Brocket Hall Wedding with Ingrid and James
Congratulations Ingrid and James what an incredible day. Tell me the story of how you two met?
Ingrid and I both graduated with computer science degrees in the same year. Having both done work placements at Goldman Sachs in a previous year and not really met each other, we decided to go back to Goldman for our graduate jobs. Goldman sends all of their graduates to New York for an 8-week training programme. We first properly met in Central Park, when a group of graduates were exploring the city together. We ended up commuting to the office in New Jersey together, and you could say we met over a line of C sharp code while training.
I loved the way your wedding rings were kept safe in a wooden box, how did you propose James? Did you have the ring or did you go and chose it together?
We had discussed getting married for a number of months. I wanted to get her something special so we decided to pick the ring together. We flew back to New York and bought the ring together from a dealer who was recommended to us in the famous diamond district. On the night of our proposal, we went back to one of our favourite restaurants where two years previously we had had one of our first dates together. Ingrid knew all of this was planned. What Ingrid didn’t know was that I had chartered a private yacht to pick us up from the restaurant directly, which fronted onto the Hudson. We sailed out towards Liberty Island, and I proposed in front of the Statue of Liberty, where the captain had a bottle of champagne and red roses waiting for us. That’s a tip towards the red flowers that Ingrid picked for the wedding day itself.
Brocket Hall Wedding
You chose two beautiful locations for your wedding; St Albans Cathedral for the wedding ceremony and Brocket Hall for the wedding celebration – how did you plan your venues?
St Albans Cathedral was special to James because he grew up in the city, and in particular attended a lot of St George’s day celebrations and Christingles in the cathedral, as a flag bearer on several occasions. We went to so many places to choose the reception venue and didn’t really like anything until we parked outside on a sunny day, and just fell in love with the view and knew we both wanted a Brocket Hall Wedding
The service was a very special part of your day and we took some photos of the two of you with the priest – did you have chance to attend the church before your wedding?
Ingrid went to the church regularly for 6-9 months, which was a requirement in order to be eligible to marry there. During that time we built up quite a lovely relationship with the sub dean Richard, who married us.
Ingrid you looked beautiful in your Martina Liana wedding dress, who went with you to find the perfect gown? Did you know what you wanted?
I went with my mum and initially looked for the classic princess design. After a few dresses I realised that it wasn’t my style and I decided to look for fit and flare dresses instead. I must admit it only took me a week to find my wedding dress. After trying many London boutiques, I ended up picking my dress from a St Albans bridal shop. The moment I tried this dress I knew it was the one. When I got out of the fitting room, both mine and James’s mum who were with me at the time started crying making me realise this was it.
Your friend did your hair and makeup Ingrid– how long have you known each other, was it important to have someone you trust with you getting ready?
It was very important to me to have a close and trusted friend doing my hair and makeup. He flew over from Romania especially to help me, and we’ve been friends for more than 10 years. He contributed to so many special occasions including my high school prom, and when I was a bridesmaid for the lady who was my maid of honour, I couldn’t imagine anybody else for my special day.
You wore a floral pearl ring on your right hand, and diamond earrings, did these have any special importance?
The diamond earrings and bracelet were a gift from my parents for the wedding, and the pearl ring was my mums. I wanted to have something that was both old and borrowed, and I actually wore it for my high school prom as well.
There were two themes to your day; James Bond and the colour red – your wedding floral arrangements and bouquet were full of stunning roses, calla lilies and tiger lilies; who was your florist, and did you choose those particular blooms?
We went with Lanshire Floral Design, Yvonne Derbyshire who came highly recommended from everybody we spoke to. Ingrid chose the flowers in the bridal bouquet as she loved the mixture of different shades of red. Ingrid wanted roses in particular not only because I gave them to her when he proposed, but also on our first date together back in New York.
The bridesmaid dresses were stunning in vibrant read, where did you go to find their dresses?
We bought them from a specialist bridesmaid bridal shop in Canary Wharf, however, the dresses themselves are a Ghost collection design. James insisted on paying for them before hand, and I think he regretted that decision when he found out how much they cost!
