January Edition 23, Real Bride, Wedding Advice

1 REAL Bride's Engagement Drinks & her top tips

1. Tell us about YOU; who are you, where do you live and what do you do?

I’m Sophie Hamblett, I live in London with my Fiancé Ollie and I own my own luxury wellness retreat company called Retreats By Soph @retreatsbysoph. Before starting my own company, I worked in magazines for 10 years, most recently British GQ, being the EA to the Editor in Chief and writing for their travel pages. I love travel, fashion, fitness and planning events, which comes in handy when getting married! 

2. When & where are you getting married?

We are getting married in September 2023 in Mallorca, Spain and I cannot wait!

3. Tell us about your recent bridal event? (Your engagement drinks) Did you have a theme, what was the vibe, how did you choose the aesthetic?

We hosted our engagement party in August in the beautiful private room at The Maine Mayfair with around 65 of our closest friends and family. I wanted the party to be a chic tasteful event with champagne, delicious canapes and good music! It was the perfect space for us as it had a private bar, terrace and even a vinyl DJ. To me, the engagement party sets the tone for the wedding, so I did spend some time planning and designing the event, to fit in line with what I’m hoping the wedding will look like (fingers crossed). We added some small flower centre pieces on some of the tables and candles to give that romantic feel but to be honest the venue was already decorated so beautifully, so we didn’t need to do much. We wanted to make it feel personal, so we choose some of our favourite dishes for canapes and 4 of our most loved cocktails to serve at the bar for the guests, including spicy Palomas and Moscow mules. We didn’t a theme, but we did have a dress code, ‘Summer Smart’.

4. What did you wear? Give us all the details?

I wore the most heavenly party number from the dreamy bridal brand called Christie Nicole. I love a big dramatic sleeve and this dress did not disappoint. It was embellished in individual peals and was such a special dress and perfect for this event.

5. What was the highlight of the evening?

Truthfully, it was just being able to celebrate this exciting moment with all our family and friends. I absolutely loved planning this event and everything went perfectly, so I really could not choose just one highlight!

6. What was the most expensive part of your engagement drinks and was it worth it?

Probably all the food and drinks. We had champagne and ice buckets of bottled beer to start off with and then we put a limit on the open bar serving our cocktails, but this did go quite quickly, so we did end up going over. We didn’t have any waste though, so I guess that's a plus…

7. What was your best budget purchase for the event?

100% the Christie Nicole dress, I rented it from HURR (@hurr) which is not only a sustainable option but a cost effective one. Also, not so much a purchase but our venue had an event the night before our engagement party with some beautiful bouquets of flowers which they didn’t want to go to waste. They asked us if we wanted to use them for our event and they were the perfect colour palette to go with our party. This meant we could re-use which saved money not having to buy all our own flowers.

8. What are your 3 top tips to other brides/couples planning their engagement parties?

  1. Don’t leave it too long after getting engaged. A lot of people are having longer engagements which is fine, but I think celebrate with everyone when it’s fresh in their minds.
  2. Remember the engagement party sets the tone for the wedding, so do give it some thought.
  3. Try not to stress too much, you don’t need to spend a lot to have your dream celebration, it’s the people that make the party and once you’re celebrating with friends and family you could be anywhere. 

9. How many Bridesmaids are you having?

I’m only having three bridesmaids, two are my closest friends and one is Ollie’s sister. I wanted to keep it small and have most people just guests at the wedding.

10. When is your Bachelorette? Do you know where you’re going?

It’s all a bit of a secret at the moment, I have given some ideas, but I will be leaving it up to the girls to decide and plan. All I know is that I’m going to be having a small abroad weekend away and then a London night out with a bigger group of us. I’m quite particular when it comes to letting others plans things for me but all I’ve said is that the only Hen/bridal brand they can use is Gigi & Olive and for them to give me enough info to choose my outfits.

11. What is the next thing on your Bridal to do list?

We are actually very on top of all the wedding planning at the moment with help from our amazing wedding planners Living for Tomorrow whose events focus on sustainability and making an impact on the guests and not the planet. Right now, we are deciding on music, which for both Ollie and I is one of the most important elements of the wedding. I have chosen my dress, so now I’m on to finding my shoes and dresses for my bridesmaids. I also with the help from Gigi & Olive want to find something comfy yet stylish to wear on the morning of the wedding.

12.  What are your 3 top bridal items your lusting over from Gigi & Olive?

  1. Birdcage Veil for my civil ceremony
  2. Marie Linen Bow for my wedding weekend
  3. White Olivia Slip for my wedding day morning

Follow Sophie on Instagram to find out more about her wedding journey! If you're a real bride or groom getting married and have had a bridal event you'd like us to feature please email us at info@gigiandolive.com - we'd love to hear from you!