Susannah Shelley and Saúl Castro Gómez first met at a bar at Claridge’s when they were both passing through London.
As they lived in different countries, they embarked on an international romance that eventually led them to settle down together in Abu Dhabi.
They returned to Susannah’s childhood home of Cornwall for a gorgeous wedding in July 2019, bringing together 100 of their international friends and family.
The adventurous pair gave themselves just six months to plan the wedding, following Saúl’s romantic proposal over dinner at the stunning Anantara resort in Oman.
Their wedding at the Boconnoc Estate in Cornwall incorporated an art deco theme with a modern twist. Bridesmaids wore beautiful dark green dresses and their wedding cake also had a vintage flair.
Photography by: Nick Walker
The Wedding Rings
Isn’t it everyone’s dream to meet a partner who’s a diamond expert? Just before the couple met, Saúl had completed a professional diploma in diamonds and was able to use his expertise, plus an enthusiasm for coloured diamonds, to create a breathtaking ring.
“The ring was crafted in Sweden with Matz Glinning, a second-generation Swedish goldsmith with whom Saúl exchanged ideas in the past on jewellery and gemstones.
“The main gemstone is a Colombian emerald, shaped in an emerald cut, accompanied by some small diamonds in a setting of gold. The two bands of diamonds, bridged by the main gemstone, represents two lives that remain with their own identity and independent but that have now become one as a team.
“This message is represented in this design, which plays geometrically with lines seen in art deco, and that are also part of the wedding decorations.”
The Wedding Dress
Susannah’s stunning dress was made by Demetrios and bought from Alegria’s Brides in Miami, Florida. This location was special to the couple as Saúl’s sister, Deliana, had also bought her wedding dress here.
“My wedding dress was like me, a bit different, but very classical, slim fitting, elegant, with a lot of sparkle.
“All the dresses that I tried on looked lovely, but this was the one that the veil was brought out for and I tried it on together with the dress.
“I tried on 12 dresses. There was just one that was an outright no and three very strong contenders vying for the number one slot. However, only one had the veil added.
“My advice: be open, trust in the process and believe the views of the professionals, they have seen thousands of would-be brides and know what suits each and every shape, taking into account personal style. If you blow them away with how it looks, you know it is the right one.
“I wore a cathedral-length veil, purchased with the wedding dress, and diamond and blue sapphire earrings loaned to me by my mother-in-law, Carmen, worn to her wedding, as well as worn by my sister-in-law at her wedding.
“I wore my grandmother’s diamond engagement ring, which also belonged to my mother, Paddy, hair pins loaned to me by my sister-in-law that she had worn at her wedding, and an emerald pendant which was a gift from my husband.
“I kept the dress on for the whole day. When I tried it on in the store, it said, ‘I am ready for sparkling on the dance floor.’ I checked that the band would be supplying disco lights – they did.”
Wedding Hair and Makeup
Susannah showcased her elegant dress by wearing her hair up and styled by Sarah Hooper at Capella Cornwall. Ella Butler provided a barely-there makeup look to complement the vintage theme.
“As I live in Abu Dhabi, both hair and makeup trials were in the week before the wedding – I was very happy with the trials. When picking the makeup artist I could see via her website, Instagram and Facebook she was adaptable to creating many different looks for all skin and hair colours, and across ages.
“Ella Butler recommended the hairdresser. Both were fantastic and got the ladies looking their absolute best. My hair was up to add to the glamour of the dress. The makeup was natural to go from day to evening.
“The King’s Room at Boconnoc was a stream of people getting hair and makeup prepared. I had woken early for a walk around the grounds and to enjoy a quiet moment with my best friend Claire, who kindly gave a speech. I then returned to the room to get ready as a group. Another very close friend, Karen, had brought my new godson, Charles, to join in the preparations – he very much enjoyed all the hugs and the buzz of excitement.”
The Bridal Party
Susannah’s sister, Rachel, and Saúl’s niece, Daniela, were bridesmaids. They wore dark green dresses with black beading chosen by Susannah from Amazon to match the art deco theme.
“I had one flower girl, my niece Elizabeth, and two page boys, a nephew from each side of the family, Alexander and Gabriel.
“I chose the dresses to go with the colour scheme, as well as taking into account what colours suited the bridesmaids. The adult bridesmaids had flat sparkly sandals that I found in Abu Dhabi from With My Sands so they could be comfortable, but still run around if necessary.
“One flower girl, my niece Elizabeth, wore a pretty cream dress with an added green ribbon from Monsoon. The two page boys wore shorts, shirts and waistcoats from Monsoon.”
Although Saúl hadn’t seen Susannah’s dress, he knew that her eye for style would result in something extraordinary. To make sure he also looked the part, he hired a navy tailcoat from Amanda K Bridal.
“I took the time to check different models and compare different designs. The idea was to wear something comfortable and also in accordance with the decoration.
“I wore cufflinks designed with the Cornish flag as a motif. Some of the shoes used by the groom party were from the German brand Lloyd.
“We all paid attention to detail. I spent four years at a military high school, so the awareness of good presentation when in a suit has been key to me for a long time.
“I was relying on my best man, Lars, for an absolute perfect tie knot. Later, during the dinner, he also made a memorable speech.”