Join us as our MD, Georgie, shares her lockdown anniversary celebration at home. To celebrate her 3rd wedding anniversary, Georgie made the ordinary extraordinary using her much loved wedding presents from her wedding list, and enlisted a little help from some of our most loved friends in the wedding industry. Read on to see Georgie's timeless wedding presents, her tablescape styling tips, a delicious 3 course dinner party in a box menu, home made cocktails, a magnum of special champagne and how to arrange posys of beautiful British flowers.
Lockdown. The most unbelievable, and unforgettable, time in our lives to date? With it came a torrent of emotion; being separated from loved ones, businesses grinding to a halt, 'furlough' suddenly becoming an everyday word in our vocab, WFH, and the postponement of weddings and celebrations. Here at WPC we have felt the sadness, loss and despair of all our couples as they were forced to postpone the weddings that they have spent so much time planning. However. There have undoubtedly been some positives and so many wonderful stories have surfaced to lift our spirits. Captain Tom, weekly clapping and the joy it brought to neighbournhoods across the country, and the creativity of businesses to adapt in such stormy waters.
The idea for this celebration at home came from just that. We are so lucky to have brilliant relationships with some of the best wedding suppliers in the industry, and through regular phone calls and catch ups we shared stories, ideas and supported each other through the unknowns of lockdown. Hearing about how many suppliers were lauching contactless delivery services of food, flowers, cocktails, calligraphy kits and even photoshoots got me to thinking that a lockdown anniversary celebration could in fact be better than any celebration in the normal world!
As our 3rd wedding anniversary approached, Doug and I decided that we would make the ordinary extraordinary and celebrate our anniversary at home. We didn't have a huge choice on how to celebrate, but we knew that we could do something a bit different to mark this special occasion. It would be the perfect excuse for us to pull out all the stops. He'd put a shirt on and I would brush my hair, put make up on and wear a dress! Things that were so ordinary a mere few months ago suddenly felt like such a treat. We'd cook a top notch dinner, lay the table in all its glory, turn the lights down and turn the music up.
The starting point was of course our beautiful wedding presents. We put our wedding gift list together with The Wedding Present Company before I started working here. I loved my experience so much I begged to join the team. I instantly knew there was something seriously special about this company. We spent some glorious Champagne-fuelled hours in the showroom choosing presents that we knew we would love for a lifetime. With the incredible advice (and patience) of our darling Showroom Manager Emily McMullen, we had a list of timeless (but not boring!) wedding presents that would transform our home and serve as the perfect memory of this special time.
We use our presents in one way or another pretty much every day. It might be deemed boring to buy crockery or cutlery as a wedding present from a gift list, but I think it's actually really rather special. These are presents you know the couple will use every single day. My bridesmaids bought my wedding china and I think of them every day as I use it. What's more thoughtful and lovely than that? Pulling together a tablescape was simple. I knew that I could create something really special with my beautiful, timeless cutlery, china and glasses and elevate it with flowers, candles and table linen.
Millie Richardson is a true flower visionary. I trust her implicitly. We've worked together on numerous events in our London showroom where I have given her the most useless of briefs "You know, Mills... Something really pretty and lose and wild and perfect" and she has left me utterly speechless with her choice of flowers, use of colour and spectacular arrangements. As soon as I saw she was launching 'Travelling Tablescapes of Flowers' the idea for this celebration at home was born.
Millie dropped off a crate of the most beautiful British flowers and coloured taper candles, all pre-arranged in vases and poseys. A glorious contactless delivery, this was such a welcome change to the daily Amazon drop offs. Included with the flowers was a beautiful How-To, giving tips and advice for flower arranging on your tablescape, beautifully designed by Ellie at ERA Calligraphy.
Ellie from ERA Calligraphy also provided us with a bespoke menu and place names in her signature modern calligraphy - it was like our own little private wedding sitting. Just perfect. Like Millie, I trust Ellie implicitely. She also gets pretty rubbish briefs from me when we work together and she knocks it out of the park each and every time. It's like she can see into my brain and translate my thoughts, even if I can't!
