The Ultimate Discovery.

The vast majority of weddings we feature on RMW come via a submission – usually from the photographer or the bride. Occasionally we will find something via blog stalking and very very occasionally we will discover something absolutely out-of-this-world by complete random accident.

The W-day of Annie and Navid was the result of one of those (particularly beautiful) random accidents. I was having me a mooch on my Instagram feed and someone who I was following had “liked” an image of a stunning blonde bride trying on the most ridiculously gorgeous Vera Wang gown. At the time I didn’t even know if the affair would be based in the UK but luckily for us it was and photographer Xanthe Berkeley agreed to have the whole fashion and floral extravaganza grace these polka dot pages after I got in contact.

There are some really lovely decor and entertaining-children ideas amongst the pretty and Annie (who works for Anya Hindmarch so is clearly stylish with a capital S….) made lots of the details herself, including the flower girl dresses and embroidered napkin favours.

And I swear – I have never seen a Groom look as ruddy happy as Navid does, his continuous beam could light up the world.

Oh and did I mention this was only Xanthe’s fourth wedding?!

I know.

I die.

All That Glitters

My shoes were Jimmy Choo and a very welcome birthday gift from the groom! I kept them on all day as I adored the way they sparkled and all the adrenaline meant that I never felt any pain!


My hair was by James at the Daniel Hersheson Salon (in Harvey Nichols), he was so good that my bridesmaid booked him on the spot at my hair trial for her own wedding a few months later. I made sure the hair trial coincided with my hen party so that I would have fabulous hair for the party!

For the Make-up I just googled “Mac make up artist in Suffolk area” as I have always loved and trusted anyone that uses Mac make up as it’s my favorite make. Luckily my search picked up Sophia Spalding who I used and loved and who calmed my nerves on the big day!

The Perfect (Swiss) Fit

I went for fittings in about 4 different wedding shops and completely fell in love with a Vera Wang Diana, but the price was way out of budget.  So I spent 4 hours on the internet searching for anyone that was selling theirs as I always thought it was pointless to buy something you only wear for a day.  I found a girl in Switzerland who was desperate to sell hers to pay for her honeymoon so I jumped on an easy jet plane and went to meet her and try on the dress.  It was a perfect fit, so we negotiated a deal that worked out perfectly for both of us.  I am planning on selling it on again so another bride can enjoy it as much as I did without the guilt! 

As we had a Civil ceremony in the morning I wanted to wear a more simple dress so I sourced some lace in Hong Kong and had it made by a very clever seamstress in London.  With the extra fabric we had left over I tried my hand and making the 4 flower girl dresses as I was having trouble finding any in an ivory colour to match my dress.  These turned out better than expected and I even got some people asking me if I would make theirs!

Designer For Less

My veil was also Vera Wang and was purchased with the dress as part of the price. The sash worn with the Vera Wang dress was from a haberdashery just off Oxford Street called macculloch and wallis a lot cheaper than buying it from the designer!

The Name’s Ford, Tom Ford

Navid wore a suit by Spencer Hart, which was modern and simple, exactly what we were after. His Tie and shirt were by Tom Ford as his mens collection was so amazing we had to have some element of his clothing in the outfit. I matched the tie tonally with my sash for the Vera Wang dress.

Lovely In Lace

The flower girl dresses were made by me using the left over lace from my first wedding dress, they were a lot of fun to make and saved a lot of money on these. I also cross-stitched each girls initials on the underskirt so that they could easily identify them and have something to treasure forever.

They kept them on all day and I have since been told that they play make believe weddings with them when their friends come over!

White On White

The flowers were installed by a local florist that the venue had recommended that I always think is wise as it will mean that they will know the venue well and how best to dress it. I was anally specific about what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I just wanted all white with hints of gyp so we went with white roses and hydrangeas.

Practicing On Primrose

Our lovely photographer was Xanthe Berkeley her sister is my friend from university and she just told me that Xanthe was keen to shoot our wedding so we met up to discuss. Xanthe was so excited and enthusiastic about it that I knew she was the one straight away! She kindly did a practice engagement shoot with us on Primrose Hill and both my camera shy groom and I were so relaxed that we knew we had made the right choice. The photos came out amazingly for that shoot and I turned them into a little book on that I will now treasure forever.

