Well it’s fair to say it’s been a very busy summer at Cranberry Blue and I’m delighted that we’ve been involved in creating so many gorgeous weddings for lovely couples. Today I would like to share with you one that took inspiration from the recent Great Gatsby film. Alina and Ahmed came to us at the end of last year and initially they were looking for a country house venue but then decided that as a lot of their guests would be travelling from abroad, a central London location would be more suitable. Claridges provided the perfect backdrop due to its iconic status and beautiful Art Deco interior. The wedding was planned in a relatively short space of time (5 months) but Alina and Ahmed were over the moon with the day. Thank-you to Victoria Grech for capturing the day so beautifully…
When and where did you meet?
We met in 2009 at university as we were both on the same course. After some time we realised that we enjoyed spending time with each other and that despite growing up in different parts of the world we had very similar values and outlook on life which is what brought us closer together.
How did Ahmed propose?
We talked about our future together and getting married before the proposal so it wasn’t a complete surprise. Since I wanted to make sure the engagement ring was right we decided to go shopping together. The Cartier on New Bond Street didn’t have my size and neither did any of the other shops in France or Italy, but we eventually found it in Geneva, Switzerland so immediately booked our flight that same day! On the way back we went to Paris where Ahmed proposed to me on our last day during our elegant dinner cruise along the River Seine.
Alina and Ahmed wanted to have a beautiful and elegant day with lots of entertainment to keep their guest amused. In terms of a colour palette Alina initially wanted to stick to all white but I suggested incorporating touches of blush pink, mint green and grey which worked beautifully with the Ballroom decor at Claridges, and Philippa Craddock Flowers translated the brief perfectly (as always).
Alina’s makeup was mostly neutral colours with slightly shimmering brown-beige eye shadow and bold eyeliner. Her hair style was inspired by Audrey Hepburn. Alina chose to keep her jewellery to a minimum but wore a small headpiece to secure the veil as well as to add a touch of glamour. Alina’s gorgeous shoes were from Valentino.
Alina had 2 dresses both by Pronovias – Dauco for the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, and Galaica for the evening. Ahmed wore a Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo. They decided against having bridesmaids, Ushers or a Best Man so we had a presenter who was superb at making key announcements where required (all with a slight sense of humour).
We kept the decor neutral to work with the already stunning Drawing room by using a mirrored console table, floor standing candlesticks, white chairs and aisle carpet and elegant floral arrangements and an array of tealights, candles and flowers on the mantlepiece.
What were some of your favourite details of the day?
The overall look of the day – the Ballroom was incredible and the way Melanie had brought her concept together was amazing – very elegant and exactly what we wanted.
The Mr & Mrs chairs – we had floral swags attached to the back of each of our chairs, created using white eucalyptus, full bloom white and pale pink roses.
The separate bar area looked really striking with the mirrored detailed circular gloss bar and soft pink lighting.
We had a silhouette cutter who was brilliant at keeping our guests entertained during the drinks reception, in a very short space of time he cut an extraordinary silhouette of each guests just using a pair of scissors.
It was important to us that our guests were kept entertained as so Melanie recommended an incredible band that played light jazz and music of the 1920s era, we even hired in a white baby grand piano for them to use.
We also had two amazing dancers dancing to the band inbetween courses – they created a unique routine just for us.
The Art Deco sweet table was a real success, everyone loved it and Melanie styled it to fit in beautifully with the overall look.
Other details of the day…
A final word from Alina…
“THANK YOU SO MUCH! My husband and I can honestly say that it was Melanie’s patience, attention to detail and creativity that helped us to create our perfect day. Just after the first meeting my husband and I were convinced that Melanie was the perfect wedding planner for us – it was the best decision that we have made and I will certainly miss the wedding planning process with her. She worked with us in every aspect of the day and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure perfection. Melanie is very easy to work with, she’s incredibly hard working and honest. She regularly sent us detailed proposals and organised meetings where required. She consulted us on every issue and could always be contacted for a discussion. We would never have been able to pull off such an amazing wedding without her help and input.
On the day, Melanie and her team ensured that everything was taken care of while we enjoyed ourselves and spent the day with our family and friends.
We would definitely like to ask her to plan our anniversary party in the future!”