Selfridges has hosted its first wedding at its London store’s new dedicated Wedding Suite, realising its promise to offer wedding experiences for couples looking for a non-traditional ceremony in a venue like no other.
Following the announcement earlier in the summer that it had acquired a wedding licence, allowing ceremonies to be hosted in the Grade II* listed building on Oxford Street, Selfridges has seen the first couple say, marking another milestone in the store’s long-standing history of extraordinary customer experiences.
The couple, who share a home in Billericay, Essex, is Carlene Noel, 40, who runs Carlene’s Closet, a personal styling and shopping business and Danny Sains, 47, who’s due to open his own pie and mash business, Sainsy’s, in Brentwood, Essex. They have tied the knot making full use of one of Selfridges’ three micro-wedding packages.
Selfridges’ micro-wedding packages are - Earth Lovers, devised for an earth-conscious low-impact ceremony; the All-Out Extraordinary, a pull-out-all-the-stops glitz and glamour affair; and Just-The-Two-Of-Us which the couple opted for as they were keen to keep the event as intimate and unique as possible. Carlene and Danny wedded only with their children in attendance - Carlene’s son Carnell 10, and Danny’s daughters Nancy 12 and Lola 13. After the ceremony ended with a toast and the cutting of the cake, the couple’s bespoke wedding experience continued with a personalised tour of the store, taking in lessons on the giant FAO Schwarz piano in the toy department – like in the film Big; a shopping session the Shoe Galleries for Carlene; a wedding lunch at Brasserie of Light; and cocktails at the Cinema at Selfridges’ private bar followed by a screening of Grease in one of the cinema’s three screening rooms, booked out exclusively for the family.
After the ceremony Carlene Sains said: “I’ve always wanted our wedding to be special and unique. Danny and I agreed early on that it would be a very small affair with just the children and so finding a suitable venue, both great for a small wedding and out of the ordinary, had been a concern until I heard about Selfridges hosting weddings. I worked at Selfridges in London, nearly 20 years ago for a couple of very happy years, and have loved the store ever since, so it just felt like it was meant to be. We are over the moon to have been able to have had such a special ceremony at this iconic destination.”
Danny Sains added: “To think that we’re the first couple to tie the knot at Selfridges is making this already extraordinary occasion even more special to us and the kids. With Carlene’s job working in fashion and the both of us wanting something a bit different for our special day, we just couldn’t have asked for anything more fitting.” For over a year, restrictions around ceremonies and receptions have halted or postponed over 150,000 couples’ plans – that's over 60% of the number of weddings scheduled to happen in 2020.
Newly engaged couples have been struggling to find wedding venues, booked up far in advance. Emerging from this is a trend for alternative, more intimate celebrations. Not only is Selfridges offering a solution that responds to an unprecedented demand for wedding venues, it is also giving alternatives options to couples seeking non-traditional ways to celebrate their love.
Selfridges’ team of experts work with couples to make their wedding day truly extraordinary, from style and beauty consultations in the lead up to the special day to a beautiful, bespoke ceremony, amazing dining experiences and entertainment for the whole wedding party to enjoy. Selfridges has also been focusing on offering curated wedding product, through a sustainable lens, launching Resellfridges: The Wedding in August, as part of the store’s ongoing Project Earth commitments. Resellfridges: The Wedding offers pre-loved and upcycled bridalwear, alongside outfit rental and a service to repair or completely reimagine treasured pieces.