Monica Marriott-Mills works as a Luxury Marketing Consultant and Alexander Brown is a Musician. The couple met on Tinder in 2014 and Alex proposed during lockdown on Monica’s 26th birthday in their Camden apartment. Alex had turned their living room into a little home restaurant with their favourite jazz music and candles – Monica had presumed it was her birthday dinner. He ordered her favourite meal of sushi from a local Japanese restaurant and when he came back from the kitchen with dessert, he got down on one knee.
The best part of our day was….
There were two main highlights for me!
Alex’s Gift: Alex’s wedding gift to me was a song. He wrote and performed it in the grand salon, moments after we had cut the cake. He handed out card song sheets to our guests, so that they could follow along with the lyrics. He played the song on the grand piano and all of our guests could watch and enjoy it with me. It was truly magical, there were lots of happy tears amongst our love ones. The song was called ‘I promise you’ – he will be recording the song for others to enjoy and it’ll be available on Spotify soon!
The Aisle: My second favourite moment was of course, walking down the aisle and seeing all of our guests and Alex’s smiling face! We chose white delicate flowers and candles for the aisle, with lavender scented diffusers. Our two good friends Chris and Abby Eaton, sung me down the aisle – they did a rendition of ‘Ribbon in the Sky’ by Stevie Wonder, it was a dream come true (you should check them out on YouTube, they have voices of angels).
We choose to get married at…
We chose Gosfield Hall, due to its French monarchy connections – in 1807 the house was loaned to exiled King Louis XVIII of France and his wife Queen Marie Joséphine Louise of Savoy. It was during this time that the beautiful ceiling of the Grand Salon was painted by Sir James Thornill, and what is now known as the Rococco Bridal Suite is decorated in a lavish style fit for royalty.
Monica studied French history and lived in Paris for many years and wanted to find a way to incorporate this into the day somehow.
We loved its interior decor, with gold guilt ceilings and Parisian influence throughout – we let the venue do the talking, besides a handful of floral installations by Stock Florist.
Another benefit of the venue was that it is a private hire Manor House with guest rooms for up to 63 people – which meant that our guests travelling from Yorkshire, Italy and Canada were able to stay the night with no worries.
I knew I found ‘The One’ when…
Having worked in bridal over 5 years, Monica knew that the only dress she would wear would be a dress she co-designed.
I’ve always been a huge lover of dresses with full sleeves. There’s something so timeless and elegant about a full sleeve, A-line dress. I always think of Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly and Princess Eugenie.
I wanted to have the dress made locally, being a northern girl, I had my dress designed and handmade in cheshire by the ever-brilliant couture designer Emma Beaumont.
The silhouette of the dress was entirely classic with a proportionate aline drop from my waist and pointed tip full sleeves. To add drama and a fun, modern twist, the entire skirt was adorned with hand sewn feathers and a huge statement train. Another personal style touch was a silk buckle belt, as I wanted to give the dress a sense of my true day-to-day style – it was important to me that I felt my true self as a bride. The dress featured over 50 silk covered buttons down my back and cuffs.
Materials: silk crepe and feathers
Unique features: feathers, silk belt and shoulder pads
It was really important to me to wear and support small and independent designers. My crown was handmade by my two friends at Dolecka Bridal – Becca and Cheska – a London based sister duo.
My earrings were from the 2021 Chanel collection, I wanted to buy a pair of earrings that would hold their value and that I could potentially pass down to my sister or future daughter!
Shoes – I wore a pair of YSL Canvas Knot platforms – this was my way of ensuring my wedding shoes weren’t only for my wedding day – they’re a contemporary, modern and wearable design that don’t scream ‘bridal’. I have brought them with me on my Honeymoon!
Veil – my veil was a wedding gift from my clients at Mirror Mirror bridal – it was designed and handmade at their north London atelier in Angel by the wonderful Sham (one of their seamstress) – a must visit location if you’re looking for a family run and luxury bridal experience.
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Adding the personal touches! For each guest, I handmade them earrings by my up cycling earring brand TMW London. I spent lots of time stalking their Facebook photos to ensure each pair was suited to their individual style.
We also left handmade chocolates and thank you cards outside the bedrooms of our guests the following morning. The chocolates were locally made by a Yorkshire chocolatier called Wildings Chocolates.
I believe in amusing the senses and to do so, I added fresh lavender essential oils into all 350 candles in the venue and also go our Neom diffusers in each of the rooms.
The hardest part of planning was…
The admin! We didn’t have a planner, so organising each guest, their dietary requirements, rooms etc was quite a lot of work! I’m more of a creative than a numbers girl, so we found this part of planning rather tiresome (but worth it of course).
Our wedding menu highlights were…
We had lots of family and friends from overseas, mainly Canada and Italy due to monica’s family relations and previous work in Italy, so we wanted to give them a slice of British cuisine! We had huge Yorkshire puddings, quintessential British desserts such as Eton Mess and full English breakfast the following day.
Our first dance song was…
We had a live band, Apollo Anthems, perform ‘September’ for our first dance. Alex arranged a stripped back version of the song for the slow portion of the dance, which was then threaded into the drop of September.
Our wedding date was 21st September (which is actually my grandparents too) – we didn’t do any choreography for our first dance, besides from a fun loft and confetti drop. It was so much fun.
The best accounts to follow on Instagram for big-day inspo are…
I don’t actually follow many Instagram pages for wedding inspiration. Instead I focused on my own preferences, as to avoid being swayed by wedding trends. A good place for do’s and don’ts is titkok though!
The best person to follow on Pinterest for bridal inspo is…
I would say create your own boards and stay true to your gut! It’s easy to be swayed by trends – go with your initial ideas and trust yourself.
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Add personal touches – these are the elements you’ll enjoy doing and that your guests will cherish
Don’t be afraid to do you!! It’s your wedding, you don’t need to copy others or follow trends
Save a wedding fragrance for your special day – I chose Miller Harris ‘Scherzo’ and only wore it for the very first time on the morning of the wedding, your brain has an amazing way of associating core memories and moments with smells, tastes and sounds. I have also brought it on honeymoon with me, with the hope it’ll take me back to my wedding period in years to come.
For our honeymoon we chose…
I am currently writing this from the Maldives, we are at the 5 star resort Cocoon. We were toying between a west coast America road trip or a relaxing Maldives trip, after all of the planning, the Maldives seemed the best option!
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…
I would take more time in the morning to relax! The day goes so quickly, so I would have woken up even earlier to really take things slowly – time just flashes by!
List of suppliers
Makeup: The Makeup Lab @themakeuplabb
Rings : The Diamond Store London
Second outfit veil: handmade by my bridesmaid Izie Holt
Second outfit bag: Secondhand Serpenti Bulgari Bag
Second outfit earrings: thrifted in Canada
Related Article: Inside: A Grand Wedding At Blenheim Palace