We can’t get enough of this gorgeous wedding – you had us at Dolce & Gabanna! The awesome Mark and Charlotte pulled in influences from all of their favourite things to create a day that truly reflected them. They met at university in Falmouth while studying graphic design; Mark told us how they used to gaze at each other from across the studio by day and dance together at Remedies nightclub by night. “We didn’t actually get together until after I’d graduated,” Mark says. “Charlotte ventured up to Sheffield to celebrate my 23rd birthday. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Mark and Charlotte went to the super-cool sketch London for afternoon tea. “I booked it for my birthday to throw her off the scent,” Mark smiles. “We were in the pink Gallery Room with a Christmas choir singing when the waiting staff brought the ring out on a dessert tray.” Of course, Charlotte said “yes,” while all the other diners clapped and cheered.
Back home in Bristol, the pair set the date for 29th September,
2018, and got to work planning the ultimate celebration at Arnos
Vale Cemetery. We caught up with Mark to find out how they did it…
The amazing Victorian architecture and surrounding woodland at Arnos Vale sold it to Mark and Charlotte. "We visited a wedding fair there and were blown away by the buildings," Mark remembers. "We visited a few other Bristol venues but found beauty in the unusualness of Arnos Vale Cemetery."
They took inspiration from some of their favourite things such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and designers Dolce & Gabbana, but put their own "beautifully gloomy" twist on it. A pink, red and white palette ran throughout. "We wanted flowers to be the main decorative feature," Mark explains. "Charlotte found Kirstie of Ruby and The Wolf on Instagram.
We both loved her style, and after meeting her we found that she understood our vision, helping to elevate our ideas to great effect. We used candles on the tables and windowsills to provide low-level ambient lighting, and timed the day so that we entered the reception during daylight, ate through sunset and left for the cake-cutting and dancing in darkness."
Mark runs a design and branding studio in Bristol called Day by Night, so he took care of all the printed elements from the save the-dates and invitations, to the table names and place settings. "Everything was designed with Wes Anderson films in mind and featured red ink on pink paper stock," he says. "I illustrated the two buildings at Arnos Vale – The Spielman Centre and The Anglican Chapel – and each table was named after a Wes Anderson film. The card box was even designed like a giant Mendl's cake box from The Grand Budapest Hotel." Charlotte's mum and her cake-making partner, Jen, made a seven-tier masterpiece, which was brimming with flowers and foliage to tie in with the couple's colour scheme.
Charlotte's arrival was pure style, choosing a 1921 Ford Model T from Triggols' Vintage Cars. "It was the same car that's featured in the first two series of Peaky Blinders," Mark says. "Andrew was an absolute gentleman and we'd highly recommend the company."
The planning wasn't without its anxious moments, as the couple parted ways with their original caterer just three weeks before the wedding. "It was nerve-racking, but Nick Collins at Cleverchefs provided an amazing service with very little notice," Mark tells us. "He worked with us to put together a menu with a vegan, vegetarian and meat option as well as canapés and an outside bar for post-ceremony drinks."
During the meal, the newlyweds had a little surprise up their sleeve for their guests. "We arranged for singing waiters to have an argument and then burst into song during dessert," Mark laughs. "Very few people knew, so it took everyone by surprise. People were standing on chairs, waving napkins and singing at the top of their lungs – it all finished with a conga line!"
Opting for a late wedding, starting at 4pm, the soon-to be-weds asked their loved ones to wear formal attire fora glamorous evening vibe.
Charlotte's Suzanne Neville dress perfectly encapsulated the luxurious Italian theme they wanted to achieve. "She felt that you only get one chance to look like a bride, so she took full advantage!" Mark says. "She looked incredible." Her lace Joyce Jackson veil was the perfect finishing touch.
Mark and his groomsmen looked suitably suave in navy velvet dinner jackets and bow ties, while the two bridesmaids rocked satin pink dresses from Ghost.
Every detail was a joint decision, the only surprises kept from each other were Charlotte's outfit and the speeches."We put a lot of thought, time and effort into our wedding, and we wanted the day to reflect that," Mark explains. "I tend not to get nervous, but as I ticked off the finishing touches on the morning I was worried I'd missed something. However, when I arrived at the venue and got talking to our guests in the sunshine, I felt great. On the day you put any worries aside and just relish in the fact that everyone is there to celebrate with the two of you."
Charlotte was so proud of what they had achieved with the help of their excellent suppliers, particularly their photographers Glenn and Lauren, who captured the day perfectly, and the venue's wedding manager, Buffy Jones, who was attentive and supportive throughout. "I loved that we could show people the beauty of Arnos Vale Cemetery," Charlotte says. "Most importantly though, I was happy that I married my soul mate." The pair hopped in an Uber at midnight to head home. "The driver was so positive and really believed in love," Mark says. "It was a serendipitous end to what was one of the best days of my life."
Bridesmaids' and flowergirls' hairpins
Hair and make-up