Sophie & Ben’s Beautifully Intimate Wedding at RSA House

by Michelle

We’re delighted to be able to share Sophie and Ben’s intimate wedding with you today. This stylish wedding took place on 19th September at RSA House. What really shines through for us is that the joy and romance of the day wasn’t at all dimmed by the current restrictions that everyone in the industry is currently having to work around. This is a fabulous testament to the lovely couple and of course the utterly professional team at RSA House.

You’ll all be familiar with RSA House which is  such an impressive and totally unique venue for your London wedding. Situated in the heart of the West End just off The Strand, Grade I listed RSA House boasts graceful Georgian architecture, stunning interiors and of course, such a sought after location which also recently won The Best Wedding Venue at Hire Space 2019 Awards.

An Intimate Town House Feel for a Special Wedding

What we love about RSA House in the current climate is how intimate and welcoming it feels. In more normal times, RSA House can comfortably accommodate large wedding parties, however, as it still retains it’s London townhouse interior, it’s gorgeous event spaces also feel invitingly romantic and can take on an intimate house party feel for the smaller numbers currently permitted at weddings.

The bride was clearly attracted to RSA’s unique vibe too as she comments “We’ve always wanted to get married in London, it’s where we met and where we’ve spent our whole relationship together. I came across RSA House whilst doing some google searches, and we fell in love with it immediately. We loved the townhouse feel and the different spaces available – it felt so unique compared to other venues we’d seen.”

Celebrating Safely

As you would naturally expect at such a well run prestige venue, celebrating safely and in a way that seamlessly fits with the rhythm of the day is a top priority at RSA House. As Olivia Parrott, Senior Event Executive, RSA House comments: “Throughout this time, we have tried to turn the challenges around the current restrictions into something positive. There are many new elements and differences to consider and above all ensuring our staff and guest safety is most important.” Olivia goes on to say, “It hasn’t come without its challenges, but we have adapted well to the new way of working. Something that is undoubtable is our ability to maintain a close relationship with couples, working together and guiding them to help create the most enjoyable and memorable wedding day for them, their family and friends.”

The wedding day was held in accordance with safety guidelines established in the ‘Safer events – A Framework for Action’ white paper and Visit Britain accreditations, Westminster council risk assessments and in accordance with public health and government guidance. All guests were sent a personalised RSA House pre-wedding guide and floor plans adhering to household bubbles prior to the wedding day, to help guests feel comfortable and at ease before stepping through the door.

The bride comments – “Olivia and team at The RSA House have been absolutely amazing with their Covid-19 safety procedures. We couldn’t, and wouldn’t, have wanted to organise our wedding without their expertise. We’d have been completely lost! The rules are so specific and nuanced, but RSA have got so many guidelines and rules in place it really did put us at ease.”

Highlights of the Day

As Olivia explains “The crisp sunny day began with the staggered arrival of the guests to the beautiful Grade ll listed Georgian town house. Digital contactless temperature checks were taken by a member of the RSA reception team. On entry, guests sanitised their hands and lanterns guided their way into the contemporary Benjamin Franklin Room, where the intimate candlelit wedding ceremony took place. The stunning original Troika chandelier beamed light down into the room and guests faced the ornate fire place covered in blooms.”

Following the heartfelt ceremony, guests were guided outside the beautifully historic exterior of RSA House, where the perfect joyful confetti photograph was captured. Guests then moved to the charismatic and recently renovated Tavern room where sparkling Prosecco and a selection of delicate and divine canapés were relished in designated seating areas, matching the seating plan for dinner.

Canape choices included smoked mackerel and horseradish pate, pickled cucumber, onion cone, pea and ricotta arancini with smoked tomato ketchup, to name a few. Darren Archer, Executive Chef, RSA House comments – “It is amazing being back doing what we do best, we always strive for the couple and their guests to feel it’s the best food they have ever tasted at a wedding. Food being memorable is more important now than ever”.

A call for dinner was announced and guests made their way to the Great Room which is steeped in history and provided a truly memorable setting for the wedding dining experience. The Great Room is dominated by breath-taking murals which were painted in 1777. The dining tables were dressed in rustic white flowers and foliage, the perfect look for an Autumn London wedding. The flavour and presentation of the three-course dinner was exquisite; dishes included black mustard spiced Dorset crab cake to start, followed by Scotch sirloin and short rib with pomme fondant for the main. In tribute to the couple’s routes, guests indulged in a Yorkshire custard tart, strawberries, passionfruit with ginger cream to finish. The atmosphere was something special as family and friends were safely reunited.

The mother of the groom comments, “The team at RSA were absolutely incredible, they had clearly worked so hard and planned every tiny detail. We cannot thank you enough for making the day so special for us all, the intimacy of the day and laughter we shared made up for not being able to hug each other, thank you for everything, it was all perfect”.

Top Tips For Safe & Intimate Weddings

Ben and Sophie’s wedding was the first that the RSA House team hosted as a socially distanced intimate wedding and here’s a super helpful list of their top tips moving forwards which we’re sure you’ll find really beneficial:

Intimate doesn’t mean any less lavish and beautiful! Having a smaller celebration can mean a higher budget for other elements such as florals and décor which creates a more memorable impact

– Love always wins! Distance makes the heart grow stronger and, in a world, where you cannot hug or kiss, an intimate wedding with family and friends being safety reunited makes a wedding day even extra special

– A smaller guest list means less expense and being able to celebrate with your nearest and dearest to you

– Don’t underestimate how important it is to over plan! Risk assessments, council protocols and checklists are more important than ever, couples want to know they are in safe hands at a venue like RSA House where this is taken care of and always go the extra mile

– Have a venue Covid safety offer for the event to manage the new procedures. Some people are always likely to break the rules and so there must be processes in place to manage this

– It’s all in the detail – gifts, favours, little personal touches through your day is one thing that isn’t restricted, so make sure personal detail is plentiful throughout the day. Could you offer your all-time favourite cocktails after dinner or provide entertainment? Ideas such as these make up for the no dancing!

– Be patient! We are all in this together, we are following this road through ‘new normal’ together. Be patient with each other, but know in the meantime before weddings are back for good… an intimate celebration really creates memories to last a lifetime.

A massive thank you to Sophie and Ben and RSA House for sharing your special wedding with us. To Sophie and Ben, all of us here at Girl Gets Wed wish you a lifetime of happiness together. And to the whole team at RSA House, really well done for hosting such a beautiful day.

RSA House New Wedding Packages

RSA House has launched a range of new packages including Ceremony-only weddings at RSA House , Intimate weddings at RSA House and Vaults wedding party package at RSA House

– For more information give the RSA a call on 020 7451 6855 or email weddings@rsa.org.uk for wedding enquiries for RSA House

 

Gallery

The Dream Team

And last but certainly not least, here’s a big shout out to all the suppliers who made the day possible:

Venue: RSA House

– Catering: CH&CO

– Photography: Top Hats and Tea (Charlotte Millihttps://www.thersa.org/hire-rsa-house/event-types/weddings–civil-partnershipsons)

– Flowers: Mary Jane Vaughn

– Wedding dress: Reformation

– Bride’s shoes: Manolo Blahnik

– Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS

– Grooms attire: Reiss

– Rings: Michelle Oh

– Invitations: Papier

– Lighting and production: Radiance productions

 

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