A Floral Valentini Spose Gown for a Beautiful Botanical Glasshouse Wedding at Kew Gardens

Bride Hattie's dress is one of our favourites ever - and completes this elegant and effortlessly glamorous summer wedding

Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding

You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect August day for Hattie and Brendan to throw their gorgeous wedding at Kew Gardens in South-West London.

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They complemented the natural beauty of Kew’s glasshouses and Orangery with stunning white and green floral installations and the beautiful sound of a gospel choir. Each of their 150 guests was given a handwritten note from the couple on their place setting, and their ceremony sung of their love story and personalities through readings, songs and poems by close friends and family.

Hattie and Brendan met at drama school: Hattie starting the second year of her degree and Brendan on a one-year postgrad course. By the end of their first week of term, they had tipsily kissed on a Saturday night at friend’s birthday party at The Grand Café in Oxford and Brendan announced to one of his classmates that he was already in love with Hattie. A little less than six years later, they tied the knot.

Brendan’s “lovely and intimate” proposal was at home with a family heirloom ring over a home-cooked meal, although the weeks leading up to it didn’t go to a plan. “I met with Hattie’s Dad to get his blessing and he was delighted with the news. However this then led to a farcical series of events in which I though Hattie had been CC’d into an email about the surprise proposal (she, in fact, had not). I ultimately spent the best part of three weeks acting very weirdly around her trying to suss out why she hadn’t mentioned it,” he said.

Thankfully all went to plan on their wedding day: a gloriously fun and music-filled day with one of the most beautiful dresses we’ve seen!

Photographer: Mark Bothwell

Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding

The Wedding Dress

Hattie wore the plunging, floral silk print ‘Erica’ dress by Valentini Spose, bought from The Wedding Gallery in Marylebone. Having been advised it ‘scared’ other brides, Hattie knew it was perfect for her ‘extroverted’ sartorial style.

“It was quite unusual. The adviser at the Wedding Gallery said, when she was suggesting it, ‘I have one that scares the brides-to-be a bit,’ and I said, ‘Yes, please!’ I am very into fashion and I think my friends would describe my personal style as ‘extroverted’ so I actually felt a bit of pressure to pick a dress that stood out from the rest. I had tried on about 10-12 dresses in total across two appointments, and I had found two other dresses (a very simple, classic, full-skirted Peter Langner and a romantic, youthful floral Galia Lahav) between which I thought I would choose. But this one turned up which seemed to be a perfect mix of the two.

“Cliched as it sounds, I knew when I saw it on the hanger that it would probably be ‘The One’. I altered some aspects of it to keep it true to my style. For example, I didn’t wear the hooped petticoat it came with. It was still a full skirt but less ‘hardcore princess’ and there was a flower corsage at the bottom of the plunging neckline which I had removed.

“I accessorised with a simple ribbon-edged veil, a hair vine from Dolecka, Castañer wedges (very comfortable) and some very fabulously blingy Art Deco diamond earrings from my Aunt.

“I tried to keep it as chill as possible when getting ready as I knew I’d be nervous. It worked and we had a really relaxed time, with a fair amount of Champagne! Brendan and I wrote letters to each other that morning which our friends couriered to our rooms – that was a very special moment.”

Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding

Bridal Beauty

Hattie had two hair and makeup trials – one with someone she didn’t go for, and another with stylist Cassandra Rizzuto and makeup artist Mariam Jensen.

“Cass and Mariam were so fab and chilled! I went for a similar style to my normal look, although I did grow my hair to allow an updo. I kept my short fringe though. Makeup-wise, it was more than I would usually wear of course, but went for a shimmery, metallic smokiness on the eye and a more neutral lip.

“The only part of the day I would change was when I got poked in the eye by a rogue fascinator which very briefly looked like a trip to A&E, but was magically fixed by my wonderful makeup lady! It’s not even bloodshot in the photos extraordinarily! Good old adrenaline.”

Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding
Hattie and Brendan - Kew Gardens Real Wedding

The Wedding Party

“I didn’t have any bridesmaids but two close friends were with me getting ready. Tanya, an old school friend, and Claire, a friend of Brendan’s who became a close friend (and works in the wedding industry so was a fount of all knowledge). They wore their own outfits and looked utterly sensational.

“Brendan wore a custom-made tuxedo from Casely-Hayford London in dark blue velvet, which we went together to choose. He had really cool shoes too – monk strap brogues from George Cleverley. His brother and Dad wore tuxedos from Marks and Spencer.

“I took a white taxi with my Dad to the venue, which we hired from Lux Wedding Car Hire. There was a minibus to get the immediate family and friends from the hotel to the venue and two coaches departing at 10.30pm in the evening from Kew Gardens and back to Victoria for those guests travelling back into central London, hired from iChauffeur.”