Bride | Alexis Cuddyre
Groom | Jack Simkin
Wedding gown style | Eleanor
Wedding date | September 4th 2011
Boutique purchased | The Wedding Shop in Selfridges, London
Location | The Assembly Rooms, Bath, England
Photographer | Marianne Taylor
First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first site? I first met my husband Jack in 8th grade. We went to school together in Hong Kong but didn’t start dating until our senior prom, just one month before he was going off to university in London and I was bound to start university in the states. It was the worst timing ever but we stayed together for four years of long distance, flying back and forth to see each other as much as we could. After I graduated, I moved to London to continue my studies and to give our relationship a real shot.
How did he propose? Tell us the story! My birthday is really close to Valentine’s day so we often celebrate the two together. Jack had organized an entire weekend of things to do but I never suspected he would propose on top of it. We started the day off at the spa at the Intercontinental hotel in London followed by a champagne brunch and then checked into the St. Martin’s Lane hotel where we would stay for the night. We had tickets to see Sister Act in the theater later that evening so we went to the room to change and he popped the question! I started crying and laughing at the same time, it was such a mix of emotions. We ended the evening with a late dinner where I was too excited and overwhelmed to eat anything which is pretty much unheard of.
Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown? Vera Wang was the second boutique I visited and as soon as I put the gown on, I knew it was going to be hard to beat. Being a wedding blogger (OMG I’m Getting Married) and generally obsessed with fashion and dresses, I wanted to make sure I had tried on a few more options, but the Eleanor dress was always the one I referred to. It made me feel like a bird and was the perfect silhouette for me.
How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique? I kept the ceremony quite simple in terms of jewelry and wore the pearl necklace my mother wore on her wedding day along with my grandmother’s pearl bracelet. As my hair is short, a veil wasn’t really going to work and I couldn’t really find anything that I liked in terms of headpieces, but I knew I wanted something. That’s when miraculously an email from the Luxury Wedding Show London appeared in my blog inbox featuring some of the 2012 Vera Wang dresses with these amazing gauzy headpieces. I used the belt that came with my dress and took it to Atelier Milinery and together we designed a smaller version for the ceremony.
I knew I wanted a bit of a change for the reception and the theme of all of our invitations was black and white so I chose a black grosgrain belt to go alongside a Vera Wang necklace for the evening. I literally scoured the internet for a statement necklace and this one was perfect. I paired the necklace with a diamanté sparkling cuff and that was that!
What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding? This is a bit of a hard one! In terms of aesthetics, I considered the day in two stages. Stage 1 was the ceremony, which was designed with greens, golds and creams to match the light and airy feeling of the room. Each of my bridesmaids wore a different dress in this colour palette of their choice and the flowers, topiary trees, candlestick, ceremony booklets and posters all reflected this as well. We made little gold flags that said “confetti” on them because we weren’t allowed throw anything inside the venue.
The second stage was the reception, which was more blacks, whites, blues and golds, again to match the room. We had black and white table cloths made and sourced candlesticks, which we painted gold to match. My favourite centerpiece was a giant fish bowl filled with black and white striped candies surrounding a tall white amaryllis bouquet.
The stationery was heavily influenced by numerous trips to Designers Guild in an effort to combine floral patterns with more geometric ones that offset the bold typographic invitation, menus and order of service booklets.
Also, being a graphic designer and lover of infographics, I designed a series of posters that visualized the time Jack and I had spent together and the distances between us at certain points in our relationships which served as décor for the fireplaces in both rooms. I also created an infographic for the welcome letter that accompanied the goodie bags that showed all the different countries people had travelled from.
Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue. If so, what were yours?
- Old – my mother’s pearl necklace.
- New – just about everything!
- Borrowed – my grandmother’s pearl bracelet.
- Blue – my grandmothers’s blue ballerina pin that was attached to my bouquet.
What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress? Go with your gut and try things you wouldn’t expect to look good on you. I was absolutely certain I would wear a Rosa Clara dress. In fact I even pretended I was engaged a few years ago so I could go in the boutique and look at all the dresses but when I tried one on years later, it didn’t suit me at all.
What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share? The best part of the day was sitting at the table during the reception and being able to see all the people I care about the most having a good time. It felt incredibly overwhelming to know that they had all come to celebrate with us and we felt like the luckiest people in the world.
Other anecdotes? Just the fact that my mother and I did all the event design together, including hand making the invitations, order of service booklets, menus, favor boxes, name tags – you name it, we made it. All of this, of course with the help of my 7 bridesmaids and close family and friends. We literally had a massive assembly line going for the week leading up to the wedding with people making paper flowers, pom poms, stuffing goodie bags, gluing flags together. Everything. I think that process was almost as fun as the wedding itself! We also sent out a fleet of groomsmen to hand deliver the goodie bags to all our guests. These included a combination of things from Hong Kong (where Jack and I met) London (where we live now) and France (where Jack’s family lives now).