How did you meet your (now) husband? At Edinburgh University.
How long have you been together? Nearly 12 years.
Do you have a proposal story? Ben proposed on the roof of our building in the East Village, overlooking the New York skyline, wearing a Brooklyn Nets bobble hat. He had hidden a bottle of champagne behind a rusty BBQ on the roof, which we popped and sipped from the bottle right afterwards.
What was your wedding date? April 25th 2015.
Location (Ceremony and Reception)
1. Where? Ceremony – Christ Church, Chelsea, London and the reception/dinner/dancing at The Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London.
2. What made you choose there? The Hurlingham Club is somewhere I have been going my whole life and is round the corner from my parents house. We both lived in London together after University, so Ben and I had also been there together on multiple occasions. We wanted to get married somewhere that had a personal connection for both of us.
3. How was the weather on the day? Forecasts had been predicting rain all week but we were all crossing our fingers and on the day not only did the rain hold off but the sun even came out!
The Wedding Details
Theme ? The vibe was kind of - Classic, elegant, and a traditional English garden. All the flowers were white with lots of green foliage and the bridesmaids all wore dresses of their choice in pale colors.
Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? I was in love with Vanessa Traina’s wedding (her dress, the flowers, the venue… it all looked divine) so that was definitely in the back of my mind.
Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? My mum hand wrote all the name places, and stamped the envelopes with a customized rubber stamp I bought online with Ben and my initials. I also did my make up myself. Although the team at the Hurlingham Club was amazing we didn’t have a wedding planner and being in New York and trying to organize the whole day from here wasn’t easy. Thank goodness for my Mum who was absolutely incredible and without whom there would have been no wedding. She was a superstar wedding planner and creative director rolled into one and made sure things were getting done, liaised with suppliers, came up with wonderful creative ideas, and calmed me down in my more panicked moments. I honestly can’t thank her enough, and my Dad and Ben’s parents too, for their respective parts in making it such an incredible day.
1. Bridesmaids – who/relationship? Friends from all walks of my life. Maid of Honor - Rebecca Glenapp (school friend), Bridesmaids - Nina Cunynghame-Lang(school friend), Emily Austin (school friend), Katherine Rowe (Ben’s best girl friend from high school), Alex Robson (old friend who now lives in nyc), Tori Griffiths (university friend).
2. Groomsmen – who/relationship? Brothers and an assortment of Friends from university, school, and home. Best Man – Clive Harris, Ushers - Will Nichols, Luke Nichols, Akshay Mehta, Edward Hodgskin, Julius Bird, Marlon Lloyd Malcolm, Carter Matschullat, Kevin Conetta, Sebastian Peters, Peter Keevil.
3. Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? Henry Witherick, the son of my old flatmate from University who I also lived with in London afterwards, Abby Witherick, Martha Lamb, the daughter of my oldest friend, Isabel Lamb, who grew up on the same street as me.
Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? I found some of her dresses on the blog The Lane, and was thrilled to find she has a shop in NYC.
How many gowns did you try? About a million, but I always came back to the Mabel.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Soho, NYC.
What did you especially like about your gown? I loved that it was classic and yet modern. It was a little different without being too fashion forward. And above all it was the one I felt most myself in – which was key.
Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? They all chose their own dresses.
Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? As our wedding was a total mix of American and English friends and family the dress code was suits or morning suits (the traditional English wedding attire for men). Ben deliberated forever on what he wanted to wear, but in the end chose a morning suit. He looked so handsome on the day – I think he made the right choice!
What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? A couple of days before the wedding I found an incredible diamante headpiece, from Ivory & Co, in a shop just round the corner from my parents. It just finished off the whole look. I was also out shopping with a friend that same week and came across a stunning simple silk shift dress in Ghost. As the Mabel has quite a train, I had vaguely been thinking about getting another dress to change into so I felt free to dance later in the evening. It was a surprise for Ben as I changed just before the first dance.
Where did you get your shoes from? Kate Spade. I loved them and felt like a wedding version of Dorothy from the wizard of Oz as they were covered in rose gold glitter, which left a trail of sparkles wherever I went. My dress tailor and my mum were less keen on them as they had to hoover after me every time I put them on.
Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? The veil was from J Crew.
What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff... as my Mum says. On the day it’s the people that make it, and the couples smiles people want to see, so don’t get too caught up or worried about the tiny details.
What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Don’t try on a million, or they will all scramble into one on your brain and you’ll get totally confused like I did. Ha! Thank goodness for the Mabel.
Florist – Cressida Jamieson, a friend from University and simply the most amazing florist. From the milk churns by the venue entrance, to the assortment of cut glass vases on the tables, Cressida helped me at every step of the way and I could not be more grateful for the amazing atmosphere she created with the flowers on the day.
Photographer – Dave Watts – recommended by a friend.
Videographer – Friends Gayle and Jonah Wyn Pugh
Music – Friends (Tori and Clive) created playlists to play on the red buses that took guests from the church to the venue. The band was called Hand Fulla Soul.
First Dance – Fall At Your Feet, Crowded House
MC – Rory Shannon, my brother
Hurlingham Event Planner – Lauren Hill
Stationery – Gee Brothers
Menu – Breadsticks with tapenade and hummus, followed by...
Canapes - Parmesan and thyme crisps with porcini risotto and chive, Cornish crab with avocado, lemon and mustard salsa, red pepper cream on melba toast, Roast loin of venison with juniper and orange, pickled apple and red cabbage, grain mustard, Roasted new potato filled with game salmis of pheasant, pigeon and quince sprinkled, Seared scallops with minted pea puree, crispy pancetta and pea shoots, Angel hair filo rolls of roast winter vegetables with honey and sesame dressing, Croque Monsieur of bresaola, gruyere cheese and truffle butter and sour cream dressing with smoked bacon crumbs.
Main - Roasted organic salmon, parsley creamed potatoes, glazed chantenay carrots, caper butter sauce or (V) Truffled celeriac brulee tart, caramelised salsify, soft poached quails egg, tarragon buttered young vegetables, celery root fondant.
Boys - Mini pecan pie served with vanilla ice-cream.
Girls - Pineapple & lime parfait, strawberry coulis, coconut tuille.
Cake – We didn’t have cake. Instead we embraced a long-standing family tradition – drinking from the Nichols cup. It is a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations. Both husband and wife take a sip at the same time to represent their union.
Make up - Myself
Wedding Rings – A market in Williamsburg, NYC
Band – Hand Fulla Soul
Extra features – We had olive trees brought down from the North of England, ribbon with our name and the wedding date on it.