Set in the East Sussex countryside, Sarah and Nico's romantic wedding was full of personal touches, wild spring flowers and incredible food and drink. Sarah wore a stunning Lihi Hod wedding dress which she purchased from Browns Bride. Sarah and Nico rescheduled their wedding three times but it was third time lucky! Boy, does this sound like a magical day. Read on as Sarah shares her brilliant wedding suppliers, her top tips for adapting and planning a covid-secure wedding and her favourite wedding presents.
Our highlight would have to be visiting The Wedding Present Company showroom and having the wonderful Lucy guide us along the way. She was extremely knowledgeable and helped guide our decision making subtly - the glass of champagne whilst browsing was a lovely touch!
Given the stresses of having to plan numerous iterations of our special day, it was so reassuring to have the support of The Wedding Present Company throughout. Lucy was very understanding of the number of changes we had to make, from changing our date, to re-assessing our list. We also loved the personal card we received from Georgie of how sorry The Wedding Present Company were that we had postpone, so thoughtful.
The Wedding Present Company was highly recommended to us by a friends of ours who had already been through the process.
Oh my goodness, yes!! We are overwhelmed with the generosity of family and friends, that even once they knew they were not attending, went onto our list and bought us a gift. So kind and generous.
We have been holidaying in Sainte Maxime, every summer for the last nine years. On January 5th 2019, I flew to the South of France with my brother to visit family and friends, little did I know when I left for the airport that morning, Nico had a flight from another airport. He somehow managed to arrive before me and surprised me, surrounded by candlelight, with a stunning ring under the starry sky overlooking the bay of St Tropez, it was a complete shock and truly magical.
Our original wedding date was 02.05.20, we then postponed a year later to 01.05.21 and finally had our dream day on 22.05.21 which also happened to be (mine) Sarah’s birthday. Double celebrations!
Our original plan was to be married at my cousin’s home in East Sussex. Since I was eight years old, I dreamt of being married in their amphitheatre. The original plan pre-covid, was a ceremony in the amphitheatre, followed by a reception and marquee in the grounds with 190 guests.
Reducing our guest list was incredibly challenging given we both come from sizeable families and are blessed to have lots of friends. We had always planned for a significant portion of the day to take place outside, and the venue being a private home reduced the logistical challenges. The ceremony took place in the courtyard, the reception in the ‘secret garden’ and wedding breakfast in the orangery. We also asked all guests to take a lateral flow test before attending.
We got married in Mark Cross in East Sussex. We wanted a really romantic wedding setting in the middle of the countryside. It really was the perfect setting for the day!
Our brief for the flowers and décor was relaxed, spring flowers with lots of pretty pinks perfect for a romantic wedding. We used Jones for linen and a week before the wedding I changed the outdoor tablecloths to a gorgeous Fuchsia pink that looked amazing against the green garden. We used a local florist, The Flower House. Trudi was fantastic and delivered exactly what I wanted - wild, romantic, spring arrangements, that look like they could have been picked from the garden that morning.
For name places, we made polaroids and used a photo of one of us with the person and wrote a personal message on the back. These went down very well. We printed 186, so intend to post ones to guests that couldn’t be with us on the day.
I had always admired Lihi Hod's stunning dresses, so I booked an appointment for her trunk show at Brown's Brides. There were three I wanted to try and the Savannah was my favourite. When I tried it on, I just knew, it's the one. The ladies that helped me at Brown's Brides were fabulous and I remember one lady said, "it's as if it was made for you." Dreamy florals and puffed sleeves, my dress was the perfect combination of pretty and sexy, with the low plunge and sheer top, covered in delicate, hand sewn flowers. Maria, who did my alterations, is a super star and made me feel completely at ease. The veil was also made by Lihi Hod. I am a trainers girl and wanted to be comfortable on the day, so I opted for a stunning pair of flat Manolos. They were velvet pink and they lasted all night long! In my hair I wore a rose gold floral head band by Keren Wolf. I wore 9ct rose gold blossom stud earrings from Liberty. There was definitely a floral theme in terms of my bridal look.