For the getting ready shots you and your bridesmaids had matching dressing gowns and slippers, did you enjoy planning all the little details, Ingrid?
I absolutely loved it, I think James was getting fed up with all of the cardboard boxes we were accumulating from the constant stream of deliveries!
The groomsmen weren’t left out, James you bought them watches, who brought you the watch you wore on your wedding day? What about your suits?
Ingrid’s Mum and Dad bought me the watch especially for the wedding day as a gift. My suit was a bespoke Saville Row made to measure, from Gieves and Hawkes. For the best men it was a little more challenging due to their size disparity and they ended up buying them from different places.
You were stylish James, very ‘Bond’, in your black tie, as did all the other 007 male guests, even your dog had his own special outfit. What were other extra special details important on your day that made your wedding unique to the two of you?
We put a lot of thought into the table names, which were named after Bond movies, for example, ours was “Diamonds are Forever”, and the bridesmaids and best men were “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Ingrid put a lot of thought into the table designs with diamond shaped place holders for the guests and diamond tea light holders for our table. Given our table name, she also decided to sprinkle little diamonds on all of the other tables, so they had a touch of us. The wedding favours were martini glasses with little olives inside that Ingrid, her bridesmaids and special ladies hand made at home. The table plan was also hand made by Ingrid to match the theme.The fireworks were designed in time to some music that we mixed ourselves, which was a combination of Bond music plus our special song that we used to listen to regularly in New York when we first met. Given the international nature of our Brocket Hall wedding, we also decided to pick large umbrellas with a British flag printed on them.
Your Dad gave his speech in Romanian which was then translated for your English speaking guests – were there any special Romanian wedding traditions included in your day?
We had godparents for our wedding, who sat with us at the table. We’re actually doing another celebration in Romania at the end of the month where we will follow many more of these Romanian traditions.
The car was amazing James, did you get to drive it? Why did you choose that particular model?
We actually hired an Aston Martin Vanquish, however, the supplier let us down the day before. At the last minute, I was able to get my hands on a Rolls Royce Ghost series II that I drove around in all day. The idea was that being a Bond, I should collect my bride from the cathedral myself since Bond never has a chauffeur.
Your six tier wedding cake was beautifully designed with iced lace work and flowers, did you enjoy the tasting for the cake and wedding breakfast?
Oh yes; James went a bit over the top with the cake and asked the supplier to make the biggest one she knew how to!
You had a band to entertain your guests in the evening and you choreographed your first dance – tell me about the song and learning the routine?
We were both very nervous about it but loved the Ed Sheeran song, and felt the lyrics represented our relationship very well. James, in particular, was terrified of dancing and point blank refused to learn anything, hence our first dance being fairly off the cuff. We did a little bit of practice in our hallway the week before the wedding and had arranged for the bridal party to join us at a certain point in the song.
When you booked your wedding photography, what was the most important thing you were looking for?
We both wanted really natural shots, and somebody with a reputation we knew we could trust.
Reflecting on your day and all the planning leading up to it; what advice would you give your best friends about planning their wedding day?
Keep calm and carry on! It goes so quickly, try and love every moment. The planning is very stressful, everybody told us to enjoy it, and we would give the same advice. We both sat down on Sunday evening and thought “wow that went in a flash!” If we could do it all again we would every weekend.
Brocket Hall http://www.brocket-hall.co.uk/celebrations/weddings/
Band – Garden Party (Adam Chandler) http://www.gardenparty-band.co.uk/
Florist – Lanshire Design (Yvonne Derbyshire) http://lanshirefloraldesign.co.uk/
Cars – Alpha Drive http://alphadrive.co.uk/
Pianist – Piano DJ https://www.pianodj.co.uk/
Cake – Emily Jane Cakes http://emilyjanecakes.co.uk/
Suits – Gieves and Hawkes http://www.gievesandhawkes.com/
Dress – Martina Liana from the Marshmallow Bride Boutique in St Albans https://www.marshmallowbride.co.uk/about-us
Rings – Peter J Germano (New York)
Fireworks – Fantastic Fireworks