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An Enchanting Black-Tie Wedding in Somerset Planned in Three-and-a-Half Months

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Sergio Sandoná and Linas Dambrauskas

Neither Tiffany Marie Brannon nor Justin Moak Siegel wanted to go on their first date, organized by their mutual friend, Lisa Spies, and heavily encourage by her best friend and his mother, but they ended hitting it off and talking at Soho House West Hollywood over chocolate chip cookies and cocktails until closing. Just before their four-year-anniversary—and after he had already proposed once, followed by a short breakup—he proposed in Malibu on April 15th, 2018. Tiffany adds, “I will never think of Tax Day the same way again!” 

The engaged couple, with only three-and-a-half months to plan, was lucky to land their dream wedding venue of Babington House in Somerset. They’d both attended school in the U.K. and have a strong community there, so it was clear to get married across the pond. “We wanted an English country estate meets enchanted garden vibe and Babington was the epitome of that mashup,” the bride says. 

As Tiffany comes from a strong literary and art background, meaning, language, and symbolism were key points in the wedding aesthetic. She also wanted to create a secret garden dining room and called Leanne of Wildabout in London to help with the florals. The bride took on all of the rushed planning for her September, black-tie wedding under her event business, Lorde & Haven, but also had help from Babington’s coordinator, Becky Kingston-Wood.

Six months before she was engaged, Tiffany came across Paolo Sebastian designer Paul Vasileff‘s fairytale-inspired gowns in collaboration with Disney and fell in love, so when she had less than four months to find a gown, she went the custom route with his team. “Because I’m so fair skinned, I wanted a gown that would look right for my skin tone,” the bride remarks. “He suggested using blue and platinum tulle under the embroidery to give the dress depth while still looking white to the naked eye.” 

They designed the whole thing over Skype and email, since Paul is based in Australia, and snuck in hidden embroidery of sentimental things like the day the couple met, their wedding date, nicknames, and more. The gown was impressive but would get destroyed on the dance floor, so Tiffany also had a one-shouldered, column gown by Solace London on-hand for later in the evening.

In St. Andrews Church, the bride walked down the aisle with her father, as bagpipes were played—an ode to her alma mater, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The ceremony in the 15th century house of prayer consisted of elements from both traditional Christian and Jewish weddings. “We had communion and sang hymns, both family and friends read scripture, we signed a ketubah, we and really took our time and enjoyed every moment,” Tiffany remarks. The bride was so relaxed during the service that she didn’t notice she forgot her bouquet, boutonnieres, and flower confetti at Babington House. 

She was a little upset, particularly about the confetti, but as they exited as a married couple, a swarm of beautiful ladybugs graced them with their presence. “Ladybugs are my sort of moniker—those closest to me call me T-bug—and were also Justin’s late grandmother’s favorite, so it was incredibly special,” Tiffany says. It was so well timed that guests thought they had bought loads of critters to release at that moment. 

People then piled into a vintage double decker bus to head back to the venue and were greeted with champagne on arrival. Specialty cocktails from Hannah Chamberlain of SpiritedLA were in the main area, along with a live band and a gin and tonic station.

Everyone was called into the main dining room for a delicious supper, followed by chocolate chip cookies made from the same recipe as the ones they had on their first date. The couple also cut their Bath Baby Cakes wedding creation that matched the room’s florals and their invitations.

With their live band, the newlyweds had their first dance to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love,” and later, they were whisked up in chairs for the Hora. “Dancing with our family and friends to everyone from Frank Sinatra to Bon Jovi and sitting back, watching everyone we love celebrating together was something we will never forget,” Tiffany adds. And with good cause—the dancing didn’t end until 4:00 a.m. “Our dear friends from Scotland circled around us and sang a traditional song to end the night.”

Tiffany and Justin were the last ones on the dance floor and walked down the tree-lined path in the moonlight before heading to bed. They got nearly three hours of sleep before showing up for brunch the next morning and checking out. However, the bride tells us that “some guests had so much fun that they extended their holiday at Babington for another week!”