There is something super special about a glamorous, romantic and opulent wedding celebration. These wondrous city nuptials are held in the most grand of settings and also feature luxe metallic details and decoration. Prepare to swoon.
WWW readers Claire and Rodrigo were married on Saturday 10th September 2016 at St Mary’s Cathedral, followed by a reception Signet Library in Edinburgh. Their top priorities when planning were to create an inclusive, accessible and fun wedding, which represented both of their Brazilian and Scottish heritages. Of course good food, music and drink was also up there to create a jolly good party.
A soft vintage candlelight theme was order of the day with oodles of succulents and greenery featuring a rose gold, blush, gold, copper, cream and nude colour palette. Think pretty tea lights, metallic votives with single stems, luxurious paper goods and a cake table to end all cake tables. The couple also looked stunning with Claire in an elegant silk and lace gown, and Rodrigo donning a steel blue suit and tartan bow tie. Oh my!
Huge thanks to Crofts & Kowalczyk Photography for sharing these sublime shots.
THE PROPOSAL | Rodrigo proposed on a summer weekend away in the Cotswolds. Although we’d spoken about marriage before, he completely surprised me when he actually asked. We were relaxing in the garden while the sun went down. Rare for adopted Londoners, it was a clear night for stars. Rodrigo suggested we make a wish, then confided that his was to marry me. He said some nice words and popped the question. I think I said “Are you actually asking me?” before he got down on one knee and presented me with my beautiful ring.
THE VISION | We wanted to have a wedding that was easily accessible (we had a lot of guests coming from abroad), inclusive (bilingual where possible, and with a few Brazilian touches amongst a mainly Scottish celebration), good fun and filled with things we like: lots of good food, drink and music.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were engaged for just over a year, with nine months between booking the venue and our wedding day. We didn’t want to spend too long thinking, so the time seemed just right for us. Luckily we booked a venue that took care of many things (catering, service etc), allowing us to concentrate on everything else. We took each aspect in turn and made decisions jointly (well, apart from what we were going to wear…).
THE VENUE | We decided to have a city wedding in my hometown. We got married in St Mary’s Cathedral, a familiar place for me and older generations of my family. Our reception was at Signet Library. Despite having grown up in Edinburgh I’d never heard of the venue, which is right in the middle of town. When I saw it online I couldn’t stop imagining our wedding there and once we walked in the door it was an easy decision. We had a great feeling and Rodrigo, who is a bit of a bookworm, loved the idea of it being a law library.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from Pan Pan Bridal, my hair accessory was from Laurel Lime and my shoes we found on sale in L.K. Bennett.
FINDING THE DRESS | I looked in Edinburgh and London for dresses and tried on various styles, some just for fun. Although I was tempted by one in London, I was still thinking about a gorgeous silk and lace dress in Edinburgh which I knew was the one when I went back to try it on again. The silk felt beautifully soft to wear and I loved the middle and sleeve lace detail and the buttons running all the way down the back. Being able to alter the design made it extra special. Li from Pan Pan also made me a unique veil with appliqués in the same lace as the dress. It probably would have been easier if I’d found the dress in London (for the dress fittings…), but I’m really glad I found it in my hometown. I looked forward to every visit with my mum and it was exciting to see the dress evolving through each stage.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | After visiting some tailors and looking into fabrics, cuts and details, Rodrigo decided to make a 3-piece suit in steel blue sharkskin. He wanted a modern look that he’d feel comfortable in, so took elements of a Brazilian groom’s attire and gave it a touch of Scottishness as homage to me and my family. He chose a jacket with one button and slim lapel, trousers with no pleats or back pockets, a horseshoe waistcoat, a shirt with a covered placket, and a bow tie made with my family’s tartan, which matched my father’s trews, my brother’s kilt and the groomsmen’s neck ties.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings: As the majority of the day was in English, apart from exchanging our rings and bilingual stationery and speeches (my dad even learnt a few lines, which was very touching), our one ceremony reading was in Portuguese.
