Pop singer Pixie Lott and model and designer Oliver Cheshire always knew they wanted to enjoy a long engagement. But when Oliver surprised Pixie by getting down on one knee outside St Paul’s Cathedral in 2016, neither of them thought it would be six years before they eventually made it down the aisle. “We had no idea the pandemic was around the corner,” says Pixie, who fell for the model after they met at a Vivienne Westwood party during London Fashion Week and swapped BBM Messenger pins. “We moved the date three times in total – it felt like it was never going to happen.”
The couple had considered various locations – from a quaint fishing village on the Greek island of Kefalonia to Pixie’s native Kent – before settling on Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, where they finally exchanged vows surrounded by their loved ones on 6 June. “I was just blown away by it,” says the bride of the medieval building’s dazzling stained glass windows and soaring spires. “I just love old buildings, the history and architecture.” As a patron of Ely’s Girls Choristers, the cathedral also holds a particularly special place in the bride’s heart.
Such a breathtaking setting – the cathedral’s central aisle, which dates back to Norman times – is among the longest in England – called for a similarly spectacular gown. “The long aisle lends itself to the drama!” says the bride. And who better to deliver drama than Daniel Roseberry, the man who’s been putting the surreal into Schiaparelli couture since 2019? “I love Schiaparelli and I think Daniel’s amazing,” says Pixie. “I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else doing my wedding dress – it feels like a dream come true.”
The bride’s conversations with the Schiaparelli creative director kicked off with a Zoom during lockdown. “Daniel was asking me about my favourite movie, scent, flowers, fruits… then he made sketches based on our conversation that were shipped over to me in this beautiful box. It was amazing seeing them in the flesh,” says the bride, who adds that a four-leaf clover had been tucked into the box as a good luck charm. “It was so lovely, all those little personal touches.”
Initially, Pixie says she was overwhelmed by the prospect of actually choosing a style of dress for the day she’s been dreaming of for years. “When I was at nursery the first thing I used to do when I got in was run to the dressing up box and put the wedding dress on,” she says. “Every girl looks forward to this day her whole life.”
Once she had “done the impossible” by selecting her favourite of Roseberry’s sketches, the designer set to work. “I kept it a complete secret – even from my best friends,” confides Pixie. The only person to get a sneak peek was Pixie’s mum, who travelled with the bride to Paris after lockdown for fittings.
The finished dress – the result of 650 hours of work on the Place Vendôme – is an ivory silk crepe and double satin gown, with a 4.5 metre-long train scattered with Swarovski seed beads. The bustier dress sits over a top created using an exclusive knitting technique, embellished with 20,000 nude seed beads. “It feels like a very Schiaparelli shape, but at the same time it feels unique,” says Pixie. “The first time I put it on I cried my eyes out, and so did my mum!”
In addition to two veils – one long, one short – the bride selected Roger Vivier shoes and diamonds by Knauf, as well as some Schiaparelli hair jewels. Make-up artist Caroline Barnes fulfilled Pixie’s beauty brief (“natural vibes, super fresh”), while hairstylist Larry King perfected her bridal up-do: a low bun with a few of her trademark curls falling loose. Pixie’s bridesmaids’ glam came care of Givenchy.
Unsurprisingly, given Pixie’s pop pedigree, music was central to the couple’s wedding celebrations. Guests including Emma Thynn, Marchioness of Bath and Sabrina Elba were greeted by a violinist at the cathedral, and the bride and groom also hatched a plan to surprise the congregation with a flash mob-style gospel choir. “That’s not in the order of service!” Pixie says.
Once the formalities were over, a roaming brass band accompanied guests as they made their way to a marquee brimming with spring flowers. “One thing I always knew I wanted was flowers absolutely everywhere,” says Pixie, who enlisted Sophie’s Flower Company to deliver the quintessentially English garden aesthetic she envisioned. The blooms were white, cream and yellow, to echo the pale sherbet lemon shade of the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses Pixie designed herself. The flower girl dresses were handmade in Madrid, and the bridesmaid dresses by Eliza May in the UK. The choice of lemon was a sweet nod to the colour scheme for Pixie’s parents’ wedding day.
The bride’s Schiaparelli gown negated the need for a second party dress: it transformed to create an entirely new look for the reception. The train and beaded top were removed, resulting in a cocktail dress featuring the iconic Schiaparelli silhouette on the bust, and dramatic volume on the skirt. It was perfect for the party, which incorporated several live music performances as well as another surprise cooked up by the bride and groom: a hidden speakeasy. “We wanted a secret bar that people could happen across, separate to the party, with special cocktails and show girls,” she says. “We’ve waited so long for this wedding. I just wanted everyone to have the best time.”