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Blogger Hattie West Had The Perfect English Wedding

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Helen Abraham Photogaphy and Amy Sanders

London-based blogger and freelance copywriter Hattie West met insurance broker Olly Fenwicke-Clennell at Newcastle University, and the couple actually dated for nine years before Olly finally popped the question. “I was still in shock believe it or not,” laughs Hattie.

The two were on vacation in Mykonos when Olly suggested they head up to a lighthouse he’d read about for a panoramic view of the sunset after a day spent on the beach. “A quad bike was our mode of transportation for the week, so we hopped on and set off in search of a good view,” says Hattie. “As we were driving along the road, the quad bike started jolting to a halt, and we realized my trousers had gotten stuck in the chain and were being shredded! We pulled over, I wiggled out of the trousers, and we sorted it all out, though we now had hands covered in oil. I honestly had no idea what was about to happen, but I’m sure in this moment, Olly was thinking to himself that my hands weren’t the most elegant and ring ready. We eventually found a hose at the back of a petrol station and cleaned ourselves up. We were now really racing the clock to catch the sunset. And I also now had no trousers on. We eventually rattled to the top of the hill on our bike and managed to catch a jaw dropping sunset—and Olly proposed, which took me completely by surprise. I think I actually swore. He also sort of whispered it as there were a few more people there than he expected. The whole thing was perfect chaos!”

The couple always knew they wanted to marry at the bride’s family home in Sussex. “We were completely blessed with the weather,” says Hattie. “It was 77 degrees in July and beautifully sunny. Our style is natural, undone, summer—so it worked out perfectly.”

During Hattie’s dress search, a lot of people directed her to The Mews in Notting Hill. “It turns out they knew me well,” she says. “I fell in love with the dresses there. My dress was by brilliant French designer Rime Arodaky, who gives bridal gowns a modern edge whilst still keeping things classic. She also has an adorable dog, who just might be my spirit animal!” The dress featured a separate lace skirt overlay, which Hattie later removed for dancing. She completed the look with low-heeled peep-toes in an ivory satin by Freya Rose. Her veil was handmade in soft tulle by The Mews, and she wore it with fresh gypsophila in her hair. “I initially had a two-tiered veil with a very long train,” says Hattie. “But I ditched this two weeks before the wedding during my final fitting in favor of a short one since I thought it obscured the back of my dress. The shorter one suited my style a lot better too—I’m so glad I did it, I felt a lot more ‘me.’”

For jewelry, Hattie wore diamond star earrings, a silver bracelet with “Luna” engraved on it by Tada and Toy (since Luna the couple’s puppy couldn’t come into the church with them), and a Jenny Packham necklace. “We had silver Tada & Toy bracelets engraved for all of our bridesmaids and my mum too,” says Hattie. “I changed into hand-painted Custom Converse for dancing later, which I still wear all of the time now. I’m also plotting when I can wear my dress again . . . friends have suggested that the beautiful lace could perhaps be used at a christening in the future . . . we’ll see!”

The ceremony at the church in the town of Fletching and was filled with lots of hearty singing by the congregation and choir. “Olly fluffed his vows which broke the ice early,” remembers Hattie. “The laughing from the congregation felt like it went on forever in our heads!” Olly’s sister Antonia read “Uncommon Love” by Terah Cox, and the couple’s Sky News’ presenter friend TC did the Biblical reading—“despite his profession I think he was still nervous!”

Afterward, everyone reconvened in a tent on Hattie’s parents’ property for a steel band reception. “This was something Olly and I always said we’d have if we ever got married due the lovely relaxed, summer feeling it creates,” says Hattie. “It also reminds us of cricket, which is a passion of both of ours.”

Dinner was guinea fowl stuffed with mascarpone, lemon and thyme served with lentils, spiced squash, spinach and tarragon oil. Dessert was a vanilla panna cotta with raspberries, coulis, and almond biscotti. There were also two cakes: a “cheese cake” tower of delicious cheeses decorated with lavender (Olly’s family works in cheese) and a big strawberries and cream cake with “H&O” on it.

“After everyone ate, we had a brilliant band who were rockier than your average wedding band—they played Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight, Fleetwood Mac, The Stones, Stevie Wonder, Oasis, and a few mash-ups,” says Hattie. “Everyone was on each others’ shoulders by the end of the night or dancing barefoot in the garden.”