London Wedding at Claridges Hotel
by Polly Alexandre
London based photographer Polly Alexandre sent us Sarah and Oli’s gorgeous wedding that took place at Claridges Hotel. Polly retold the story of their day, and it was so lovely, we’ve included the retelling for you!
Shortly before her wedding, Sarah had just taken the plunge and left her job as a magazine designer to start up her own design & stationary company, and she brought that creative talent and eye for beauty to the styling of her wedding day. But this was a day that was not just beautiful to the eye, but also beautiful for the warmth and joy of sharing it with their families, to whom the couple are very close. Family is very important to the couple and Sarah planned the wedding closely with her parents, especially her mother, who herself has a great eye and interest in art and design. It was this shared effort between all their family and friends in creating the wedding that was so very precious to the couple.
Sarah met Oli, a music and entertainment lawyer, through her brother – he was one of his friends and they share a flat together for years, just down the road from where Sarah lived. Friendship blossomed into romance over time, and it became obvious the couple were the perfect match. After 3 years together they decided to tie the knot and officially join their families.
As a designer it was only fitting that Sarah should make her wedding invitations & stationary herself. Using bespoke illustrations from a friend, Sarah designed a booklet to tell the story of their wedding which had a perforated tear off postcard for the RSVP. She was inspired by the design of the Claridges Ballroom & chose a elegant grey and white colour palette with hints of gold. The style was simple elegance.
On the wedding day we started at Sarah’s parents home where her mum so sweetly covered the outside of their home with little teddy bears wearing customised ribbon neckties. Sarah also wore a pair of art deco vintage diamond earrings that belonged to her mother as her ‘something borrowed’, also a nod to their venue Claridges’ Art Deco design. For her dress Sarah chose a chic & modern silk Peter Langner gown with a draped asymmetric back from Browns Bride, where she also got her veil. Her Maid of Honour Juliette wore a nude Gucci dress with a bespoke lace jacket, and Sarah gifted her a sweet pearl drop necklace to wear with it. This detail was echoed in the groomsmens pearl tie pins that they all wore with their navy suits. The bouquets were white roses and white lilies, hand tied with white ribbon.
Sarah’s father accompanied her to the synagogue in her uncle’s beautiful vintage car, and in Jewish tradition he walked her down the aisle to the huppah, decorated in white roses and hydrangeas.
After the ceremony I took the couple to a secluded mews for photographs and a quiet moment on their own, before they headed off to their reception in an elegant 1950’s Bentley that belonged to the family. Peach bellinis were served at their drinks reception along with delicious canapes including smoked salmon muscovite, courgette tempura, welsh rarebit, oat crusted goats cheese with quince jelly and fresh peas and lemon veloute served in mini tea cups.
Sarah & Oli chose to offset the formality of a grand venue like Claridges by seating guests on long tables, a more informal touch, and side dishes on sharing platters. At each place setting was a personalized stationary set made by Sarah tied with white grosgrain ribbon. Each beautiful notecard set doubled up as a placenames, with each guest’s name printed at the top, and a stylish gift, which they could take away from the wedding. She also made gorgeous escort cards in a chic grey stripe.
After their relaxed dinner Sarah & Oli did their first dance to the Beatles ‘And I Love Her’, before hitting the dancefloor with their many friends and family. I love photographing Jewish weddings for their sense of celebration and joy in the ceremony itself, not the mention the vigorous dancing…and all before you’ve even sat down to eat. Sarah & Oli’s friends ensured this was particularly lively! (I think the grooms’ friends were mainly responsible for the wild celebratory chaos at this point & definitely for the hoisting up on the couple on chairs in the air, despite the bride’s reservations!).
Later than evening guests enjoyed even more delicious desserts from sweet tables piled high with crepes, ice creams, meringues and served with chic espresso martinis. There was even a separate station just of jellies – especially for the groom (they are his favourite!). Slices of wedding cakes were boxed up and given as favours.
The morning after the wedding, the couple enjoyed a family brunch at Claridges before jetting off on honeymoon to the romantic Amalfi Coast to start their new life together.
Photography by Polly Alexandre // Ceremony Venue: Western Marble Arch Synagogue // Reception Venue & Catering: Claridges Hotel, London // Bride’s Dress: Peter Langner from Browns Bride // Bride’s Shoes: Rupert Sanderson // Jewellery: Tiffany // Hair & Make Up: Daniel Galvin // Bridesmaid’s Dress: Gucci // Grooms Suit: Nick Tentis // Stationary by the Bride: Studio Sarah // Flowers: Paul Thomas // Cake: Peggy Porschen // Super 8 Film: Mariage a la Mode // Wedding Cars: Bride’s Uncle