A blush pink and gold wedding in London
10 Jul 2019
Siobhan Howard and Adam West got married in a traditional church ceremony in London's Mayfair before an unforgettable wedding reception at The Ivy
How did you meet?
We attended high school together but met up again in a bar seven years ago, which was when we exchanged numbers and started dating.
Tell us about the proposal.
The proposal took place just under three years before our wedding. Adam took me to the Lake District to stay at The Holbeck Gyhll. He had booked the suite in the hotel where I was welcomed with champagne and red roses. He had also booked me into the spa for the afternoon for some pampering. When I returned from the spa he was down on one knee on our terrace overlooking the lake at sunset. It was all very romantic. We were then booked for dinner to celebrate. The ring was exactly what I wanted, so he had listened over the years.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
I am such a romantic at heart, so all the tables were declarations of love in different languages. I chose a blush pink and gold colour scheme for the stationery, bridesmaids' dresses and décor. I styled the tables with the most beautiful charger plates from Duchess & Butler.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose The Ivy, as we wanted a glamorous city venue that could offer a private, intimate dinner but then a party for our guests in the evening. The Ivy is steeped in such amazing history and has such an alluring buzz about it. The private dining room has been recently redesigned by the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and is truly elegant, so as soon as we looked around I knew it was exactly what I wanted. The executive chef, Gary Lee, also won us over with his incredible and eclectic seasonal menu.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I actually only tried one dress on, from Demetrios. I spent hours online searching bridal websites for the style I wanted. So when I eventually found my dress I just located my nearest stockist. I did have days when I felt like I’d looked at hundreds of dresses and I didn’t think I’d ever find one that I’d fall in love with, but people told me I would just ‘know’ and they were right.
I always thought I’d have a really sleek dress, but as I was looking I realised that I was only going to get one chance to be a bride, so I seized the opportunity to be a princess for the day. With my sleek dress in mind, I chose a detachable skirt that I could take off in the evening... perfect! My dress was quite detailed so I chose a plain veil in cathedral length, with a blush to cover my face down the aisle. I also wore a wedding crown.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
My bridesmaids wore a beautiful pencil dress from Reiss. I chose a dusky colour that would fit in with my colour scheme and match the flowergirl's dress which again was blush pink from Dolce & Gabanna. My bridesmaids were four of my best friends and my three-year-old daughter Gisele was my flowergirl. My nine-year-old son Lux was pageboy and he wore a tuxedo to match the groomsmen with some velvet dinner slippers from Children’s Salon.
Where did you find your suits?
Adam's suit was tailor-made from Charles Thewitt. It was a navy dinner suit with a black lapel. His shoes were Magnanni. The groomsmen's dinner suits were black.
Did you hire a wedding planner? How did they help?
I hired a planner, Best Day Ever, and she offered an on-the-day service. I had planned my wedding and booked everything, but I was worrying about all of my suppliers having a point of contact and everything running smoothly from one stage to the next on the day. Because my wedding was in separate locations I needed someone to oversee things without me being involved.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
My floral arrangements came from Quintessential in London. I wanted quite polished arrangements, made up of sweet avalance roses in pale pinks and my florist did exactly that. I had flowers throughout the The Ivy dining room; there were large arrangements along the twinkling bar in the centre of the room, then I had a long table runner of roses across the top table as well as small posies in crystal glasses. The florist also placed tealights alongside this arrangement and finished with scattered rose petals. It was just what I wanted.
The guest tables had either tall floral arrangements or crystal candelabras with a ring-shaped floral arrangement around the base, again with smaller posies, tea lights and scattered petals. I also had more of these smaller posies placed around the room too. Later in the day our wedding planner moved our flowers upstairs to our reception at The Club at The Ivy.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day
I lost my mum six years ago, so we paid tribute to her in the ceremony with words and songs, and as wedding favours we made a donation on the guests' behalf to Macmillan Cancer. This was detailed on their place setting. I also wore my mum's tennis bracelet as my 'something old and borrowed'.
