After first meeting at the now-closed Soho pub, Endurance, Mark Castle slid into Rosalyn Holman’s Instagram DMs, and they arranged a first date over drinks. “Drinks turned into dinner, dinner turned into dancing at The Arts Theatre Club, followed by breakfast at Balans about 4:00 a.m.” Rosalyn remembers. “I was 30 at the time, and I had never been out with anyone younger than me—I decided my cut off age would be 27. When I met Mark, I misheard him and thought he said he was 27, when in fact he was 26. I was alarmed on his birthday a couple of months later, when I found out on his age. I managed to get over it pretty quick, as I felt his height of 6’3” to mine 5’6.5”—the half matters—made him feel older than me!”
After eight years together—five spent in London and three in New York—Mark whisked Rosalyn away to The Ritz in Paris to propose. “I decided on filling the room with 250 gold balloons to create a ‘wow’ moment, and to add to effect, I created a film using candid videos and photos of our time together, which I planned on playing in the hotel room, when I was down on one knee,” Mark recalls. After drinks at the Hemingway Bar with Head Bartender Colin Peter Field, they headed back up to order room service.
Upon seeing the multiple golden orbs, Rosalyn eyes set on Mark’s film, soundtracked to her favorite song, “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure. “When the footage ended, he got down on one knee and proposed; we were both in tears,” Rosalyn remembers.
“It’s funny how traditional you realize you are, when you start planning a wedding,” Rosalyn says. “It was important to us to get married in London, somewhere close to our home.” Originally, the pair didn’t think The Danish Church in Regents Park—which they walk past nearly every day—was an option, as they’re not Danish. After meeting with Rector Flemming Kloster Poulsen, he allowed them to get married there with just fewer than 80 people.
For the reception, Rosalyn and Mark chose Carlton House Terrace in Westminster. “It’s two large houses joined together with ornate beautiful features and not too big that it felt like an overwhelming space,” Rosalyn explains. “We didn’t want a venue with endless rooms that can feel like only half the people are there because they’re in another room.”
The pair originally booked their wedding for July of 2021, but when Boris Johnson started another lockdown in January, they quickly pushed the date to September 10, 2021. “Despite being midway through our home renovation, we decided to go it alone and plan the wedding ourselves,” Rosalyn states. “It was a big learning curve for both of us, and we can strongly suggest to other couples thinking of doing the same…never renovate and get married in the same year!”
Despite being a fashion buyer for years, Rosalyn found choosing a wedding dress tricky…especially during the pandemic. At the point when she was officially running out of time, she decided to have the Matchesfashion team call in an Emilia Wickstead bow back dress to their Carlos Place townhouse. The bride-to-be had 20 minutes to try on the design. “I was so sure it wouldn’t be the one, I didn’t even let my bridesmaid, Lucy, come with me,” Rosalyn admits. However, when she saw it hanging on the railing, she knew it was the one. The bride had to lower the armhole slightly, but apart from that, it fit like a glove.
For the veil, Rosalyn knew she wanted a cathedral-length tulle style with a blusher. Browns Bride made her a bespoke design for her in silk tulle. And to complete the look, she wore old Celine sunglasses, Amina Muaddi’s Gilda sandals, a Marques’Almeida blue ostrich feather bag (her “something blue”), and crystal teardrop earrings from Butler & Wilson. In the evening, she changed into a Cult Gaia white ostrich feather dress.
Beauty-wise, Rosalyn knew she wanted a natural look for her wedding day and trusted celebrity makeup artist Alesandra Macsim. She also wanted a big bouncy blow-dry and was thrilled with the hairstyle Argyrios Raf of Secret Spa produced. The bride accompanied her glam with facials at Skinwork, regular sessions at Facegym, highlights with Shannon Gallacher at Nicola Clarke John Frieda, brow shaping by Blink Brow Bar, and weekly fitness training with Fatimah Radiom.
“Since the wedding was in London, I wanted to have a suit that tied to the location—no pun intended—so a tailored suit from Saville Row seemed like the right choice,” Mark says. “I settled on Edward Sexton, which has strong connections to the sixties but also has a ‘contemporary’ edge.” He completed his ensemble with shoes from Sanders and Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses.
Neither Rosalyn nor Mark was nervous for the actual ceremony. “I didn’t even feel nervous walking down the aisle which is weird,” the bride notes. The bell tolled—a Danish tradition—and then the Euphony choir, led by Kathleen Linton-Ford, started singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” as Rosalyn and her dad started their promenade. “As the door opened, I saw Rosalyn for the first time, and words can’t describe how beautiful she looked,” Mark remembers. “It’s hard to write down all the emotions I felt, as this is something you’ve only ever read about or seen in films, but to see her standing there in front of me in the most gorgeous dress is something I’ll never forget.”
After being announced as husband and wife, the newlyweds walked out of the church to “All You Need is Love.” Drinks from Martin & Bar Catering followed immediately in the garden, as the choir continued to sing, and the sun miraculously came out.
In the council room at Carlton House Terrace, two long tables were set for the wedding breakfast with florals from Sage Flowers running down the centers. The new mister and missus entered the space to a roar of cheers. Rosalyn’s father gave the first speech—delightfully filled with dad jokes—followed by Mark’s best men, Chris and Josh, who complimented the groom so much that it became a drinking game. Every time they gave another accolade, the room drank. Then, Mark closed it out with a heartwarming toast.
For entertainment, the evening reception room was opened with Ross Wilson, Soho House’s resident deejay, and a gold balloon backdrop from Bubblegum Balloons. Rosalyn and Mark poured bubbly into their tower from Jason Dupoy, and then they cut their Lily Vanilli sponge wedding cake. The two had their first dance to “Beast of Burden,” which the bride had always envisioned. “I feel like it was the first time in a year-and-a-half most people wore heels, and by 9:00 p.m., most of our female guests had removed them and were dancing barefoot, which I loved,” Rosalyn says.
Post-reception, the couple kept it simple with a night cap at Chiltern Firehouse, where they were staying that night. “It was a nice moment for the both of us to reflect on the day and [a] particular shout-out goes to the head bartender who made sure were well looked after,” Mark concludes.