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Tie the Knot

Tie the Knot

We love weddings. They take one of our favourite things—gathering around the table with family and friends—to the next level. 

So, to celebrate the launch of our online 
wedding & gift list registry, we chatted all things wedding related with Notting Hill event creators, Lillingston. Founder and director Sophie Lillingston and head of creative Sophie Stuart are behind some of the world's most awe-inspiring weddings. At the heart of what they do is understanding people. Figuring out what really matters to them. And then creating events that feels as personal as they do immersive. So we asked for their top tips (and best stories!)
Once the wedding comes to an end, we love the idea that beautiful, useful gifts can extend the giddiness. After all, the ceramics, linens, glassware and tablescape essentials you unwrap in that post-wedding haze become some of your most treasured items. In part, because they are lovely. But mostly because they become familiar constants, ever present as life happens around your family table.     

We've done wedding lists for years in our stores, and to this day, we love meeting couples and helping them achieve their dream table. Now we've made it even easier by launching an online gift registry. It's simple, personal and completely free, so please do
take a peak (or help us spread the word to happy couples everywhere).  


 [At The Table With Sophie Lillingston & Sophie Stuart]
Image provided by Lillingston

is the key to having a wedding that reflects you as a couple and feels personal?

From the word go, it is very important to create an atmosphere that reflects the couple; whether it be cool and contemporary or classically beautiful. This is initially achieved by the location or country that the wedding is held in, but then most importantly, by the small personal details. 
What is the element that most couples overlook, that ends up making the wedding?  

Until someone actually gets married, they don't know how much they will enjoy the actual marriage service, as it tends to get overlooked in the planning stage. However, it can be incredibly emotional, uplifting and also fun. So we encourage couples to really think about the service and involve as many people as possible... friends and family, the best man, ushers, bridesmaids and pages, readers and any musical friends. This makes people feel very special and loved and the service entirely personal to the couple. 



What is your advice to couples when it comes to really enjoying the day?
The main advantage of having wedding organisers you trust is that you can be assured that, alongside their team of talented suppliers, they will have it under control. As the bride or groom, you want to be able to switch off and just enjoy the day and having a team on-site allows you to do just that. If you don't have a planner, it's important to learn the art of delegation and at least be able to handover to someone you trust on the day.
How do you make a party memorable?
That is our main focus and true passion at Lillingston. Our tip is to stimulate the five senses; considering what your guests are seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching is crucial. If you work through these different areas with a little thought, then you will put together something very memorable and personal.

How do you help couples settle a difference of opinion?  
There's a lot going on when people are getting married so it's important to keep everything in perspective. If a difference of opinion becomes a regular problem... picking your battles is crucial. It's important to remember that the groom might not value something as much as the bride and may therefore find it difficult to understand - but that's where we come in useful! We nurture each of their needs and focus on the elements that both deem essential. We had one bride who said she only likes spending money on handbags and shoes so we had all the flower arrangements made into handbags and shoes! 

What has been your favourite wedding?
Last year we rented a magnificent Palazzo overlooking Florence. A candlelit dinner for 200 was created within the formal gardens. We had menus painted by the illustrator Susannah Garrod and personal embroidered napkins for each guest. This was followed by a wild party within the 17th century grotto. 
Then there was a wedding we created on the Amalfi coast. Literally the whole region turned up in the square to see the couple arrive. We had musicians dotted everywhere between the cathedral and the reception which was a 20 minute walk up a steep hill; they were in the trees, out of windows and in restaurants. It was a sensation.

What advice do you give to couples when it comes to registering for wedding gifts? 

Firstly, allow enough time to enjoy this. It can take longer than you expect if you are having a big wedding and require an extensive wedding list. Have a good variety of things at different price points to make it accessible to all of your guests, and consider different things like an interior designer for a day or wine list, as well as all the lovely household things such as glassware, ceramics and linen. 

A huge thanks to Sophie & Sophie from Lillingston for their wise words.
To get started on your S&B gift list,
click here or call the store on +44 (0) 207 221 4566, as we'd love to help. 

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