Briony and Tom celebrated their love with blossom, birds and tree motifs
Briony first spotted Tom when she was searching for somewhere to live and he was living at one of the shares. “I didn’t take the room in the end but I did say to one of the other housemates ‘the guy in the white shirt is cute, if he’s single and interested I’d like to go for a drink with him’,” says Briony. “Tom got the message and we arranged a date although he was convinced I meant the other guy in the house so had him waiting in the wings in case they had to swap! Ironically, our first date was two days before Valentine’s Day and the receipt at the bar was printed with ‘will you marry me?’.”
Photography: Rosie Parsons (rosieparsons.com)
The ceremony was at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel in Hampstead (rosslynhillchapel.com) where the couple combined Catholic elements of the wedding service alongside personalised vows and non-religious readings. Briony wore a silk Long Dragon Dress by Temperley London (temperleylondon.com) and added a black velvet sash for a more dramatic look. Tom picked a slim-fit charcoal grey suit from Start London (start-london.com).
To finish her outfit, Briony chose Jimmy Choo shoes (jimmychoo.com) – the detailing on the front matched the baguette crystals on her engagement ring – and Tom got his shoes from Prada (prada.com). “I was feeling guilty about how much I was spending on my outfit so we splurged out on some designer shoes for him,” laughs Briony. “You’ve got to keep the boy happy!”
In her bouquet created by Roseberg Flowers of Copenhagen (roseberg.co.uk) Briony carried white peonies, gardenia, white sweet pea and silver brunia. “I had a little eucalyptus thrown in, too, because I’m Australian,” she says.
Briony’s elegant, low side bun was created by Justina Sullivan (beautiful-brides.co.uk) who also did the bridal make-up. For her big-day fragrance, Briony chose Noix de Tubereuse by Miller Harris (millerharris.com).
“I have a thing about wearing black all the time so there was a running joke that I would have a black wedding dress,” says Briony. “The holy grail of bridesmaids dresses is to choose something they could wear again, so black seemed a safe bet, especially as they are all different shapes and colourings.” The dresses came from Coast (coast-stores.com) with shoes from Moda in Pelle (modainpelle.com) and jewellery from Jon Richard at Debenhams (debenhams.com).
Straight after the ceremony, the couple held a mini reception of champagne and cupcakes, before ferrying guests to the real party at The Bingham Hotel, Richmond (thebingham.co.uk). “As soon as we walked into the hotel the first time, we were blown away by the décor, the garden rooms and the amazing terrace,” says Briony.
“We wanted to keep the flowers fragrant and textured but not too country cottage,” says Briony. “The florist used mainly white with highlights of green and purple to give a fresh spring feel, including hydrangea, white peonies, white eucharis, white and pale purple lisianthus, gardenia, silver carpet, white sweet peas and stocks."
The outdoor terrace was decorated with a garland of individual flowers in small glass jars.
The couple sourced the table numbers from Etsy (etsy.com).
“Instead of a traditional seating plan, my florist and I designed a seating tree with the guests’ names and table numbers hanging from the branches,” Briony says.
“We didn’t have a specific theme or concept apart from wanting an elegant, timeless feel to the day,” says Briony. “In the end, though, there was a common thread of trees, birds and spring, from the invites to the seating tree. My favourite has to be the guest book fingerprint tree, which we found on Etsy (etsy.com). We both loved the fact that we now have something that’s not only beautiful but also reminds us of everyone who shared our day.”
The couple’s signature white, green and purple flowers decorated the simple cake from Marks & Spencer (marksandspencer.com). "One tier each of fruit, chocolate and vanilla to cover all bases," says Briony.
Guests were invited to leave their cards of good wishes in a pretty white birdcage decorated with a black sash.
Each place setting featured a handwritten name card and a favour – a mini bottle of Jacobs Creek sparkling wine (jacobscreek.com) for the ladies and pink champagne truffles for the men (hotelchocolat.co.uk).
“No matter how carefully you plan things may still go wrong but that’s the fun of planning a wedding. Two months before ours we didn’t have a minister or a registrar due to circumstances beyond the church’s control but it all worked out in the end!”