Wizardry Elegance at The Natural History Museum
When we get that initial call about a wedding at the Natural History Museum we can’t help but start the planning process straight away – we’re regulars at the Museum and creating weddings there is so special.
When we started the organisation for this magical wedding, the brief from the bride and groom was to create an elegant and magical wedding with subtle Harry Potter themed touches as they both loved the novels. ‘Wizardry Elegance’ – what a wonderful theme! We promptly set about creating an enchanted forest setting filled with magical touches to create impact.
Taking inspiration from the drama and grandeur of the wizarding world, the colour scheme for the event was set to be a striking navy and gold combination. Starting at the beginning we focussed on the invitations where we created a luxurious, bespoke wallet with a personalised emblem illustration on the front and gold detailing foiled onto imperial blue card. On the reverse of the wallet the word ‘Alohamora’ was detailed – the Unlocking Spell from the Harry Potter world. The special pack created by Cutture included the Wedding Day, Reception and Brunch invitations printed onto ivory card and mounted onto imperial blue card with an RSVP card and return envelope. The idea was to create a wow moment with the invitation and to give a hint of the theme at the event and we know guests were excited to open the envelopes and discover what was within.
On site, the floral side of the event was key – we worked closely with our florist TBR Floral Design to create an airy, weeping willow design which was soft and elegant with an enchanted woodland vibe creating the feeling of bringing the outside in. To ensure magical moments right from guest arrival to the Natural History Museum we designed an amazing enchanted twisted willow archway into the main reception which perfectly set the theme for the event. This arch was 12ft by 8ft with LED pea lights woven through the branches and hanging glass globes on invisible thread appearing to drop out of the arch. After dinner the arch was moved to the exit of the museum to allow guests to then walk back underneath as they left. One of the show stopping moments of the reception was the table plan. This was on display during the reception drinks for guests to discover. We installed a huge, magical, ‘Whomping Willow’. Instead of name cards there were personalised laser cut wings with guest names and table name. These were then attached to keys before hanging with fishing wire from the branches of the trees. The guests loved the experience of finding their wings to discover which table they were on. The tables were, of course, named after the houses in Harry Potter.
For the call to dinner the bride and groom made their entrance down the grand staircase in Hintze Hall. The staircase was dressed either side with 6ft candelabra draped in willow and ivy. As they then sat, the candle flickering above their heads created the floating candle effect often seen in the Harry Potter movies.
The top table followed the traditional format and was a long, front facing table, sat at the base of the stairs. We worked on a design with our florist which saw five low bark based strips installed along the front of the table which were then dressed with a mixture of loose, trailing over-hanging flowers, moss and succulents. This created the most wonderful frame to the table.
For the guest tables we created both high and low designs. For the high displays our florist designed seven bespoke twisted willow trees. Flowers were then hung from the trees including our bride’s favourites of sunflowers, roses and hydrangea. The effect was very earthy with moss at the base and hanging glass globes. We then used vine like flowers to create a weeping willow effect tree and added real hanging crystal strands. The result was that the tree looked like it was growing out of the table! By adding candlelight on different levels we also created a very romantic feel. For the low table centres, we used ‘owl’ birdcages with flowers at the base of the cage and a large pillar candle inside.
For dinner our fantastic caterers Rhubarb created a truly delicious menu. The incredible fish bar, complete with chef chopping tartare to order, also served hand carved sides of salmon cured on Himalayan rock salt. In addition there was also a selection of sushi and sashimi. This was followed by an Italian stall with freshly cooked pasta salads and live carvery. For dessert we served an Apple Tarte Tatin with an Oat and Black Olive Crumble, Pepper Ice Cream and Caramel Gel. This was then finished off with a White Chocolate Snitch to add that Happy Potter touch!
The theme continued through to the glassware where we selected a baroque gold collection to add grandeur and elegance. The cocktails were served in a mix of copper tankards, gold tumblers and silver goblets.
The cocktails were of course inspired by potions from Harry Potter to include an ‘Amortentia Pearlescent Margarita’, ‘Pepperup Potion Porn Star Martini’ and ‘Veritaserum Chilli and Lemongrass Collins’.
The wedding cake by Domino Purchas was naked and rustic in design decorated with touches of Harry Potter and wizardry elegance to include the snitch and white chocolate wands.
To highlight the cake, the display sat on circular wood plates with a mixture of carpet moss, succulents and natural bark. This was then intertwined with flowers around the cake using sunflowers and vine flowers to tie the floral elements of the evening together.
For the gifts and cards table we stacked a collection of large rustic trunk style suitcases using Edwardian gold mirrored frames for signage.
Wonderful and majestic Hope the Whale was a key feature of the evening. She provided a wonderful talking point, being brand new to the space just months earlier.
As the evening drew onwards, guests made their way to the shiny starlit dancefloor, the perfect compliment to the star cloth backdrop and black stage where the 8 piece band performed.
We are always blown away by every event we create in this wonderful space but this really was a truly magical day. To be given such an incredible brief and work so closely with such a lovely couple really was an honour. Weddings are so personal and we love to interpret our initial conversations with couples into ever memorable events. We will certainly remember this evening forever, as one of our favourite events. We wish the happy couple all the love and luck in the world for a truly magical future.
“You were both amazing and so helpful. You have made sure that our wedding was incredible! Thank you so much”