A Winter Wedding at Cliveden House

We at The Modern Jetsetter are delighted to introduce Society Chronicles, a weekly online column to sustain reader appetite in between print issues. Brimming with society happenings in London, production postcards and other news and musings from the Jetsetter world, we hope these entries create a new vessel to connect with our readers as the years unfold.

The pandemic created an enormous challenge and pause in the the British wedding industry. As such, our first chronicle is a glimpse into our editor’s long-awaited (a mere eight years after eloping) winter wedding at Cliveden House to give gratitude to the British businesses which brought enormous grandeur and a gilded edge to the intimate affair. The second issue of The Modern Jetsetter, slated to print this June, will feature the affair in more finer detail as we continue to make the celebration of British business, especially small and legacy brands, a pillar of our publication.

We will begin our chronicle with two talents who not only capture the magic of a celebration, but tend to bring immeasurable amounts of their own.

The Photography: Roberta Facchini

All photographs are by the extraordinary Roberta Facchini, a London-based destination wedding photographer and society favourite in town. If she isn’t photographing a British affair in an estate or iconic London hotel, you will likely find her on the Continent at a grand Italian or Grecian soiree, magnifying the enchantment as she does.

The Filmmaker: Juno Wedding Films

The videographer is Daniel Armitage behind Juno Wedding Films, whose ethereal, cinematic, editorial approach to light was the only match for the burning English sunset the affair was kissed off with.

The Venue: Cliveden House  | The Planner: Lydia Kenny

One of our Country Pursuits star in Issue One, Cliveden House and all the tales of British society over the centuries (Astors, Churchills, Chaplin…) irrevocably captivated our editor’s imagination – and heart, for it was the setting of choice for the December affair. Spectacular in-house wedding planner Lydia Kenny, a lady worthy of her own rom-com film plot, planned the enchanting day.

The Dress: Emma Victoria Payne

After a year of deliberation between London designers, it could only be the brilliant Emma Victoria Payne in the end. Involving an old photograph of a beloved countess, plenty of pinning and a bit of contemporary regal imaginations from Emma, the story of the entirely bespoke dress is quite the spectacular one. We will save that tale for the pages of Issue Two.

The Morning Suit: Gieves & Hawkes

Founded in 1771, Gieves & Hawkes is one of the oldest addresses on Savile Row. Gieves & Hawkes appealed to the groom for its rich military history, having created tailored suits for the British Army and Royal Navy since its founding. Whilst measuring our suit to be made, our kind tailor took the groom into the room where a number of royal treasures are held, including a rather famed military-style jacket worn by HRH Princess Diana.

The fate of this legacy British business is rather up in the air at the moment, and we at MJ dearly hope the story of Gieves & Hawkes finds a way to continue in the decades ahead.

The Cake: Unique Cakes by Yevnig

The bride and groom consider Yevnig Davis’ wedding cake to be the pièce de résistance of the wedding day (and perhaps of the French Dining Room itself, a statement considering the gilded panelling lining the room was imported from Paris in the 18th century.) The intricate sugar blooms, all meticulously and devotedly crafted by the hands of Yevnig, induced marvel and periods of staring throughout the day as if it were a mounted painting at The Louvre. The cake was, simply, just as impossibly decadent in vision and tradition as it was in flavour. We are delighted to feature the design process and story behind this cake in our next issue.

The Hair & Makeup: Jo Cable

The calming force on that bright, spectacular morning, the exquisite Jo Cable is both the finest company and a talent in creating a glow and wispy romance which endures well past midnight (even surviving the morning gusts of English wind). Thank you, Jo, for the conversation which made the morning all the more magic.

The Blooms: John & Jessie

It was important to our editor to have piece of her own Notting Hill in Berkshire that day. John & Jessie, a treasured florist shop in in Notting Hill, intuitively opted for a melody of winter blooms, berries and greenery entwined with the crown of flowers: cream white English roses. These florals were woven throughout the entire day, from the archway of St. Nicholas to the candlelit wedding breakfast in Cliveden’s French Dining Room, where the mantels were festooned in full winter wonder.

The String Quartet: Dolce Strings

The ladies of Dolce Strings were present most of the day and well into the evening. The award-winning string quartet adding Bridgerton-worthy drama to most every moment. The bride walked down the aisle to Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift, surprising absolutely no one present.

The Tablescape: Duchess & Butler

The French Dining Room at Cliveden House doesn’t need much (if anything) in added grandeur, but the small battalion of golden candlesticks, cutlery and chargers borrowed from Duchess & Butler did elevate the aesthetic to be worthy of the surrounding gilded opulence.

The Favours: Fortnum & Mason

What is a Christmas time affair without sweet provisions from F&M? Also included in the favours: jarred honey from Germany, from the beehives of the grooms’ father.

The Calligraphy: London Calligraphy

Simply the calligrapher of Londoners and some of the most dazzling events in town. London Calligraphy certainly brings a stroke of enchantment to grand occasions.

The Paper: Mount Street Printers

Mount Street Printers is the stationer staple of many households in England and around the world, including the desk of our editor. It was only suiting to design the wedding stationery with this treasured Mayfair storefront (and pop in for a cheeky last-minute supply of place-cards for the London Calligraphy).

The Scent: Penhaligon’s

A great British perfume house, Penhaligon’s was founded in the 1860s by a Cornish barber who would eventually become Queen Victoria’s perfumer. Each perfume concocted over the years is a melange of British history. Empressa, Kortney’s choice, is inspired by the silks and foreign artefacts collected in the old trade routes of London.

The Shoes: Jimmy Choo

The shoes were a near impossible decision between famed Londoner favourite Jimmy Choo and a Chelsea-based treasure shop and designer we hope to feature in MJ future pages: Emmy London. Kortney opted for the pair of Jimmy Choo courts as her something old, having worn the shoes for only a few special outings before.

More intimate details & stories of the British businesses behind this affair will be featured in Issue 02 of The Modern Jetsetter magazine, slated to print June 2022.

None of the brands or businesses included in this article provided gratis services nor worked with MJ an advertisement basis; this article is pure editorial support of the small businesses behind our editor’s wedding day & the British wedding industry as a whole.
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