My hairdresser Kylie Longstaff does the best blowdrys in North West London! She did mine and the bridal parties hair on the day. Kyle is not only amazing at what she does, but she was so calm and great to have around in the morning. Laura Pye did all our makeup beautifully, she was highly recommended by a friend and was also a joy to have on the day. She was very attentive to everyone’s looks and made everyone feel and look beautiful.
Nico wore a Tuxedo, shirt and bow-tie from Reiss and shoes from Christian Laboutin. Given the reduced numbers, we decided against matching the groomsmen as they accounted for nearly 15% of the guests! Each groomsmen, along with Nico, wore bright pink fuchsia socks which was a subtle nod to the theme of "touch of pink" and actually looked splendid.
My bridemaids dresses were also from Browns brides, they were Monique Ihullier, all the same soft shade of pink but different styles, with floral lace on the sides, back, front or across to link them all together. They looked stunning on the day. Including my bridesmaid Laurie who due to covid, was unable to attend and wore her dress at home in Geneva and tuned in for the live stream. The flower girls dresses, shoes and cardigans were from Next.
The two youngest flower girls had beautiful bags made out of ribbon by Isla Risa, to carry confetti. I found them on Gigi & Olive's bridal website and thought they would complete their outfits perfectly.
Our caterers were Rocket Food. They were sublime and an absolute joy to work with, the food was an experience in itself. From intricate canapes presented on beautiful flower-laden trays, a three course meal of epic proportions and a cheese board which was genuinely stunning.
- Starters Pugliese burrata, miso pumpkin seed pesto, peas, broad beans confit of lemon
- Mains: Rosemary salt marsh rump of lamb, buttermilk mash, white asparagus, summer greens, salsa verde or Summer mushrooms, grilled sweetcorn, tarragon gnocchi, summer truffle salsa
- Pudding: Pink Lady apple & elderflower salad, warm almond tartlet, olive oil ice cream.
Our welcome drink was a "His or Hers" with either a Keo Beer (lager produced in Limassol, Cyprus where Nico was born) or La Folie Mirabeau served in a glass with pansies. We served Laurent Perrier Champagne throughout the day, White and Red wine from a small vineyard in Northern France and the Palm by Whispering Angel for the Rosé option - a wine we discovered together for the first time many years ago during a trip to New York.
We found the best videographer Sam Moore through The Wedding Present Company blog. He was amazing and captured our day perfectly. (extra bonus he drones) He also live streamed our wedding via youtube so all our guests around the world could watch! I had one bridesmaid watching from Geneva and a flower girl in Australia. Our photographer, Greg Hammond was highly recommended and was a joy to have on the day.
- For Sarah, seeing her father as she walked down the stairs in her dress for the first time.
- Seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony.
- The Singing Waiters, who disguised themselves throughout the day only to perform a truly memorable 30 minute set after dinner
- Dancing together with bridesmaids along to the Soul Saxophonist in the secret garden, as the sun came back out following the briefest of showers - Moments like these that you can’t plan are truly the best.
Plan well but don't sweat the small stuff, everything will be fine on the day and you will realise that some things that were seemingly so important to you leading up actually hold little significance when you're immersed in the warmth and love of those around you.
Lean on those willing to help, but don't let anyone's opinions or suggestions divert you away from what the two of you want - it's your day after all. Finally, on the day, take some time to take it all in. It all goes so quickly and you won't remember half of it! Therefore a videographer and a photographer are key to capturing those timeless moments.
Gift List: The Wedding Present Company
Hair: Kylie Longstaff
Makeup: Laura Pye
Photographer: Greg Hammond
Videographer: Sam Moore
Florist: The Flower House
Catering: Rocket Food
Sax Player: Richie Garrison
Neon Signs: Elizabeth James events
Singing Waiters: The Singing Waiters
Chocolates – Antonia Fulton-Ruffe
Bespoke wedding consultation: @theweddingedituk