Martin and I met as students of the Royal Academy of Music – I’m a violinist and he plays the viola. We’ve been lucky enough to work together over the years, first in a string quartet and now as members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The story of our winter wedding began when Martin proposed when we were walking in a local nature reserve, just before Christmas. I thought he had stopped us for a snack break but instead of snacks he presented a small box with photos of us on holiday. At the bottom was written ‘Will you marry me?’. Definitely better than snacks.
Our winter wedding was held at The Lanesborough Hotel. It had everything we were looking for – beautiful setting, wonderful hospitality and, most importantly, spectacular food. As Londoners ourselves, it was amazing to be married in our home city. Since the wedding we’ve been back for anniversaries, special occasions with family, and even pop in for drinks now and then. It always feels like such a treat.
My dress was the Capri Bridal Dress from Galvan London. I loved the clean lines and flowing style. As soon as I put it on I knew it was the one. I’m known for being a bit of a magpie so there had to be some sparkle to my winter wedding outfit. I chose a stunning pair of satin heels with crystal flowers from Dune Bridal.
Martin’s bespoke three piece suit came from Suit Supply. He absolutely loved the customising process and had our new initials embroidered on the lining. The colour is a show stopping blue – he felt and looked amazing.
Our wedding jewellery felt very special due to their meaningful family connections. I wore a gold and diamond bracelet from my grandmother and earrings from Hearts of Fire. As a violinist, I don’t usually wear rings as they can get in the way when I’m playing. My wedding ring from Annoushka Jewellery is perfect as it’s slender but still has interesting design.
Martin’s wedding ring was passed down to him from his grandfather. It has a unique design of a snake with diamond eyes. We like the idea that we’ve added another layer of meaning to this family piece.
My flower girl and page boy were dressed in Monsoon and John Lewis childrenswear. We gave our maid of honour and groomsmen free riegn over their outfits, we just wanted them to wear what they felt good in.
One of the perks of getting married in London is that most of our guests were either staying at The Lanesborough itself, hotels nearby, or at home so we didn’t have to worry about transportation.
Hoyle’s Honey is a family farm producing 100% English honey, local to where Martin grew up. We wanted to support local businesses and this was a lovely choice for our wedding. favours.
Our florist, the wonderfully named Florist in the Forest, created beautiful displays for us. The colour theme was mostly white with accents of blue to match Martin’s suit, and peach as a highlight.
Food & Drink
One of the reasons we chose The Lanesborough was because of its restaurant, The Lanesborough Grill. The whole menu was incredibly delicious and our guests also fondly reminisce about the free flowing drinks.
Our wedding cake was by EK Bakery. We had two flavours – tiramisu and double chocolate. The whole cake was gluten free and a huge hit with all our guests. For vegans we had EK Bakery’s signature mini sunshine cakes, like a tropical carrot cake with pineapple and coconut.
Martin and I were keen to combine elements of English and Chinese wedding traditions, reflecting both our cultures. We started with a Western ceremony, followed by a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. The tea service we used was a family heirloom, belonging to my paternal grandfather who passed away when I was one year old.
Being classical musicians, the music was naturally super important to us. Friends played in a string quartet before and during the ceremony, including some of Martin’s arrangements which he did especially for the wedding. I walked in to ‘High’ by the Lighthouse Family and our exit was ‘You’ll be in my heart’ by Phil Collins. They played beautifully and we are so grateful they could be part of our day. During the drinks reception in The Great Hall, we opted for traditional Chinese musicians, an Erhu and Pipa Duo from Music for London.
Martin and I thought it would be fun to incorporate a Lion Dance. We kept it a surprise from all our guests, even family, and they were thrilled. It was such a spectacle, with the bright gold and red lion leading Martin and I into the wedding breakfast accompanied by vibrant drumming (to keep evil spirits away). For many of our guests it was the first time they’d experienced a lion dance and they were totally wowed.
Beauty Regime & Wellness
I find doing my own makeup very relaxing so I decided to DIY my wedding look. I watched numerous ‘wedding makeup’ videos on Youtube and did a trial run a month before. It was fun doing glam with my maid of honour in the morning, like getting ready for a girls’ night out.
Favourite Wedding Gifts
We set up a list on Prezola so guests could contribute to our honeymoon should they want to give us a gift.
After our winter wedding, we honeymooned in Canada over New Year, a true winter wonderland. Being in the mountains together was such a magical adventure.
Our priority was that our guests were looked after and had the best time, hence the focus on food and drink.
In terms of preparation, adding personal touches makes it feel special and unique to you. In our case this was the music, food and combination of cultural traditions.
Ultimately, it’s all about celebrating and being with people you love – the day will go really quickly but the feeling will remain with you forever.
Groom outfit: @suitsupply
Wedding favours: @hoyles_honey
Wedding rings: @annoushkajewellery
Gift list: @prezola
Wedding website: @gettingmarriedcouk
Bridesmaid gifts: @annoushkajewellery
Lion Dance: @ksk_uk
Chinese Musicians: Music for London Erhu and Pipa Duo @musicforlondon
Related Article: Our Favourite Winter Weddings