English Countryside Wedding Weekend at Somerley House With Multi-Cultural Influences

[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]For the wedding day itself, the dinner room was quite ornate, so we keep to natural greens and whites to ensure nothing was overly fussy and everything still felt organic yet luxe.
The welcome event the day before, was a nod to Cici’s Kenyan heritage so colour was definitely required for this sub event, there were yellows, oranges and purples.
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]It was key for Cici and Hugo to celebrate over the entirety of a weekend as the majority of their guests were flying in for the celebration. They really wanted it to be a heartfelt & authentic celebration of them, surrounded by their nearest and dearest. We wanted to design a weekend that represented them both as a couple.
For the main wedding day we wanted to pair the British grandeur of Bridgerton alongside Cici’s natural Scandi vibe. This would resemble the coming together of Hugo’s British side and Cici’s Swedish side. Cici also has some Kenya heritage, so we wanted to pay homage to that too. We mainly did this at the welcome event on Friday, however on the wedding day there was a surprise gospel choir in the ceremony who provided some subtle Kenyan vibes. Somerley has a gorgeous ballroom where some of Bridgerton is actually filmed so it made the perfect backdrop for the grand Wedding Day Reception. By keeping the styling of florals and stationery classic and elegant we were able to provide those natural yet elevated Scandi vibes.
The welcome event on the Friday was a black tie reception styled with a nod to Kenya. The gorgeous rattan furniture by W Studio really helped provide a high end safari vibe. The marshmallow toasting round the fire pit transported guests back to safari nights in Africa. There were further Kenyan touches such as Kenyan blankets, African flowers by Rob Van Helden and bespoke cocktails such as the Kenya Dawa, which went down very well!
The Sunday brunch event was designed to be a relaxed event to allow guests a time to catch up on the stories from the day before. Ginger catering provided plenty of hangover worthy food & drink, from bloody marys to even creating our own high end take on the McMuffin! For guests who wanted to just lounge around there was sufficient seating, however for guests who wanted to be a little more active and interact with the other guests one last time before departing, we had put on an array of classic garden games. In another nod towards Bridgerton we had a wonderful croquet set, that was very popular with guests! There was also Boules and even Badminton. Badminton is a game Cici and Hugo often play together so we were keen to tie this into their special weekend!
The whole weekend was really designed with the couple in mind. We wanted to make is as unique to them and their story as possible. It really felt like an authentic representation of them and that was really important.
[field title=”Proposal Story”]Hugo and Cici met in November 2019 at Hugo’s Birthday celebrations. Their first date saw them enjoy a walk along the Thames in Richmond, accompanied by a puppy Hugo was dog sitting at the time. By summer 2020 having fallen firmly in love, they decided to officially move in together, and where better to call home than the location of their first date, Richmond! In keeping with the Birthday and walking themes that began their relationship, in June 2021 Hugo got Cici the best birthday present. Whilst retracing their steps of their first date, he found a place by the river where he got on one knee and asked her to marry him.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]

[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]

[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]Cici had an array of gorgeous dresses. During the Friday welcome event Cici wore a beautiful Hervé Leger dress, she paired it with some of her traditional African jewellery and looked absolutely stunning!
On the wedding day itself Cici wore a grand Millanova dress for the ceremony. The train was so wide that we had to ensure the aisle was set wide enough to accommodate it. It was completely worth it as this statement dress make quite the impact!
Before dinner both Cici and Hugo changed into their evening looks. It was a really nice moment as they got to enjoy a few minutes alone together. There are some great photos of Cici tying Hugo’s cravat, we absolutely love this special couples moment. Cici’s evening dress was a Stephanie Allin purchased at Morgan Davies Bridal.
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]There were 6 bridesmaids and they all wore matching Hunter green Alonso dresses from NABBD London.[/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]The Friday welcome event had purposefully been black tie so that we had the opportunity for the wedding day to be military ware and morning suits, providing a really traditional British feel. Hugo wore his military uniform (complete with sword and beret) for the ceremony and then changed into a (green, in keeping with our colour scheme) velvet smoking jacket look for the evening celebration which was very smart. Any of the groomsmen that were also military personnel also wore their official uniforms. It looked really special to see them all together doing the honour guard salute as the couple exited. The non military groomsmen were in traditional morning suits with ties in the perfect green to match the bridesmaid dresses.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Bridal Party”]

[board_carousel title=”Ceremony”]

[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]

[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]As guests arrived at Somerley for the Wedding day, they received a traditional Kenyan Dawa cocktail to enjoy in the pre-ceremony reception whilst taking in the surrounding views. A champagne and canape reception followed the ceremony. Once seated in the ballroom guests dined on a starter of bruschetta, a main of sirloin steak and a hybrid dessert of Eton mess brulee. The dietary guests dessert was iced berries with a hot white chocolate sauce, which is one of Cici’s favourites! After dessert each guest was served an espresso martini to perk them up for all the dancing that followed!
The welcome event on Friday had provided guests with a canape reception and plenty of cocktails to choose from. Each cocktail had been named to represent something related to the couple. Ella Hartig worked with Charlotte Willmore to design a beautiful custom bar menu.
For the brunch event on Sunday guests were served a hybrid menu of hangover friendly brunch classics such as breakfast muffins, alongside some traditional English afternoon tea favourites such as scones, cucumber sandwiches and macaroons. They could opt for soft options like tea or smoothies or proceed with the hair of the dog options of bellinis and bloody marys.

