Haute London Planners, Amanda Sheppard and India Langton, Show You How To Plan The Ultimate English Wedding

Whether you’re a stylish It Bride with a desire for a chic London reception or a die-hard romantic dreaming of an elegant all-nighter on a sprawling estate- one thing is certain; you want your wedding to be one to remember, and for all of the right reasons.

Enter Amanda Sheppard and India Langton. The co-founders of Rose Productions, these two longtime friends have established themselves as the go-to planners for the stylish and well-connected.  With a client list that includes Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Noel Gallagher, David Beckham and an extensive list of fashion houses ranging from DVF to DIOR, the two are known amongst A-listers for their ability elevate a party to an unforgettable experience.

We recently sat down to this in-demand duo to get the insider track on how to plan an unforgettable wedding worthy of the English elite.

 

You’ve worked for some of the biggest names in film, fashion, and music- what’s your best tip for brides who want to bring some of that high glamour to their own event (but are on a smaller budget?)

Find an incredible location, a forest clearing or an English country garden – often you don’t need to spend a fortune on production when the venue does the talking. Trees and foliage add so much charm and character to a party. They help create a wonderful atmosphere. We are often found in the woods with florists, cutting down branches off trees and using them to create a wonderfully wild and romantic look. When it comes to the menu, less can be so much more. The simplest food is often the best as long as it uses the finest ingredients and served in a very elegant way.  

 

I once had a planner tell me that a great party is like making a great salad; you want to mix and match ingredients that bring something different but enhance one another and make the experience special. That sounds great, but it’s not always easy at a wedding when you’ll be inviting a large group of very different people. What’s your best tip for creating a seating plan that doesn’t kill the vibe all through dinner?

Always put a guest at the head of each table who can act as a host. Also, resist the urge to sit people in their comfort zones;  mix up ages, family, and friends. Strong cocktails before dinner always help break the ice!

What do you feel are the most important elements of a wedding to discerning English brides? Give us a quick summary of what a haute London wedding looks like.

A beautiful English meadow, with an orangery style glass marquee in the garden. The best looking waiting staff who have exquisite manors, and a dress from McQueen, bridesmaids in Galvan. Bucolic flowers from Wild at Heart or Scarlet and Violet. The guests would enjoy a roaming oyster shucker for pre-dinner treats, followed by a seasonal feast cooked by the team from Petersham Nurseries. An incredible tablescape with monogrammed napkins, hand painted china (a great moment for guests initials) and Venetian glassware. A live band is key (Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis was a huge hit) and a great set from DJ Hugo Heathcote.

In major US cities such as New York, LA, and Miami, afterparties are taken as seriously as the main event. What are your tips for throwing a memorable party well into the next morning?

Create a cozy space with rich colors and set the mood with warm lighting and low-level furniture, festoon bulbs, infinity neon signs, tons of palm trees and an abundance of candles. A bar trolley is essential – tequila served with orange slices dipped in dark chocolate.

Gone are the days of the old-school weddings where grooms took a back seat in planning and only men spoke at the reception. What are some of the modern twists on tradition, you’ve seen amongst clients?

Songs sung by the male ushers.

Brides reciting poetry to their husbands.

Beltane ceremonies.

Fancy dress – one client asked all of their guests dress in period costume.

 

 

What menu item is a guaranteed showstopper for guests?

One of our favorite parties had an iced caviar bar where guests could help themselves to a selection of 4 different caviars served with crispy baby potato skins, lemon and crème Fraiche on bespoke silver spoons.  For a more relaxed vibe, we always love theatre with food. An Argentinean asado is always fun, and a big paella cooking creates a vibrant atmosphere.

What’s the cocktail of choice amongst London brides?

Botanical bars are having a moment, so we love to use herbs such as Thai basil, tarragon and even coriander in our favorites. The Indian Summer is a particular favorite; Babicka Vodka, Lime, Pineapple, Coriander and a hint of Chilli.

 

In your experience, what are the elements that bore a guest to tears?

Back-to-back long speeches. Spread the speeches out throughout the evening and avoid

long dinners – keep it quick!

What are three songs on your perfect wedding playlist?

Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere

Prince – I want to be your lover

You and Me – The Wannadies

Alt-J – Something Good

What should every couple do on their wedding day?

Enjoy themselves! It all goes in a flash, so let your planner, best friends, and family organize the logistics for you. Also, make sure you take yourselves off together for one moment and look over at all of your friends having a ball.

What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen a guest do at a wedding?

One guest surprised the bride and groom with Stevie Wonder! He then sang ‘Isn’t she lovely?’ to the bride. An unforgettable moment.

 

 

Finally, what’s your best advice for Americans attending an English ceremony?

Countryside VS London weddings are always very different.  A London wedding is much chicer and refined, the dress code will be smarter and ladies will wear hats.  Most countryside weddings are more relaxed and bohemian. The invitation is always the keyhole to the party, so let that lead you. Finally, check if royalty are attending – and make sure you’ve practiced your bow/curtsy!

Brenda Della Casa

Brenda Della Casa is an author, writer, speaker, and digital strategist and the founder of BDC Digital Media. She is the former Global Director of Content for Preston Bailey and has covered the best of the luxury wedding industry for a number of outlets for over a decade.

Passionate about leadership mentorship amongst women, she is the founder of two mentorship programs and speaks regularly to women’s groups in the UK and US. She is also a specialist mentor for The Prince’s Trust.

A lifelong anglophile, she realized her dream of moving permanently to the UK when she was awarded the 2016 Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa for content and strategy. You can usually find her in one of the local pubs in Fulham (thanks to her Englishman) or consulting her English-to-English dictionary and stressing over eating peas at parties.  @BrendaDellaCasa

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