Purple details and city lights sparkled at Simona and Dans London do
Simona and Dan were bound to each other literally from the first night they met. We were on a three-legged university pub crawl and one of Dans legs was tied to mine, Simona explains. There was definitely an initial attraction. Once untied their union flourished and, in July 2009, Dan proposed on a moonlit walk through Paris.
With their hearts set on a celebration that winter, Simona and Dan quickly decided on two London venues:
The Andaz Hotel (a classic redbrick Victorian building with a cool contemporary interior) for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, and
The Gherkins 40/30 lounge for the evening reception, both located in the City. We love the areas quiet eeriness at weekends and the way old and modern buildings sit alongside each other, says Simona.
While searching for the perfect fishtail-style bridal gown (something a bit sexy, with a modern touch), Simona fell for a structured Vera Wang in ivory silk mikado that she felt she could sit, eat and dance in. I went back four times before I bought it, and each time I loved it more, she says. Wanting a modern suit hed wear again Dan opted for an Ozwald Boateng lounge suit and a shirt by Zenga.
To finish her look, Simona added an elegant marabou shrug by Sasso, a crystal bracelet, earrings borrowed from her mum, and a pair of ivory Christain Louboutin
heels. I kept it all quite simple so the dress could do the talking.
Bold aubergine details unified the day, from the organza ribbons on the invitations to the bridesmaids purple satin Vera Wang dresses and the groomsmens ties.
Holding a bouquet of purple anemones (her nans favourite), Simona walked down the aisle to Im Yours by Jason Mraz. We stuck to traditional vows but had great readings by my mum and Dans brother Chris, and modern, uplifting music, she says.
The table decorations also included purple anemones, but mixed with magnolia, ranunculus, tulips, roses, amaryllis, narcissi, jasmine and cymbidium orchids. It was really important for us to mainly have flowers that were in season and matched our colour scheme, and our Florist (Athena at Rebel Rebel
) was really helpful.
Reception tables were named after the couples favourite places in Rome, London and Newcastle (the grooms hometown), and traditional Italian bombonieres (five sugared almonds representing happiness, health, wealth, longevity and fertility) along with bite-size flapjacks tied with Geordie-themed black and white ribbon were served as favours.
A vintage Fiat 500 chauffeured bride and groom from the Andaz to the Gherkin, a nod to Simonas Italian roots (her father is from Rome). It reminded me of visiting my family in Italy when I was a little girl, she says. Lots of tourists were stopping to take photos of the cool car.
Upon arrival at The Gherkin, guests were served their choice of either a Mojito (requested by Dan) or a Cosmopolitan (picked by Simona).
The four-layer cake (two layers of fruitcake, one of vanilla sponge, and one of espresso-flavoured sponge) made by Maisie Fantaisie
was decorated with fresh anemones to match the other displays and Simonas bouquet.
The four bridesmaids and four best men gave wonderful, very funny speeches for us after dinner. And at one point, our friends lifted us on their shoulders on the dancefloor and chanted for us to kiss, Simona recalls. For the last song, we asked the DJs to play Green Days Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life), and all our guests gathered round us to dance in a huge circle a brilliant way to end the day!