Savannah Miller is a fashion designer, and James Whewell is a hospitality director of Wyresdale park and wedding venue. They met at a bbq at James’s sister’s house in 2019. James was standing under a rainbow with his dog and Savannah did a double take
James proposed to Savannah’s kids first, unbeknownst to her. It was boxing day 2021, and she couldn’t understand what all the screaming was about. He behaved very weirdly at lunch, and her mum and sister were also being very odd. Finally, he got down on one knee before the whole family and asked me to marry him. The couple tied the knot in a festive winter wedding in Petersham.
The best part of our day was….
Saying our vows in front of our nearest and dearest. We have both been married before so committing again feels very big. That moment was really sacred and precious.
We choose to get married at…
St. Peters church in Petersham followed by dinner at Petersham nurseries in Richmond. We really wanted to get married in a church and this saxon one is very special to us. The priest there is very progressive and makes the teaching really accesible and beautiful and it was a divine experience affirming our love in that way. Petersham nurseries has always been a favourite of ours and it is owned by my godfather, Francesco Boglione and his wife Gael, who have absolutely exquisite taste. The décor, the food, the wine was all perfect. I couldn’t have imagined it in my wildest dreams.
I knew I found ‘the one’ when…
I’ve been designing wedding dresses for ten years so I knew what I was looking for from the get-go. As much as I wanted to wear something modern and minimalist in line with my brands vibe, I am a hopeless romantic at heart and a Christmas wedding just felt like it needed some golden chantilly lace thrown in to the mix which was layered over my dress for the cermony then removed for the evening and a full-length golden sequin cape for walking from the church to the venue for added wow factor. My gorgeous silk satin dress (now named Savannah) will launch as part of my Savannah Miller bridal line later this year.
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Getting to work with my team at Savannah Miller bridal on something so personal. Also getting to work with Jimmy Choo on creating my bespoke shoes for the big day.
The hardest part of planning was…
The distance. James works in the Lake District and we had to visit the church for 6 months leading up to the wedding for the Sunday service. It really challenged us but was so worth it because on those visits we got to go to Petersham for brunch and really get a feel for what we wanted to create for our wedding day.
Our wedding menu highlights were…
A starter of beetroot salad with goats curd, castelfranco, marcona almonds and charred roscoff onion and the divine Christmas inspired roast duck with quince. Spiced red cabbage and chestnuts followed by mulled wine poached pears and vanilla custard. The tables were laden with platters of all different varieties so we really had a feast!
Our first dance song was…
‘Let’s face the music and dance’ played by our live band. We lost james’ dad to cancer in February and it was his favourite song so we felt it was a joyful way to bring him into the day.
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Be true to yourselves and what you like. If you follow too closely what is on trend your wedding photos will look outdated. You want the event to remain utterly timeless and true to you.
Make it as personal as you can. People love those really special little touches.
Don’t be afraid to break from tradition, we had a lot of impromptu speeches at our wedding it was very moving.
For our honeymoon we chose…
We went on a mini moon to the incredible Heckfield Place hotel which was honestly the most incredible hotel I have ever been to in the UK. It was pure heaven. For our honeymoon we decided to take the kids on a family moon skiing in Switzerland. It was bliss at Christmas time to be with them and in the snow.
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…
Absolutely nothing, I couldn’t have dreamt a more love filled, euphoric, beautiful day in my wildest dreams.
List of Suppliers
Vintage 1961 Austin Healy: @webbsofweybridge
Wedding Planner: @savannahmiller
Related Article: Inside: A Winter Wedding With A Cabaret Dinner