Award-winning British shoe designer Camilla Elphick, 32 and Hugo Gilbert, 31, an NHS healthcare professional, had a wonderful country wedding celebration in Wiltshire in August 2021. The couple first met by chance at a charity event in 2013 and Hugo proposed on a llama trekking weekend away in the Surrey Hills with their dog Lulu. Camilla felt it was very important that any potential suitor passed the Lulu test and luckily Hugo passed with flying colours. After countless delays due to the pandemic, they decided to marry in secret a year earlier – Camilla wore a fabulous Savannah Miller dress and it was all incredibly romantic. A year on, they renewed their vows with all their friends and family and celebrated in her parents-in-law’s gorgeous Wiltshire garden..
The best part of our day was….
Getting ready with my lovely bridesmaids and bridesman Doug at a nearby hotel Lucknam Park. We had so much fun unboxing our shoes and being plied with Perrier Jouet champagne! But also as we both adore dancing we hired a fabulous band, The Fellas, that got everyone on the dance floor – it felt really magical dancing with all our friends again. But as Hugo is a much better dancer than me I needed a really dazzling change of outfit to distract. We relived the old days and danced to one of our favourite The Weekend songs..
We choose to get married at…
Hugo’s parents’ country house in Wiltshire. The church is quite small and charming and to be honest it was quite a squash fitting everyone in. It conveniently connects to the garden through a romantic archway that leads you to the rose-filled rockery, wishing well and a huge stretch of lawn, perfect for a party!
I knew I found ‘The One’ when….
I struck up a conversation with a lovely girl selling her beautiful unworn Marchesa wedding dress on Still White – we just clicked and even went to collect the dress together from The Wedding Club in South Kensington. I loved it straight away and felt so confident that it would fit – I didn’t even bother to try it on! I then worked with couturier, Lisa Redman to add a few unique touches. After the wedding someone contacted me to say she would love to wear the gown too – I was only too thrilled to pass it on!
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Working with people I knew, who are so creative and kind – my lovely friend Lavinia Stewart-Brown who helped me plan the event, my friend Ellie who owns a florist arranged the flowers, Alexandra Dudley who designed the menu, Yasmin Salmon applied my make up and my hairdresser Lee who arranged everyone’s hair (I don’t know how she managed it!).
The hardest part of planning was…
I found decision making tricky as we started with a blank canvas and had to make the whole thing come to life – it had to be very personal and not wasteful so I was mindful of that and tried to ensure that everything was locally sourced. We used a wonderful local caterer Bubble And Squeak and our fabulous tent was also sourced locally. We also took care that everything was in keeping with the house and garden.
The best accounts to follow on Instagram & Pinterest for big-day inspo are…
I took hundreds of screenshots on my phone whenever I saw something I liked, created an album and then made a mood board for each element of the day – from the table plan, tablescaping, to the flowers, the dress and bridesmaids dresses and garden design.
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Make sure you have enough time to get ready yourself – time flies on the day!
Enjoy the food and don’t drink too much until well after the reception.
Have a change of dress and selection of shoes so you can really enjoy yourself and not worry about ruining your dress.
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…
I did do it again, and loved it but I wish I hadn’t made it so stressful for myself! I’m a bit of worrier but at the end of the day there really is nothing to worry about as everyone is there
to wish you well!
List of suppliers:
Venue: Stanton St Quintin, Wiltshire
Ushers: Wore their own suits with & Rixo custom made pocket-squares suits and custom made ties.
Videographer: Sam Thomas @samthomasb
Hair: Lee McAllister @_leelondon_