[field title=”Florals & Decor”]The florals were one of the highlights of the weekend, Rob Van Helden and his team came down from London and created some incredible arrangements. Rob himself was there and even hand delivered the bridal bouquet.
Saturdays ceremony arch was a complete showstopper. It perfectly framed the couple for the heartfelt ceremony then made the perfect backdrop for photos framing the gorgeous surrounding country side. Whilst we wanted quite a traditional arch, we did want a little movement in it and Rob created this wonderfully with the addition of the Amaranthus.
The ballroom had a mix of tall centrepieces and low centrepieces to provide a contrast & depth in the large room. Surrounding the florals RVH provided the most perfect antique gold candle holders, they worked so well at provide a simple yet elegant glow to the tables. The tableware was provided by Duchess & Butler and the charger plate colour perfectly matched the walls of Somerley’s grand ballroom, the ribbon on the printed menus and the coloured napkins!
The ceremony aisle runners were repurposed to frame the bands stage and the cake for the evening.
On the Friday the African florals really provided the Kenyan welcome party with the perfect finishing touch.
On Sunday we repurposed Saturdays florals to frame the bar and brunch area, making the most out of all the gorgeous arrangements.

[field title=”Wedding Cake”]Erzulie Cakes created a simple three tiered cake with beautiful sugar flowers. The cake was gluten free and dairy free and tasted delicious. The flavours were Victoria sponge (base layer), lemon drizzle (middle layer) and chocolate (top layer). We repurposed some of the ceremony florals to frame the cake which looked beautiful.[/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]Euphonica Lounge Orchestra played guests into the ceremony, they even learnt one of Cici & Hugo’s favourite songs, Wagon Wheel.
The ceremony was conducted by Hugo’s Army Padre and Hugo had designed the service to be a really personalised and bespoke celebration of his and Cici’s love.
The ceremony was unplugged, meaning everyone was really present in the moment which felt very special.
Both Cici’s Brother and Hugo’s brother gave a reading before the Padre’s address and then the couples vows.
As the guests were focused on the couple, the gospel choir snuck in and after the declaration they burst into ‘ My love is your love’ which was very well received by guests.
The highlight of the ceremony was the really unique exit the couple planned. They exited down the confetti aisle to the gospel choir singing joyful joyful (an homage to Cici’s Kenyan routes). At the end of the aisle, Hugos army comrades had lined up on the steps in a military honour guard and the couple exited under the sword arch. Once at the top of the stairs, Cici and Hugo enjoyed a drink of Cici’s favourite tequila to celebrate officially being married.
The gospel choir then sung the guests out and walked them over the reception area, where the string orchestra then took over the entertaining during the drinks reception.
Eightray provided JG Collective as an amazing party band and then Freightrain as the evening DJ. The dancefloor was packed all night!
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]The stationery for this event was so beautiful. Ella Hartig worked closely with Charlotte Willmore to design a really gorgeous bespoke set of stationery for Cici and Hugo. Leeming brothers provided the foil printing which really brought it all together.
The stationery started with designing a beautiful couples crest of the couples initials that we carried across all stationery items. The invite was a folded invited and provided details of all 3 days of events. The crest also sat at the top of the table plan, printed menus and guestbook board.
Instead of a guestbook Cici and Hugo had a board with their wedding crest in the centre and guests signed well wishes around this. The couple will then frame this as a keepsake.
Having lived most of their relationship through the Covid 19 pandemic the couple choose to highlight some of their memories from this time by naming their tables after them, such as ‘Eating Out to Help Out’ ‘WFH (Work From Home)’ ‘ Zoom Quiz 86’ and most notable the top table of ‘Lockdown Love’. The table names were all hand embellished with gold leaf to complement the room.
The printed menus doubled up as place cards and really finished the table design beautifully. Topped with the couples crest, each guests name was then hand calligraphied on in gold above their bespoke menu. They were then tied in a sage green chiffon, that perfectly matched the colour of the walls & the charger plates, and sealed with the couple’s wax stamp that was also used to seal their invite envelopes.
Leeming Brothers even provided the wax stamper to the couple after they were done creating the couples stationery, so the couple can use it for years to come on Christmas card et al at home.

[field title=”Special Detail #2″]
The wedding weekend was scented with engraved Jo Malone Candles. Scent is so closely linked to memories so having a unique wedding scent that will now forever remind the couple and guests of their special weekend was important. [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]Cici loves Fireworks so it was key that we included these in the weekend celebration. Flashpoint Fireworks put on an incredible display, all staged to two of the couples favourite songs, Avicii wake me up and Jubel Dancing in the Moonlight. It was certainly a highlight of the weekend and guests really enjoyed it.

At the end of the night there was also a sparkler send off as the couple departed in the Rolls-Royce Royale Convertible.

This was such an incredible weekend of events, all authentically designed by Ella Hartig Events for Cici & Hugo and with their guests experience in mind. Can we do it all over again please! 😊
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Reception”]

[board_carousel title=”Wedding Weekend Events”]

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Photography: Rebecca Searle Photography | Cinematography: Ray McShane | Event Design: Ella Hartig | Event Planning: Ella Hartig | Floral Design: Rob Van Helden Flowers | Wedding Dress: Stephanie Allin | Wedding Dress: Mila Nova Bridal | Cake: Erzulie Cakes | Invitations: Charlotte Willmore | Catering: Ginger Catering Company | Band: JG Collective | Wedding Venue: Somerley House Weddings | Bar (Friday): Bootleg Liquor | Beauty: Lauren Irwin | Car: Premier Carriage | Fireworks: Flashpoint Fireworks | Furniture: Options great hire | Furniture (Friday Welcome Event): The W Studio | Gospel Choir: Black Rabbit Gospel Choir | Marquee (Friday Welcome Event): White Bison | Napkins: Jones Hire | Rentals: Duchess & Butler | Stationery Printing: Leeming Brothers | String Trio: Stag Music

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