Alex and Folco’s gloriously historic wedding at Hever Castle, with Teri V Photography

Published by Claire Gould on

Weddings with personality are always incredible. Alex and Folco’s unique Kent wedding is wonderful, with a stunning bespoke dress by lovely Felicity Westmacott and the picturesque backdrop of Hever Castle. History is important to this lovely couple, and everything about their day slots together just beautifully. Congratulations Alex and Folco, and thank you as well to talented Teri V Photography for allowing us to share the images of such a fabulously unique wedding on English Wedding today.

Wedding photographer’s website

How did you choose your photographer?

Teri V was on a list of suppliers from the venue (Hever Castle) and we loved her style of photos the best.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Absolutely! She captured not only all the key moments but also the intricate details and the composition of her pictures is amazing. Five stars all the way! Incredible. Many people have commented that the photos are the best wedding pictures they’ve ever seen. All credit to Teri!

Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?

Hever Castle – I am very interested in Tudor History and had visited Hever before. It was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home and she was a dynamic woman who intrigued me. Although her wedding to Henry VIII didn’t end well, I still find the castle romantic.

Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?

I knew I wanted to get a dress made for me from the very beginning; I’m curvy and often things off the peg don’t fit. What better opportunity than my wedding day to get a cutom made dress?! I was directed to the wondrous Felicity Westmacott who was willing and happy to work under time and pandemic constraints. The result was my amazing smoky pink silk dupion gown, with inspiration from the 80s, the 50s, the Victorian and Tudor periods. I will always love my dress and Felicity is truly the dress alchemist!

Folco’s suit was from Hugo Boss complete with a handmade tie that Felicity fashioned using the same silk as my dress.

From Felicity Westmacott, bespoke wedding dressmaker:

Alex contacted me about her dress right in the middle of lockdown #3 when no one knew what the next year would bring. I was so excited to have a bride enquire and be enthusiastic about wedding plans again, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Alex wanted to meld 1950’s and Tudor vibes to create something unique. Taking inspiration from history but not being held back by a sense of things having to be ‘right’ or ‘accurate’ is my ideal design atmosphere. The long sleeves and boned bodice hint at the Tudor history of her wedding Venue, Hever Castle, while the gathered seam detailing and full skirt are all 1950’s glamour. Alex has an amazing figure, tall and shapely, the perfect way to set off acres of fabric and statement design elements like the oversize bow-back train.

We emphasised Alex’s waist with a waist-cinching hidden lace up corset with the potential to pull in Alex’s waist line up to 4″. The dress closed over the top with a real button and loop back closure. I designed shaped panels on the bodice and underbust gathers for texture. The off the shoulder neckline swept to a slight point at centre front and revealed Alex’s decolletage. Long, slim sleeves fastened with real buttons and loops to echo the dress back.

The skirt was cut as full circle with a small, proportional train sweeping behind but then a big, long, statement bow with ‘sash ends’ extending far beyond the dress. Both the dress train and the sash ends had a wrist loops and bustle hook-up for dancing, of course!

Alex’s wedding date was originally planned for winter and we would have made the dress in a beautiful red velvet. But when plans changed to a summer wedding we simply lightened the colour and fabric weight to this beautiful dusty pink silk dupion to keep all the elements Alex wanted.

I also made Alex her cathedral length veil in soft grey to compliment the muted tones of her silk dress.

Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness

The wonderful Emma Fuller designed the bouquet, buttonholes and table flowers. She had worked at Hever as a gardener for many years and fashioned my beautiful bouquet in greens, whites, dusky pinks and lilacs.

Did you hire a wedding planner?

No, although I did consult Laura at Devine Bride to find a dressmaker. She was really helpful and directed me to Felicity Westmacott.

As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?

My amazing sister Charlotte O’Kelly of Astrid Bakery made our cake. A two tiered delight, one lemon (groom’s favourite) one chocolate (my favourite) all finished off with a silk bow to match the one on my dress.

Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves

Jars of jelly baby favours.

Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?

We weren’t allowed any readings in the ceremony because of covid regulations so at the drinks reception we had some poems and songs accompanied by the harpist.

How did the pandemic affect your wedding plans? Do you have any advice to share with couples planning their weddings right now?

We weren’t allowed readings and the guests had to wear masks in the ceremony. Of course the number of guests was limited too to 15.

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Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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