I have done the same with the wedding photos, and all my guests kept saying how lovely she was which I think is also a very important factor. She is amazingly talented and every photo she took was absolutely stunning, we talked about the fact we preferred reportage which is what she specializes in so we were definitely a good match. We did a few formals just to keep the families happy but it’s the casual unposed photos that I am putting up in the house.

For my thank you cards I enclosed photos of each guest together with a photo of me and the groom so they will always have a picture from our wedding as I know not everyone will actually print out the photos.

Style Icon

Working for Anya Hindmarch, she was my main inspiration especially the Bespoke Shop in Pont street, this is what inspired me to embroider each guests initials on their napkins to take home as their wedding favour. I started making items for the wedding a year before hand so that they were all done well in advance.  This included the embroidered napkins which got very complicated when I got the unable to attend but at least I have something to give them the next time I see them! 

I also knitted up some little pouches that I placed chocolate Easter eggs in as I didn’t want to ignore the fact I got married at Easter but I didn’t want to use it as a main theme.  I also wanted to make sure that everyone felt welcome and in the mood to celebrate for the day so I made some “Welcome Packs” that were placed in everyone’s hotel rooms.  These consisted of a little Jute Sack I made (that was supposed to look a bit like a barrel of hay to bring in the country feel) filled with my mothers home made Bullace jam (a favourite of my late fathers) and a vintage handkerchief for the weepy moments!

Also Anya does great press events and really knows how to entertain in a fun youthful way.  This prompted the DIY photo booth that I knew would keep the kids quiet and amuse the adults and would result in something a lot more interesting then a few signatures in a guest book.

Three Fruity Tiers

Our Cake was from Patisserie Valerie as this has always been the vendor of choice for every birthday we have ever had together. We love their recipe for light sponge with seasonal fruits and cream so we wanted to share this with our guests. We needed a show stopper as it’s an Iranian tradition for female guests to dance around the cake with a knife whilst the groom offers the money for it so it needed to look and taste good! We went with a 3 tiered Square Cake with White Chocolate sides, it was yummy but I only had a small bite of it in the end!

Pop Culture

For evening entertainment we went with a DJ as Navid and I aren’t really concerned by live music, as we never go to concerts so it seemed silly to spend a big chunk of the budget on a live band so we just had cheesy pop and a few Iranian songs to keep it lively!. The DJ was from Dreamwave events.

Wrapped Up In Love

Our First dance was “Wrapped up in Love” by Jennifer Hudson, we wanted something upbeat and not soppy or mushy as we are not those kind of people so something lively and fun reflected our personalities better. We never rehearsed so it was very natural and after a few bars we just invited everyone else to join in on the fun on the dance floor!

Four Ceremonies

As my groom is Iranian and Baha’i I wanted to incorporate this into the wedding so that his family and friends felt as comfortable and welcome and enjoyed it us much as my English side.  The first half of the day was typically British with a church wedding and afternoon tea, which included the use of my mothers beloved tea set collection, which she had spent the last year trawling through charity shops and jumble sales to find. 

Then at 4pm we celebrated with a Persian Ceremony which included a Sofreh, this is a spread that contains food and traditional items to share in the new life and each item has a symbolic significance eg, the eggs for fertility.  Ladies from the congregation are also asked to come up and “sweeten” the marriage by rubbing large sugar cones over the married couple’s head that is protected by a cloth. 

It is a really beautiful ceremony and has audience participation that I think always makes it more interesting for the guests.  One of the comments from our guests was that they “really felt part of the wedding, rather than just being a witness”.  After this we began the Baha’i ceremony that included religious prayers and readings and the signing of the Baha’i wedding certificates.  All in all we had about 4 ceremonies in the day so we really felt married by the end of it but they were all very different, so we didn’t’ bore our guests! We even started the day with a civil ceremony at 12pm for close friends and family as this was our only legal ceremony and meant that I had an excuse for another dress!

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff and a month before the wedding, close the book on new ideas/projects as you will run out of time and just work on what you do have already planned.  Oh and take at least a week off work, you will need it!  Also start with the planning as early as possible, also delegate jobs to friends and family for the actual wedding day eg. Give a list of the formal photographs you want to an usher and bridesmaids so they can help rally the guests for these as the photographer won’t know who’s who.

Brides Gowns – First Dress (final images) – Made to measure by Jane Cameron, Second Dress – Vera Wang (Pre-owned)

Brides Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Make-Up – Sophia Spalding

Cake – Patisserie Valerie

Grooms Suit – Spencer Hart

Venue – Hengrave Hall

Photographer – Xanthe Berkeley

I am going to have to write quite a lot at this end bit too because I could have waffled on forever and a day during the intro.

