With so much time spent at work, it's a prime setting to meet your special someone. Indeed, that was the case for Kate and Julian who met nine years ago when they were both lawyers at Clifford Chance. “Our first date was in Knightsbridge,” recalls Kate. “But after we went on our second date I moved to the Middle East for work. Although Julian made frequent visits, which was lovely.”
Julian proposed to Kate on Christmas Day, 2008 by tying her engagement ring around the collar of Kate's family's Labrador. “He sent the dog over to me, and then asked me to marry him,” says Kate. “It was a complete surprise, I thought I was just getting a new pair of wellington boots for Christmas!”
The wedding took place exactly eight weeks from the date the couple booked the venue. “It was a very busy year for us,” recalls Kate. “In the space of 12 months we had our second baby, Julian started up a new law firm, we moved house, got married and our daughter started school just days after the wedding – it was a great year!”
Kate found the easiest thing to organise for the big day was her dress, “I took my little boy Milo to the Jenny Packham shop with me, he was just five months old at the time,” she says. “I tried on about five dresses then Milo started to get restless so I just thought 'right I have to pick one and go' which I did and that was that. I couldn't even really remember it when I got home but luckily I still loved it when I saw it again at the first fitting a few weeks later. I think it took me about one hour to buy my dress, shoes and headpiece!”
The bride-to-be really enjoyed planning their big day, and it helped that they didn't have long to ponder on the details. “We just had to get on and make decisions pretty fast and stick with them. It was very satisfying to be ticking things off the list each day,” adds Kate.
“I never wanted to get too obsessed with minor details, life is way too short especially with two little people to look after. Eight weeks was plenty of time and I was ready to enjoy the day and move on after that!”
We live close to the Bingham and wanted to get married somewhere that meant something to us that wasn't too far from home. I go past it most days and think about the wedding; we can go there for a drink or Sunday lunch any time and see people who helped with our big day.
“Situated on the river, the hotel has a great lawn for children to run around on and it's also very sophisticated with fantastic food, wine and impeccable service.” – Kate
Our daughter Arabella, who was four years old at the time, was a bridesmaid alongside my sister who was my maid-of-honour. Arabella wore a beautiful classic Nicki MacFarlane dress. I spoke to Nicki directly on the phone and she was amazingly helpful.
I wanted very bright, eyecatching flowers. There was so much colour at our wedding, which is what we wanted.
We had large helium balloons with tails decorating the room.
“I wore a silver Jenny Packham headpiece that complemented my gown.” – Kate
Cakes by Robin in Southfields designed our cake, which was bright and extravagant. I didn't want a typical white cake and love the wacky styles. It was vanilla sponge at the bottom, red velvet in the middle and carrot cake on the top.
Blue hydrangea was used in the large displays around the room and also the table decorations. We also had tin jugs with flowers in tied to all the railings.
We booked a fantastic magician, Mike Fairall, aka Magic Mikey who's a member of the Inner Magic Circle, to entertain both the child and adult guests alike. He mingled with our friends and family, then after lunch he took the children outside on to the lawn and kept them amused while the adults relaxed.
We met our photographer Barney James at the Bingham's wedding fair and instantly liked him. He really understood that we wanted to spend most of the day with our friends and family rather than having photos taken. He got some stunning photographs that we're delighted with.
Bride's dress and accessories
Cakes by Robin
Groom and groomsmens' suits
Savoy Taylors Guild
Nina Ferro and Werner Sound Generation