Our gorgeous couple are now based in Portland, US but they decided to host their traditional English Country Garden wedding at Sophie's parents home in Putney, and it's just heavenly. Opting for a delicate palette of blush pink and cream they fill the marquee with some of the most stunning floral arrangements. Plus an incredibly elegant wedding cake baked and decorated by Sophie's sister. You'll be forgiven for thinking it's the work of a professional it's so amazing. Sophie and her girls look incredible. Not only in their wedding attire by Martina Liana and high street multiway dresses, but also in the getting ready portraits as they don matching robes. All the pretty has been captured by Lucy Davenport with a wedding report that'll have you swooning for days when you read Groom Chistopher's thoughts he had whilst waiting for his Bride to enter.
Our StorySophie the Bride: Christopher and I practically grew up together. We met when we were sixteen, and have been together ever since. We both grew up in London, but Christopher went to university in the USA, so we began what would be five years of long distance. This made our wedding even more special. It truly was a celebration of our lives finally beginning together. We used it as the perfect opportunity to bring all our friends and family together, to help celebrate the start of our new chapter. Until our wedding day, I didn’t truly appreciate how special it is having everyone you care about, and everyone who has helped shape your life, in one place, celebrating you as a couple. For us, this was the most important part of the day, and something which stayed at the heart of all the decisions we made. Christopher the Groom: I always knew that the day was going to be special but I didn’t quite grasp how amazing it was going to be. The people, the venue, the music, the speeches, the food and the atmosphere were all phenomenal but nothing compared to Sophie herself. All morning I was incredibly anxious and time flew by. Next thing I knew I was standing at the alter all by myself waiting for Sophie to walk down the aisle. During that moment there were a flood of emotions and thoughts passing through my head, from how we met, to all the small moments and conversations that got us to this point and my desperation for Sophie to walk down the aisle so that everyone would stop staring at me but be lost in her! The second I saw her time stopped, she looked incredibly beautiful and all my nerves disappeared immediately – I was lost within the moment and felt stronger having her at my side. Family and friends travelled from around the world to share this day with us and we (Sophie) planned the most amazing day for them - she thought through every last detail. It was a stunning traditional English Garden Wedding that was mixed with modern day details. Every moment was thought through from the Routemaster buses to transport guests, classic Beatle to transport us from the Church to her home, string quartet, the live band, the lighting, photobooth, late night pizza van, flip flops & heel protectors for guests, as well as a post box for our friends and family to share well wishes & words of advice. We didn’t want the day to end (Sophie literally begged the DJ for 1 more song multiple times) as it was the most amazing day. At the end of the day it was sharing it with Sophie and everyone we love that made it so special and a day that we will both cherish forever.
The DressSophie the Bride: It took me far too long to find my dress. Our wedding was in London but I currently live in Portland, Oregon. This meant that my Mum came out for a long weekend and we HAD to find the dress (no pressure!). I had been to a couple of shops before she arrived to hopefully make the whole weekend a little less stressful, but I just couldn’t find a style I liked. After a few shops, my poor exhausted Mother and I went to a shop called The White Dress. I tried on a few dresses but still, nothing. I explained how I wish it could have a top like this, and a bottom like this, and our Bridal Stylist suggested separates. At first I really didn’t like the idea, as I wanted it to look like a dress, rather than a top and a skirt. At Martina Liana they sew the two pieces together so it looks exactly like a dress. It was a little hard to imagine but I decided to go with it. My Mum came back to Portland to it up, and I finally had that “I love my dress” moment. For accessories I ended up going with some pearl drop earrings from BHLDN, and a pearl Tiffany bracelet my sisters gave me on the morning of the wedding. My veil was simple and I spontaneously bought it at the shop where I had my dress tailored.
The GroomChristopher wore Selected Homme navy blue morning suits with a light pink tie. He wasn’t sure about wearing a morning suit, but Selected Homme have a tailored fit, which gave it a much more modern feel. He ended up loving it.
Bridal PartyThe groomsmen also wore Selected Homme navy blue morning suits with a silver tie. They all looked really handsome and the colour complemented the dusty pink bridesmaids’ dresses perfectly. The bridesmaids’ dresses were multiway dresses from Debenhams. I love the fact they could all style their dresses different ways.
