When Sahar and Karam began searching for the perfect venue for their wedding they initially looked around Surrey, where Karam had grown up. But all searches led back to the capital. Sahar says: “We struggled to find a space big enough to accommodate what was originally a 300 plus guest list. Eventually we decided on central London as the location, especially because so many guests were flying in for the wedding”.
Having chosen the capital, they were spoiled for choice. But once they had seen The Langham on Regent Street, it just had to be the place. “We visited on our first day of venue scouting and I instantly knew that was where we were going to end up!” says Sahar. “I fell in love with the ballroom the moment I walked in, and it was an easy decision, even though we did view about 11 other venues just to be sure.” The Langham’s outside space was another factor in their decision. “The beautiful ground-floor terrace added to its loveliness as a venue.”
“In a city as timeless and beautiful as London, I wanted the setting to direct the feeling of the day”
With the hotel decided upon, Sahar and Karam then discovered the perfect place for their ceremony in Farm Street Church, a Victorian design with cathedral-like grandeur. “We literally stumbled upon Farm Street Church after deciding on The Langham. We had no idea how beautiful it would be, but the moment we walked in we knew it was the right place. We were so fortunate to get married in this stunning and ethereally grand church. I still pinch myself over it.”
Sahar knew she wanted the wedding to feel classic, and with two such iconic central-London locations the design for the day followed naturally. “Being fortunate enough to get married in a city as beautiful as London, I really wanted the setting to direct the feeling of the day. I wanted a wedding that was as close to feeling timeless and elegant as I could make it.”
The setting was the perfect foil for Sahar’s subtle colour palette of pale blue, blush pink and soft cream. “I wanted the theme to sit well in the beautiful cream and gold ballroom, and also work well on a June day. We tried to use these colours in everything from the bouquets, to the stationery, and also the bridal party’s clothes.”
There were some honourable exceptions to this soft summer theme. As this was London the couple couldn’t resist adding in symbols of the city, so booked a classic red double-decker bus to transport their guests from ceremony to reception, with a white London taxi for bride and groom.
Everything went beautifully to plan – with London obligingly laying on a sunny day for the celebration. Sahar had chosen a stunning Pronovias gown with intricate lace and her bridesmaids were dressed in soft blue with delicate crystal detailing. Karam wore a smart pale grey suit, while his groomsmen were dressed in a darker shade, and with pale blue ties.
“The party at The Langham flowed perfectly and was exactly how we wanted it – we had so many compliments from guests”
After being transported in real London style from the church to The Langham – a trip that their guests adored – the party proper could begin. It flowed beautifully between flower-bedecked terrace and ballroom and Sahar says it was a perfect day: “I couldn’t have been happier with where we got married and where we partied afterwards! Also, the service at The Langham was impeccable – that makes such a difference”.
Brilliant photographs by Alex Beckett capture the magic. Sahar says he and his team made everybody feel relaxed about the whole process. ”It felt like we’d just invited a few more friends along. Alex was so kind and helpful, not just with the photos, but also with anything that came up – a great friend to have when you’re getting nervous!”
They were also delighted with videographers Papertwin, chosen after Sahar had scoured hundreds of wedding videos over many months. This was the team they felt delivered both elegance and simplicity and on the day they were so unobtrusive people hardly knew they were there. Florist Sonning Flowers had helped Sahar’s family with a previous family wedding and it was a pleasure to work with them again. She says: “They really brought life to the setting”. And the team at The Langham – including their dedicated wedding coordinator Stephanie Allard – ensured everything ran to plan.
“Stephanie went beyond the call of duty to help us with every request, and the experience at the hotel on the day was just perfect. Everything flowed perfectly and was exactly as we had asked for it to be. The Langham is truly a beautiful venue – we had so, so many compliments from guests.”
With four wonderful live acts, including the Brooklyn Duo from the US and BBC’s The Voice winner Kevin Simm (who Sahar says is “awesome” in real life), the party lasted long into the night. And despite their initial trepidation, the first dance was a hit thanks to choreographer Milli from Start The Dance. Sahar says: “We literally learnt our wedding dance a week before the day. We were so nervous, but she made it all super easy. I still can’t believe we actually managed to dance on the day!”
Alongside their star suppliers, Sahar says they had an incredible amount of support from family. “Nothing would have been possible without their help.” Her one piece of advice to other couples is to give yourself as much time as you can to plan so that small but important details are just as you’d envisioned them.
In such a momentous day, Sahar says it is almost impossible to pick out one highlight. “I never wanted it to end. But if I had to pick just one moment, it was arriving at Farm Street Church and walking up the aisle. It is the moment you dream of your whole life and we were in such a stunning place. That and walking back down the aisle as husband and wife are moments to treasure forever.”
Sahar and Karam’s wedding sourcebook
Photographer: Alex Beckett; alexbeckett.co.uk
Venue: The Langham London; langhamhotels.com
Flowers: Sonning Flowers; sonningflowers.com
Bridal gown: Pronovias; pronovias.com
Videographer: Papertwin Weddings; papertwinweddings.co.uk
First dance choreography: Milli at Start the Dance; startthedance.co.uk