INSIDE OUR ENGAGEMENT PARTY!

This time last week I was headed over to our venue with Robert & my Mum for one last check up before the evening. After so many bumps and hurdles, it was finally starting to feel real and we were about to celebrate our engagement with our closest family and friends! I’m going to share everything I learnt and all the details from the biggest event I’ve ever hosted for any brides-to-be! 

VENUE 

The venue was one of the simplest parts as I've had my eyes on it as a party space for such a long time. I've admired One Belgravia since I laid eyes on it when I was working at Givenchy almost 6 years ago. We had an event there to celebrate the launch of the Dahlia Noir fragrance and it’s stuck in my mind ever since!

It has these beautiful high ceilings and floor to ceiling length windows with amazing gold accents around the room. Some of my favourite parts about the venue are the grand staircase and these regal fireplaces in each room - they added so much character to the location. It’s basically an empty shell that you can do whatever you please with, which gave us tonnes of room to decide what we were to do with the space. 

I knew we had to serve food as there's no party without food right? In this video we ran through what to serve with our caterers along with alcohol. The hardest part was placing the DJ as we wanted the dance floor to be a focal part of the room. We ended up having him next to one of the main fireplaces and doing speeches there too, which was a brilliant spot! 

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FLOWERS 

I chose a florist who I have admired for years, Neill Strain. For as long as I can remember I’ve been into Neill’s store, drooled at his arrangements and gifted his bouquets to my nearest and dearest.

Neill is someone I have gone to for years when it comes to flowers and, I admit I was quite daunted thinking about what I wanted for the venue because it was such a large space so I really wanted to make it feel full and also have a magical yet luscious touch. The Neill Strain team were totally amazing in making this become a reality and they knew exactly what would work for the space. I started off giving them a moodboard of what I liked and after a few discussions they came up with a plan that was better than I could have ever imagined.

I met with Neill ahead of the party to go through the last minute details and see the flowers once they had arrived from Holland (you can watch this here). Neill let me know that they were all grown & picked especially which did make me feel rather special indeed! We ran through the colour scheme and I got a little sneak peek of what everything would look like when paired together. It made me even more impatient to see what it would look like on the night! They combined a mix of Orchids, Roses, Ivy & Jasmine along the staircase and in the fireplaces and as soon as I entered One Belgravia I was totally lost for words. I could have never imagined something better! The display was totally breathtaking! They really gave the entrance that wow factor it needed and added so much beauty to the space. 

As a whole it was an area of the planning that just ran so seamlessly and I had total trust in. All the team were so helpful and organised, I was totally over the moon with the outcome and I know our guests were blown away too! 

CANDLES & SCENT 

As you might have seen in one of my previous videos, I visited Jo Malone for a consultation to create a scent for the party. I knew that Jo Malone would be the perfect pair with the gorgeous Neill Strain flowers. The orange blossom scent is one I have been saving for this occasion, which I learnt represents love and fertility (and happens to be the most heavenly fragrance ever!) I obviously still adore the peony and blush suede fragrance so the Jo Malone team actually suggested combining the two together. I didn’t expect to use more than one scent but when I smelt both combined it was just perfect and the best of both worlds. (It’s sort of like symbolising the old me with the new me!). All the candles really brought romance to the evening, especially when the lights went down and we were dancing to candlelight! 

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MY SKIN PREP & MAKE UP LOOK

To prepare my skin for the party, about a month before, I visited Sarah Chapman for one of her amazing facials. I wanted my skin to look really glowy and radiant for the big night. It’s a really great way to keep my skin calm and prevent breakouts so the perfect pre party pamper! It extracted all my clogged up pores and makes my skin feel so fresh and hydrated afterwards. I felt reborn!

On the evening of the party, I had my makeup done by the lovely Alesandra from the Charlotte Tilbury team. We have tested the look I wanted to go for a couple of times which was my signature smokey eye (you can watch this here)! I wanted to keep the style of what I wear on a daily basis but add a bit more sparkle. All the gorgeous products Alesandra used to create this look are listed on todays video here. The finished look was just what I wanted and it tied everything together beautifully for this magical night!

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WHAT I WORE

Finding something to wear was a tough one for me. I didn’t have anything specific in mind so I started to do a bit of digging and Gabrielle from White Dossier saw my struggles and kindly sent over  a really varied document of dresses where I finally found this gorgeous white sequinned dress from Rasario on Moda Operandi. I really loved the design of this dress - it’s an open back white sequinned gown with this amazing black velvet rim and two bows meeting at the back. I have to say, I found the brand quite difficult to wear though as their sizes were all wrong and the bust was very big on me. I ended up having to get it altered more than once which added much more expense than I wanted but I had completely fallen in love with it and had my mind set on wearing it for the party. Luckily we managed to tailor the size to fit me and I felt beautiful in it on the night! 

I accessorised my dress with this stunning Jaeger LeCoultre watch which is part of the Rendez-Vous collection. Jaeger LeCoultre have such incredible watches and each one is more beautiful than the next. The Rendez-Vous collection is a tribute to the tradition of being one of the first to offer women elegant watches and aim to make women look and feel sublime. I loved having just one special piece on my wrist rather than lots of small pieces. I chose a watch with a navy strap which tied in really nicely with the black ribbon detail on my dress!

I wore a pair of the most gorgeous shoes from Emmy London which I created with them especially for the party. I went for an all white heel with some added sparkly detail on the outside of the shoe. Emmy London made the experience of getting these made so special - one of the things that is so unique was that I was able to add both Roberts and my birthstones on the bottom of each shoe and engrave our initials too. They tailored the shoes to really fit me which I absolutely loved and not to mention they looked stunning! I didn’t want to wear the shoes for the whole night as I want to keep them in pristine condition so when we all started dancing I put my trusty white YSL tribute heels on which are perfect for people like me who only have one dance move which is jumping up and down!! 

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These are just some of the details that made the night unforgettable for me but Robert & I both agreed it was everyone's energy and love that really made the party!

I have uploaded a new video on youtube which will take you inside the party, so click here to take a look!

Photos by Chiko Photography