Theodora Warre knew exactly what she wanted to wear when she married Anthony Chandris at Uppark, the 18th-century home where she grew up in West Sussex, England. The two met through mutual friends at a dinner, and four years later, he got down on one knee while they were vacationing in Paris for her birthday. She started searching for a dress soon after he proposed and found the process easier than she ever expected.
“Emilia Wickstead was the only person who could make my vision a reality,” Theodora says of the New Zealand–born designer who is based in London and known for dressing well-known It Brits like Samantha Cameron and the Duchess of Cambridge. It’s fitting that Theodora—a jewelry designer who owns and runs her own eponymous accessories line specializing in semiprecious pieces with a bohemian bent—opted for something so all-around English. The bride, who practically has accessory designing in her blood, is the great-granddaughter of former crown jeweler Harry Garrard, so it’s no wonder she wanted a dress that was classical and timeless. “I didn’t try on any other wedding dresses!” she says. “When I look back at our photos in years to come, I don’t ever want to regret my choices. And because you never know what the weather will be like in England, I decided on long sleeves.”
Theodora’s wedding jewelry was, of course, anything but an afterthought. “I wore very simple diamond hoop earrings that I designed—a wedding gift from my parents, three in each ear as I still wanted to feel like myself, and then, of course, my engagement ring.”
The bride’s parents were also married at Uppark, and perhaps because of this, the old ways were top of mind while she and her mother were planning the wedding. “Working with my mum was very special,” she says. “I always knew we wanted to do a traditional English wedding, and we loved every moment of it. ”
The service and reception were formal, but far from stuffy. Anthony is Greek, so they had an Orthodox service in a Protestant church filled to the brim with candles and silver birch trees instead of flowers. The groom was dashing in tails. The groomsmen dressed the part too—all of them wore morning suits, and the bridesmaids (aka the little girls who served as Theodora’s attendants) were angelic in cotton poplin dresses with silk sashes, designed by the bride herself and made by Valerie Sykes.
After the service, a reception followed at the house. Theodora’s godfather kicked off the celebration with a speech about Theodora’s childhood that garnered a lot of laughs, then sandwiches and croque monsieur were served with Champagne. Post-meal, guests retreated to their rooms to rest up and change for the evening’s festivities.
Later on, “the aesthetic was more relaxed,” according to Theodora, and the bride’s wardrobe change reflected this shift. She switched into a silver crystal embellished Dior bodysuit and skirt from the Spring 2018 collection, replacing the original black sash on the skirt with white satin to give it a more bridal look.
Outside, hay bales had been covered in linens and fairy lights strung to surround a sleek silver Airstream that had been converted into a chic cocktail bar. Inside the tent, Tattie Rose Flowers brought in trees to create an overgrown woodland feel, and seasonal flowers in little glass bottles scattered along pink linen tablecloths lent a free-spirited air to the space.
The newlyweds set the tone with an epic first dance and kiss out on the floor as Bakermat’s “Love Generation” played in the background. It was a flash of twirling glitter and sparkles as Theodora’s dress caught the light. “Everyone ate mini lemon meringues and flourless chocolate brownies and danced until the wee hours,” Theodora adds. A sweet ending to an utterly English wedding.