The old romance aesthetic has emerged as a prominent fashion trend of late, particularly well-suited for nuptials. It's all about the refined yet timeless attires, opulent decoration, historic venues, and bespoke touches. This was precisely the theme of Amy and Lewis's wedding. We caught up with the bride to learn about all the intricacies of the planning process as well as the story of their love.
How did you meet?
It may be surprising, but we actually met for the first time at a teenage disco when we were 13 years old through mutual friends. Lewis has a vivid memory of my outfit, which consisted of denim dungarees from Gap that I wore around my waist. When we were just 15, Lewis sent a text to my pink Motorola flip phone asking me to be his girlfriend, and we have been inseparable ever since. It is crazy to think we have spent more than half of our lives together now - we truly are childhood sweethearts!
What do you do for a living?
Lewis and I are very much opposite personalities. While I studied Fashion at university, Lewis studied Maths, hence we have very contrasting careers today. I am a Buyer at Net-A-Porter, and Lewis is an Actuary. We moved from Liverpool to London aged 21 and have spent the rest of our lives together here since. We chose to get married in London as it very quickly became ‘home’, and in September, I gave birth to our first baby boy, Jesse in London.
And what do you do for fun?
Lewis and I love to travel. Some of our best adventures have been road trips in the US in a convertible Ford Mustang. We love nature and hiking, Yosemite in California being one of our favorite places to visit. We love discovering remote towns in the US, and once went glamping in Kanab, Utah. Stargazing in the desert and being surrounded by nothing but nature is something we will never forget. I once persuaded Lewis to drive us an additional 200 miles to a town called Marfa in Texas, just so I could visit the famous Prada art installation.
When did you get engaged?
Lewis proposed 12 years into our relationship in Kyoto, Japan. We visited there during cherry blossom season; it was truly the most magical trip of my life.
What was the concept behind your wedding, and how did you find your inspiration?
Our wedding was postponed twice due to the pandemic. Lewis and I both agreed that we would postpone as many times as necessary until we could celebrate our love as we intended - with ALL our friends and family. It was heartbreaking having to reschedule, and as you can imagine, it is much more difficult undoing all those plans than it is making them.
Despite this, I loved planning our wedding, and I planned every detail myself. Lewis left everything to me and trusted my vision, only occasionally would I ask for his opinion. Working in the fashion industry no doubt helped with the creative side. Strong organizational skills, building relationships with vendors, and having an eye for beautiful things all come with the territory. I wanted our wedding to feel like a city wedding, in a grand venue but with an intimate and personable feel. I found a lot of my inspiration through Vogue Weddings and Pinterest, but I also refrained from mimicking another wedding. It was important to me that it was unique and special to us. The pandemic meant I got an extra 18 bonus planning months. I used those to finesse the details and ‘upgrade’ a few of my original plans.
Where was your wedding?
Both our wedding ceremony and reception took place at The Ned, London. The Ned is a breathtakingly beautiful hotel located in the former Midlands Bank HQ and managed by Soho House. The hotel is situated in Bank, an area of the city known for its skyscrapers and suits, busier on weekdays than it is on weekends. Bank junction is one of my favorite views in London, and as Lewis works in The City, it was here where we would part ways every morning, so I could continue my commute to West London. For the event, we hired the entire sixth floor. The ceremony and party took place in The Saloon, and we hosted dinner in The Tapestry Room. We also had the use of two roof terraces with the most spectacular views of The City, where we hosted drinks after the ceremony. Lewis and I both stayed (separately) at The Ned the night before, as did many of our guests. It was so comforting to wake up there and settle in before the wedding. While Lewis had breakfast with his groomsmen at Duck and Waffle, I ordered room service to The Bridal Suite with my bridesmaids. The night of the wedding, Lewis and I slept in the Terrace Suite, which was by far the most beautiful room I have ever slept in. I felt like a princess! The next morning, we ate breakfast in our robes on our private roof terrace overlooking The City. We truly didn’t want to leave and decided to stay a third night after dining in one of the hotel's restaurants, Kaia. On our final day, we spent the morning at the spa then headed to the rooftop for an outdoor swim.
How many guests did you have?
We had just 70 guests, and for us, it was the perfect number. Seeing our families and best friends celebrate our love in one room was just so special!
