Today’s real love feature is pretty special for two reasons… Firstly it’s the penultimate feature of 2017 and secondly, it was planned by our resident Wedding Planning expert Katrina Otter Weddings. Not only did Kat plan this beaut of a big day but she also had a starring role being Best Woman to the Groom, who just happens to be her brother.
I know… All the feels! So wrap up and snuggle in for some beautifully festive and super stylish inspiration.
We initially considered getting married in Italy but as we had a 4-month-old when we got engaged, travel and venue visits became slightly more logistically complicated! We soon settled on London and after a couple of days of venue visits, we instantly knew that RSA House was the one, especially after seeing their candle lit Vaults. The perfect blank canvas in the heart of London, RSA House provided us with plenty of possibilities for our intimate winter wedding.
Having a new-born baby throughout the planning process meant that hiring a wedding planning was a necessity. Thankfully we were in a very fortunate position as Katrina Otter is Matthew’s sister and my now sister-in-law. Having someone from the family plan our wedding meant that we got to see Kat more and could discuss our wedding in the evenings or at the weekend over a meal and glass of wine. Kat’s knowledge and support was invaluable.
Matthew and I met over the Christmas holidays in our home town of Cambridge. We had our first date a few days later and moved in together shortly afterwards. Matthew proposed on Christmas Eve 2014 whilst standing on the Garret Hostel Bridge in Cambridge with our son George and dog Diesel for company. So with all of these important festive dates it made sense to marry close to Christmas.
As we opted for a winter wedding we wanted a classic, timeless, intimate black tie affair filled with an abundance of candlelight. In the evening, we transformed the Vaults to create a party like environment for our guests with a separate chill-out zone, gold mirrored circular bar, illuminated letters and a Bubblegum Balloon lined corridor.
My dress was from Suzanne Neville. I had a custom lace top created for the day, which I removed in the evening and added a customised diamante black belt instead. Glamorous, luxurious and cut to fit, I instantly knew that my dress was the perfect choice for our black-tie city wedding.
As Matthew is 6ft plus I needed to add a little height (!) so invested in a pair of classic court shoes with a soft gold sole from Freya Rose. I borrowed a hairpiece and bracelet from a friend (from Ivory & Co) and my earrings were from Liberty in Love.
Kat kindly bought me a Peony & Blush Suede Bridal Jo Malone perfume for my Christmas present. We continued this scent throughout the day, with Jo Malone candles in all of the rooms, especially along our tablescape.
We honestly had a dream team of suppliers and I’d recommend each and every one of them in a heartbeat. Our photographer, David Jenkins, was down to earth and made us feel very comfortable in front of the camera. Matthew had initially refused to have any pictures taken in public and on the day, David made him feel that relaxed and confident in his vision that we had our main evening photos taken along the Strand not once but twice!
The doll that is Jo Adams did our hair and make-up in the morning. She was such a pleasure to be around, especially during the moments when I was starting to get a little nervous.
We went slightly unconventional and asked Kat to be our Best Man. Her suit was from The Kooples and she accessorised her outfit with some black and gold Jimmy Choo’s and earrings from Stephanie Browne via Liberty in Love.
Our florist Liz of Blue Sky Flowers fame totally exceeded our expectations and created the most magnificent bouquet, arrangements and tablescape. What we loved most about Liz is that we got to spend the morning with her at the New Covent Garden Flower Market choosing seasonal flowers to complement the venue and our overall vibe.
I think even before we got engaged we’d spoken about having a croquembouche wedding cake! Katie from Couture Cakes created a croquembouche masterpiece with a twist – the profiteroles were dipped in white chocolate and decorated with a mix of smooth shimmer, glitter, shimmery coconut and gold leaf. This was then placed on top of a luscious lemon cake, encased in lemon butter cream and gold leaf, with shimmering white dripping chocolate, which then sat on top of a bed of flowers.
Catering was provided by the RSA House in-house caterers Harbour & Jones and consisted of a treacle cured salmon starter with poached salmon rillette, potato pancake, confit lemon crème fraiche. For our main course we opted for chicken with semolina and sage gnocchi followed by an indulgent apple and brioche bread and butter pudding with Granny Smith sorbet.
Emily & Jo provided all of our stationery, including personalised menus and a table plan framed with a faux floral border. As RSA House is partially dry-hire we ordered furniture from Hire It and adorned the staircases with faux garlands from Friend of Faux.
From one bride to another…
I know it might sound like I’m plugging my sister-in-law but if you can, hire a Wedding Planner! Even if it’s just having someone there for advice or to support you on the day, their experience, understanding and support is invaluable.
Venue RSA House
Photography David Jenkins
Planning Katrina Otter Weddings
Florist Blue Sky Flowers
Faux Garlands Friend of Faux
Catering Harbour & Jones
Bride’s Dress Suzanne Neville
Shoes Freya Rose
Cake Couture Cakes
Stationery Emily & Jo
Hair + Makeup The Hair & Makeup Atelier
Furniture Hire It
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