The day of the Royal Wedding is finally here, which means at this very moment Meghan Markle is prepping and preening in the luxurious setting of Cliveden House, a 5 star Country House Hotel about half an hour’s drive from Windsor Castle. So, when one of our super talented photographers, Mark Seymour, shared this beautifully classic and traditional Cliveden House wedding with us yesterday afternoon, we knew we had to get it on the blog straight away.
With about two hours to go until the ceremony, indulge your Royal Wedding obsession and take a peek at Robyn and Peter’s big day. Even the bouquet is reminiscent of Princess Diana’s!
Plus, Mark sat down with Robyn to find out everything about this gorgeous couple’s love story, from the day they met to the moment they tied the knot.
So now, over to Mark and Robyn…
Robyn, how did you meet Pete?
Pete and I met on a summer internship at a city law firm (where Pete now works). We were both commuting to London from Berkshire so took the train together most days. We became friends (that was in 2008) and stayed close as we were both at the same university (but hadn’t met before) and law school. We didn’t become a couple until 2012 – but it was worth the wait!
How did Pete propose – were you anticipating it or was it a surprise? Did Pete choose the ring himself?
Pete proposed on a surprise trip to Lake Como. He had booked me time off (by speaking to my boss) and packed me a bag (surprisingly well). He claimed it was an early birthday trip – it seemed excessive but I didn’t doubt him. On the first night, at a private dinner on the edge of the lake, he got down on one knee. I was totally surprised (so much so that I kept trying to offer him a chair). Very romantic! Pete proposed with the ring which he had chosen himself. He picked the diamond (through a diamond dealer in Hatton Garden), the setting and all the details. It was perfect.
How did you plan the wedding, were there things you had always dreamt about or did the two of you find things out as you went along?
Neither of us had any firm ideas of our dream wedding, but we realised fairly quickly that we both wanted a fairly traditional and timeless wedding. Once we knew that, everything fell into place very easily.
I love documenting Cliveden wedding photography, how did you choose Cliveden House as your wedding venue?
We knew we wanted to get married in the Home Counties as my family are based there and it is convenient for friends based in London. The most important things to us were having amazing food and beautiful surroundings. The second we walked up to Cliveden House, we knew we couldn’t get married anywhere else.
You got married at the local church in Taplow, why did you choose this church? Did you meet the vicar before the wedding? What was important to include in your wedding service?
I always wanted a church wedding. Pete needed a bit more persuasion, but I think once he saw how gorgeous St Nicolas was and how welcoming the congregation were, he was convinced. We were very lucky that there is such a pretty church so close to Cliveden. We’ve been attending St Nicolas fairly regularly during our engagement to get to know the community and Jane (the vicar). She took the time to walk us through the service and think about what was important to each of us and she reflected that in her sermon.
The car was gorgeous – who was the supplier and why did you choose that particular car?
Our beautiful Jaguar Royale 1920s Drophead was supplied by Christopher’s Cars. We wanted something traditional (and vintage, rather than a kit-car) and in-keeping with our colour theme (mostly white, but with hints of navy). When we saw this (and realised they were based so close to Cliveden) we knew it was perfect for us.
When I am capturing Cliveden wedding photography the flowers are important to record; who was the florist and how involved were you in selecting the flowers and designs?
Our florist was Russell New from Blomster Designs. He’s incredibly talented and a genuinely lovely man. The biggest heartache of the wedding was when we thought that Russell might not be available – thankfully his other provisional booking didn’t follow through. We discussed the arrangements and the types and colour (white!) of flowers with him a few times, but his work is so consistently excellent that we were happy to put our trust in him completely.
The dress was classically beautifully – did you know what you wanted? Who went with you to get the dress? Did you manage to keep it a surprise from everyone until the day? Who was the designer? What other accessories did you have (shoes, jewelry, hair clips, etc)
I had a suspicion of the type of dress I wanted. My mum and I went together to a number of shops and designers and I tried on every possible shape and fabric!
When we walked into Caroline Castigliano and I saw her designs I was certain that she would be able to design and make my dream dress and she certainly delivered. The process of designing the dress was such a lot of fun – Caroline pinning pieces of lace on the dress was certainly a highlight.
It was tough to keep it a secret but I think everyone was duly surprised.
My pure silk veil was my something old – it was my mum’s veil from her wedding, lovingly pressed and restored by her to its former glory.
In terms of other accessories, I had a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choos (covered in crystals which appealed to the magpie in me!) and beautiful hair pieces designed by Debbie Carlisle. Debbie actually opened her studio in Sheffield for me on a Sunday so that I could come and try on some pieces – so lovely of her and it worked out perfectly!