The Food. Oh my goodness the food. I'm not sure where to begin but I only need to say 3 words. Doggart & Squash. Clare and Sarah produce some of the most beautiful and delicious food for events I have ever tasted. From weddings to private parties to lockdown celebrations at home, they are always my go-to. Clare and I have talked on the phone every week of lockdown, sharing ideas, stories and supporting each other as we navigate through all the unknowns Covid has thrown at us and our businesses. During one of our evening chats she mentioned that Doggart & Squash were about to launch a DIY Dinner Party in a box. Everything you need for a restaurant quality meal at home, delivered to your door. With the majority of the work done for you, some simple instructions accompanied the food for those finishing touches. It was the perfect timing, and Doug and I were to be her first customer.
Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes and Black Olive Tapenade, with Basil, Smoked Rapeseed Oil and a Pinenut Crumb
Cornish Crab with Fennel, Chicory and Orange, Lemon Aiolo and Summer Leaves
Leg of Lamb, Butterflied and Herb Marinated with Salsa Verde. Served with Smoked Garlic Butterbean Mash, Smoked Paprika Oil, Broadbean and Courgette Ribbon Salad, with Charred Red Pepper, Capers and Anchovies
Elderflower & White Chocolate Tart. Served with Poached Lemon Blueberries, garnished with Fresh Elderflower, Pistachio Crumb, Blueberries and Edible Flowers
Lemon Pavlova with Summer Berries and Pomegranate & Elderflower Cream
I'm not sure if you followed our weekly Quarantini's on WPC's Instagram, but Doug and I LOVE making a good cocktail. We had so much fun making them as a way to mark the arrival of the weekend but by the time our anniversary had come around we were a bit out of ideas if I'm honest. And then, as if by magic, our friends at The Cocktail Service announced that they were delivering DIY cocktail boxes. It was meant to be.
What's a celebration without a little (or in this case, A LOT) of fizz? The Magnum Company have been our go to for big celebrations for years, so this magnum of Bollinger arriving on the doorstep was a VERY welcome addition to our celebration! Served in my favourite champagne coupes from The Vintage List.
We were so lucky to have the whole set up beautifully captured by Nicole from wedding photography duo Stephanie and Nicole. Nicole has been taking doorstep portraits of families and couples during lockdown which I think is the most lovely idea. This has been a crazy time and we should remember it, not only for the negatives but for the positives, as there have been many. Nicole kindly agreed to document the set up of our special celebration and she has captured everything so perfectly.
What I love most about our wedding presents is how much I still love them. Three years on and I would still choose them all. That comes down to a brilliant support network from the WPC team helping me every step of the way. They made sure I made informed decisions and helped to point me in the right direction for ideas and brands that they knew would suit my taste. These are the presents we use everyday. These are the presents we bring out for special occasions. They ignite that same warm fuzzy feeling every time and before I know it I'm reminiscing about our wedding. There is nothing more satisfying than friends commenting on your beautiful tablescape, or cosy sitting room set up, or all your kitchen gadgets, and being able to turn around and say 'Oh this? Well it was on our wedding list." Trust me.
When you're building your wedding gift list there are always going to be some wedding presents that excite you more than others. Ones that are perhaps more practical and slightly less jazz-hands, and ones that you think you might not use as much as others. I was totally wrong with the gifts shown below - they have been my biggest suprises; either I use them everyday, or they bring so much more joy than I ever anticipated!
A huge thank you to all our amazing wedding industry friends for doing what you do best and making this celebration more than I ever imagined it could be. The creativity of everyone involved knows no bounds! For more information on any of the suppliers used, please see below.
If you would like help building a wedding gift list of presents that you will love for a lifetime - book an appointment or contact your wedding list advisor for some tailored advice. You won't regret it!