I don’t pretend to know the sheer amount of time it must take, the type of dedication and the kind of organisational skills that go into planning and executing a luxe wedding, but I can imagine. And someone who definitely would know is Mark Niemierko, named Britain’s top luxury wedding planner by Elle Magazine and renowned UK wide for designing and styling truly beautiful events.
Mark submitted the video highlights of a spectacular W-day to Rock My Wedding recently that is both decadent and spectacularly pretty in equal measure and is the perfect piece of escapism for you gorgeous lot to emerge yourself in this weekend.
Mark Niemierko: This wedding was planned in just less than 4 months, so goes to prove how quickly a large scale wedding can be pulled off rather quickly. It was held at Cliveden House, in Berkshire on Tuesday 21st June. The longest day of the year…
The couple and their children lived all over the world, from Windsor, Santa Fa and most regularly spending their time in Singapore due to work commitments. Although the Bride was English and the Groom Swedish So I had a lot of cultures and styles to merge into one day!
The ceremony was held at a small village church across the Road from the couple’s home in Binfield. This couple had been together for well over 10 years, and already had 2 children who happened to be Christened in this church so it had real personal meaning to them.
With the church we wanted to keep the country, rustic feel and add some colour and polish to it. I’m so use to keeping ceremonies white and fancied a change! The Mulberry ad campaign from earlier in the year inspired me to go a little OTT with colourful hydrangeas, pink, green and lilac. We installed them everywhere, from the back of the church by the alter railings to an oversized arch outside. We hired McQueen’s flowers for the church as the Bride and I felt they understood our brief the most. The scent in the church came from the pew-ends as tied to each pew were stocks in pale lilac and cream, bound with natural seagrass.
When the guests arrived at Cliveden the drinks reception commenced on the front drive. Waiting for the Bride and Groom to arrive. The guests weren’t aware the couple were arriving by Horse and Carriage.
Then onto the West Wing terrace for the remainder of the drinks reception. Ruinart champagne was served along with canapés. Whilst the Urban Soul Orchestra entertained the guests, florist Rob Van Helden was my choice as the reception venue floral designer.
We’d gone for a more contemporary outdoor feel for the drinks reception. With white furniture and vases. We installed a stone like bar to fit with the exterior of Cliveden. The columns along the Pagoda had wonderful ivy garlands going up them, with a mixture of white peonies, hydrangeas, lilies as well as clusters of fresh granny smith apples! The white flowers and vases were a perfect contrast to the gardens and view that people were looking out onto.
A 3 course Dinner was served in the Terrace Dining Room. With a combination of 3 different table centres to create varied heights on the tables. Including a tall lantern tree stand placed in the centre of 4 of the tables, clad with glossy dark green foliages, interspersed with clusters of all white Peonies and all white Avalanche Spray Roses. The three branches at top suspended a hanging glass lantern. As it got darker these looked especially romantic.
The other table centres included a silver candelabra and a silver sundial dish, filled with water and white floating candles. Really beautiful. Dinner was perhaps the most traditional part of the day.
The menus were cut circular to fit into the charge plates perfectly. These doubled up as a place card as they included the individual guest’s names on them. We also arranged for Ladies and Gentlemen’s napkin rings. The gents had a silver flower pot napkin ring and sprig of flowering mint whilst the Ladies had the same but with a white rose added.
There were a large number of children at this wedding so they all dined in the french dining room at Cliveden. The three flower girls hosted their own table. They each had a different coloured sash on their dress, ice blue, duck egg and candy pink so we incorporated those colours subtly onto each table with ribbon napkin rings. The room is very ornate and grand so we kept to gold candelabra’s. We arranged for each child’s place setting to have a slate tile and chalk bucket which works perfectly for children to keep them entertained during dinner.
After dessert the guests were asked to make their way back out to the Front of Cliveden House for the cutting of the cake. However when they reached outside there was no cake, just an empty plinth. This was the part of the day were I incorporated Singapore and that influence on the couple, I was inspired by 1940’s Shanghai and also Colonel Singapor – think Raffles Hotel. Once all guests were outside authentic Chinese music started playing and Shaolin Monks appeared from both sides of the drive. Arriving in front of the guests to perform. A lion dance also came across the lawn – with live music behind it. The monks went to the side as the Lion Dance continued. From the side the Monks reappear carrying a large Art-Deco style cake, designed and created by Peggy Porschen, including hanging Crystals -Six tiers in total. This was Niemierko’s grandest and detailed cake ever. The cake reached the Bride and Groom and one of the Monks handed the couple a Sword…..As they cut BANG, a four minute firework display began, synchronised to Black Eyed Peas “I’ve Got a Feeling” and U2’s “Beautiful Day”. WOW.
Now we had to top this amazing act and firework display off and keep the momentum going, the guests made their way back into the House and into the Great Hall which had been turned into a Nightclub. Palms were installed around the room, a large square dance floor, the couples monogram had even been given an Asian makeover. There was a chrome topped bar with aubergine velvet along it, black poser tables with mirrored tops and ambient lighting all around the room. The first act when the guests entered was female strings group Bond. The guests enjoyed the 10 minute performance whilst perched on low seating sofa areas, upholstered in aubergine ribbed silk.
After Bond’s performance, the Rockabellas came on. A 1940’s female trio act singing everything from Candy Man to Beyonce’s Crazy In Love. Without doubt they were the highlight of the night.
After their 20 minute set the main and final act of the evening The All Stars came on to entertain the guests until the very end.
Cigar girls and late night cocktails and canapés ensured the guests continued onto the early hours!
I am occasionally left in awe of W-day details, and this is one such example – already a lover of hydrangea this is my idea of heaven.
Big Luxe Love