Music: We really wanted music entertainment throughout the day. As we both love bossa nova we found a great local band called Bossa Trio to play during the drinks reception. For the evening we searched absolutely everywhere for a fun band that played a mixture of styles. Thankfully we eventually fell upon The House Band, who we were so excited to have. The dance floor was full all night, with the crowd chanting “One more tune!” at the end of the night.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | As there was only one day that me and my two bridesmaids could all get together before the wedding, instead of running around shops, we attempted an at home try on session. I ordered a whole load of dresses online (I think there was over 10) and we had a nice, fizz-filled (and completely stress-free!) morning. They looked beautiful in all of them, but we all fell for a gorgeous creamy chiffon and satin Maids to Measure number, which we thought would also complement everything else really nicely. Although we left the afternoon free for emergency shopping time, we ended up enjoying a nice girls day out instead… Online bridesmaid dress shopping is definitely the way to go!
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were beautifully created by Narcissus. I collated a Pinterest board of vague décor and flower ideas (many coming from wedding blogs) along the lines of a soft, vintage, candlelight theme. Basically lots of succulents, rose gold, blush, gold, bronze, copper, cream, nudes, and greenery. Narcissus completely understood my basic thinking. Everything was so simple for them and I was wowed by everything they touched, from my gorgeous bouquet, to our rustic C & R letters.
THE CAKE | With both of us being wholehearted sweet tooths, we knew we wanted a cake table with various yummy things around it (side note: Brazilians like a wedding cake table and do jaw-dropping amazing ones – just Google “Brazilian wedding dessert table”, *drool*). The cake itself was 4 tiers, semi-naked, with gold leaf and flower details by Heather’s Cakes. We wanted to give guests flavour options (plus it was really difficult to choose just one with so many delicious flavours) so each layer was different (top to bottom: salted caramel, oreo truffle, lemon and poppy seeds, carrot).
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | When we started looking online for photographers Cro & Kow easily came up as our favourite and when we met Sylwia and Simon in person the decision was a no-brainer: they showed us beautiful albums of previous work and were such a nice friendly duo. After our first meeting we agreed they were not only professionals with great style and taste but also lovely people to have around on our big day. That first impression couldn’t have been more true as they kept us at ease and produced memorable shots that we, our families and friends love.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our florist helped us bring our décor ideas to life… even helping with the calligraphy on the seating plan mirror (which happened to be borrowed from my parent’s mantelpiece!). We found a stationery suite online that we loved, and matched our theme perfectly, so we ended up getting a few items of on the day stationery from them too. However, we designed the bilingual ceremony booklets ourselves.
When we were planning, I read some people saying that tiny details don’t matter. Looking back we think that even the smallest detail mattered because it was so exciting to see everything we’d thought about come alive: it made the day ours!
THE HONEYMOON | We soon agreed that what we needed was a relaxing, easy-going honeymoon, preferably in a sunny but not too hot place. We also wanted to visit a completely new region for us, so we started searching for locations in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The Maldives was our favourite destination because of the relatively shorter flight, beautiful setting and isolation. Our stay was just as we wished: a secluded island with a perfect atmosphere. After all the hype of the wedding, it was great to wind down.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking back down the aisle as husband and wife; the truly heartfelt speeches; having a realisation moment together on the dance floor; the conga line; everyone singing Loch Lomond in a circle around us; seeing some of our single friends hooking up(!); and walking to our hotel at the end of the night giggling about how amazing the day had been.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Count on outside advice when necessary but when it comes to making decisions try to make them just between the two of you. This was something we decided to do up front and we really appreciated that everything went so smoothly, as sometimes the diversity of opinions on any aspect of a wedding can be overwhelming.
Also, try to switch off from any wedding duties the evening before, and just enjoy as the day you’ve created unfolds.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Crofts & Kowalczyk Photography
Bridesmaids Dresses | Maids to Measure
Bridesmaids Hair accessory | Topshop
Cake table | Heather’s Cakes
Caterer | Heritage Portfolio
Dress | Pan Pan Bridal
Flowers and décor | Narcissus Flowers
Groom’s Suit | Edit Suits Co
Groom’s Shoes | Thomas Bird
Hair accessory | Laurel Lime
Hair and make up | Julie McGuire
Rings | Cartier
Shoes | L.K. Bennett
Stationery | Appleberry Press
Transport | Ecosse Classic Wedding Cars
Wow wee, so beautiful.
Claire and Rodrigo, thanks so much to you both for sharing your exquisite day with us xo Lou