Alexandra Wood, of eponymous multi-award winning men’s tailoring label, AW Bespoke of Savile Row, London recently brought together her creative design talent with a group of talented wedding suppliers to provide wedding inspiration for the ‘groomed groom’. Just as likely to be designing for style icon and MP Chukka Umunna as designing her new range of hire suits, she has a rare female insight into what the contemporary groom would love to wear.
Here she talks about how her ideas were brought to life to inspire grooms for their special day.
Initial inspiration came from grooms who were coming to me to choose their wedding suits. As confident, contemporary men they had a clear idea of what they wanted to wear on their wedding day and moreover they wanted something that would ‘wow’ their beloved bride on the day.
When asking these sartorially ‘savvy’ guys what their main source of inspiration was, there was a clear answer throughout, and that was to emulate the style of Daniel Craig’s Bond character. The combination of sober, sharp tailoring with a flash of edgy detail (accompanies by a strikingly beautiful woman of course!) has incredible appeal to them.
The Theme: A License to Thrill
We wanted the theme to take its overall inspiration from Bond, playing on his 007 status and creating ‘a license to thrill’. We imagined that if Bond married it would be on his own terms, eschewing convention and opting for an intimate stylish elopement pulled together by trusted discreet contacts. The ‘rule book’ for conventional weddings would be well and truly thrown out!
We worked closely with Kevin of Scott-Wood Photography to plan the look and the shots that we wanted to achieve. He was the ideal choice for the photography as he has a great talent and always seems to effortlessly capture the right ‘look’ whether it’s a real wedding or editorial work. He’s not afraid to be different and stand out from the crowd, and, as we wanted the shoot to recreate the moody atmospheric lighting seen in the contemporary Bond films, it was paramount to have someone who wasn’t afraid to do something different from the hugely popular ‘loved up and light’ style of shoot and who knew how to use light really well.
Here’s how it all came together:
Says Alexandra ‘I’ve always been fascinated by how men choose a suit and to get a feel for the designs I would create for the shoot, I naturally researched the styling for the Bond films, and used the dark, austere, well fitted suits that Bond is known for as the framework to design something classic with a modern twist’.
Three key designs were created that any stylish man would love to wear for their special day:
City meets Country Suit:
A subtle grey plaid with a hint of chocolate, and burgundy detailing for the lining, flash vents and cuffs with a very typically ‘Sean Connery’ style peak lapel, combined sharp tailoring with a frisson of glamour and the look was completed with a double breasted waistcoat. Perfect for the groom and ‘first look’ shots and perfect for a city winter wedding.
The Classic Dinner Suit:
A favourite for Bond, and brought into the modern age by Tom Ford when Daniel Craig roared onto the scene, it’s what men want to look like in a ‘DJ’. It’s without a doubt the popular suit of choice year round for glamorous afternoon and evening ‘Black Tie’ celebrations. A fitted design brings a contemporary feel to the look and was perfect for the shoot.
The Smoking Jacket:
Oh my, this is really fabulous ‘old school glamour’ and just brought to life the insouciance and confidence that’s associated with Bond. It’s one for those who are confident in themselves and their style to be their own person without being brash. It was perfect for the lounge shots that we created.
We wanted our bride to complement the masculinity of Bond and portray the independence and beauty that any contemporary Bond woman would have. We also wanted the ‘first look’ to have a role reversal with her looking slightly in awe of her husband to be. A perfect twist on the tradition of the groom being in awe of his bride as he sees her for the first time.
Beautiful designs from Emma Hunt gave the right amount of femininity brought together with a beautiful veil from award winning bridal accessories designer, Kelly Spence, stunning jewellery by Humphrey Butler, Pall Mall and flowers from Liz Inigo-Jones at Blue Sky Flowers who used lush, deep colours and jewel tones. Deep red, velvety Roses and Amaryllis, near black Calla Lilies and pops of bright red Anemones pulled together with deep green foliage and dripping red Amaranthus offset the luxurious smoking jacket and contributed to the overall glamorous feel of the shoot.
We chose private members club, Home House in London for its opulent but intimate feel. It has beautiful classic proportions and detail cleverly combined with sleek styling more in keeping with a fashionable nightclub or casino – a perfect Bond retreat!
The grand stairs, where many of the bride and groom first look’ shots were done had some incredible contemporary features that provided drama and lent themselves to the edgy styling of the suit worn by the groom. They also provided a backdrop for our ‘alternative’ ending where our bride in true Bond style meets her demise and reclines beautifully on the stairs with her last breath!
Back to reality! To give that sense of excitement and romance associated with an elopement we created a sweetheart table for the bride and groom; romantic dining under soft light, with bold tones of black, gold and red used for the gorgeous table setting by Kate Cullen, stationary by Eagle eyed bride and calligraphy by Judy Broad and wedding cakes by Vanilla Orchid Bakery.
To complete the shoot, our groom Daniel and photographer Kevin had great fun pulling together true Bond style shots in the bar and lounge area. What groom wouldn’t want to have a Martini ‘shaken not stirred’ whilst rocking the look in a bespoke suit?
Whatever your choice as a groom there’s plenty of inspiration to be sharp, stylish and gorgeous on your day. Raise a glass to sartorial elegance!
With special thanks to the fabulous team of people who helped make this possible who are listed below…
Written by Rowena Wood
- Groom’s Suits: AW Bespoke
- Bridal Gowns: Emma Hunt
- Bridal Accessories: Kelly Spence
- Photography: Scott-Wood Photography
- Videography: Yaroslava Malkova
- Location: Home House
- Florist: Blue Sky Flowers
- Jewellery: Humphrey Butler
- Cake: Vanilla Orchid Bakery
- Stationery: Eagle eyed bride
- Calligraphy: Judy Broad
- Hair and Make-Up: Shamirah Sairally
- Additional Styling & co-ordination: Emma Riddell of Goose & Berry wedding planners
- Table design – Kate Cullen katecullen