The VenueWe had the ceremony at St. Paul’s Church in Chiswick, which is where I was christened, and the reception was in a marquee at my family home in Putney, London. Having the wedding at home was really special, and allowed both of us, and our families, to watch the setup; from the marquee, to the lights, to the flowers. It helped extend our wedding from more than just a day, but to a week. Planning a wedding from a different country meant we had the most wonderful week meeting with all our suppliers and deciding all the finishing touches. We also hosted a “Debrief” the afternoon after and used the marquee for a casual lunch. It was the perfect opportunity to catch up with everyone and discuss the events of the night before!
TransportAlmost half of our guests travelled from the US, so we wanted to add an iconic London element to our day. We had routemaster buses to transport our guests from the Church to the Reception, and a vintage VW beetle for Christopher and I.
Colour Scheme/ Décor/FlowersLuckily, with a marquee in a garden, you don’t need to do too much decorating, as the surroundings speak for themselves. We stuck with a neutral colour palette; soft pink napkins and cream tablecloths with a hint of gold from the tealights. The tables were decorated with the most beautiful flowers from Liz at Blue Sky Flowers. She was fantastic and so fun to work with. Liz also created the most stunning floral arch for the church entrance.
MusicThis was probably one of the most important aspects for us when we were planning our day, as we wanted to make sure everyone had fun. For the ceremony and drinks reception we had the November String Quartet. They helped to set the mood and really added a special element to the day. For the evening we had the Supreme Collective band who played our first dance, and two sets lasting almost two hours. The music got everyone dancing; there were groomsmen twirling grandmothers, friends dancing with family. It really was special and something I will never forget. We were able to completely tailor the playlist which meant we had all our favourite songs. After the band we had a DJ who helped keep everyone dancing until the early hours of the morning.
PhotographerOur photographer, Lucy Davenport, was amazing. I knew it was important to look at sample pictures to help pick your photographer, but their role in your day is much more important than just taking photos. Lucy made both of us feel so comfortable, which in turn led to some amazing pictures. I feel like Christopher and I gained a friend during the day.
VideographerI can’t tell you how many wedding videos I watched before we picked Rupert Ward-Lewis. I think the importance of a video cannot be underestimated as it captures the essence of the day in a different way to photographs. I absolutely love our video. I didn’t want it to be cheesy, yet I wanted it to capture the emotion of the day. Rupert did that perfectly and I won’t admit to how many times I’ve watched it!
FoodThis was definitely my favourite thing to decide! We used the wonderful Two Many Cooks and I couldn’t recommend them enough. The food presentation was amazing, but the food tasted even better. A personal highlight was the salted caramel tart, with popcorn and flowers for our dessert. They also made absolutely delicious canapés and saved us a plate so we didn’t miss them! For the evening we hired Van Dough, a pizza van, to do late night snacks for guests.
The CakeMy sister, Chen made the cake. I don’t think I realised how big of a task this would be. She spent the whole week perfecting the five tier cake and it was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t see it until we got back to the marquee, and I couldn’t believe what she had created. She’s extremely talented, but this was better than I could have ever imagined.
Little ExtrasA couple of the smaller touches we added around the marquee actually turned out to be the biggest hits. We had flip flops for guests so they had no excuse not to dance into the early hours of the morning! We also provided heel protectors as the drinks reception was on grass. My favourite table was probably our guest table where we used an old fashioned cream postbox for guests to post their messages (and photobooth pictures). For the kids, we made little packages to keep them entertained. They were a hit, and made sure they didn’t get too bored when all the adults were eating! Finally, we both work at Nike so wanted to include some Nikes in our day! We gave our bridesmaids and groomsmen personalised shoes to change into for the dancing. They went down very well and will hopefully be worn for years to come!
Dress Designer: Essense Martina Liana | Bridal Shoes: Aldo | Earrings: BHLDN | Hair & Makeup: Beautiful Brides | Bridesmaid Dresses: Debenhams | Groomsmen: Selected Homme | Wedding Planner: Jenna Hewitt | Marquee: Country Marquees | Florist: Blue Sky Flowers | Catering: Two many Cooks | Van Dough | Photo Booth: Harry & Edge | Entertainment: The Supreme Collective | November Quartet | Transport: Rent A Routemaster | Buttercup Bus | Videographer: Rupert Ward-Lewis