There are so many heartwarming and amazing elements that make up this winter celebration at The Elvetham wedding venue in Hampshire. The groom Tilman's mother wrote and recited a poem about love and commitment in German, and Avril's mum gave a wedding speech during the reception. Plus Avril's wedding dress story is not to be missed. Especially as in her words: (although we wholeheartedly agree) "I know most people want to feel like a princess, but I wanted to feel like a queen" And an absolute queen she looks, from her West-African-Meets-Old-Hollywood updo right through to her Badgley Mischka bridal shoes.

What Made Our Day Unique

I'd never been keen on having the big wedding - or a wedding at all really. I certainly didn't think I'd be planning a UK wedding from NYC. But seeing our friends fly in from across Europe, from Australia, Dubai and South Africa just to celebrate how happy we make each other meant more than I could have imagined. Out mothers read poems in English and German, our siblings tied our hands together. Our wedding day was a seamless contradiction: global, yet small (75 guests), elegant, yet edgy, emotionally moving, yet an all-out party. The bartender didn't stop serving until sunrise!

Avril & Tilman

The Elvetham Wedding

As Avril and Tilman reside in NYC they enlisted the help of wedding planner, Planned for Perfection who is based in the Cotswolds, to help them plan their winter celebration at The Elvetham wedding venue in Hampshire U.K. She understood their vision instantly and introduced them to lots of wedding suppliers. One thing she didn't help choose was Avril's Mira Zwillinger wedding dress. In fact, nobody helped her choose her stunning off the shoulder feather gown. On a whim, a week after the engagement she visited a showroom in NY and took five dresses into the changing room. One she thought was cool, one for laughs and one which was not her style at all. Well, guess what? She bought the one that was not her style the very next day. She instantly knew that was the dress she wanted everyone to see her saying her vows in, and would be the best thing she'd ever wear.

Inspiration & Styling

I know most people want to feel like a princess, but I wanted to feel like a queen. You can see it in my 1930s Art Deco engagement ring, the castle-like backdrop, my feathered wedding dress and my West-Africa-Meets-Old-Hollywood. This may have been inspired by the fact that Tilman proposed to me on the day of the Royal Wedding. As for the feel of the day itself, I wanted moody, mysterious, unusual, elegant, surprising and free. The wedding day was was me in wedding day form. There were no weighty traditions or family pressure: it was our own day from start to finish.

Avril & Tilman
One of Avril and Tilman's favourite moments was their first dance. It was an incredibly romantic and endearing moment captured beautifully by Natalie J Photography. If you're looking for some first dance song inspiration, we've written an article featuring lots of popular romantic, upbeat and classic song choices to inspire you. rock my wedding forum
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Venue: The Elvetham | Wedding Dress: Mira Zwullinger - Ciela | Grooms Suit: Brooks Brothers | Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Cake: Gifted Heart Cakes | Florist: Paula Rooney | Makeup Artist: Miss Sunshine at Gemma Sutton | Entertainment: The Silent Disco Company | Planner/Stylist: Planned for Perfection | Decor & Hire: 88 Evetns | Transport: Farnham Coaches | Celebrant: Andri Benson | Order of the Day & Table Seating Plan: Foil Invite

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