An Elegant Countryside Wedding at Princess Diana’s Family Home

This American couple tied the knot in a wedding fit for royalty

bride and groom

Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Siena Lasker has Siena’s ex to thank for her romance with husband Brian Toll. “I was obsessed with the Scramble with Friends game on my iPhone, and my ex noticed that his friend, Brian, played too," she explains. "We played the game together for a few months before we actually met in person.” Then, in 2013, after Siena called it quits with her ex, their friendly competition turned into something more. “As soon as the coast was clear, Brian started texting me more, and we really hit it off,” she says.

Fast-forward to December 2016, when the couple headed to Hong Kong and Thailand to celebrate Brian’s birthday. Upon arriving at their hotel in Hong Kong, Siena remembers being amazed by the room's incredible bathtub, which sat in front of huge windows overlooking the city. “When we woke up the next morning, I immediately filled the bath to start the day,” Siena recalls. “Brian came in to chat, and before I knew it, there was a ring in front of me!”

Soon after that, the bride’s parents got a call from two of their closest friends, Lady Karen Countess Spencer and Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer. (Yes, those Spencers! Charles is the younger brother of the late Princess Diana.) “As a wedding gift, they offered to let us have our wedding at their spectacular home, Althorp," Siena says. "It couldn’t have gotten any better! The property is absolutely stunning. I never imagined I’d be married in such a regal, magical, and special place.” So, with a venue fit for royalty and a date set for June 23, 2018, the couple turned to planner Jemma-Jade Events to create a celebration to match. They focused on refined elegance, allowing Althorp to truly shine through locally sourced flowers and curated gilded and crystal accents. “Every design decision was made to enhance the home, not compete with it,” Siena explains.

Want a peek into this 16th-century home and the fairy-tale wedding Siena and Brian held within its walls? Keep reading to see all the photos by Blake Ezra Photography!

Ceremony venue
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Althorp is located northwest of London and is set on sprawling grounds that are the epitome of the English countryside. “We had a number of our closest friends stay at Althorp with us, and offered tours of the grounds throughout the weekend,” says Siena. (Princess Diana is buried on the property so there's a memorial there, where visitors can leave flowers and tributes.)

Bride solo shot
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride from behind
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

For the Friday rehearsal dinner, Siena donned a slim white jumpsuit with a one-shoulder neckline and a perfectly bridal Watteau train. She paired the sleek design with relaxed waves and white Christian Louboutin pumps.

Reception tablescape
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

After sipping cocktails and wandering the halls, guests were seated in the property's "picture gallery," which is naturally surrounded by spectacular portraits. There, the couple served a delicious meal of burrata with local heritage vegetables, salmon with parmesan fregola, and eggplant risotto.

Bride in robe
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride with bridesmaids
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

“We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but Brian and I both invited our closest friends to get ready with us the morning of the wedding,” says Siena. Her BFFs wore personalized pajamas as they got dolled up for the occasion, then stepped in to lend a hand when it was time for the bride to put on her gown.

Bride from behind
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride in front of venue
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Siena fell in love with a photo of her Vera Wang gown the moment she arrived at the salon. “They actually told me it wasn’t in stores yet, and that I’d have to make another appointment once the newest collection was available,” she recalls. But just before she left the salon, she got a pleasant surprise: “They’d found the runway sample in the back! It fit perfectly, and nothing else compared after that.” It may have been 18 months before her wedding day, but Siena was sold on the tulle confection, with a gathered bodice and sheer, draped sleeves. She paired the gown with Gianvito Rossi heels and jewelry from her eponymous line, Siena Jewelry.

Groom and groomsmen in front of venue
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Brian’s black-tie attire was a perfect fit for the setting. He paired a tuxedo and shoes from Christian Dior with an elegant Tom Ford bow tie, and asked his closest friends to wear tuxedoes as well.

Bride and groom
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Siena kept her bouquet classic, carrying a round cluster of white roses down the aisle.

Flower girls
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride and groom at weekend
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride and groom at ceremony
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Bride and groom recessional
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

The flower girls wore off-white tulle dresses with dusty mauve bows that the bride designed herself. “They complemented my dress beautifully,” she says. They made their way down a white aisle lined with lush delphinium and hydrangeas, which lead to a garden-inspired chuppah where Siena’s godmother officiated the ceremony. The music was so important to me,” says Siena. “I grew up in daily ballet classes and adore classical music, as does my mother, so we had a lot of fun picking the perfect pieces for each moment of the ceremony.” Siena’s mom suggested "This Meditation" as the bride’s processional, and she says it couldn’t have been a better fit.

Floral arrangement
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Inside Althorp, cocktails were served from a bar decorated with lush delphinium in a modern copper vase. Canapés included truffle arancini, thyme and honey goat cheese with fig jam, and parmesan cornets filled with eggplant and pistachio risotto.

Reception tablescape
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography
Guests at ceremony
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

The couple’s 160 guests were seated at two long, dramatic tables topped with off-white linens and lit by gilded candelabras. Low crystal compotes, filled with local white blooms and fresh fruits, accented each table and looked as though they’d been plucked from a still life painting.

For dinner, guests enjoyed beetroot carpaccio with goat cheese and pomegranate, broccoli and pecorino ravioli, seared sea bream, and a slow-cooked feather blade of beef (similar to a flatiron steak). “The service was impeccable,” says Siena.

Bride and groom cutting cake
Photo by Blake Ezra Photography

Dessert included a lemon, pink champagne, and elderflower wedding cake, a trolley covered in iced donuts, and a selection of passion fruit, salted caramel, and lemon meringue tartlets. “The most important part to us, though, was the late night snacks," reveals the bride. At midnight, she and Brian offered truffle fries, sliders, and miniature croque monsieurs to keep guests on the dance floor. But that wasn't their only surprise: They'd also flown in DJ Devin Lucien over from the States to make sure the party lasted all night!

And though their night was far from short-lived, Siena has this advice for couples: “The whole weekend really flashed before our eyes,” she says. “Take time throughout the celebration to step back and take it all in. It will be over before you know it!”

Wedding Team

Wedding Planner: Jemma-Jade Events

Venue: Althorp Estate

Bride's Dress & Veil: Vera Wang

Bride's Shoes: Gianvito Rossi

Bride's Jewelry: Siena Jewelry

Hair: James Wilson

Makeup: Jeyanney Calderbank

Groom's Attire: Christian Dior, Tom Ford

Engagement Ring: Coady Culha

Wedding Bands: Siena Jewelry

Floral Design: Emma Remington Flowers

Paper Products: Papertree Studio, Ruth Kay Design

Catering: Rhubarb

Cake: Edible Essence

Ceremony Music: Eight Ray Music

Reception Music: DJ Devin Lucien

Rentals: Invisible Blue

Transportation: Country Lion

Accommodations: Fawsley Hall Hotel & Spa, Althorp Estate

Videography: Reel Vision

Photography: Blake Ezra Photography

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