Colleen and Simon were wed in late May of this year with an intimate ceremony at a most loved Marylebone institution, The Langham. Having originally postponed from October of 2020, an unexpected silver lining was the influx of varieties that had arrived along with the warmer weather. As our Head of Events, Gina Hardy, recalls:
“I had such a wonderful time planning the flowers with Colleen, and her wonderful mother, Joan. Our original palette included really gorgeous combination of autumn and early winter varieties, but of course, May is such an incredible time for flowers and it allowed us the opportunity to introduce some exquisite late-spring stems such as scented O’Hara roses, Majolica spray roses, Butterfly Ranunculus and of course, the irresistible Peony.”
Surrounded by an intimate circle of close friends and family, Colleen and Simon tied the knot at the foot of a spectacularly romantic, floral walkway, framed by a pair of giant, garden-like urn designs brimming with soft, vintage pinks and ivory blooms. Later, the couple celebrated with a meal hosted in the hotel’s restaurant, where the fairy tale flowers continued to decorate the revelries, crowned by a swath of glittering candlelight.
We caught up with Colleen to find out more about her and Simon’s big day.
How did you and Simon meet, Colleen?
We met at work! I had just moved to London from Singapore and was called into a meeting to collaborate with a few other colleagues on a current hot topic for the firm. After an innocent lunch meeting and a more informal evening of drinks, I knew I was interested in seeing Simon outside of a meeting room, too.
What’s your engagement story?
I travelled to Miami to visit my family over the Christmas holiday at the end of 2019. Simon spent Christmas with his family in the UK and then met me in Miami for New Year’s Eve. When Simon suggested we wake-up early to watch the first sunrise of the new year, a family tradition for him, I had a slight inkling that maybe something was up. As we walked along the beach in my hometown of Key Biscayne, I stopped to take a photo of the sun rising over the horizon as we neared the lighthouse. When I turned around, Simon was down on one knee.
Why did you choose the Langham as your venue?
We knew we wanted to make it easy for our friends and family traveling from all over the UK, US, Singapore, Australia and beyond to get to our wedding, so we chose London rather than somewhere requiring too many planes, trains and automobiles for our many international guests. Little did we know when we started to plan our wedding day that our 200+ guests would turn out to be just 8 given Covid restrictions!
We looked at a number of venues in London but having had our first date at Artesian, the bar at the Langham Hotel, we decided to enquire there given the resonance it would have for us. Within five minutes of looking around we knew it would be the perfect venue. Stephanie Allard, the Langham’s events coordinator, was superb and attended to every detail.
We had our ceremony and reception there. Gina, with the rest of the team at McQueens, created an exquisite aisle made of flowers so that the room which held the ceremony was completely transformed into a beautiful setting.
Why did you choose McQueens Flowers for your wedding flowers?
I was drawn to McQueens Flowers’s aesthetic from the start. After researching various florists and visiting a few, I felt comforted by McQueens’ expert approach to seasonal flowers best to use for the occasion. Most importantly, they listened carefully to my ideas, preferences and tastes.
Was there special significance behind the varieties you chose?
I love peonies – who doesn’t? Once our wedding was postponed from October 2020 due to Covid to May 2021, access to a whole new (better, in my opinion!) set of varieties was one silver lining that helped to soften the blow!
How did you feel when you saw them for the first time?
I was blown away by how beautiful and fragrant they were! I loved how the team brought the flowers used to create the aisle during the ceremony into the dining room. It felt as if we were eating in a lush garden.
What were the highlights of your day?
My mother lacing up the corset of my dress, seeing Simon for the first time on the other end of the aisle, dancing with my father and looking down the table throughout the evening’s dinner to see my three brothers and Simon’s sister laughing and getting along so well.
What 3 words would you use to describe your wedding day?
Magical, sweet, intimate.