Moments before she left, Henrietta decked herself in an array of borrowed and collected jewelry. Draped around her neck was a Tiffany cross belonging to her mother. On her hand were several distinct and distinct gemstone rings, including her grandmother’s engagement ring, a large aquamarine ring and a pink coral ring her grandmother had purchased in Jamaica in the 1930s. She also pinned a mini pearl and enamel half-moon brooch on her dress. “I’ve always loved jewelry, so I had a lot of it,” Henrietta says.
Henrietta’s brother drove her and her father to church in a silver Rolls-Royce, a nod to the illustrious former owner of his home. Her six bridesmaids, three bridesmaids (all dressed in bespoke Rixo dresses) and the couple’s five-month-old son, Wolfe, were all waiting at the door. “That was the moment when it was really real, knowing that all the people I loved most in the world were inside,” she says. When she entered the church, the first person she met eyes with was Ronan, dressed in a bespoke Thom Sweeney suit, Gucci loafers and pink socks. “I thought I was going to cry, but I just couldn’t help but smile,” she said.
After their vows, Ronan carried Wolfe down the aisle as he stood arm in arm with Henrietta as the bells rang overhead. Guests showered the newlyweds in confetti before jumping into a vintage white Rolls-Royce Corniche for a spin down the winding country roads. In the rear window? A “just married” sign hand painted by her young bridesmaids.
The reception was an informal but classic English garden party in the blue-plaque Rix house. Henrietta’s mother had worked on the flowers, hedges and landscape for a year before the wedding and had decorated the grounds with urns from UK antique fairs. Wheelbarrows were filled with ice-cold beer and waiters served canapes of rare beef fritters and Cornish crab by the elegant catering company Social Pantry.
The dinner tables were named after the Rix family pets, both revered (their English spaniel Cooper) and feared (Malcolm, “our not-so-friendly goose”). Like many of her other stationery items, Henrietta and her mother drew the place cards together in watercolor.
The couple had no color scheme or theme. “The tables were an eclectic mix of decorations and details that felt real to who Ronan and I are. We had mismatched tapestries and crocheted table runners, strange green and brown OXO glass vases filled with meadow flowers English savage, tall gold candelabra, shells for salt and pepper flakes, colorful crystalware,” says Henrietta. “The backdrop of the walled garden did the rest.” Guests dined on tuna seared and sirloin steak for dinner, and tiramisu in shellfish platters, rhubarb pies and profiterole towers were offered for dessert.The wedding cake, a red heart-shaped confection for three levels by Pink Cooker, had a distinctive retro feel.
After the speeches — which “brought everyone to tears,” Henrietta says — it was time to party. A DJ spun a disco set to encourage everyone to hit the dance floor. The copper cups of the Moscow mules gave even the most timid participants enough liquid courage to pull it off. Henrietta changed into a pale blue Alessandra Rich dress, which she found at a thrift store two weeks before her wedding. “I was worried it wasn’t white, but it was my something blue,” she says. “I had it slightly modified to fit perfectly and put on a pair of vintage glass earrings.”
The highlight of the evening? A dazzling fireworks display, recalling the night of the couple’s engagement. “It sounds cliché, but it was truly the best day of my life. I remember looking around the dance floor and seeing four of my siblings with their partners, my parents, all my closest childhood friends and feeling so blessed,” Henrietta says. “It was like a big house party for all ages.”