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This Multi-Faith Destination Wedding at Beaverbrook in Leatherhead Elegantly Incorporated English Sensibility

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Sergio Sandona

|Planning by 

Beth Helmstetter

It only took one day for Laura Weaver and Adam Rothman to get their conversation off of the Coffee Meets Bagel app and into real life. When each suggested the same Philz Coffee location for their first date, they realized they practically lived right next door to each other.

After dating for six years and turning 30, they felt ready to officially begin the next chapter of their lives together. Laura says, “We worked with Monica Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles to design a ring.” Adam attempted to maintain the element of surprise with the romantic proposal in Bel-Air, California, but Laura suspected the big question was coming and had her answer prepared: “Yes!”

While dating, the two frequently traveled to Europe. “After our engagement at the height of lockdown, we found ourselves reminiscing on these trips and happy memories of the large dinner parties we used to host,” she shares. “We knew we wanted an intimate event and to capture the magic of those late nights with great friends.” They researched several U.K. estates and found Beaverbrook, the historic former home of the architect of the U.K.’s Spitfire program during WWII.

The estate’s unique combination of art, Japanese cuisine, and vast grounds resonated with the couple. They enlisted Beth Helmstetter to take on planning their wedding weekend and Sergio Sandona to photograph the event.  “It was important to us that the wedding incorporated the English sensibility while remaining true to our interests,” Laura clarifies. “To do this, we devised three days, each with its own distinct feel.”

The weekend began with a welcome party at the NoMad in London. “The former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court is shrouded in stormy murals by Claire Basler, and we wanted to really embrace the palette while being a bit more unique,” Laura elaborates. They chose lime green as the event’s color touchstone to evoke “a feeling of fresh spring forest growth.” The tables were set with tall florals and branches overhanging, forming a canopy over guests. Laura—dressed in a lamé Gucci gown and Judith Leiber clutch in hand—personally ordered every guest a unique drink elixir, which was delivered with a Bernard Maisner paper plane and a letter from the bride-to-be. Finally, Matthew Sturgis, biographer of Oscar Wilde and beloved family friend, gave a touching and fitting tribute to love and perseverance in the same building where Wilde was put on trial in 1895.

The next morning, guests were whisked away to the town of Leatherhead. “The grounds of Beaverbrook include an old grove of yew trees, said to have once been inhabited by druids,” Laura notes. She was inspired by the midday forest luncheon scene from Gosford Park. She and her team paved a path through the woods and into a hidden clearing with a feast laid out by Noma and Nobu-trained chef Wojciech Popow. Guests received wellies for a trek into the woods, past the apiary and ferns. The decor referenced William Morris’s Strawberry Thief, one of Laura’s favorite prints. She donned Loro Piana boots, her Cartier Tank Louis, and a Chloé gown cinched by an Isabel Marant belt.

As for bridal style, Laura used Tara Maietta’s expertise to settle on each event’s clothing selections. “Although I had always fantasized about my wedding, it wasn’t until we actually selected Beaverbrook as our venue that I narrowed down the idea of what my dress would be,” Laura shares. Inspired by the venue’s Victorian architecture, she chose a Gothic cream Vera Wang gown punctuated by arched tulle tiers and macrame lace with a complementary cathedral-length veil. For beauty, Tara and Laura drew inspiration from Nina Ricci’s Spring/Summer 2015 presentation. Her hair by Nicola Beddoes and makeup look by Kelly Dawn featured a slicked-back bun and strong eyebrows.

Being from California, I wanted to incorporate a nod to hype beast culture: my pearl-encrusted Jimmy Choo flats were custom painted by the elusive artist ‘E’ with art by our calligrapher, Stephanie Fishwick, and an old English sixpence,” Laura explains. Her “something borrowed” was a pair of diamond studs loaned by her soon-to-be mother-in-law, and her “something old” was a family heirloom ring from the 1850s. 

Adam matched his soon-to-be wife’s ‘E’ shoe detailing and had one painted on his Christian Louboutin velvet loafers, ensconced in Stephanie Fishwick’s rendition of California poppies and palm trees. He wore a Tom Ford tuxedo accented with meaningful touches. His watch, a Patek Philippe 3940 perpetual calendar, was a family heirloom passed down to his father by his grandfather, Frank Rothman, the former CEO of MGM. In a nod to Beaverbrook’s WWII aviation history, Laura gifted Adam a pair of sterling silver Santos de Cartier biplane cufflinks

On July 3, 2022, guests found their seats in the slight English drizzle and bushels of Camelot cream foxgloves and white peonies by McQueen Flowers. The couple’s close friend, Gordon Dean, officiated and honored both families’ faiths. Even Adam was teary-eyed by the momentum of the ceremony. As he stepped on the glass and held his wife’s hand to face the crowd, the drizzle ceased, and the sun shone down on the newlyweds.

During the reception, the Ember Trio and Bangers & Brass band performed while guests signed a half case of Cos d’Estournel 2005. “We plan to drink a bottle every fifth anniversary,” Laura notes. Then, everyone sat for a Japanese kaiseki fusion meal. “One of the pieces of sushi was garnished with Kentish ants, which taste a bit like lemon,” she explains. “We weren’t sure how people would react, but watching our guests collectively decide ‘Why not?’ was so delightful.” 

After a toast to their incredible planners, cutting into their Violet Cakes dessert, and a first dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” sung by their friend, Danny Gould, the newlyweds joined their friends and family for a legendary party in Sir Frank’s bar, and Laura slipped into a Hermione de Paula blush dress that mirrored Beaverbrook’s Marianne North botanical paintings.Adam’s parents have been collecting Bordeaux wine from his birth year for the last 30 years and were kind enough to open a number of bottles for our wedding festivities,” Laura mentions. “It’s not often you get to hang out drinking ‘90 Château Margaux and Mouton Rothchild until sunrise.”