Today my loves we are going out-and-out glam. Ali and Trevor’s wedding is a stylish feast for the eyes. From the antique pink roses, to Ali’s slender Amanda Wakeley gown, from the candelabras to Trevor’s Tom Ford suit – everything about this wedding is elegant and beautiful. Ali has styled her gown with a gorgeous gold cuff and fabulous Jimmy Choos – she really does look like a supermodel. Babington House is a truly exceptional venue and I love the fact that Ali and Trevor managed to spread their celebrations across three days. Are you ready for a big dollop of glamour this Tuesday? Thought so…
Smart But Relaxed
Ali The Bride: We held our wedding at Babington House in Somerset. We’d heard about the venue and knew that being part of the Soho House group that it would set the right tone for our wedding, smart but relaxed. It also has 32 rooms allowing many of our guests to stay overnight which was really important for us. When we visited we were simply blown away by what a gorgeous a venue it is. The staff work really hard to maintain a perfectly chilled atmosphere which we loved. We couldn’t wait to go back!
The Wow Factor
I used Sophie McMullan for my make-up and Claire Urquhart for my hair. I was recommended Sophie by a friend’s sister who event manages a lot of high-end weddings so my expectations were high but Sophie was fantastic, as was Claire who she in turn recommended. I wanted a really natural look with a bit of wow factor which sounds like a contradiction in terms but she achieved the perfect look for me. Claire was also brilliant not only at perfecting my relaxed side bun but keeping the flower girls and page boys occupied at key moments like the registrar arriving for her pre-ceremony checks!
I don’t wear a lot of lipstick and wanted a nude look. Sophie recommended a lovely combination of a No7 lip liner in ‘Nude’ and MAC gloss in ‘Fulfilled’ which achieved the perfect glossy pout. I also wore eyelash extensions by Flutter Eyes which were pricey but so worth it – instant glamification! I also wanted to achieve perfect nude nails but found it almost impossible to find a nude shade which goes on without looking streaky, despite a recent move to New York and being inundated with nail salons at every corner! In the end I plumped for a French polish on my fingers and Essie Primaballerina on my toes, which is nice and opaque, perfect for not so perfect toenails. Sophie and Claire even stepped in to help me sort out my pedicure when I realised I’d smudged the varnish the night before!
Nothing Too Fussy
My dress was by Amanda Wakeley. I can’t recall exactly how I came across her, but looking at her designs online I felt that her dresses really stood out from the gowns that you come across in most bridal shops. I’m not the sort of bride who has been mentally designing her wedding dress since childhood and I came to the process with as much trepidation as excitement. I was especially worried about wearing anything too fussy.
Amanda’s designs are as stunning as they are elegant with simple lines and shapes and beautiful materials, rather than a lot of fussy detailing which just isn’t me. In the end I chose the first dress I tried on – in some ways it utilises shapes I’m used to wearing, such as a silk georgette boat neck – but is still extraordinarily glamorous, with a satin bodice and peplums over layers of silk georgette to form the full length skirt and train. I never anticipated wearing a train but it was rather wonderful!
Trevor will kill me if I don’t mention his suit was by Tom Ford and that the buying the right suit was almost as important as getting the right dress (apparently!)
A Dollop Of Glamour
Having recently moved to New York I was at a bit of a loss where to start to look for accessories to go with my dress, which I had ordered in London before I left. My friend Nadya flying over for a very long weekend was the perfect opportunity to shop with that ever valuable second opinion. We searched seemingly endlessly for shoes in the big name department stores. I was looking for the perfect heel height as my groom is the same height as me and he wasn’t too keen on me towering over him, but flatties and even kitten heels just didn’t have a big enough dollop of glamour.
In the end I decided on a sparkly gold pair of Jimmy Choo sandals which I had spotted in Saks, but when I went to the Jimmy Choo shop to get them, this incredible pair of nude metallic sheen snakeskin peep toes screamed out for me to buy them. And I did. So glad I checked out the boutique as well as the big stores.
I was inspired by the way that Amanda Wakeley styled her dresses on her website with a number of models being styled with statement gold jewellery. Wandering down West Broadway in NYC I spotted my fabulous cuff in the window of Robert Lee Morris’s flagship store. He is an iconic New York designer with a lot of his designs based on his originals from the 1970s so this was the perfect jewellery for me as keepsake from both the wedding and my time in New York. Plus it’s too fabulous not to wear again!
I wasn’t sure whether to invest in a shrug for my spring indoor wedding but was so glad I did when winter weather hit again for Easter! I found my shrug originally in a New York department store although it was from the UK brand Coast for well over £150. I decided to check online on the UK website and it turned out to be a good call as it was much cheaper and in the sale for only £45. Fantastic as I didn’t want to spend a lot on something I wouldn’t wear for long. My lovely hair comb was made to order by the designer from some gorgeous designs at Regina B.
