Friday, September 10, 2021, was a magical day for designer India Hicks. After postponing her wedding twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, she was finally able to marry her partner of 25 years and father of her five children, former advertising executive David Flint Wood, in her home village of Oxfordshire. Despite the cancellations, Hicks couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day.
"It is much less about planning a wedding during Covid and much more about saying 'I will,’" India says to Brides. "The Priest asked us to reference the future, 'I will' as opposed to 'I do' finally after 25 years."
The lovebirds kicked off their wedding weekend with an unconventional sit-down dinner and dancing the night before the ceremony. The next day, they made their relationship official at Brightwell Baldwin Parish Church and ended the celebration with a reception lunch at Lord Nelson Pub.
The couple planned a special day full of personal touches, familial significance, and sentimental value. Everything from their custom napkins to their dinner menu held important meaning, and their family members played a key role in all of the festivities. Keep reading for a closer look at the stunning wedding.
As the goddaughter of Prince Charles and granddaughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten, India has attended her fair share of royal weddings. At 13 years old, she was even Princess Diana’s bridesmaid at the iconic globally broadcast event. Now, 40 years later, the designer was able to tie the knot at her own dream wedding in a much more intimate setting.
"Our wedding was always going to feel a little unusual," shares Hicks. "How often is it that the bride is walked down the aisle with three tall sons in front of her, her daughter as her chief bridesmaid behind her, and her eldest son beside her, who folds back the veil and gives her away to his father!"
The wedding weekend began with a beautiful dinner in a field in Brightwell Baldwin, Oxfordshire, "in front of the home we built there a few years ago," notes India to Brides. The couple invited 100 of their closest friends and family members to dine and dance the night away. Hicks wanted to start the party before the ceremony to build a sense of community among her guests.
Her plan for the soirée? “Dinner and a little dancing the night before our wedding, not just because everything we were doing was happening backwards, but with the idea that everyone would be more relaxed in church the next morning, not as a result of the mild hangovers but because of the camaraderie from dancing in a field together,” she later posted to Instagram.
The bride made sure to bring her signature style to all aspects of the wedding décor. "I designed the napkins we used at dinner, a collaboration with Pomegranate Inc," shares India. "They were hand-block printed in India white on cream with gold thread around the edges."
The dinner menu itself included noteworthy items that friends made with love and care. Claire, their “top banana,” cooked cottage pie and poached pears for the main entrée. For appetizers and side dishes, their neighbor brought assorted cheeses, and their close friend baked handmade bread.
The night of the party, Hicks wore a long white mermaid dress with lace detailing and ribbon sleeves from Naeem Khan, a friend from the time as a model.
On her wedding day, Hicks donned a custom ivory lace gown designed by Emilia Wickstead. “Emilia Wickstead created a dress that felt perfectly at home in a church deep in the English countryside,” Hicks reminisces. The elegant long-sleeved, high-neck dress with a flared skirt was inspired by Grace Kelly but embraced a modern flair. The bride also rocked shoes from Christian Louboutin, whose two daughters were bridesmaids in the wedding.
"The wedding ring was chosen by David and me whilst in Paris in the springtime, designed by Charlotte Chenais, and has a secret engraving on the inside, from David," shares India. The ring was engraved with the words “amor vincit omnia,” which translates to “love conquers all.”
As for the groom? "David wore a suit by Ralph Lauren, who we have both known and admired for many years," shares India. "I met Ralph when I first started modeling a long long long time ago."
The duo held their ceremony the next day at Brightwell Baldwin Parish Church in Oxfordshire, which holds significance to Hicks’ family. "I was married in the church where I was christened and where my father was buried, our closest friends and family filled the pews, and the English sunshine even made an appearance through the stained glass windows," shares India. "The hymns we sang, the readings we choose, the prayers that were read reflected our British upbringings."
Because Hicks and Wood have been together for 25 years, they knew their five children were going to be a primary part of their big day. "Each of our four sons had very distinct roles. Wesley MC’d at the dinner the night before, Amory gave a speech, Conrad read in church, and Felix gave me away," says Hicks. "My daughter Domino, as always, was my shadow. We spent the night before the wedding curled in bed together at my mother’s house, whilst David was with his brothers, sons, and best man."
In addition to her family’s presence, Hicks also incorporated nods to her mother by hand-picking flowers from her garden. The hanging floral installation at dinner, the archway greenery outside of the church created by Babylon Flowers, and the confetti guests threw during the exit-toss all contained precious petals from that garden. Her bridal bouquet was also made by the same florist, Pulbrook & Gould, who arranged her mother’s wedding bouquet back in 1960.
As I walked down the aisle towards David, I was overcome with the sensation of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
For their reception, guests enjoyed Bloody Mary’s, Pimm’s, and lunch under an outdoor tent at the family-run Lord Nelson Pub. Hicks also made sure the pub lunch was adorned with distinctive details. Kitty, a 17-year-old local baker, made 100 rolls that each contained the couple’s initials.
India also helped create some special design moments for the reception. "I worked closely with a young talented calligrapher and together we designed place cards for the pub lunch that were tiny clay flower pots with fresh moss on top out of which a little wooden stick held white card on which the guest name was increased in dark green ink," she shares. "There were so many tiny details like this through the two days of celebrations."
From the laid-back seated dinner to the touching ceremony and the intimate luncheon, each custom detail produced a one-of-a-kind wedding to celebrate India and David's love and their family. The bride shares, "As I walked down the aisle towards David, I was overcome with the sensation of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time—there by the altar was the man I would finally call my husband with all five of our children witnessing the ceremony about to happen."