Tell us about your outfits.
Working in the luxury fashion industry, I am undoubtedly exposed to the most beautiful products from the best fashion houses in the world. Because of this, I always imagined I would struggle to choose my wedding dress, which was actually not the case. My ceremony dress was by British Designer, Emilia Wickstead. The ‘Diamond’ dress is exclusive for Net-A-Porter, crafted in Italy from white duchesse-satin. I fell in love with the sweetheart neckline, corseted waist, and exaggerated skirt. Surprisingly, I only tried on two other dresses and I visited both designer showrooms alone. I chose not to take anybody with me as to me my own opinion is what mattered most. Once I was 100% sure on the Emilia Wickstead dress, I booked an appointment at their Sloane Street boutique and took my Mum, Sisters, and Mother-in-Law to show them my chosen dress. My wedding dress is by far the most beautiful garment I will ever own and it was as if this dress was made for me, as I didn’t need a single alteration! My shoe choice was easy, they were always going to be Manolo Blahnik. My pale pink Hangisi pumps were my wedding gift from my bridesmaids, I will treasure them forever. My veil was bespoke from bridal boutique Nortier Shallow. I always knew I wanted a dramatic cathedral length veil and the satin structured bow (a la Ariana Grande) was a last minute decision. I kept jewelry very minimal, my earrings were the iconic Petite Celli earrings from Sophie Bille Brahe. My diamond rose gold wedding band was by Anita Ko.
In the evening, I changed into the timeless Malibu slip dress from Galvan. I paired this with the prettiest pink organza ruffled gloves from Ukrainian brand, Daily Sleeper. I felt the gloves really elevated my look and were a nod to my girly personality. To be transparent, I was reluctant to change out of my ceremony dress, but I am so glad I did! At around 9 pm once I had changed, Lewis and I went for a walk outside with our photographer. The City felt so still, as though it was just the three of us there, and these happen to be some of my favourite photographs. In the evening I was mostly barefoot, dancing on the vintage Persian rug.
What was your first dance song?
It was important to us to choose wedding songs from our era. That way, when we listen to them for years to come, we are reminded of a time in our lives. We both love rnb music but admittedly found choosing a song with the right lyrics quite difficult. For our first dance we chose Miguel – Adorn and I walked down the aisle to Daniel Caeser – Best Part. One of my favourite moments though, was when we walked out of our ceremony to Mariah Carey – Fantasy under a shower of white rose petals. That was a real pinch me moment!
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
With the venue being so spectacular, there really wasn’t any need for a busy flower installation. I used Pinterest to create a PowerPoint of my vision and emailed it across to a few of my favourite florists. Our chosen florist was Grandirosa, a floral design studio that supply flowers to The Ned. It was reassuring to know they were already familiar with the space. I met with one of the florists who kindly brought me a bouquet of O’Hara roses that were the focal point of my presentation. They were by far the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen, and my home smelt of them for days! Even now, the smell of roses takes me back to our wedding day. I didn’t cry a lot on my wedding day, but the moment my bouquet was brought to my room I burst into happy tears – they were just so perfect.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
We ordered our cake from Lily Vanilli, a Sunday café on Columbia Road famous for pastel iced, and often glitter-cherry topped cakes. We opted for a three tier 80s inspired Victoria Sponge cake with princess style piping. I loved the contrasting maraschino cherries on top! The cake design process was one of my favourites because I truly love all things sweet. So much so that for our drinks reception we also ordered the famous doughnuts from Bread Ahead bakery in an array of flavours to be served with champagne on the roof terrace.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Our vendors were incredibly kind and accommodating, allowing us to reschedule multiple times due to the pandemic. The Ned went above and beyond to ensure our day ran smoothly, thanks in part to their Head of Events, Adamantia Leonidopoulou. We chose Benjamin Wheeler for his editorial and documentary approach to photography, which perfectly captured our natural, timeless vision. Tatiana Alida created our whimsical and fun wedding invitations and menus, which we now cherish as pieces of art in our home. Music and production were a top priority, and Rendezvous created an amazing atmosphere with sound and lighting. Nate Simpson and his band performed at our wedding, captivating our guests with his incredible voice.
Bride's dresses @emiliawickstead, @galvanlondon
Groom's Tux @prada