Feast your eyes on this London proposal - perfect for Valentine's inspiration
The only thing that could possibly top the allure of a Valentine's engagement party is a London one. There's no reason why couples should wait until their wedding day to throw a spectacular event with friends and family as concept, design and planning extraordinaire of this styled shoot Roberta Burcheri highlights.
"As soon as I stepped inside the Churchill room at Dartmouth House, a charming Georgian townhouse in the centre of Mayfair, I had an image of an elegant, worldly engagement party being hosted there, with ethereal dim lighting.
"I was inspired by the room's cosy dark wood walnut panelling, as well as its distinctive Anglo-French architecture, providing a warm, stunning backdrop with its timeless fireplace as the focal point.
"I visualised a chic and contemporary table setting, illuminated by the candles flickering light, with mirrors reflecting the magical atmosphere. I chose a serpentine glossy table to reference with the classic feel of the room. White scalloped dinner plates with delicate gold accents were a perfect match to lift the dark mood, coupled by vintage champagne coupes, crystal goblets and amber speckled glasses, mirroring the light.
"Black velvet bows added texture to the mise-en-place, beautifully complemented by Lynda Loves menus, designed with an understated sophistication to complement the black and gold glamorous tablescape. Organic, handmade papers in white with gold foil printing, paired with leaf style guest name cards in ebony black with gold ink calligraphy.
"The florals low centrepieces were consistent with the table design, featuring white anemones and white hydrangea along table line.
"The dress. This contemporary, dramatic, romantic dress was inspired by the idea of the gift of love. We wanted to create a huge bow for this engagement dress to signify the importance of the tying of the knot at a wedding.
"Sian Hughes Cooke, Shimmering Ivory Couture founder and designer, wanted to create a modern, captivating look for the bride to be. Designed and made in her UK studio. The scarlet gown comprised of the finest French lace semi-transparent corset complemented by a radiant red silk satin skirt with a thigh high split to create a sensual yet sophisticated look. The beautiful luminous fabric was also used for a spectacular statement detachable bow shrug worn off the shoulders. The sweeping tails of the oversized bow created a dramatic line evoking the grandeur of a Hollywood starlet.
"The drama of the grand staircase at Dartmouth house and the dark hair and alluring features of the model further emphasised the glamour of the gown perfect for a Valentine's Day or engagement celebration.
"The accessories. Pearluminous London emphasized the contrast between the dark room hues and the red dress with its statement bow at the back, bringing them together with the rare South Sea golden pearls and Tahitian black pearls to unmistakably match the engagement party mood.
"The images. Mal's inspiration came by wanting to capture the essence of a woman when she finds her soul mate. In her words "Like Candlelit Magic. To find him, find you" She imagined her being self-assured, having had an eventful journey and achieved her goals by her independent self.
"Having everything but struggling to find love until she looked within. She decided to take time out of her career. With focus just on her, she explored her secret passion to sing. And if by magic she was knocked sideways when the man who guided her to put her emotions into her singing, also helped her to find her full authentic self. Their connection was magnetic, it felt like they had met before in a past life, and they could laugh for hours.
"Their journeys, although from different lands, were similar on the inside, big hearts with so much to give yet fearful of heartache. But for the first time, the stars aligned and falling in love never seemed so easy, when she had fought for everything in her life. When you know, you know and they wanted their engagement to be as magical as their connection, but with their inner circle of friends and family.
They are accomplished in their own right and there was nowhere better to celebrate their love that in the heart of Mayfair at Dartmouth.
"The bridal glow. Camilla, from CJC Hair and Makeup highlighted Rohiny's femininity by subtly contouring the cheekbones and forehead with a hint of highlighter for radiance, eyes were smoked out for a sultry effect, and teamed with red bold lip. Hair was sleeked back in classical elegance and dressed in a delicate pearl string, to keep the main focus on the gorgeous couture."
Concept, Design and Planning: Roberta Burcheri Events, @roberta_burcheri_events robertaburcherievents.com | Venue: Dartmouth House, @dartmouthhouseweddings dartmouthhouse.co.uk | Photographers: Mal's Photography UK, @malsphotographyuk malsphotography.co.uk, Second photographer Leanne Ashcroft Photography, @leanneashcroftphotography leanneashcroftphotography.co.uk | Videographer: Vic Rivero Films, @vicriverofilms. vicriverofilms.com | Bridal designer: Shimmering Ivory, @shimmering_ivory shimmeringivory.co.uk | Accessories designer: Pearluminous London, @pearluminous_ pearluminous.com | Stationery: Lynda Loves, @lyndaathey lyndaloves.com | Tableware and linen: Maison Margaux, @maisonmargauxltd maisonmargauxltd.com | Furniture: London Event Hire, @londoneventhire. londoneventhire.com | Candelabra: Eden Event Design, @edenevent. edenevent.com | Models: Rohiny Belani @asweetrohmance, Oliver Fernandez @oliverfernandez1 | Haire and make-up artist: CJC Hair and Makeup, @cjchairandmakeup cjchairandmakeup.com | Tux: Richard Anderson, @rasavilerow richardandersonltd.com | Bridal shoes: Diane Hassall, @di_hassall dianehassall.com | Floristry: Shilpa Reddy Flower Design, @shilpareddyflowers shilpa-reddy.com | Shoot assistant: Rachel Parker, @celebratewithrachellouise