Charlotte + Tom say…
We chose Morden Hall because we wanted a London location – it’s where we’re based, Mr Hoare is from south London and we both adore the city. We fell in love with the beautiful old house that is Morden Hall, which still includes some of its original 17th Century features such as beautiful dramatic staircase, ceiling roses, mosaic floor, etc (Mr Hoare loves his history!).
We also fell in love with the beautiful spacious grounds which include a charming river and beautiful bridge, enormous spacious lawn for games and treasure hunts, beautiful trees, and no small amount of wildlife (ducks, swans, and a drunken sleeping friend of ours was awoken by a fox!). It allows you to have the space of a country wedding and the grandeur of an old-fashioned manor house, whilst still being minutes’ walk from a tube station!
I wore the Devin dress by Rime Arodaky, purchased from The Mews Bridal. I knew I wanted a relatively simple and elegant dress with a column silhouette, but I was looking for something a bit special and different too. As soon as I tried on the Devin dress I knew it was the one before I even looked in the mirror. It fit like a glove and made me feel great! I loved that it looked chic from the front but had a statement low back adding a bit of drama. The appliqué flowers also fit perfectly with our overall theme! I had a stunning Swarovski crystal star headband and earrings custom made by Tilly Thomas Lux and I had a lace trim cathedral length veil specially made for me by the wonderful Joanna from Woburn Bridal. I wore the headpiece at the back of my head during the ceremony, under my veil, then moved it round to be a headband for the wedding breakfast onwards when I removed the veil.
I had 7 bridesmaids and they were all given a brief of wearing navy but could chose a style that suited them. Some wore jumpsuits and others dresses but each was reflective of their personal style.
Tom wore an electric blue tailored suit from Paul Smith, worn with white shirt, pink floral tie and multi-coloured striped socks – chosen and fitted by the team at Paul Smith Floral Street in London. He paired with Classic dark brown brogues by Russell & Bromley. Mr Hoare had groomsmen and groomswomen – the men wore navy suits of their own choosing, complimented with floral pink ties and an array of colourful socks. The women wore navy blue jumpsuits from Whistles.
We wanted the vibe of our wedding to be relaxed, fun, informal and colourful – like a really great summer garden party. Our dress code was ‘sharp + summery’, and people came in a variety of amazing prints and florals. Mrs Hoare works in fashion, so the aesthetics were very important and carefully planned! The focus of our styling was flowers and the colour scheme – we went for dusky pink as the primary colour of the day with pops of fuchsia and the natural greenery of the venue.
For the meal, table décor was rose quartz crystals amongst flowers, individual place settings with polaroids of guests with their names scribbled on, different shades of pink tapered candles in brushed gold candlesticks, ‘captain’s armband’ for the designated ‘captain’ of each table, chef’s hat for the designated carver of each table, table names were locations that we have travelled to (e.g. Sydney, Delhi, Ibiza, etc) which were displayed as a photograph of the location with the name handwritten across in gold, displayed in a white photo frame.
Mini white lace tambourines were provided during the ceremony for people to play along with the surprise musical rendition of Madonna “Like A Virgin” in lieu of a hymn.
I discovered Palais Flowers on Instagram and knew instantly that they were the perfect florist to execute my – quite particular – vision. I’d put together an early moodboard, inspired by the visuals and events of the beauty brand Glossier – all in a colour palette of different shades of pink but fresh, modern and artistically arranged. Emma, the founder of Palais Flowers, was previously a set designer for the fashion industry so she totally got my aesthetic and came up with some brilliant ideas. We mixed a wide variety of different flowers in varying pink shades into each element of the floral design – including traditional roses mixed with interesting choices like orchids. The floral arch she designed was the focus point of the ceremony and truly spectacular – something every guest commented on.
Claudia’s Cake Co, a close friend of ours, created our cake. We had a three-tier cake made of chocolate sponge on the bottom, lemon drizzle in the middle and white chocolate & raspberry cheesecake on top – three cakes in one! We also had heart-shaped gingerbread cookies iced with our initials and wedding date as our wedding favours.
We used Jack and Jade from Taylor-Hughes Photography for our wedding and we couldn’t have been happier with the images they took! They really took the time to get to know us and understand our vision for the day – figuring out who the important people were, the dynamics between them, and also the special moments we wanted to capture as well as your standard group shots. On the day they were fantastic; exactly the right balance of directing key shots but also unobtrusively capturing candid moments. They really understand the importance of composition and lighting but also effortlessly capture the emotions of such an important day. The final images are so beautiful and we will look back on them with such happiness for many years to come.
Best part of the day
The big kiss at the end of the ceremony – happiest moment of our lives.
From one couple to another…
Try and split tasks between you – we made an early decision that everything visual and aesthetic related would be me (i.e. flowers, decoration, clothing, accessories, etc) and everything entertainment-related would be Mr Hoare (i.e. music, games, lighting, photobooth, etc).
Don’t be afraid to rope in your bridesmaids and groomsmen to help. Focus on the fact that it is your day – do things exactly how you want them and don’t let anyone else influence your thinking.
A band is always better than a DJ and in our opinion 100% worth the cost!
We had a ‘master spreadsheet’ on Google Docs with multiple tabs for budget, guest lists, suppliers, to-do-lists, etc – this was invaluable. Closer to the day we also had a ‘call sheet’ of sorts with suppliers’ names and numbers, schedule for the day, floor-plan and guide of where various decorative elements should be placed, etc.
A well-defined aesthetic is really important and makes the day feel even more special and memorable.
Don’t make the music TOO modern or TOO old – make sure you play classics that both your younger mates and your older relatives will want to dance to!
Venue Morden Hall
Photography Taylor Hughes Photography
Florist Palais Flowers
Dress Rime Arodaky
Bridal Shop The Mews Notting Hill
Hairpiece Tilly Thomas Lux
Hair + Makeup Rosie Vincent from Michael Van Clarke
Suit Paul Smith
Grooms Shoes Russell & Bromley
Groom’s Ring Heming Jewels
Bride’s Ring Monica Vinader
String Quartet The Wedding String Quartet
Photo Booth The Photo Booth Guys
Band The Dominos
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