Sequin wedding dress lovers, this one is absolutely for you. Sarah and Ian’s beautiful August 2022 wedding took place at The Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London.
The couple created a day full of effortless glamour, and were driven by their desire to plan a conscious wedding – by ensuring their guests could donate to charities instead of gifting, using biodegradable confetti and having their florist donate flowers to a local hospice charity (by the way, if you’re in the London area, you too can do this by contacting Floral Angles).
Sarah the most sublime Kyha Studios sequin wedding dress, which she accessorised with the prettiest and most glamorous tulle wings and real life husband and wife duo, The Shannons, captured these beautiful images. Enjoy!
A Sequin Wedding Dress by Kyha Studios
I searched high and low in the four weeks after I got engaged and eventually ordered a dress direct from Aussie designer Kyha Studios. They were fabulous and can even help online orders by supporting brides with measurements if ordering online.
They do have stockists in the UK, Paris and NYC but they don’t stock all the styles. The team can provide their recommendations for who they would use in the UK for alterations (I used Elite Alterations in Marylebone who I would highly recommend).
I found it surprisingly emotional on the dress hunt over the London winter without my mum and bridesmaids in tow (as they were all in Australia). I went to nine different dress shops and burst into tears in more than half of them just because I felt overwhelmed at not being able to share the experience with the girls.
A few of the shops I went to included Dress Dreams (in Kent), Bridal Atelier, Morgan Davies, Mirror Mirror, Angelica Bridal, Halfpenny London, and Love Bridal – all of whom I would highly recommend as they had a great range of different styles and it helped me quickly make up my mind on what I liked (and what I didn’t like!).
Anyone who knows me well will tell you I’m a massive magpie, I love all things sparkly- so naturally I was leaning towards something quite embellished and sequinned. The dress I chose was incredibly comfortable (I danced until 2am in it) and was completely embellished with sequins, I’m sure I left a tonne of them on the venue floor.
I also loved that the style was simple so I could change up the look with my tulle wings (for the ceremony), full tulle skirt (for the dinner) and then the taffeta bow (for the dancefloor).
Bridal Beauty & Accessories
The absolutely incredible team at Kristina Gasperas. Gintare did my hair and Inga did my makeup. They kept me calm all morning.
For the ceremony, in lieu of a veil, I wore detachable tulle wings from Aussie designer, Zavana Bridal. I wanted something modern that wasn’t such a symbol of purity and chastity (a veil has historically been used for in shielding a virginal bride!) but I also wanted something soft and romantic for the ceremony.
As my something borrowed and old I wore my maternal grandmother’s eternity ring, which my mum had brought over from home.
My earrings were a large pearl design, from Aussie designer Christie Nicolaides.
Groom & Groomsmen
The boys all wore navy morning tails hired from Moss Bros.
Ian gave his ushers, our dads and my brother personalised leather belts on the day to say thank you.
The Hurlingham Club
After years of me thinking I would get married somewhere exotic and hot, we settled on London as we met here and live here- and as it turned out to be one of the hottest summers on record. I guess I got my balmy beach-style weather anyway!
The Hurlingham Club was the first venue we saw after getting engaged at Christmas- we loved the location, the food, the wine and the fact that the club were experts at running events in their grounds. We loved the idea of a London wedding to make it an easy base for the Aussies travelling over, and for all our friends who live in and around the capital.
We loved the palm court area at The Hurlingham Club – a beautiful glass domed ceiling leading out into green lawns and down to the Thames.
We aren’t particularly religious but I felt like the ceremony would be perfect in this space as it had a modern-cathedral and slight spiritual feel as the room is so connected to the outside environment. The club also has two resident peacocks that can be seen roaming around and they appeared there on the day when I turned up to walk down the aisle.
As my parents are divorced, and both Ian and I are big believers in equality (and both my parents raised me!), I was set on the idea of both my mum and dad walking me down the aisle. I walked down the aisle to Bloom, by The Paper Kites (yet another Aussie nod!). As it was a Friday and we love the song, the tune we walked out to was ‘Friday I’m in Love’ by The Cure.
As we decided to get legally married at the venue on the day, we had two registrars from the council (Hammersmith & Fulham) overseeing. While we didn’t get to choose the person who married us, we got to speak to them on the phone in the week before the wedding and we of course met them beforehand to confirm we didn’t want to jump ship before the ceremony.
One of my very closest old school friends is a pastor in Canada, and to include her passion for religion on the day I wanted to ask Suzie to do a pre-dinner grace which was lovely. It was a beautiful moment to reflect on the day before we tucked in to drink and eat.
We tailored our vows with the registrars, but didn’t write them from scratch as we wanted to save all our personal anecdotes for our speeches (both of us spoke during the meal).
Family is really special to us so we wanted to include them as much as we could. Ian’s sister did a reading called ‘Union’ by Robert Fulghum. My younger brother read a poem by Australian writer Banjo Patterson, called ‘As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue’. We also asked my godmother to read an excerpt from Winne The Pooh. We also had both of our mothers act as witnesses on the day.
We got our wedding rings from the same friend who is a jeweller in Hatton Garden and who also made my engagement ring- Victor at Ivy Jewellers is amazing at finding exactly what you want and he makes all designs on a bespoke basis.
A favourite moment was the confetti throw – it was just so much love and fun to come out into the sun where everyone was waiting, and our anticipation for the fun part of the day now the serious bits were over. The bride
Photography by The Shannons
Our photographers were the amazing husband-and-wife team, The Shannons. I just fell in love with their Instagram and blog, and when Vicki responded to my enquiry wanting to know more about us as a couple I knew straight away that they genuinely cared about us and who they would be sharing such a special day celebrating.