Um…how cool are those twine wool table numbers doo-dahs? and how about the photo booth/guest book? kind of incorporating Adam’s DIY from Friday but with a fancier frame. I also have a lot of love for Annie’s best girls in alternative shades of blue and I think she needs some kind of award for making all of those flower girls dresses and favours all by herself.

And four ceremonies? four? And still looking fresh as a daisy at the end?…. Also any wedding that has a press on tattoo gets my vote – hours of entertainment.

And the dress. Good Lord the dress.

I think I might need a lie down.

Big Discovering Awesomeness Love

Charlotte xxx

P.S You can follow me on Instagram @rockmywedding, be warned though – I don’t just post W-day stuff, sometimes it’s just a picture of my Mum’s cakes or my most recent on-line purchases…

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

64 thoughts on “The Ultimate Discovery.

  1. Oh me Oh my!! Thank god for traffic jams – I now don’t care that I’m running half an hour late and am sitting stationary, because I have this!

    Oh Wang, I love you. Basically everything here, I want her gentle lovely curls the most! Just Loving the details like the vintage hankies… All going on my ‘want’ list! They have really gone out of their way to make their guests feel special, that’s how we want our day xxx

  2. Blinking heck its all sublimely Gorgeous!

    And I like that you post pics of cakes , hats and flowers… I post pics of husband pulling silly faces 😉

  3. So, this morning started with me trying on a new dress that I thought made me look pretty darn hot (French Connection, Woodblock Wonder Dress for anyone who is wondering, come on, if it’s got ‘wonder’ in the title it’s got to make you look good, no?) to be told by the Big C…”It kind of makes you look like an Eastern European prostitute. I’m not sure.”

    So, thanks to RMW, I’ve gone from lady of the night attire to the ultimate Vera princess in a matter of minutes – check out those curls!!!!!!! I’m going to send the Big C a link to the dress and ask his opinion on that!!!! He’ll be loving the FC number once he sees the price tag of the Vera!

    Anyhow, seriously, I am now ultra stressed about our wedding because it will never, in a hundred million years, be this beautiful!

    I would very much like someone to come and fashion that gyp candle arrangement over the side of my bath…and maybe leave a Cadbury’s Wispa and a copy of Marie Clair in there…and obviously draw me a bath…with lots of bubbles…

    And the confetti photo is just devine.

    Also, can I just say how much love I have for MacCulloch and Wallis. Their online site is amazing and continuing on from Lauren’s post yesterday, if you can’t fashion a pearl veil in MacCulloch and Wallis, well, it cannot be done.

    And, ‘Wrapped up in Love’ by Jennifer Hudson is just the best dancing song ever. Makes me want to throw on some Halston Heritage, lots of gold jewellery and shimmy about like I’m Carrie Bradshaw.

    And, (gosh, what a lot of conjunctions!) those bridesmaid photos are lovely. I’m not having bridesmaids but am determined to get a great shot of my and the girls and am just sending those to our photographer now!


  4. @Pamela – “I would very much like someone to come and fashion that gyp candle arrangement over the side of my bath…and maybe leave a Cadbury’s Wispa and a copy of Marie Claire in there…and obviously draw me a bath…with lots of bubbles…”

    Mwah ha ha!!! me too 😉

    Although I think the Wispa would be exchanged for a bag of those Galaxy counter thingies – they are really quite special.

    Charlotte xxx

  5. I think this is my favourite wedding ever on RMW it is so stylish, elegant and romantic. I love the use of Kraft paper and twine throughout it effortlessly links everything. The grooms expression is beautiful actually all the pictures are amazing! Love it!! xx

  6. @Charlotte – I don’t know who is going to do this for me though?! The Big C’s floral arranging skills leave something to be desired and he hasn’t really had a bash since the glittery sunflowers incident…

    Maybe my mum? But I fear she would be so impressed with her pretty she would then jump in the bath herself…

    I am doing my first ever roast dinner this weekend (inspired by Naomi’s post!) and feel that maybe I should just concentrate on that and try to fashion the gyp next weekend?

  7. I’d like that hair, and just a soupcon of the chic please. This has bought my vague ideas for table plans and photo guestbook into life. Great ideas but not overdone and too ‘weddingy’ if you know what I mean?!

