Saturday, May 28, 2022
Home Wedding Cars The posh wedding is back (and it's more bonkers than ever)

The posh wedding is back (and it’s more bonkers than ever)

I thought it was a Yellow Pages being delivered and then I remembered it wasn’t 1993. Turns out, the thud on my doormat was a very thick wedding invitation.

“Third time lucky,” said the swooping blue calligraphy on the back of the envelope, sent from my pals Miles and Lucy, who became engaged before the pandemic and have since had to postpone their wedding twice.

A few days later came another thick envelope from my friends Ella and Josh with a card that said “Change the date”, announcing that their wedding is now in July. Meanwhile, my step-brother texts me about whether I want a hotel room for his wedding in May, and I’m plotting a hen weekend for my friend Lilianne, who’s getting married in August.

Another pal still tells me she has 10 weddings this year, not including her own in December. Is 2022 set to be the maddest year ever for weddings, when they were already getting quite mad before Covid? (The expense! The size! The agony of deciding whether you should have a cake made of sponge or a cake made of cheese!)

It looks quite like it. After two or so years of uncertainty, the spiderwebs are being dusted off the marquees, the champagne orders are rolling in and I’m already wondering whether I can get away with flat shoes for the receptions (no sinking into the grass; much easier to sprint towards a tray of canapes).

To chew over this important topic, I ring up “party architect” and wedding planner Johnny Roxburgh, the man to call if you’re recently engaged and have a few bob lying around. Johnny throws the very best, very chicest weddings going and peppers our conversation with talk of floating dance floors over the sea in Sardinia and parties for 500 in Istanbul.

It is, he agrees, absurdly busy at the moment and extremely difficult to find a venue if you haven’t sorted one out already. At any one time he’s juggling 30 highly strung couples and he has bookings well into 2024. Heavens above.

Should I enlist his services now, even though I’m single and not remotely likely to get married any time soon? Johnny laughs nervously.

The trend he’s seeing, Johnny adds, is for destination weddings. “Everyone’s desperate to celebrate and desperate to travel, and it’s suddenly easier again, so three or four days abroad is what people are after.”

He gives me a possible itinerary: “Everyone flies to Venice on the Friday, and there’s a big dinner at the Gritti [Palace] that night. The next day, you all drive or sail to Trieste, to the most wonderful, wonderful castle called Miramare, where you have the reception followed by fireworks over the Adriatic.” What kind of money are we talking about? Johnny says it’s vulgar to discuss that sort of thing but given that I canceled my £4.99 Disney+ subscription last week because I’m worried about my gas bill, it’s probably not for me.

He recently orchestrated a wedding in the UK for 60 people which cost £3.5 million though, so make of that what you will.

According to other wedding planners, trends this year also include vegan menus (bit anxious about the sound of those) and champagne towers, which seems a waste because why go to all the trouble of buying expensive stuff only for it to cascade all over the tablecloth ?

Also, and I’m sorry to tell you this, “Regency aesthetics” inspired by Bridgerton. Apparently this means bridal veils decorated with pearls; also gloves, puff-sleeved dresses, and perhaps a pair of knee britches for the chaps. You probably won’t catch me in a petticoat and high-waisted satin gown in the Home Counties this summer but they did go in for flat slippers, didn’t they, so a pair of those may come in handy.

Maison Estelle adds to the glut of members’ clubs in Mayfair

Have you heard of Maison Estelle? It’s the latest members’ club in Mayfair, impossible to get into unless you’re friends with one of the members, even if you’re a wheedling journalist who pleads with the PR team looking after it (I know this, because a food- journalist friend has begged them twice). Don’t ask me why Mayfair needs another members’ club. Seems to me there are now more members’ clubs than hedge fund tycoons kicking about Berkeley Square and there were too many of those already.

A mole who has been to the place, however, tells me that while it’s astonishingly beautiful inside, there’s a silly, uptight rule that all visitors are required to have a sticker placed over the camera lens on the back of their phone, so they can ‘t take a single snap of the club or punters. A new level of absurdity for this area, although jolly handy if you’re a politician meeting someone you shouldn’t be, or having an affair.

Who’d have thought the house of an oligarch could be tasteful?

I would have been very snotty about oligarchs’ houses. Until this week, if you’d asked me to describe one, I would have assumed they were wall-to-wall hot tubs with dodgy sofas, gold-leaf wallpaper and chandeliers everywhere, even in the loo. But when protestors broke into Oleg Deripaska’s £50m gaff in Belgravia last week and video footage emerged, I was miffed. Not a single hot tub.

Instead, a Barbara Hepworth sculpture, a few antique mirrors, a Greek bust, a grand piano, a bookshelf with real books on it and not one but two atlas globes (which would suggest they have some idea of ​​geography and borders?). True, there was one chandelier, but it didn’t look that bad. An oligarch with taste? How annoying.


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