Nick and I chose an Autumn wedding and we married at the Royal Geographical Society on Kensington Gore, just opposite Hyde Park. We hired The Hall which as well as offering a stunning setting, suited our needs as it could accommodate all 120 guests for our civil marriage ceremony – and we very much wanted all our family and friends to be able to attend. We decorated the room with hop vines from our home on the Kent and Sussex border and our gorgeous lurcher Pip was our chief bridesmaid.
I wore a wedding dress designed by Paul Smith – I hadn’t planned on wearing a ‘proper’ dress but fell in love with its satin roses and exquisite embroidery. My wedding flowers were a hand-tied bouquet of chocolate cosmos, which London florist Paula Pryke made for me. Their velvety petals and the fact they smell divinely of rich chocolate added to their attraction as Nick is a self-confessed chocoholic! Nick’s navy blue serge suit was made by a gentleman’s outfitters based in Norfolk called Old Town and he wore a simple sprig of hops in his lapel.
For our reception, we chose a historic Georgian townhouse in Princelet Street, EC1 which is often hired out to television companies as a set for period dramas. We travelled across London to the reception venue in routemaster buses. Nick’s appointed ‘bus conductors’ gave each guest a hand-embroidered bag with a chilled half bottle of champagne and some smoked almonds to fuel the celebration. At Princelet Street, the interior of the house had been decorated for our wedding by Paula Pryke with aromatic herbs and old fashioned roses and every old oak floor in the house was strewn with lavender and rose petals. You can read all about it in Paula Pryke’s book Wedding Flowers.
We left our reception in a plum-coloured Indian ambassador car decorated with flowers which we hired from KarmaKabs and made an unplanned stop on my favourite bridge – Albert Bridge – the one near Battersea Park – getting the driver to take photos, before arriving at our wedding night destination…