  8. Bestill my beating heart, another wang! You guys are really spoiling us this week! I also love her ‘other’ dress, it’s so different but she looks equally as beautiful in both 🙂

    I also love all the homemade details, I will have to sit down with my notepad later and take notes! Xxx

  9. Oh wow, this wedding is sublime. I love the way they combined the different cultures, and so elegantly. The Wang looks Amazing (as do all the dresses!) and I love that Annie flew to Switzerland for her dream dress, such a cute story. I need that hair too, it’s fab.

  10. wow, wow, wow what a beautiful wedding and as always what a stunning Wang dress.
    Oh and making her own flower girl dresses?! This bride is clearly very talented, they are gorgeous

    I agree with @Tabitha you really are spoiling us this week with all this pretty

    @Pamela, if you find someone to re-create this gyp arrangement by the bath can you send them in my direction please! 😉

  11. What a gorgeous, sophisticated wedding! Where are the oh so unique tattoos from please? Some really lovely touches, must have taken forever to plan everything!!! xxx

  12. Two Wangs in one week?!! Brings a whole new meaning to “I’m gonna hang out with my wang out!”

    Love the hair and I anticipate I am going to spend at least twenty four hours or so on trying and failing to re-create these waves with my gadgets and getting a big fat face on when I give up!

    Beautiful bridesmaids dresses and second dress, a Wang and a second dress! By eck that’s lucky!

    Seriously big love for this wedding and t’other Wang wedding!


  13. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments, it was without a doubt the best day of my life and well worth all of the planning!

    FYI Lucinda the Tattoos are from – they were really helpful and helped with the design and allowed a small quantity, the children really loved these!

    Also for the Poloroid camera and films I bought these off ebay from a seller in Tokyo, it was a lot cheaper than off the high street and people loved playing with this on the day! You can buy a camera and 100 photos for around £100.

    Let me know if you need to know about anything else am happy to share!!!


  14. @Alex Mrs M – hahahahahaha that made me spit my coffee out all over my desk, getting some very strange looks! x

  15. @Karen – it totally did love, it’s RMW speak innit it…totally garbled gushes of ‘ooooo’ and ‘aaaahhh’ and ‘please can I have?’

  16. Wowzers, I love this wedding – I LOVED her dress, her hair, the details – every single thing (pashminas, the stitching etc) was so thoughtful and one of the most mind blowingly lovely weddings I have seen in ages and ages. The Bride rocks.

  17. Yes, a superbly beautiful wedding with so many thoughtful touches… just one major let down- SWISS!! Annie flew to Switzerland to collect the dream dress so it is a SWISS twist, not Swedish…… I am half Swiss and shocked by how many people get that so wrong! Come on RMW, sort it out x

  18. Thank you so much for featuring Annie and Navid’s beautiful day, it was beyond amazing. They are such a darling couple…

    Charlotte, I’m so glad we met on instagram… social media is a wonderful thing… see you on there xxxx

  19. Oh bloomin’ heck this is my first RMW girl crush! If I look even 25% as beautiful as Annie on my wedding day I will be very happy!

    I love the Wang, I love the hair colour and the waves – oh to have such luscious locks!

    Stunning stunning stunning!

  20. @Karin – no worries, I can see it would be annoying! we are always discussing going to Switzerland one day – Mr O’Shea fancies ski-ing/snowboarding there.

    @Xanthe – Pleasure is all mine 😉

    @Kitty – Of course you will!! and I too am going to try and re-create those stunning waves…

    Charlotte xxx

  21. Again huge thanks for all of your lovely comments, am touched…

    Also try daniel hersheson waving tongs to create the waves, take a section of hair, slide the tong under it at the top and then wrap your hair around the tong, hold for a few seconds, then unwind to reveal the perfect wave……

  22. Thanks for the tip Annie!

    Am now trying to imagine what I would look like blonde but am definitely too scared to try…!

  23. Loving the dresses, and the chance to wear two such beautiful ones!
    Also absolutely love the petrol blue maids dress with the cowl neck. Anyone know where i could get one? Would look fabulous in my honeymoon wardrobe!

  24. Annie, What a fabulous wedding, I love your Pashmina wraps for guests and would love to know where you sourced them from.

  25. Wooooowzer, Admitedlt i dont normally comment much on the articles…. Even though I’m here up to three times or more a day! Lol anyhow, amazing dress ive looked a tonn of weddings and dresses on the internet and apart from chris judds wifes dress (google it!) i have not had ‘that monent’ with anyother except for this one! Its Probably entirely out if my second/ third hand price range…. But would be absolutely interested in letting it out in the light if day for its third wedding… That’s if it’s not already gone or if I can afford it!

