special time with close family and friends. I will always be grateful to have had such a happy day surrounded by so much love.
For my bouquet, I asked our florist, Wildabout, to create something beautiful that combined Kate and Pippa Middleton’s bouquets. I loved cascading look of the hyacinth and the lily of the valley in Kate’s bouquet and the dark green English foliage, and I loved the blush touches in Pippa’s. I was keen to incorporate flowers with special meaning – lily of the valley (happiness) and myrtle (marriage, love) were my particular wants.
I stayed with my parents and other family members at San Domenico House, a 15 minute drive from the church, the night before the wedding. I travelled to the wedding with my dad, mum and bridesmaid in a Rolls Royce Phantom V hired from Premier Carriage.
We transported everyone from the church to reception venue in a classic London double decker hired from Traditional Travel.
Reception at The Cadogan Hotel
The place we got engaged in Florence, Villa San Michele, is owned by a luxury company called Belmond and we knew we wanted to stick with them for the wedding itself, if possible.
Their London hotel is The Cadogan, which is a stylish mix of tradition and modern artsy decor and which we visit often. Again it has a fascinating history in that it is the hotel were Oscar Wilde was famously arrested (you can still hire the very room) and also is partly the former home of Lillie Langtry, Edwardian socialite and mistress to King Edward VII.
Decor & Detail
Extra decor was limited to the flowers, and I fell in love with the vintage lace crockery from Duchess and Butler so we had those hired in too. St Mary The Boltons and The Cadogan Hotel are so beautiful we didn’t think anything else was needed.
The LaLee restaurant at The Cadogan Hotel catered for our reception. The chef created a spectacular menu for the dinner – we had salmon and crab terrine to start, rack of lamb for the main and hazelnut praline Paris-Brest for dessert. For our reception we opted for an English sparkling wine (Rathfinny – exclusive to the hotel), which everyone seemed to love. At dinner we had wine pairings (German Riesling and classic red Bordeaux) and in the evening a selection of cocktails, including espresso martinis. Our cake was made by the very talented pastry chef at The Cadogan Hotel. He made a three team cake – each tier made up of layers of delicate sponge, cream, jam and strawberries.
We had beautiful save the dates and invitations from Lilac & White. The church printed the orders of service, The Cadogan Hotel did the menus, signs, table plans and place cards. I have used the “setting the scene” picture by Sarah to create thank you cards.
We wanted the flowers to be simple but spectacular. With 40 people, we opted for one long table for the dinner and Wildabout dressed it with a continuous centrepiece – lots of white flowers with touches of blush (roses, peonies etc) with lots of green English foliage and candles. I’ll never forget walking into the room for the dinner and being hit by the most beautiful aroma of all the flowers. Wildabout also did several large urns which were at the church and reception venue.
I decided to have just one bridesmaid so let her choose her dress – she chose a lacy lilac dress by Frock and Frill, which we thought complemented my dress.
Fashion illustrator, Sarah Smart, was circulating and drew fashion illustrations of guests during our champagne reception, as well as a “setting the scene” picture during the dinner.
Harpist, Laura Marquino, played a mixture of classic and modern harp music during our champagne reception.
Pianist and singer, Robin Phillips, played crooner classics during the evening.
All three were wonderful.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
Be organised in advance to minimise stress on the day, but don’t worry too much about anything as the day will unfold and you won’t even notice any minor deviations from the original plan.
Also, don’t feel pressure to do your wedding in any particular way. Weddings of all shapes and sizes are wonderful occasions – we concluded it was best to do something that best suited us and which I felt we could organise with minimal stress alongside our jobs (in terms of size, style of reception etc).
I don’t think anything could have gone better on the day, but I had worried about things going smoothly beforehand – I really needn’t have.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - The Kensington Photographer
- Venue - The Cadogan Hotel
- Dress & Veil - Katya Katya London
- Shoes - Rachel Simpson
- Scent - Hermes - Un Jardin Sur Le Nil
- Groom - Hackett morning suit, Sirplus waistcoat, Turnbull and Asser shirt, Crockett and Jones shoes
- Bridesmaids - Frock and Frill
- Florist - Wildabout
- Tableware - Duchess and Butler
- Transport - Premier Carriage + Traditional Travel
- Live Illustrator - Sarah Smart
- Harpist - Laura Marquino
- Pianist & Singer - Robin Phillips
- Rings - Gee Woods + Cartier
- Catering + Cake - The LaLee
- Stationery - Lilac & White
- Hair & Makeup - Wedding Makeup & Hair