My lovely husband bought me a pair of emerald cut diamond studs to match my engagement ring which he gave to me as a surprise to open on the morning of the wedding and my mum lent me a blue diamond ring and bracelet to wear as my something borrowed and something blue. A very lucky girl!
As part of your Cliveden wedding photography we got some beautiful bridal getting ready shots – who did your hair and makeup?
Claire from Claire Nicole did my hair and makeup (and that of my mum and bridesmaids). A fantastic job.
The bridesmaids looked fabulous in their dresses and matching shoes – did you choose the outfits with the bridesmaids, was the colour important?
I knew I wanted the girls to wear navy as it’s one of my favorite colours and also very classic and clean. We went shopping for dresses together; though I already knew which one I wanted them to pick. I thought the Dessy dress we picked was perfect – it mirrored the shape of my dress, had a bow at the back to make it more bridal and was knee length so not too dark for a summer wedding. I saw the shoes online and couldn’t resist (they matched so perfectly!).
Your mum looked wonderful too, did you go with her to get her outfit?
My mum and I went together to Nigel Rayment in London. I was a little sleep-deprived at the time (it was a very busy period at work) so not the best company. Thankfully the minute that my mum put on her beautiful dress we both knew that it was the one. Traditional for the church with the chiffon jacket, but fun and sparkly for the evening without it.
We must not forget Pete and his best man and ushers – what about their suits?
Pete and his groom’s party hired their morning suits from Moss Bros. We thought about buying but the Ascot collection from Moss is lovely and I think they looked very smart. Pete’s tie was from Paul Smith and it picked up all the colours from the wedding brilliantly. His shirt was made to measure at Thomas Pink and has the date of our wedding embroidered under the buttons.
One of the benefits of capturing Cliveden wedding photography is the wedding planner at Cliveden House, Lydia – how did that help with your wedding planning and the day itself?
Lydia was such a help both in advance and on the day. She liaised with all our suppliers to make sure that everything ran smoothly and it meant that we didn’t need to worry about any of the logistics of how suppliers would deliver things in the morning, how Cliveden would get set-up etc. She also helped us think through all the details to make sure we didn’t forget anything. I can safely say we are incredibly grateful to Lydia and would have been immeasurably more stressed without her!
I enjoy my visits to Cliveden House for dinner not just as part of my Cliveden wedding photography, how did you select the menu and wines?
Menu and wine tasting was one of the best parts of wedding planning. Andre Garrett is an incredible chef and his team at Cliveden have put together a brilliant private events menu. We narrowed it down to two options for starter, main and dessert (which was easy as I don’t eat meat). We then had a phenomenal evening at Cliveden tasting the food. The sommeliers suggested wines which we tried with it (including the Bolney English sparkling wine that we had at the drinks reception). It was amazing. We needed to tweak our main course slightly and the chef was brilliant at coming up with the perfect option.
Who made the cake, how did you choose the design?
The cake was made by Abigail Bloom. We knew we had to have her make our cake as soon as we tasted it. Best cake we’ve ever had. Abi worked with us to come up with a design that fitted with our colour theme (but we didn’t want blue in a cake) and would look impressive and elegant in the French Dining Room. She was patient with our requests, such as non- symmetrical flowers on the cake, and the finished item was even better than we had imagined.
You had a disco on the evening and everyone had a great time. Tell me about the first dance and the song choice
Our first dance was to the song True Love (from the musical High Society). Pete and I wanted a traditional song which we could waltz to and we had seen High Society together at the Old Vic a couple of years ago. This song had the perfect tune, lyrics and personal meaning. Jess Brichto from Start the Dance helped us with our dance – she was brilliant and patient and I think it turned out alright on the night!
How did you feel at the end of the day – we took a lovely picture of the two of you in the Lady Astor suite just crashing out?
Exhausted and euphoric. Best day of our lives.
What was important for you and Pete planning your wedding day?
The most important thing was to do it together and to make sure that it was a true reflection of both of us and how much we love each other. Cheesy but true. That, and having our closest friends and family around us to celebrate with us.
I am honored you chose me to document your Cliveden wedding photography – what were you looking for when making the decision about your photographer? What are you hoping for in your wedding photos?
Photographs were one of the most important things to us. We wanted stunning images but also a documentary style which would enable us to look back and remember all the little moments of the day. We knew your images were excellent and that you would be able to deliver what we wanted in terms of photos, but once we met you we knew that we couldn’t have anyone else – we felt completely comfortable around you and delighted to share our day with you (and I felt totally happy to have you there from my pre-make up stage and witnessing me being wrestled into my dress!).
Thanks again for being so amazing on Saturday – we’re very confident that you will have captured some amazing moments and everyone was saying what a fantastic photographer you were and how personable you were. We were delighted to have you and Phil spending our day with us.