Picture the scene: the late August sunshine spreads its warming rays freely, the sky and sea are exquisitely blue, and the glamorous city of Cannes forms a covetable backdrop.
It’s fair to say that Leigh got it very right, choosing a mini-break here to propose to Jo in a picturesque garden. Perhaps the only thing prettier than the location was the ring. Designed by Leigh in Hatton Garden, the rose gold ring featured a cushion cut, double halo diamond. “It was stunning and a huge surprise,” Jo gushes.
This couple’s sense of style didn’t stop with the proposal, as they chose to channel Gatsby-esque glamour for their 1920’s-inspired wedding, starting with Jo’s dress.
“My search was so much fun! I knew I wanted a modern take on a style from the ’20s, so I turned to a design by Ronald Joyce at Aurora Bride, Cheam. I knew the moment I tried it on that my search was over!” The dress featured a beaded V-neckline, low back and scalloped lace detailing that was highlighted with sequins sewn onto satin.
Jo accessorised with an equally sparkly full-length, Swarovski encrusted veil, also from Aurora Bride, a vintage floral diamond ring borrowed from her grandmother, and Manolo Blahnik shoes. A bespoke headpiece made by Beverley Edmondson Millinery finished her 1920’s style with a flourish.
“Leigh’s style is quite unique,” the bride explains, “so he wanted to show that in his groom’s outfit too.”
“Working within a black tie dress code, he opted for a black Paisley jacquard dinner jacket, Nick Hart skinny fit trousers, a white fitted shirt and a polka dot bow tie, braces and socks. He looked amazing!”
Five bridesmaids and two flower girls attended Jo as she walked down the aisle. As many brides experience, Jo’s leading ladies were all very different, and she wanted to accommodate this. “I asked them each to choose their own dresses and shoes so long as they were white with silver embellishments. They found designs they liked from ASOS, Coast and Phase Eight.” The flower girls were fitted out in dresses from Monsoon.
“One of my closest friends, Lucy Nash, is a fantastic makeup artist, so that was a real blessing. She used MAC, Laura Mercier, Tom Ford, Max Factor and No7 products to create my bridal look, and Makeup by Evi stepped in to style my bridesmaids.”
“Your natural look is always best, and you can apply more makeup in the evening to ramp up the glamour if you’d like!”
The couple tied the knot in a traditional Christian ceremony, given a contemporary twist by the upbeat band who joined them. “I surprised Leigh by walking down the aisle to Van Morrison’s ‘Someone Like You’. Our friend Nat Graham sang ‘Knocks Me Off My Feet’ by Stevie Wonder as we signed the register.”
Extravagance and excess are synonymous with parties of the Art Deco era, and Jo and Leigh’s wedding was no exception.
Guests dined on a contemporary but indulgent menu that began with crispy duck salad. Jack Daniels barbecue pulled pork burgers with brioche buns and sweet potato fries soon followed, and warm chocolate brownie with ice cream was for dessert. The entire meal was expertly cooked by Just Jane Caterers. There were also delicious crepes from the Crazy Crepes vintage van in the evening.
The venue featured transparent chiavari chairs with dramatic black seats, chandeliers suspended from the ceiling and candelabra to echo them on the tabletops. Up lighting enhanced the draped ceiling. The couple added scatter crystals, mirrored centrepieces and mercury glass, vanilla-scented votives reflected the twinkling details.
“Wedding Ideas was a huge source of inspiration and great for locating suppliers.”
“When it came to my flowers, I knew I wanted to keep them simple, so Leigh’s aunt Daryl Ballard, who is a florist, created a bouquet of white roses for me, with similar for the bridesmaids and white rose buttonholes for the men.”
Another talented family friend created the couple’s decadent Deco cake. “After going through ideas together, she created the most amazing four-tier cake. It featured two chocolate, one Victoria sponge and one marble cake tier – Leigh’s favourite.”
The cake was decorated in white with silver foil for a 1920’s edge.
The party was as fun as it looked, with The Little White Photo Booth capturing hilarious snaps. The band Chocolate Charlie, kept everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor.
“We are huge fans of Motown anthems so we chose ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Diana Ross for our first dance.”
“Booking our honeymoon through Designer Travel took all the pressure off. We travelled to Thailand, staying in Chiang Mai for three days. We then flew on to Koh Samui for 10 days. Designer Travel organised all our excursions and transfers with Tour East Thailand, so we made the most of the temples and elephant trekking for the honeymoon of a lifetime!”