We had an incredible harpist play during our champagne reception at The Ivy called Isabella Absjorsen. These were all songs chosen by us.
We created bespoke cocktails for our cocktail hour after dinner, which were unique to our wedding. guests who could chose from three signature drinks. Both the wedding breakfast menus and the menus for the cocktail hour were provided by The Ivy but personalised with our wedding monogram, which I thought was a special touch. During the evening reception we had a monogram featuring our initials which was displayed on a big screen over the dance floor.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I had dreamt of walking down the aisle since I was a little girl. I have been obsessed with all things weddings since I can remember, so I felt like I wanted the moment to last forever. I was so so happy, I can’t explain how special it felt.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
We had a catholic ceremony, but chose all of our music, hymns and readings. I walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Bride, which I knew I wanted from the age of four. We chose special friends to do readings and also our son who wrote his own bidding prayer, wishing us love on our wedding day which was such a proud moment for us.
What was your most memorable moment?
The most memorable moment for me had to be walking down the aisle. It’s cliché but when you have dreamt of being a bride for so long it’s just the most wonderful moment in a girl's life. With my dad by side, I couldn’t have felt happier.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Budgeting is definitely challenging, it’s so easy to get carried away adding things on and with all the inspiration online for weddings my ideas were overflowing. My original budget became a distant memory.
What was the most important investment for you?
Adam will agree that the most important investment for us was the food. Our family and friends had travelled a long way for our special day, so we wanted them to enjoy the experience and food was a major part of that. Our guests said that it was the best food they’d ever had at a wedding which we weren’t expecting at all, but was lovely.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Miguel, Sure Thing. We’ve always listened to Miguel throughout our relationship and the words in this song just made it special to us. It’s a gorgeous song.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had a live band with sax called Dean Mac & The 105. They were amazing and had the whole party dancing, they made the night. They played two sets and I wish they could have played more. I would recommend them to any bride. We also had a DJ who played until the end of the night.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I would spend more time with my husband during the evening. We were by each other’s sides all day but as soon as the party started we both got carried away dancing and chatting to guests... and the photos show that. Other brides had given me the same advice but I guess it’s easier said than done.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Yes, the coach we had booked to take guests from the church to the venue was parked in the wrong location. We had to make a couple of calls to ask it to get the place it should be which took around 20 minutes. Afterwards the coach company gave me a full refund, so I would always say to take up any issues with suppliers afterwards.
Did you have a custom hashtag for social media?
Our hashtag was #MarriedInMayfair.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I wish I’d worried less about everything, the smallest things used to keep me awake at night.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to Paris a week after the wedding on a little mini-moon. Our official honeymoon is later in the year in Dubai, so Paris was a lovely romantic couple of days to spend together as newlyweds.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
I’d say a great entertainer is so important. As a bride you can get so wrapped up in how everything is going to look, but a good band/musician will make the day. Also for any couples with children, a nanny at the wedding is invaluable. Ours came from my daughter's nursery; she took them out in the morning while I got ready then sat with them all day. She took them back to the hotel around 6.30pm as they were so tired, so the whole day was so much more relaxing in that respect.
Steal their style:
Photography: Anna Fowler
Bridal suite: The Dorchester Hotel, London
Church: Mount Street Church, Mayfair
Venue: The Ivy and The Club at The Ivy
Wedding dress: Demetrios
Wedding shoes: Jimmy Choo
Wedding fragrance: Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede
Wedding garter: Stella McCartney
Groom's suit: Charles Thewitt
Groom's shoes: Magnani
Bridesmaids' dresses: Reiss
Flowergirl's dress and shoes: Dolce & Gabanna and Sophia Webster
Pageboy suit and shoes: Children's Salon
Bridal robes: HA Designs
Wedding cars: The Dorchester Hotel
Wedding planner: Best Day Ever
Floristry: Quintessential London
Table décor: Duchess & Butler
Harpist: Isabella Absorjen
Wedding band: Dean MAC & The 105
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