A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the inspiration behind Caitlin and Jonny’s college celebration
American Caitlin had no idea when she visited her cousin at Winchester College that she would find her very own love story among the ancient halls of learning. “Jonny has very strong ties to the college as his father is the senior chaplain and he went to school there,” Caitlin explains. One year and one transatlantic relationship later, Jonny got down on one knee in Independence Square, Philadelphia and asked Caitlin to marry him.
Photography: Zoe Collyer
The hunt for a venue was short and sweet for the couple. “We chose to get married at Winchester College because of its significance to our relationship,” says Caitlin. “Plus the chapel and the grounds themselves are absolutely beautiful!” Organising a wedding from across the pond was no mean feat for Caitlin so she enlisted the help of planner Beckie Gregory from Temple Gregory to make sure everything ran smoothly. “Her role was all the more important because I was in the States so she was my eyes and ears on the ground as it were!”
The bridal party made a grand entrance to the historic venue in a vintage Daimler.
“The theme of the day was 'whimsical' to reflect my personality and we are both artistic so wanted something colourful and vibrant to contrast with our conservative venue,” says Caitlin. “I wanted the wedding to evoke a Midsummer Night’s Dream feeling.” The couple achieved the look with hundreds of hanging lanterns sourced on eBay and ribbons in pastel shades of peach, pink, yellow and orange.
Caitlin chose a floral linen frock with a matching cathedral-length veil to complement her magical theme. “I wanted to represent both my grandmothers in some way, too, so I wore jewellery to do this. I had a diamond cross necklace as my something borrowed in honour of my mother’s mother and an antique watch in honour of my father’s mother.”
Caitlin took to the aisle in off-white shoes from Lord & Taylor. “They were my best money-saving idea as they were in the sale and I added my own touch with a pink floral shoe-clip.”
Jonny worked the theme in a light grey three-piece suit from Gieves & Hawkes and a pastel yellow tie. For a personal touch the men in the bridal party all donned Winchester College cufflinks given to them by Jonny's family.
The bridesmaids wore pretty pink dresses from Amsale, which they teamed with the earrings Caitlin gave to them as presents.
For their stationery the couple chose a delicate design in theme-perfect pastels from Borrowed Blue Press.
And tables were named after significant places in both Caitlin and Jonny’s lives: Winchester, Blue Bell, Independence Hall, Edinburgh and Washington DC.
Beautiful blooms that matched the pastel lanterns were provided by Emma Lappin Flowers. "Peonies are my favourite flowers but sadly they were out of season by the time we got married so I tried to chose flowers that looked as similar to peonies as possible," Caitlin explains.
A harpist serenaded guests as they enjoyed pre-reception cocktails. “There were Dark and Stormies in honour of my father and Peach Bellinis in honour of his mother,” Caitlin explains.
The couple went for a wedding cake with the wow-factor - six tiers of chocolate orange, red velvet and tropical fruit mini cakes topped off with a flower-adorned Victoria sponge from Reilly Cakes.
Keen musician Jonny insisted on choosing the band for the couple's big day. He decided on Groove Machine who performed The Way You Look Tonight as the couple took to the dancefloor for their first dance. "Being American I also had a father-daughter dance to Wonderful World," Caitlin says, "which is my father's favourite song."