Old school charm

Sophie and Peter opted for a traditional wedding with a country, vintage feel

Sophie Nias returned to her roots for her wedding to Peter Harland. The 24-year-olds met during their first term at university and after four years together tied the knot at Sophie's old school.

Peter arranged a surprise weekend in Paris to pop the question. “We've been there quite a few times, so we spent most of the time just café-hopping and pootling around our favourite areas,” says Sophie.
They stayed in the design hotel Secret de Paris in an Opera Garnier-themed room complete with ballet shoes hanging from the bed. “Pete proposed on our first night just before we went out to supper. He got down on one knee, which was very romantic. He had a whole spiel ready, but nerves got the better of him, so I got the full rendition after I'd said yes,” she recalls.

The couple were married on 14th July, 2012 at St Andrew's Church, Mells, a stone's throw from where Sophie grew up, followed by a reception at her former preparatory school in Cranmore Hall, East Cranmore.

“Although we'd lived in London for three years, we both wanted a country, homely feel to our wedding,” Sophie adds.

Read on for her account of the big day...

Old school charm: Image 1
We were married in Mells, the village next to the hamlet where I grew up and we had the reception at my old school.


Old school charm: Image 2
We had an arch of flowers over the entrance to the church – it was stunning and provided some great photo opportunities.


Old school charm: Image 3aMy oldest friend Izzie Neville sang such a beautiful solo in the church, I think she had most of the congregation in tears.

Old school charm: Image 3 A friend of my mother's made my dress. We chose all the fabrics, from the silks to the tulle and the lace. I picked a simple tiara with lots of sparkles to go with the dress and some pointed ivory shoes.


Old school charm: Image 4
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and happy in what they wore and to be able to wear their dresses again.


Old school charm: Image 5
We travelled in style in a Beauford Convertible.


Old school charm: Image 6
The speeches were amazing and so special. I still can't believe we had tears from my father and that Pete tried to turn his speech into a drinking game!


Old school charm: Image 7aFor the favours we made chutney for the boys and filled little hessian bags with sugared almonds for the girls.

Old school charm: Image 7 As I studied art history at university, we decided to name the tables after famous artists.


Old school charm: Image 8
Peter and his groomsmen wore classic morning suits with striped trousers and dove grey waistcoats.


Old school charm: Image 9
Our centrepieces were tall, slim vases filled with peonies, roses and other pink and white flowers. We placed them on mirrors and scattered gems over the tables for extra sparkle.


Old school charm: Image 10
Hugo Walker, an old friend of mine, plays in a jazz band which performed at the wedding and was a real hit – it got everyone on the dancefloor. The band also played some more chilled-out music during the champagne reception.


Old school charm: Image 11
I loved putting together the guest book table. We had jars of sweets, photos of special memories, little trinkets and an abundance of lavender and flowers – it looked so pretty!


Sophie and Peter's contact book

Hugo Walker

Bride's hair and make-up
Beau Papillon

Bride's tiara
Ivory & Co

Bridesmaids' dresses
JJ's House

Caroline Gent Catering

The Walled Garden

Groom's suit

Rosie Cutbill

Reception venue
All Hallows Preparatory School

The Wedding Car Collection


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