Ok, so there isn’t Union Jack bunting draped around Smith HQ and we don’t have matching ‘Wills 4 Kate’ mugs, but with the country’s most anticipated nuptials nearly upon us, we thought it churlish not to get into the spirit of things. In true royal wedding style, we are indeed wondering about Kate’s dress. And fantasising about tiaras (just a little bit). So here’s our Smith-style pick of matches made in heaven: where to wed (and what to wear)…
CLASSIC-COOL COUNTRY HOUSE
Where? Babington House in Somerset.
Why? With its own 18th-century chapel, cool retro-modern interiors (courtesy of Suzi Atkinson) and a creative kitchen, Babington has to be the ultimate country house wedding venue. The gorgeous grounds feature a lake, Victorian walled garden and several hammocks, making it picture-album perfect. There’s a cinema and spa to entertain the troops pre- and post-big day, and the bridal suite is simply spectacular: super-high ceilings, its own bar, bay windows and an absolutely enormous four-poster bed.
The wedding dress This modern-classic British bolthole set the boutique hotel benchmark, so what better fashion bedfellow than ‘first’ man of British bridalwear, Bruce Oldfield. His impeccable couture gowns ring classic style notes, with just enough vintage quirk to work in a modern setting.
Designer details Dress tables with the help of the hotel’s own florist who knows the space inside out, and what works in it. If you’ve got extra guests, and they’re a boisterous kind of bunch, there’s an extra table for 40 just behind the main room, and speakers are installed.
The wedding party Sadie Frost, Kevin Spacey, Daisy Lowe, Simon le Bon.
The first dance ‘Touch Me’ by the Doors/’One Life Stand’ by Hot Chip/’It Must Be Love’ by Madness.
More about Babington House weddings If you proposed spontaneously and left the actual, ahem, wedding planning a bit late, panic not: Babington House still has some wedding availability for this summer! Weddings are held Monday–Thursday.
SUMMER IN THE CITY
Where? Bingham in Richmond-upon-Thames.
Why? It’s London baby, but not as you know it: this trendy townhouse on the banks of the river Thames manages to feel laid-back and outdoorsy without sacrificing that all-important city location. Not to mention the Michelin-quality marital menus on offer from executive chef Shay Cooper… caviar canapés, anyone?
The wedding dress This bride is fun-loving with a sophisticated edge: the perfect candidate for one of the gorgeous ready-to-wear gowns in Belle & Bunty‘s new bridal collection. She’ll probably add a little naughty to her nice with some lingerie by Myla, too…
Designer details Mini topiary or similar contemporary, sculptural centrepieces would work well with the hotel’s Deco influence. Break with convention and try a wedding ‘cheese cake’ from local cheesemongers the Teddington Cheese.
The wedding party Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Richard E Grant, Helen Mirren, Pete Townshend, Kate Beckinsale.
The first dance ‘She’ by Elvis Costello/’Love is in the Air’ by Neil Diamond/’Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac.
More about Bingham weddings Many happy couples make a splash by going away by boat…
CHIC BEACH RETREAT
Where? Cotton House in the Caribbean.
Why? Mustique is virtually a private island for the champagne set: perfect for shoreline nuptials with guaranteed ‘wow’ factor. This coral-white boutique bolthole combines French West Indies architecture with classic Caribbean trimmings. Choose between the verdant setting of 13 acres of manicured tropical gardens or a sun-kissed ceremony on the white-sand beach.
The wedding dress Elegant British luxury with an international slant? It can only be Amanda Wakeley, whose super-sleek silk and satin drapery is perfect for tropical climes. Read our interview with Amanda for her wedding and travel tips…
Designer details Staff at Cotton House will take care of the little things that matter most on your big day: floral displays, the cake and photographer can all be arranged. They can also sort out a rather fancy car…
The wedding party Mick Jagger, Amy Winehouse, Princess Margaret, Brad Pitt.
The first dance ‘Is this Love’ by Bob Marley/’What the World Needs Now’ by Burt Bacharach.
More about Cotton House weddings Celebrate in style with a chartered helicopter flight around Mustique and the neighbouring Grenadines.
Find more dream destination inspiration and stylish venue suggestions with Mr & Mrs Smith’s Weddings & Honeymoon hotels collection…