Sarah & Tom
A cross-channel wedding story
Sarah and Tom had their first mini-break as a young courting couple in Brussels and probably knew then that they would ultimately need to include Belgium as part of their wedding. Seven years later their dream became a reality and the happy couple enjoyed a cross-channel wedding that spanned two countries in just one day.
Getting ready at the glamorous St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, Tom’s party had a magnificent view of St Pancras International Station as they set about fine tuning their look, with Tom wearing a tailor-made suit by Reiss and sporting Loake shoes, he set about the all-important task of filling up the whisky flasks.
After make up by a friend and then hair at nearby Rush, Sarah, her parents and close friend Abi sipped on Piper Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage champagne back at the Renaissance Hotel. Vibrant floral hair pieces, wrist corsages and the bouquet were awaiting as the bride arrived to put on her dress: ‘Violet’ by Amanda Wyatt custom made to knee length from Love Bridal in Crystal Palace. With finishing touches: ‘Orla’ shoes by Ruby Shoos, the beautiful bracelet given to her by her parents and the veil from her fiancés Gran’s wedding (who had worn it on her wedding day 70 years before)!
Sarah was escorted to the ceremony by her proud father and met by a beaming husband-to-be. Chair bows with pink, yellow and white gerberas lined the aisle and a gorgeous floral arrangement complimenting the bridal bouquet (the former created by Iwona Bobowska, with flowers supplied by Isle of Flowers). The ceremony was fun and informal with a lovely reading from both of the bride’s sisters.
After the ceremony and a few group shots the champagne and canapé reception began at adjacent Searcys Champagne Bar. Guests had time to mingle, catch up and congratulations before heading off into the station to enjoy some of the restaurants and services including discounted lunch at St Pancras Grand and free hand and arm massages at Rituals.
As the check in time of 3pm approached there were a few surprises for the newly weds who were taken off for some beauty shots around the station. The couple called into Aspinal of London where bubbles and macarons were on offer to all Wedding Guests, as was a gift exclusively for the Bride.
And the Eurostar team had excelled themselves in making the process memorable – balloons heralded the barriered-off entrance to the exclusive check in gates, with “Félicitations Sarah and Tom. With love from Eurostar” digital signage – all in the bridal colours. Twelve of the guests had been given responsibility of carrying through a cool bag with chilled Piper Heidsieck champagne. Eurostar’s Amy provided a personal escort and speeded the couple and all the guests through the baggage scan and passport check; and then barely had the party sat down in departures, complete with congratulatory announcement from Eurostar, but early boarding was arranged for the train on Platform 9.
There were more surprises to come. With support from two of the Bride’s friends we had secretly brought on board a box of decorations (created by Iwona Bobowska), as well as a chocolate cake (also made by Iwona), branded Piper Heidsieck glasses for the core party as well as a PA system!
There was a quick group photo outside carriage 5 then, with minutes to spare, the couple and guests boarded and were able to take in the transformation of the exclusively hired Eurostar carriage.
We set off and settled in – pouring out the Piper ready for the speeches and listening to an on-board congratulatory train announcement from our Train Manager! It seemed minutes before we were in the tunnel and speeches kicked off with Dad giving a lovely speech over the PA system. This was followed by Tom and then Best Man Joe’s speech.
After a quick train stop in Lille it was time for the cake to be cut, wishes made and then cake served to everyone. Then we arrived at Brussels-Midi.
Yet again the Eurostar team excelled themselves. At the station there was a red carpet laid out for the couple and guests. Plus there were more balloons in the bridal colours and a huge bouquet of flowers as the team greeted the bride and groom. With Philip able to give directions to taxis for the main group we were assisted by the team as we took photos along the station and by the iconic Tintin art works.
Taxis took us to our various hotels and arrival of the main group at the glorious Metropole Hotel was just slightly hampered by a slow check in due to the mass arrival! But soon we walked over to the Greenwich Café and the Reception began in earnest. Whether moules or rabbit, beer or wine, the food and drink were copious and tasty and much fun was had by all.
With a few of the party leaving around midnight by taxi, a group of around twenty ‘hard core’ guests walked to the Grand Place where Tom and Sarah enjoyed their official ‘First Dance’ as Mr and Mrs Anderton using music from their phone via the PA system!
The perfect end to the perfect day doing what the Bride had dreamed of doing.
The even harder hard core managed to stay up a few more hours, but the official photography ended at the Grand Place!
Huge congratulations to Mr and Mrs Anderton!