We didn’t select a colour scheme, I wanted to keep thing simple and preferred the flower girls in gorgeous little white dresses from John Lewis. The colour for our wedding was introduced by the antique pink roses that have always been a favourite of mine. The best men wore their own suits, although we requested navy blue to go with the page boys and we treated them all, plus the Dads to silver silks ties from Ties.com which toned brilliantly with Trevor’s silver grey tie, despite us ordering them online without checking! They also do mini ties for the boys – super cute.
Babington House really do have their décor nailed, we didn’t have to do anything at all, which is why we chose them. Flowers by Passion looked after the table setting for us, creating a gorgeous scene for dinner with mini flower displays in vintage bottles, towering candelabras and tea lights. It really was magical as the light started to fade during dinner and hundreds of candles twinkled around the room.
We used Flowers by Passion for all of our flowers – the team behind the every day flowers, and many of the weddings at Babington, so they really knew what they were doing. From our initial conversations and follow up they got exactly the look I was hoping for and then some. We had antique pink roses with hydrangea and ranunculus, displayed in antique bottles and jars. My bouquet was made with roses softened with senecio and the flower girls carried smaller simpler bouquets. The page boys had gorgeous little button holes. We also had candles in storm lanterns down the aisle and glass globe tea lights hanging in the windows.
Heartfelt And Fun
Our ceremony had just the right mix of gravitas and fun and our registrar was fantastic. My sister, Helen, read a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which was really romantic and our friend Derren read his own creation put together from the titles of songs – sounds crazy but it worked really well and gave a lovely personal touch to our ceremony.
We also wrote our vows so that they were personal to us whilst keeping them very simple but heartfelt. We had the Urban Soul Orchestra string quartet who played our selection of upbeat and contemporary music before and after our service. As I walked down the aisle, they played their interpretation of “A day like this” by Elbow. As we were signing the register, “It must be love” by Madness, both of which were simply gorgeous.
Leave Right Now
We chose to have a DJ in the evening rather than a band for a more intimate feel and used Nigel Peirce, who is the resident DJ at Babington. He was also good enough to let a couple of our mates who are experienced DJs on the decks, so a good time was definitely had by all. Our first dance was “I think I’d better leave right now” by Will Young. Possibly not the greatest sentiment for a wedding but our song so it had to be! An amazing benefit of Babington is that their license doesn’t finish at 12 like many venues so we had dancing right up til 2am and the party carried on for some time after that!
Bring Me Food
Babington House offer exemplary food with a ‘Bring me food’ family style menu, which meant we got to choose 3 starters, 3 main courses a dessert and cheese. All three dishes for each course are brought to the table on platters and everyone helps themselves which proved to be a fantastic ice breaker and really meant every got chatting around the tables. You can view a similar menu here.
We offered Mojitos as well as champagne during the drinks reception and I drank champagne all day! Our beautiful cake was created by my cousin Carolyn Knight who creates incredible sugar flowers and scrumptious cakes.
Not Drowning In Details
I didn’t want to waste too much time or money getting bogged down in details. A friend of mine recommended Paperless Post to me and it was perfect for getting out invitations to guests in the UK and elsewhere from our location in New York. Babington created the place names for me, Passion created gorgeous table names by using vintage mirrors and my lovely friend Rob created our table plan and fantastic ‘thank you’ frames – we had our photo taken with these and are using the photography to create our Thank You cards, hopefully physical ones this time.
Drag It Out
Relax and enjoy it. Don’t sweat the small stuff because you won’t even notice it on the day. Like us, drag the whole thing out to 3 days with friends and family if you can, as it’s over all too quickly. A perfect moment for me was a friend of ours Rita getting Trevor’s 87 year old Grandma up on the dance floor. Absolutely priceless!
And of course there must be a special mention for our wonderful photographers, the girls from Dottie Photography who did the most wonderful job of capturing those special moments, right to the bitter end.
Venue – Babington House
Make up – Sophie McMullan
Hair – Claire Urquhart
Bride’s dress – Amanda Wakeley
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s suit – Tom Ford
Cake – Carolyn Knight
Florist – Flowers By Passion
Invites – Paperlesspost.com
DJ – Nigel Peirce
Photography – Dottie Photography
Doing your wedding shopping in NYC?? This is the stuff of dreams people!!
Ali’s advice of using shapes you are used to wearing to help choose your wedding dress is great – you only look good when you feel comfortable. Also those eyelash extensions look amazing – definitely worth a spurge for your wedding day.
I’m in love with the candelabras too – there is no other way to create such a magical atmosphere than with lots of candlelight.
Lots of love,