Married at the Art’s Club London in May of this year, Jess and Seb celebrated their union with an intimate ceremony surrounded by close friends and family, and their adorable Cavapoo, Poppy. Briefed by the couple to deliver ‘simple, modern elegance’ our Head of Events, Gina Hardy, designed a refined floral palette centred around four timeless varieties – Hydrangea, Roses, Peonies, and Delphinium, in soft whites, creams, and fresh greens. With undulating designs adorning the tables, mantlepieces, and side table, punctuated with glittering candlelight, the overall effect was both classic, elegant, and resplendent.
For bride, Jess, an exquisite hand-tied bridal bouquet constructed purely of gorgeous, seasonal lily-of-the-valley was arranged en masse and bound with a white silk ribbon. A very special design in more ways than one, as McQueens Flowers Head of Events, Gina, explains:
“When we first spoke, Jess showed me a photo of her grandmother carrying a Lily of the Valley bridal bouquet as inspiration. It was such a pleasure to be able to use the same stems for Jess on her own wedding day. Not least of all, because it has such a fleeting season, and is famously delicate as a cut flower – only the finest quality stems, and expert craftmanship will result in a bouquet that will last a day. An entirely worthy investment, I might add, as they are without a doubt one of the most irresistible, scented flowers on the planet.”
We caught up with Jess to find out more about her and Seb’s big day.
Let’s start at the beginning, Jess, how did you and Seb meet?
My Step-Father introduced us in 2012 over email, he had invested in Seb’s business at the time and thought he could advise me on how to build a website for my new business. I was in Sydney, Australia and Seb was in London, after a few Skype calls we started talking every day, before Seb surprised me and bought a flight to Sydney. We met for the first time at Sydney International Airport, very early in the morning and I took him straight out for an Aussie breakfast. I moved to London a few months later, best decision I’ve ever made!
What’s your engagement story?
Seb had planned an incredible proposal for May 2020, we were due to be in our favourite place in the South of France with friends and he had organised my Dad to fly from Australia, my Mum and Step-Father from the UK and my best friends to come from the UK/US, all as a surprise. Then COVID happened. Seb told me about his plans several months later during a Friday lockdown dinner date with sushi and sake; that’s when we both decided, after 9 years together, we wanted to get married and we were going to try make it happen a year to the day he was due to propose.
Why did you choose The Arts Club as your venue?
I have a wonderful relationship with The Arts Club as I have worked with the team to create their children’s colouring books and my family are also members. They always make you feel at home and went above and beyond on our wedding weekend.
The Arts Club’s timeless sophistication, contemporary art, exceptional service and hotel rooms made it the perfect London venue to host the registry ceremony and a private lunch reception. We both loved the simplicity of being able to have the ceremony and lunch in the same location.
The combination of seriously delicious food, impeccable wines, and an incredible team of people taking care of us, created an intimate memorable experience that everyone loved and we will never forget.
Tell us more about your ceremony...
It was held in the Drawing Room in front of a stunning mantelpiece of flowers and surrounded by vibrant artwork with Louis Querelle playing the grand piano and the gorgeous Holly Clark behind the lens. We had twenty family and friends join us, many loved ones on live stream, two registrars from the City of Westminster, and Poppy our Cavapoo, who completely stole the show.
Why did you choose McQueens Flowers for your wedding flowers?
Gina and the team nailed the brief! Simple modern elegance. Classic flowers with paired back styling that would complement the bold colourful art within the timeless setting. McQueens understood my vision, nothing was complicated, and I had complete confidence in their ability to deliver on the day.
Was there special significance behind the varieties you chose?
Roses and hydrangeas are a combination my Mum has always had on her dining table, so the variety created a familiar feeling but styling them with the stocks to create height and drama elevated them for the occasion.
My Lily of the Valley bouquet was a special reference to my Grandma, as she had the same.
How did you feel when you saw them for the first time?
Walking in and seeing the flowers made us both realise we were getting married. They were stunning! The flowers and array of candles completely transformed the space, creating those spine-tingling wedding vibes. The white and green colour palette and simplistic design worked in perfect harmony with the art and decor.
What were the highlights of your day?
The whole day was perfect, however walking down the stairs to see Seb for a moment on our own before our guests arrived was truly unforgettable, and going for a walk with him got rid of my nerves before the ceremony.
As my Dad couldn’t make it over from Australia my best friend walked me down the aisle and also sang a surprise song accompanied by Louis on the piano.
Having family and friends in a room together and also live-streaming the ceremony to our family and friends in France and Australia, made it all the more special after the year we’ve all had.
What 3 words would you use to describe your wedding day?
Intimate, elegant and appreciative.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We always talked about having a destination wedding, with family and friends flying in from all over the world but after everything that’s happened in the past fourteen months, we are so grateful to have been able to have the incredible day that we did. All the suppliers involved in making it happen were so kind, flexible, and excited for us and because of that, we will always have such special memories of getting married.
Congratulations, Jess and Seb!
Flowers — McQueens Flowers London
Photography — Holly Clark Photography
Venue —The Arts Club