Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Couple
Photography: Keith Appleby
Sarah Simpson and Paul Herman went to the same nursery school but it took over 30 years for them to become a couple. “We first met as adults years ago at a friend’s party,” says Sarah. “We got on really well but the timing wasn’t right and it took another meeting 10 years later, when Paul bumped into a friend of mine and she passed on my number to him, before we went on a date.
He initially told me he wanted to take things slowly, but we had a whirlwind romance and a year later we’re married and have a new baby! Paul proposed one day when we were at home. We were having a really meaningful chat and he suddenly just decided that this was the moment to ask me! Of course I said yes, although it was so sudden I spent a few minutes asking him if he was sure before I did!”
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Venue
Sarah and Paul married on 15th July last year at The Orangery before holding their reception at The Belvedere restaurant next door. “We’d strolled through the park and past The Orangery before we were engaged and said to each other ‘Wouldn’t that be a lovely place to get married?” says Sarah.
“It’s just such a lovely building, overlooking the park. Also, The Belvedere Restaurant is right next door and seemed the perfect place to have our reception.”
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Look
“We wanted the day to be informal and stylish, and went for simple elegant colours of ivory and a browny gold, with lots of pale pink antique roses,” says Sarah.
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Dress
Sarah’s dress was by Peter Langner from Brown’s Bride and her shoes were by Christian Louboutin, also from Browns Bride, “I hadn’t even heard of Christian Louboutin before, I just thought the shoes were great. Then at the wedding, everyone spotted his trademark red soles and kept coming up to ask me about them,” says Sarah.
“My jewellery was very simple, just a pair of antique pearl and diamond earrings that my mum had given me for my 30th birthday.”
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Bridesmaids
Sarah’s pregnant sister was maid of honour, and wore a brown dress from Formes and four younger bridesmaids aged between five and ten, who wore simple A-line dresses from SAKS in America with a brown sash from VV Rouleaux.
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Ceremony
The ceremony was a civil ceremony held in The Orangery, “It was so beautiful and we included lots of music as Paul is a professional songwriter and producer,” says Sarah. Sarah made her entrance to Canon by Pachelbel, played by string quartet and then a family friend sang ‘Falling’, a song that Paul had written with the singer Corinne Bailey-Rae.
Paul’s niece played ‘Cavatina’ by Stanley Myers (from the film Deer Hunter) on the classical guitar, while the couple were signing the register and even the rabbi sang! “Paul’s Jewish so we wanted to incorporate a little of that into our civil ceremony,” says Sarah. “So we had a blessing from rabbi too who sang a romantic Jewish song called ‘Dodi-Li’ and played guitar.
It ended with Paul playing ‘aint no sunshine’ by Bill Withers on the guitar to me and our exit was to ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by Holland/Dosier/Holland, played by the string quartet.”
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Reception
Straight after the ceremony guests enjoyed a drinks reception with champagne and canapés outside the Orangery, catered for by Bovingdons. “It rained slightly during the drinks reception but it really didn’t spoil it at all,” says Sarah. After the drinks party the main reception was held in the Belvedere Restaurant next door. Table centerpieces were a mix of cream and pale pink antique roses, by Primrose Hill florist Fitzroy’s Flowers & Antiques (020 7722 1066) in silver bowls, which the couple gave away as thank you gifts at the end of the day.
Guests were served marinated scotch salmon, asparagus spears, sweet dill mustard dressing roast supreme of chicken, dauphinoise potatoes, creamed leeks and morel jus glazed champagne sabayon, mixed seasonal berries coulis and vanilla ice cream
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Cake
The wedding cake was a carrot cake by Savoir Design, and decorated with roses to match the wedding colours. “It was also my mum’s birthday so, after the meal while the reception room was being cleared for the evening entertainment, we moved to a separate room for tea and cake and brought out a surprise birthday cake for her!” says Sarah
Sarah and Paul’s stylish London wedding – The Evening
The Evening Party
There were speeches after the meal including one from the bride, “I really wanted to say something about Paul, so I wrote a speech and thought I’d decide on the day whether I’d say it or not,” says Sarah.
“On the day it felt write to make a speech.” After dinner, guests were entertained by DJ friend and Jazz Café regular Fitzroy De Buzzboy who played a mix of RnB, hip hop, 70s funk and some old classics and the party spilled out into the park until the small hours.