A GARDEN IN CLARIDGE’S

Nancy and Jon came to me a year before their big day; originally wanting a ceremony at Claridge’s, followed by a marquee reception at home. They become engaged in Italy and really wanted to have an outdoor wedding however, their garden wasn’t suitable, so we searched for alternative venues. Claridge’s has sentimental meaning to Nancy and Jon; Nancy’s parents spent their wedding night at Claridge’s 30 years ago and Jon’s mother surprised his late father for a night away a few years ago. Their only concern was that it was a Ballroom and not what they anticipated their wedding to be.

I set to work on a design proposal for their full day to be held at Claridge’s, giving them a unique and unexpected style at a typically opulent ballroom venue. They loved it, as you may have guessed.

The ceremony was held in the Ballroom Lobby, with Jo Malone candles filling the air with Nancy’s favourite scent. Floral meadows lined the aisle, and the most incredible floral arch framed the doorway, creating the backdrop for the couple to exchange their vows. A string trio played as Nancy walked down the aisle.

The drinks reception was held in the French Salon and Drawing Room. An Italian style acoustic trio serenaded guests whilst they drank Champagne, ate canapes and oysters, and had their portraits sketched.

We invited the guests back into the Ballroom Lobby which we had cleared from the ceremony and now displayed a large floral urn on a table with escort cards. Guests found their name cards with table numbers on before entering the Ballroom for dinner.

Inside the Ballroom we had three long runs of tables, filled with low urn centrepieces, blue tapered candles, Claridge’s stunning gold charger plates, hired in detailed water glasses and gold cutlery, bespoke embroidered napkins with a blue velvet ribbon and the most exquisite gold foiled menus and hand calligraphy cloud name cards, all on a pale grey tablecloth. At the opposite end of the ballroom, we had a black and white dance floor, with the most beautiful 2 tier cake sitting on a bed of flowers. We filled the stage with a large floral installation to give the illusion the band were performing in a garden.

During the four-course dinner a magician roamed to entertain guests who made tequila shots appear. We started the speeches with a Champagne toast and finished with limoncello for the best man’s speech.

As soon as the speeches finished, we opened the ballroom doors to reveal the third transformation of the Lobby; we had built a custom round bar in the middle of the room, with a large floral urn in the centre. A jazz trio played as cocktails were served; giving guests an hour break before the evening party began.

After cutting their cake, Nancy and Jon danced for their first song to an incredible 12-piece band who performed for the rest of the night. We served mini portions of Mac and Cheese, burgers and fries.

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“We’re finally in a taxi to the airport. I can’t believe I haven’t seen you since. WILL I EVER AGAIN?! Please say yes….!!!! I can’t even say thank you enough. I don’t know how you made such a magical day real life… we’re still in shock. It was just the best day ever. We’re just replaying the day over and over in our head. We miss you already but just needed to say thank you thank you thank you!!!! Xxxxxxxxxx”

WEDDING | VENUE | AUGUST

Photography by EMILIE WHITE

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