Alina Aleksandra Nikolina, 23, and Ahmed Jameel, 24, met while at university in 2009. “After spending some time together we realised that despite growing up in different parts of the world, we shared similar values and outlooks on life,” Alina recalls. When it came to their first date, Ahmed pulled out all the stops. “Little did I know, he had a private helicopter licence. So he took me in an R44 helicopter around central London – as you can imagine, I was pretty impressed!” the bride reveals.
A couple of years later, Ahmed proposed to Alina while cruising along the River Seine on their last night of a trip to Paris. Here, she tells us all about their beautiful big day...
We chose Claridge's because of its distinctive Art Deco interior and long-standing reputation of excellence. Although it's a period building, it's well-maintained and kept in great condition.
Severin Hubert styled my hair and Miriam Jenson applied my make-up. I absolutely loved how it all turned out.
I wore two Pronovias gowns: Dauco in the daytime and Galaica in the evening. My inspiration was Grace Kelly's wedding dress and I found them both in the first shop I visited!
Ahmed wore a classic Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo.
All our stationery was designed by Emily&Jo to tie in with the Art Deco theme.
My bouquet was made up of ivory and white avalanche, akito and vendella roses with peonies and ranunculus. I love these blooms for their elegant, soft and romantic look.
Charles the Roving Artist was brilliant at the drinks reception – he cut out an extraordinary silhouette of each guest using just a pair of scissors.
Liquid Strings provided beautiful and elegant background music during the ceremony and drinks.
On the tables, we had tall glass vases overflowing with white eucalyptus and hydrangeas, and white and pale pink roses and peonies. Each had small glass vases filled with more flowers at its base, with a variety of different candles in-between.
Each table was named after a film from the '20s and '30s.
Our wedding planner was Melanie Helen from Cranberry Blue Weddings. She was extremely helpful when meeting with suppliers and she also helped us prioritise our budget.
I knew the ring I wanted straightaway so when the Cartier on New Bond Street didn't have my size, we flew to Geneva, Switzerland that day to get it from there!
Ahmed and I had floral swag chair backs with signs on saying 'Mr & Mrs'.
Our Rosalind Miller-designed cake was an elegant four-tiered ivory creation. It was finished with blooms at the top and on the sides, and a mass of rose petals and single flower-heads at the base with tea lights nestled in-between.
In the evening, we had a circular black gloss bar with Deco-style mirrored detailing.
Melanie recommended a selection of photographers but after meeting Victoria Grech, we knew she'd be perfect. She and her assistant were amazing – I would definitely recommend them.
Guests were asked to place cards in a traditional red post box.
The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra played light jazz and other tunes from the 1920s. We even hired a white baby grand piano for them to use.
Two fantastic dancers from The Top Hat Dance Society kept everyone in raptures throughout the meal.
Our first dance was to Always and Forever by Heatwave.
Radio Nation via Function Central
The Hepburn Collection
Rosalind Miller Cakes
The Top Hat Dance Society via Sternberg Clarke
DJ Jon C via Function Central
Philippa Craddock Flowers
Fabulous Furniture Hire
The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra
Victoria Grech Photography & Cinematography
Oliver Tilney via Sternberg Clarke
The Roving Artist
Cranberry Blue Weddings