They were magic on the day, made us feel so comfortable and confident when we were out of our normal zone. They completely listened to us in terms of the style of shots and the groups we wanted to capture, and most importantly they ensured we didn’t spend too much time away from our friends and family!
Our film makers were Lukas & Laura Films – another amazing husband and wife duo.
Fabienne Egger completely understood the brief, and I particularly liked that she wanted to focus on flowers that are in season and locally produced to support sustainability.
In terms of the flowers I wanted a hint of Aussie bush (gumleaves, hydrangea) with English garden (white roses etc.) but we also wanted to mimic the beautiful gardens around the venue so wanted the arrangements to feel wild and undone, rather than buttoned-up and put-together.
We had birch trees line the aisle and then they were lit-up with tealight candles in the dining room- I wanted everything to be re-used from the ceremony again for the dining room, and Fabienne and her fabulous team ensured that everything that was assembled was able to be dismantled and put back together for different stages of the day.
After the wedding, we took a few bunches home, however Fabienne works with a local hospice charity to use the leftover flowers to make bouquets and donate to patients, which I loved when Fabienne informed me of this during our initial conversation. Working in healthcare and conscious of waste I wanted to work with someone who really understood how we could make the venue beautiful but also make a difference.
Bridesmaids in Black
My bridesmaids wore Bec & Bridge (an Aussie designer, stocked in Selfridges). Just before leaving for the ceremony, I gave my three bridesmaids and mother Australian pearl necklaces to wear as a small gift for all the amazing support they had given me in the lead-up to the wedding and throughout the years.
We let the four flowergirls pick their own outfits, we wanted them to feel comfortable and ensure they wore something they already had or bought something they chose themselves so they could wear it again.
Having a relatively tight turnaround for such a big wedding (8 months to plan for a 120 person event), combined with my ambition to be in control of everything, it made sense for us to skip having an Event Planner. It helped us take control and make decisions quickly based on our gut instincts rather than trying to search high and low across all solutions.
We were also very lucky in that The Hurlingham Club has a great team of experienced event managers who supported us in running the event, and provided a list of external vendors to supply everything from flowers, to cake and dancefloor, for the wedding day.
We just wanted it to be very chilled and informal, our life revolves around our love of music, food and wine. We love music festivals and have been to many over the years including Glastonbury and Benicassim, so we wanted an amazing band that would play tunes everyone knew and loved, and a plentiful amount of decent food and wine to keep everyone happy. We advised guests to bring flat shoes so they could party on into the night without the burden of painful feet.
We also have a passion for a few different charities, so as part of our gift registry on Prezola we set up a fund for a few different key organisations such for health, science research and animals. The confetti had to be biodegradable and we wanted to make sure things like leftover food and flowers were used so our florist donated our flowers to a local hospice charity.
We had an incredible plain white 4-tier wedding cake from Cutter & Squidge. We wanted something large and simple to decorate ourselves- we had a bespoke cake topper of Ian, myself and our little cocker spaniel Banjo.
It was our way of having him with us on the day as he’s just super energetic there was no way we could have had him there on the day without him running riot!
How They Met
I landed in London right on the Queen’s 2012 jubilee, moving over from Australia & fresh off the back of three months travelling around south America and ready to meet lots of new people- the first weekend I arrived, a friend invited me out with his mates and Ian was one of them.
Ian forgot my name after we first met, and we were all doing karaoke so Ian felt the need to be honest and tell me how terrible my singing was- I guess his game worked well as I was then hooked. We have been together ever since, and Ian proposed after we had been together just over 10 years while we were away for the weekend in the English countryside.
We were engaged for eight months and it felt like a whirlwind, although looking back it forced us to not overthink things and just make decisions and get on with it. When the wedding was all over I was quite emotional about it being done and dusted so quickly, but now I’m glad we made decisions based on instinct (and partly forced by the lack of time!).
Evening & Dancing
We hire The Colts Band – they were amazing and did loads of our favourite covers. They even allowed some of our very drunk and confident mates to jump up and sing a few songs live with the band!
Our first dance was to ‘Chocolate’ by the 1975. While quite a few people didn’t know it, it is very special to us and takes us back to the year we met when the song was released, and the first gig we went to together in 2012 which was The 1975.
We wanted one, single ceremony with everyone there on the day. It was really important to us that we had all our special people in the room for the big moment (especially as we had waited ten years for it!).
We loved all the speeches, and our fabulous MCs did a fun quiz in between speeches with prizes such as Vegemite and Tim Tams.
It was also just amazing to see all our family and friends from around the world in one room after a long 2.5 years without long-distance travel.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
What everyone tells you before the big day is true: It goes VERY quickly, you don’t notice at all if anything doesn’t go to plan, and make sure you spend time with each other (don’t worry about getting around to seeing everyone).
On that last one- we loved that we had welcome drinks the Wednesday & Thursday evenings before the wedding- as well as a recovery lunch the day after. It meant there was less pressure to get around on the day and see everyone who had travelled so far, we had lots of opportunities to speak to everyone across four to five mini events.
When debating how much to spend on things (i.e. flowers)- remind yourself it’s just one day. But the things I was SO glad we splurged on were wedding band, videographer and photographer. We spent around £2.5K on each of those which some will find expensive, but the quality of our footage to help us remember when we are old is invaluable.
We now really wish we had sorted our own speakers to plug in and play our own music when the band finished after midnight. We had the venue for another hour and guests were keen to keep going however
My other piece of advice is to get loads of sleep. I got two hours sleep two nights before the wedding so I was running on empty the day before the wedding.
Our original budget was £40K, we went over a bit (my dress budget was separate!).