Caroline & David's Grand Wedding at St Paul's Cathedral

From the perfectly planned proposal through to the grand ceremony and lavish reception, Caroline and David’s wedding could have been taken straight from a fairytale!

With images courtesy of the wonderful Martin Beddall, a valued member of The Wedding Vine’s Premier Portfolio, bride Caroline tells us all about her perfect day...

"We had been flat hunting for months and after another early Saturday morning full of viewings Dave suddenly surprised me by whisking me away to the New Forest for the weekend, to the first place we went away to as a couple – the gorgeous hotel, the Montagu Arms. As we were taken up to our room I wondered if he had booked us into the same room but instead we were in a huge suite, so I must admit by this point I did guess that something might be coming! He’d booked us in for a spa day which was amazing but as soon as we got back to the hotel I was dragged off for a really long walk in the pitch black which slightly bemused me (Dave was worried that my fingers would still be swollen from the heat of the spa) but we eventually got back to the hotel and the room was suddenly full of flowers and champagne and there he was down on one knee. It was the most amazing weekend and it’s a pretty special hotel to us now!

My parents live overseas so wedding dress shopping with my mum had to be planned well in advance! I’d made four appointments and the first place we went to was Sassi Holford on Fulham Road, I found it fairly daunting at first as I don’t tend to wear white or long dresses, and my mum picked out the first dress I tried on – a classic ivory ballgown style, totally opposite to the slinky lacy dress I’d imagined but it was stunning and actually felt very ‘me’ - when my mum cried I knew it was right! We went to two other appointments that day but by then my mind was made up. I cancelled the last appointment and went back to try on the very first dress again and I knew it was perfect. The whole process of having the dress made to my exact measurements and fitted and adjusted to me was so enjoyable and it was hugely exciting to have Sassi herself there, adjusting the corset and making sure the fit was perfect.

I kept accessories to a minimum and went for a long Sassi Holford veil, Rachel Simpson shoes and a bespoke Emmy hairslide. My something old was my Granny’s pearl brooch that was sewn onto the sash of the dress, my something borrowed were my mum’s diamond earrings, my something blue was a little blue bow that was sewn into the inside of the dress (a special touch from Sassi and the team that I loved) and my something new was the dress!

The ceremony was in the OBE chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral – an incredible to place to be able to get married in, despite the hundreds of tourists taking photos of us! It was raining when I arrived with my dad and it was a bit of a feat trying to get out of the cars and up the steps without getting the dress wet but as we walked out at the end of the ceremony the sun was shining which felt rather magical. We really thought about every aspect of the service and spent a long time choosing the hymns, music and readings to ensure that they really reflected us and our personalities. I walked in to the choir singing Zadok the Priest, a stunning piece of music by Handel that suited the setting down to a t but I barely took in a word as the moment was all such a blur!

We held the reception at Inner Temple, an amazing place that has the feel of a grand country house and gardens in the middle of London. The team there were brilliant and the event ran completely without a hitch. Getting the food right for the day was really important to me as I just really wanted the guests to love the day and I think a good meal is so crucial to that. The chef did a fantastic job on the day.
The reception began with drinks and canapés in a marquee and as the sun came out we moved outside into the garden. The wedding breakfast was then served in the large hall inside which was later transformed into a dance floor with an elegant and comfortable adjoining sitting room set aside for anyone who wanted to take a moment to relax with cheese, port, cake, tea and coffee.

For the entertainment, we had a string quartet who played during the drinks reception and the meal – students from the Royal Academy of Music who were brilliant. Later we had a live band, Platinum Gold, an amazing band who really got everyone up and dancing and were really fantastic.

I grew up in Hong Kong where my parents still live so wanted to inject a very subtle Chinese element into the day to reflect my background. The Chinese character for ‘double happiness’ is traditionally used at weddings so we used it where we could  – it was on the invitations, sewn into the sashes of the bridesmaid dresses, which I had made out in Hong Kong, it was on the place cards and on the table plan. I also wanted some Asian flowers included in the day so the cake was decorated with sugar hibiscuses and orchids and every place had an orchid tucked into the napkin, I loved it when people put them behind their ears or in their button holes. We also left instant cameras on every table which produced some fun results and I loved being able to see what aspects our guests were enjoying. We had also set up a guest book on a table with a camera and polaroid printer so everyone could take their own pictures to stick next to their messages which was lovely. I initially decided not to do favours but eventually decided to adapt the concept slightly, so instead of having something by every table place we had a big basket full of small boxes of pink champagne chocolate truffles that everyone was able to take on their way out if they wanted – a thank you for coming present!

The day really did go by in a complete happy blur but my one favourite moment was just after the ceremony before the wedding party procession, when Dave and I, the bridesmaids, the best man and both sets of parents gathered in small antechapel and it was the one moment that we were able to reflect and soak up what had just happened with some of our favourite people.

Being organized and planning everything ahead really helped to make the run up to the wedding stress free but I would really recommend lining up suppliers who you can rely on to do their job well – on the day you don’t want to have to worry about anything, just enjoy it all as it happens and don’t get upset about the weather – you can plan for it but it’s the one thing you really can’t control!"

The Dream Team

Wedding Photographer – Martin Beddall

Wedding Dress – Bespoke Bryony, Sassi Holford

Accessories – Sassi Holford veil, Rachel Simpson shoes, Emmy hair slide

Ceremony – The OBE Chapel, St Paul’s Cathedral

Reception Venue – Inner Temple

Cake – Bellapenn Cakes of Chelsea

Flowers – Flowers by Cymbidium

Invitations, menus and place cards –  Joy’s Card, Hong Kong

Hair – Stef Miller at Charles Worthington

Makeup – Edel Finn from Laura Mercier

String quartet – Royal College of Music

Band – Platinum Gold

  • 2 comments "Caroline & David's Grand Wedding at St Paul's Cathedral"

    Add your comments

  • Laura Ferguson says

    3rd May 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Wow - what an amazing venue! The photos are really beautiful!

  • Caroline's Mum says

    11th May 2012 at 2:37 pm

    The day was as lovely as Caroline describes.

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