Real Weddings

Alex and Shan.

We’re getting distinct This Life vibes from Alex and Shan’s love story: they’re both corporate lawyers, “but fortunately not in the same firm!”. In fact, they specialise in different areas: Alex works in commercial intellectual property law, while Shan deals with restructuring and insolvency.

No lawyer worth their salt would fail to weigh up the pros and cons of any given situation before rushing in, so we weren’t too surprised to hear that while Alex and Shan originally met at law school, it took six years for Shan to send Alex a text. Finally, after three months of messaging back and forth, Shan persuaded Alex to go on a date with him.

In stark contrast to this cautious beginning, Shan’s proposal was positively bold. One day in February 2018, while they were standing outside their London flat, he asked Alex to marry him. This lawyer must have pleaded his case well, because a successful verdict was returned. Just as well; when Alex walked into the flat, she found Shan’s brother and sister-in-law waiting for them with balloons, flowers and champagne. And there’s more; when Alex and Shan went out for dinner later in the evening, both sets of parents were already seated at the table, waiting to raise a glass in celebration.  

Alex and Shan chose Sparkford Hall in Somerset for their wedding venue, hiring the entire property for the whole weekend. “Our family stayed with us in the house, while our friends glamped in fancy yurts and tipis in the apple orchard. It meant we could host a dinner for everyone the night before the wedding, get married the next day and then have a huge hangover BBQ the next day by the pool. 

“We had 120 guests for the ceremony and wedding breakfast, increasing to 150 for the evening party. We didn’t want a venue which imposed an early curfew because we knew we would want to party late into the night; a big draw for us at Sparkford Hall was the underground club, which opened up around 11.30pm. We carried on well into the early hours of the morning. 

“It was the greatest weekend of our lives, and wonderful to see the wedding we’d spent 18 months planning come to fruition. The moment that really sticks in both of our minds was sitting at the top table on our wedding day, newly married, and looking around to see all our closest friends and family together. It was such a special moment.”

At the wedding breakfast, both Shan and Alex gave a speech, “which was so exhilarating!”. Piano man Michael G Moore helped to get the party going: “Our guests loved being able to request songs all throughout the wedding breakfast, which led to lots of singing and dancing. We played a game straight after the speeches, where friends had to run around and find particular items, or other guests, and avoid being the last to return to base. It was a great pick-me-up after the wedding breakfast, and helped to get everyone on the dance floor.” 

As you’d expect from a pair of legal eagles, Alex and Shan planned the wedding meticulously. “We were up to our eyeballs in timetables, spreadsheets and budgets. Our tip would be to consciously let go on the day, and just get in the moment and enjoy it. Some things will inevitably not go quite to plan, but only the bride and groom will notice; nobody else will. So, try not to get hung up on these things.  

“Oh, and one other thing; make sure you hire a videographer. We often rewatch our video of our wedding day; it captures the essence of the wedding and brings all the memories flooding back, even more vividly than photographs do. We hired Storybox Films, who were excellent.”

Images supplied thanks to Storybox Wedding and Film Photography