  26. The problem with reading sneakily at work is that I mis-read the intro and thought it was the BRIDE’S 4th wedding (only!). Having said that, I quite fancy getting married 4 times as there’s just too much choice for the one time!

    As everyone has said, beautiful bride and love the candle/gyp arrangement – and the flower girls’ dresses are just delicious.

    Really want fake tattoos for my child guests now too!

  27. Hi Lisa, I am sorry but I have already sold it, but I would advise checking, or (this is where I sold mine). I first found this dress on an American site called they have sellers scattered all over the world so its worth checking. Also if you sell it on afterwards you don’t have to feel any guilt either! If you are planning to sell your wedding dress on I would say head for the big named brands as these sell very quickly, clearly as its only been 2 months since my wedding and I have already sold mine!

    I did hold onto the lace dress though as I think its important to hold onto something to show your daughters and as it was made to measure I couldn’t bear to part with it as it wouldn’t mean as much to other people as it did to me.

  28. @ Charlotte, Maddy and Tabitha, it’s totes acceptable to make immature jokes that have rude connotations…I obviously abstain from it being such a mature serious type 😉


  29. Ahhh a beautiful Vera Wang! And a beautiful bride….and lots of beautiful things!! Also lovely to hear about different traditions in your big day xxx

  30. I would just like to say a massive thank you to RMW for featuring my wedding, it has completely made my day! Also a big thanks to Xanthe for being the best photographer Ever!! xxx

  31. Annie,

    What an amazing wedding! Can I ask where you got the brown sleeves for guests to put their polaroid photos into?

    Thank you x

  32. Thank you Alanna, for the photo cards, I ordered the brown cards from Ebay and asked a friend from work to help me with the artwork which she created on Illustrator. Then I just printed them off in a laser printer. An alternative to this would be having a stamp made (which is super cheap and easy) which you could easily stamp the cards to personalise them, try – I made up stamps for the guests to stamp themselves little brown paper bags to fill up with sugared almonds, I think guests enjoyed stamping and creating!

  33. Hi Annie,

    I loved your DIY photo booth! I just wondered where you bought your polaroid camera from and how much it cost you to put together?


    p.s. Your dress is absolutely stunning, you looked amazing!

    1. Hi Tam

      Thank you so much for the compliment!

      I bought the Polaroid camera and 100 films from Ebay, there are a lot of high rated sellers in HK or Korea that sell the 2 for £100, below if a link for you to look at:

      For the frame I also bought this off Ebay and then attached fishing wire with a staple gun. I also bought the mini pegs from Ebay, Ebay was my life during the wedding preparations!

      Good luck!

      Annie x

  34. I absolutely love the thank you cards and photo frame for guests to peg their photos on, such a creative and lovely idea!

    WOW, that dress too!

    Charlotte xx

  35. I am truly in love with your wedding! And even more so, your fabulous dress! Do you by chance know the model or name of the dress, other than that it’s by Vera? It’s SO gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much Leslie and Kristi for your kind comments, I actually sold the dress already, but it it called the DIANA by Vera Wang, I found it on an american website called as there are brides from all over the world selling their dresses on this site. I sold my dress on a UK website called – so you could try either of these to see if anyone is selling a Diana in your size, good luck! x

      1. Thank you so much for your help! And congratulations on your beautiful wedding! I hope your marriage is just as beautiful! 🙂

  36. Wow… There’s just too much incredible stuff to mention!

    The exterior of the venue is absolutely jaw dropping. Who wouldn’t want to get married in a castle?

    I love the embroidered napkins too, what a lovely touch.

  37. I have just this month got engaged to my Iranian boyfriend, so am so pleased to have found an example of an English-Persian wedding to draw inspiration from! We’re also planning to combine our two cultures, with an English church wedding and the Iranian ceremony, and Sofreh. We’re also hoping to have an Iranian banquet for our wedding meal, in our English country garden marquee! It’s lovely to see such a beautiful wedding which shows how successfully both cultures can be brought together!

    1. Congratulations Alison and thank you so much for your kind compliments, I think it can really add something special to a wedding and make it quite individual when you are bringing together different cultures, good luck with all your preparations and I am sure you will have a very fun and beautiful wedding! x

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