You Give Me Butterflies

There are a lot of weddings. That is just a fact. Sometimes it’s hard to stand out from the crowd, and sometimes, when planning your wedding, standing out from the crowd is not what you want to do. However, with Christy and Derek’s fabulous summer do, they set out to impress from the get-go, I mean, how’s this for a ‘save the date’ with a kick?

With that for a tantalising little taster of the styling and elegant ambiance of the things to come, it was one for their luckily invited guests to mark in the calendar in indelible ink. As Christy and Derek said themselves ‘We had always wanted something unusual for our wedding invitations and Penelope worked with us to create a truly unique design idea which far exceeded our expectations for our wedding stationery. Perspex butterflies with a beautiful inlaid design were sent to our guests with our names, the date of our wedding and a URL which directed our guests to our wedding video. At the end of the wedding video, the web page would automatically re-direct guests to our wedding website, where friends could get all of the details for the wedding day, from the wedding day schedule to the wedding breakfast menus and our “Love Story”.

Our invitations generated so much excitement amongst our guests for our wedding day, many of whom commented that it was the most beautiful wedding invitation they had ever received.’



Christy and Derek met at Law School in London and they said: “We both knew from an early stage that we wanted to be together.” Derek began planning his proposal and asked Christy to be his wife in New York.

Every stage of the process was planned meticulously by Penelope, working together with suppliers in the UK, as the couple lived in Abu Dhabi and had limited time to visit the UK. Penelope commented, “however we had much fun on our skype calls together.”  As a planner, I have planned many UK weddings with couples living overseas and the secret is to keep in contact as much as possible with each other and always keen the couple feeling central to the wedding planning process.

Syon Park Wedding

The ceremony was incredibly touching and the walk to the Great Hall felt so regal because of the elegant corridors at the house. When I entered the hall my breath was slightly taken away said Christy, I was so happy to see my gorgeous groom waiting for me at the end of the aisle but also to see all our family and friends were with us to celebrate this very special day.



The couple’s vows were dear to their hearts Christy felt slightly choked while reading and for her, this was one of the day’s most memorable moments. “I’ll also never forget the moment we were announced as man and wife after signing the register and a great “whoop!” came from the guests as everyone clapped and cheered.

The Guests then moved to the beautiful inner courtyard for scrumptious Canapes and Champagne and were entertained with a cool backdrop of tracks played by their string quartet.





Q’ What was it that made you choose Syon Park when you could have had your pick of venues across the world, never mind just the UK?

“Syon Park felt perfect for us.”  This historic venue in South West London has grounds to die for and is the London residence of the Duke of Northumberland.

The starting point for the idea of a theme came, rather poetically, from the history of the venue itself. In the past the magnificent house had been home to a beautiful butterfly house – the butterfly motif was echoed quietly throughout the day to stunning effect, in the laser cut invitations, the table names that the couple choose (all rare butterflies).

Our table plan was vintage bird cages with white butterflies strategically placed over the cages and each guests heart shaped escort cards was carefully tied to the cages. The guests on the days loved this idea and found it fun finding their escort card.


After the reception the guests moved to the Great Conservatory and walked along the wooded Queen’s Walk at Syon. The couple took a gentle walk to the reception venue and here are a couple of stolen moments capture on their journey.



Christy and Derek’s wedding was a sumptuous summer affair, with immaculately planned and designed details, the colour scheme of duck egg blue, pink and peach with creams and garden greens flowed effortlessly through the day and blended with the natural colours of the venue and gardens.

The glorious, sweet smelling Stocks that were chosen for their centre pieces offered height and perfume to the  Great Conservatory and also added a touch of drama to complement the huge domed ceiling of the venue.

The bridal party had bouquets of soft David Austin Roses which blended with this beautifully quintessentially British wedding and syon parks gardens which are full of lush flowers.




An exceptional feast was prepared by the fabulous and super talented Food Show for the guests, and when they were seated for the wedidng breakfast they were greeted with this tastalising menu.

Christy and Derek Menu

During the wedding breakfast the couple had their speeches which were extremely fun and very touching and some of these images help convey the mood of the day.


Syon Park Wedding

After the cutting of the cake and first dance The couple then partied with their guests in to the small hours, with the cutest candy bar and an array of amazing cocktails…



First Dance Picture

Wedding Cocktails

Our very last question to Christy was about design as we really wanted to ensure we covered this after yesterdays post. As we know designing a wedding can be an overwhelming process – there are so many decisions to make, the dress, the flowers, the favours, the colour scheme, the invitations, the guestbook, the food, the cake, the drinks, the entertainment, and the list goes on.

Christy said “We were so lucky to be able to have a wedding planner assist us design and navigate all things wedding and design for our day”

Penelope was a wonderful wedding planner, she worked tirelessly with us to ensure that our vision became a reality,  nothing was ever too much trouble and we adored working with her. We had always wanted something unusual for our wedding. She had a fabulous grasp on how to develop concepts and make them unique and reflective of us but also layer the design ideas into our venue.  We were blown away by how beautiful but effortless everything looked on the day and how it blended in so well with the venue.

Below is the mood board Penelope designed for the couple’s wedding, this is a small excerpt from her look book which detailed all design details and working and production ideas, from lighting to candy bar, to linens, table wear, flowers and stationery.

C&D mood board

So imagine adding to that not living in the City the wedding is to be held in, and having a finite amount of time to make the ‘on the ground’ decisions? Well between them and their planner, things all came together quite wonderfully, they created an elegantly styled wedding that Christy and Derek had always dreamed about.

We will leave the Bride to close the feature,  The whole day was quite simply, the best. From the ceremony to the speeches, we were beaming and on one occasion, I was moved to tears.”

Christy & Derek’s Little Black Book

Venue Syon Park

Wedding Planning and Design Penelope Cullen Tigerlily Weddings

Photography by Mark Bothwell

Flowers  Wilabout Flowers

Catering Food Show

Lighting White Light

DJ  Matt Maurice

String Quartet Liquid Strings

Brides wedding Dress Monique Lhuillier ‘Lyric’ gown from Frost Boutique

Brides evening Dress Marchesa From Frost Boutique

Groom’s suit Ozwald Boateng

Bridesmaids Dresses Maids to Messure

Brides Make up Alison Cameron

Brides Hair Hepburn Collection

Bridesmaid’s hair Cassandra Rizzuto

Bridesmaid’s Make up Rachel Kent

Invite by Cutture

Wedding Cake Marks & Spencers

Words By Harriet Rouse & Penelope Cullen Tigerlily

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