Gus Bussmann-Stuart works as a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer and Cristo Bussmann-Stuart is the Womenswear Buyer at Harrods. They met when Gus was only supposed to spend 4 months in London, researching for his PhD. For their first date they met outside the British museum and dined in Fitzrovia, ending the night with some Bossa Nova and cocktails – and Cristo still tries to convince Gus it was planned.
Due to associated visa admin they knew they wanted to get married so they flipped the experience on its head and surprised their families. They shopped for engagement rings together scouring London and landing in Hatton Gardens. They took their mothers for brunch at Isabel in Mayfair and proposed to one another with surprise photographers waiting in the wings. The couple tied the knot in a fun and lavish wedding in Brazil.
The best part of our day was:
Gus: for me, the best part of our day was when the DJ started the first dance from the chorus. We rehearsed plenty of times to start from the beginning and I was feeling the pressure as Cristo is a really good dancer. When it started in a way that was not planned or expected, it was my time to let it go and say: let’s just go and have fun. It ended up being one of the most magical times of the evening.
Cristo: we arrived at the venue before anyone else and had the opportunity to be alone in the room together, that moment of stillness taking in the space and the sheer crescendo of happiness which was occurring was so special.
We choose to get married at…
We choose to get married at the Country Club in front of Gus’ family home, where he spent his childhood. It was also the first place where Cristo partied in Brazil on the new year’s eve of 2018. We both were in love with the parquet floors, marble dancefloor and the big chandelier (the biggest in Brazil).
However, it was a room for a thousand people! We needed to find the perfect wedding planner to make it smaller, so we got Anderson Heidemann, who made it perfect for a celebration with 120 friends and family building an internal wall.
I knew I found ‘The One’ when…
Gus: I always knew that I wanted the classic and modern aesthetic of a Saint Laurent tuxedo, but didn’t think it would be that easy: it was the first one I tried and after experimenting in other stores and other suits, I came back to the first one.
I also wanted a statement piece to complement it, so teamed up with my friends at Numero8 Spain to design a cummerbund / sash made of black silk. It worked well with the detail on Cristo’s lapel.
Finally, my something borrowed and something blue were a family heirloom: an aquamarine bracelet previously owned by my great-grandmother, one of the few pieces that remained from when she emigrated from Germany to Brazil.
Cristo: Having shopped for our rings together I took pleasure in shopping for my suit alone. Working in fashion I was clear on what I wanted so saved heavily and headed directly to Dior. In the end with the covid related delay I wound up with two jackets one black and one white both with sash-lapel details which linked back to Gus’ sash detail cummerbund. Being two men we did see each other’s suits before the wedding, it would have been too easy to look like we were attending different events! I paired my suits with a silver turtleneck and patent Tom Ford shoes with a gross grain bar, which were my first ever purchase from Harrods over a decade ago (they doubled as my something old).
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
The most enjoyable moments of planning were during lockdown. When things were gloomy and we would feel hopeless, planning the details of this special evening would allow us to dream of this celebration again. Getting lost on tablecloths’ textures, the right silverware and the silly things as the height of the chairs on lounges got us through 2020.
The hardest part of planning was…
Cristo: In my day to day work I am the one leading negotiations so it was difficult to not be able to take charge in this sense with supplier negotiations being conducted in Portuguese, I didn’t want to feel left out or that I hadn’t contributed to the planning. Initially this caused some frustrations however vocalising this and talking together with Gus early on in the process we made a plan of action for each conversation so points I wanted to make were covered and heard. It was quite appropriate and symbolic of marriage in that not all things have to be done the same by both partners or done precisely 50/50 in order to be equal. It’s a lesson we have carried forward into our marriage.
Our wedding menu highlights were…
We got married at 6pm and then proceeded to have dinner, catered by the same company who did Gus’ mother debutante ball – so there was some family favourites, like the melted brie cheese encased by filo pastry and served with apricot jam.
In Brazil it is also a tradition to have mini desserts so everyone gathers around the main table to chat after dinner. With a mix of fruit and chocolate based desserts, it was beautifully prepared by an old friend who runs an exceptional dessert company and a key feature of the decoration.
Gus is also a big fan of his drink: a cosmopolitan with a dash of champagne and our monogram on top.
We blended elements of distinctly British cuisine into the evening with mini fish and chips served as late night on the dance floor food. Unique elements of Brazil also made it into the menu, a personal favourite of a Cristo’s being a cocktail using an Amazonian fruit called Jambu which leaves the tongue and lips numb.
Our first dance song was…
Our first dance song was an acoustic version of Always Be My Baby, by Mariah Carey. We had a DJ and a musician accompanying on the grand piano.
The best accounts to follow on Instagram for big-day inspo are…
The Wedding Edition, obviously. We also like Mensvows and Carats and Cake for some inspo.
The best person to follow on Pinterest for bridal inspo is…
We are actually a Pinterest free house, Instagram is overwhelming enough, a few select inspirations allowed our creativity to then flow and produce an event not over mimicked.
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Plan everything to the detail, so on the day you know that you made sure to have a celebration where the details are in harmony, your guests are well catered to and there is an opportunity for everyone to dance and celebrate the joys of life.
For an international wedding finding a good planner to rely on who you gel with personally is essential. You need to feel comfortable to be honest with them and share any worries or doubts. With this you’ll be able to completely forget about planning on the last week, spending quality time with your family and getting ready and relaxed
On the day, just have fun. It will be a memorable occasion, so details don’t matter anymore, it’s all about having fun.
For our honeymoon we chose…
Being the Southern Hemisphere getting married in Curitiba in August it was wintertime so two days after the wedding we stole away to the Fairmont hotel in Rio de Janeiro for three nights for some guaranteed sun and post party chill. We coupled this with a full honeymoon to Thailand two months after the wedding. Here we spent two nights at the Banyan Tree hotel taking in the vibrancy of the city, it’s street food and it’s Royal and religious temples then moving on to Koh Samui for pure relaxation at the Six Senses. The resort and service were truly out of this world.
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…
This might possibly be the corniest answer on the planet but absolutely nothing, everything was meant to be as it was. Even the things that turned out differently to how we possibly had first envisaged combined to be the uniquely special evening which neither of us would change.
List of suppliers
Florist: Maria Fernanda & Guilherme @mfg.decor
Stationery: Gus and Cristo designed
Photographer: Ulysses Braza @brazafotografias
Videographer: Tropicalia Filmes @tropicalia_filmes
Wedding Planner: Anderson Heidemann @andersonheidemann
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