Gorgeous couple Rhalina and Toby describe their wedding – and I LOVE this – as “a mix of tradition and latino energy with Art Deco club glamour”. It just about sums up the vibrance and energy of their day – and yet you need to scroll through all the images to capture the excitement and magic of it all! They were married in Mayfair in August, with a ceremony at Farm Street Church and their reception at The Landsdowne Club on Fitzmaurice Place.
Rhalina’s dress is incredible: it’s by Riki Dalal, and was the very last she tried on in the boutique. Isn’t it stunning? The delicate flowers on the bodice are lovely; the leaf pattern and graceful shape of the skirt made her absolutely mesmerising as she walked down the aisle on the day! This is a wow dress – and a wow wedding for sure!
Images are by our wonderful friend and Buckinghamshire wedding photographer Damion Mower Photography, who gets a glowing review from the happy couple in their English Wedding interview…
Wedding photographer’s website:
We were after a photographer who captures moments rather than a more formal approach. After contacting a few people in the industry we were pointed in Damion’s direction and loved his work!
Damion not only gave us the most beautiful album of moments captured, but he was in fact specifically mentioned by guests several times since the wedding, for his professionalism and approach to taking photos on the day. Having the opportunity to meet up beforehand to discuss the day’s schedule and tell Damion a bit more about us and our family, allowed him to capture amazing moments that mean more to us. Damion was punctual and knew exactly what he was looking for so we were able to be natural, and he did not leave until he was satisfied he had all the shots he was after!
It was so emotional to go through the finished album together with our parents – many of our family and guests travelled from far, so to have the most beautiful photos makes us be able to relive the day over and over.
Contact & Bookings: Landsdowne Club wedding photographer Damion Mower Photography
Your wedding style or theme:
Gold art deco with colourful bursts of flowers and music.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Most suppliers were found with an app and bridal magazine recommendations.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Plan every aspect of the wedding starting from day 1, with all costs known up front. The savings will come in thorough research. Make sure there is a contingency as extra costs pop up – in our case, on the week of the wedding because of the hot weather, we had to hire AC units to keep the ballroom cool.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photographer and entertainment (bands, salsa dancers and the flamenco performance) were well worth spending the money on. This was a 12 hour wedding party and we had to ensure everyone was having a good time from midday to midnight!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Invitations sourced from Cartalia, save the date magnets from etsy, and thank you card were personalised using photos taken by Damion.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
When I walked into my first appointment at Riki Dalal, (stressed and on my lunch break) the shop assistant Bruna suggested the dress (a two piece with a body made of petals over nude tule) straight away to me, which I vehemently refused – as it was an unusual dress.
Finally after much persuasion, the very last dress trial of the session, when the veil came on I knew the dress was the one, as my mother, sister and mother in law burst into tears.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Riki Dalal Haute couture, Brook street, Mayfair.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
For the evening party, I wore a stunning white skirt custom made by Brazilian Bridal designer Raquel Grassi, based on a salsa inspired flair to go with our bachata themed first dance (which we had private lessons for!).
The sandals were on sale from coast, I wore pearl earrings gifted to me by my godmother and wraped an heirloom peal necklase around my bouquet to walk into the church, so my great grandmother would be present in spirit.
And what did the groom wear?
A three piece summer suit from Boss, Hugo Boss in a summer Grey.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My sister camila (maid of honour) wore a blush embroidered dress from the Studio 8 (phase 8 plus size collection) and my last minute bridesmaids wore blush Maxi dresses from Asos.
They all had plaited hair styles in their hair to unify with mine, as a homage to my mother who french braided her own hair on my parent’s wedding day.
My father, brothers and god father wore grey suits with scarlett red ties to pay homage to my middle name, Scarlett.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired Laura Anne for professional hair and makeup on the day for me and my best girls, having seen her portfolio of beautiful braided styles matching exactly what I envisaged – natural yet intricate designs.
I would recommend a trial beforehand 100% to narrow down the exact look.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The reception flowers were arranged by Anna from the Flower Appreciation Society. As the Landsdowne club ballroom space was so grand and high we had to choose the exact vases, flowers and colours to lift the room and provide a mor intimate feel, which we did using varied small wild bunches in cut glass, down the banquet tables, and two huge arrangements on plinths behind the head table. She came to the venue beforehand to agree the exact size, and the results was like walking into a different world.
I also hired 8 ft potted palms from the Palm Centre in Ham which turned the ornate ballroom into a tropical garden feel.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
the Landsdowne ballroom was incredibly ornate and formal , so decoratations such as fairy curtains, giant lit up letters (R&T), a light engineer to change the ambient colours / mood, and gold art deco tea light holders were purchased and set up to provide a more personal touch.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Favours were made and brought by my brazilian aunts – white paira of havainas flip flops in handmade blush tulle bags were given to the females during the evening dancing, and dulce de leche filled sponge favours were arranged with the guest book on the way out for guests to help themselves to.
Anticipating the hot August weather, I also spent months ordering delicate fold out wooden fans with cut out resembling lace from various suppliers, to place on the church benches for the ladies to fan themselves throughout the day and to keep as a memento. The fans were a subtle tie in to the surprise entertainment ahead.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
I wanted a tiered semi naked cake to provide height in the very high ceilinged Crush Hall in the entrance to the ballroom, so Claire from Caked Patisserie made a custom cake with brushes of gold leaf and sprigs of the same flowers as my bouquet. Each tier was a different flavour.
The choice of cake was to not be too traditional or heavy, using a more summery theme whilst having some references to the gilded room and my dress colours.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
My younger brother Alex played our favourite songs acoustically with his band at the champagne reception as guests arrived into the Landsdowne courtyard, which was both emotional and uplifting.
We hired a flamenco group that performed as a surprise tablau in the courtyard between dinner and cake cutting, which got everyone on their feet and joining in!
After the first dance, the amazing 6 piece salsa band Yambuca played two sets, with a dancing salsa couple (Garcia and partner) that we hired to show everyone moves and keep the party going until our DJ took over until midnight.
The night was topped off with a late food buffet which included an actual tiered Cheese cake from From Paxton & Whitfield!
All of theses were surprises to the guests and family and went down a storm.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Plan ahead and define your style and priorities.
Think about how the day is going to be structured to keep your guests in mind, but most of all enjoy yourself.
Leave cash with the best man to pay any suppliers so that you are not missing any part of the day by breaking away on chores.
Get your best men/ women together beforehand to be clear on how they can help on the day.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Spending the rest of your life with your best friend.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Swagger and swoon for silk ties
Salsadirect.co.uk (salsa band/dancers)