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For The Bride, Jan/Feb 2003

For The Bride, Jan/Feb 2003, Cosmopolitan Elegance

Cosmopolitan Elegance

Carol Richardson and Matthew Fisher, August 2002

Carol Richardson and Matthew Fisher first met when they found themselves seated next to each other at a friend’s wedding. Unfortunately there was a pillar between them, but Carol soon had the seating plan re-arranged so that nothing got in their way!

However, it was not until another wedding. With romance once more in the air, that they actually looked into each others eyes and decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

Terry and Andrea viewed a number of possible ceremony locations, before deciding on the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, London. It is a beautiful place with many different rooms for different purposes, including an area with comfortable sofas for the guests, a courtyard and a magnificent ballroom perfect for the reception and the party that followed.

With the wedding date set for August 2002, Carol chose a gorgeous but simple gown, designed for her by Tracey at Mystique of Diss, Norfolk. It had a separate skirt and bodice in gold duchess satin which looked fairytale perfect worn with a soft full length veil, sparkling tiara and richly jewelled sandals. Carol carried an exotic bouquet, created by LK Lily Designs, of arum lilies, artichokes, thistles and twisted wood with gold wire and pink feathers. The wedding party also went for designer labels with the bridesmaid wearing a bespoke dress and shrug by Gillian Manley of Richmond while Matt wore a stunning dark purple suit by Oswald Boateng and his best man, Nicholas Smith, wore a Paul Smith suit.

Carol and Matt chose the English Speaking Room for it’s grand style, splendour and exclusive privacy. They made the most of the grandeur of the building with spectacular displays of flowers - two huge arrangements at the head of the marble staircase and table centres of wrought iron entwined with mosses and miniature cacti. Another plus about the venue was that it was large enough to have the wedding party inside if the weather behaved badly, but also had a fine marble courtyard to cool down the guests if the temperature rose.

The night before the wedding, Carol stayed at the nearby Chesterfield Hotel while Matt booked into Claridges so they were both a stress-free stroll away from the venue. When the moment finally arrived, Carol made a dramatic entrance to the sound of Holst’s Jupiter Suite. During the ceremony, there were numerous readings and pieces of music, all chosen for their personal significance to the couple. A soprano sang Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta from Puccini’s La Rondine while poems that were read included Love by Roy Croft and London Rain by Louis MacNeice.

Carol and Matt exchanged stunning rings; hers a white gold domed band set with blue sapphires, diamonds and one pink sapphire (Carol’s favourite colour) designed in Hatton Garden, his, a matt gold band by Niessen, inscribed in Carol’s handwriting with their names, the wedding date, paw print and a heart.

After the ceremony, the reception began with glasses of Tattinger Champagne and canapés while The Hip Squad played in the courtyard. The wedding breakfast followed with cheese tartlets, and then fillet of lamb with port sauce, seasonal vegetables and minted mash. For desert a caramelised citrus tart was served with raspberry sauce and crème fraiche. The tables were covered with shimmering gold organza cloths to reflect the bride’s dress, and guests were treated to shiny golden favour bags filled with childhood nostalgic sweets. More Tattinger was poured as the traditional toasts were made, including the best man’s speech which, in time-honoured tradition, revealed a few embarrassing truths about Matt’s university life. The feasting eventually came to a close with a wedding cake, made by a close friend, which was every chocoholic’s dream come true. When it came to the time of the first dance, Carol and Matt were all prepared, having taken dancing lessons in advance, to perfect an entire routine to the song Toxygene by the Orb. The celebrations then continued with a disco where, as the guests rested from dancing they could look at large childhood photo’s of the couple. Carol and Matt finally left in a black cab to spend their first night in a suite at Claridges before flying off for a week of sybaritic luxury in the romantic Il San Pietro Hotel in Positano, Italy.


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Helen Hitchcock
Milestone Weddings
Pogles Lodge, Royal Oak Country Park
Henfield West Sussex BN5 9AY England
work +44 7973 224220