Cally Squires is the editor of Belgravia Magazine, deputy editor of Sloane Square Magazine and writer for Mayfair Times, so if there is one thing she really knows about, it is London! The 32 year old grew up in Surrey but now lives in Fulham with her husband and last weekend they travelled to a wedding in a Morgan car. Previously a writer for Conde Nast Brides, a recent newlywed herself, and with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding just around the corner, we wanted to get her predictions on the Royal wedding and how to plan the big day!
The London Morgan: What do you do for a living?
Cally Squires: I’m a magazine editor in London.
The London Morgan: You got married last year, where did you get married and celebrate your wedding?
Cally Squires: We got married in the village church where I grew up, and had the reception at the Royal Automobile Club in Surrey.
The London Morgan: What tips do you have for newly engaged couples?
Cally Squires: Take your time to enjoy the engagement excitement before rushing into the fray of wedding planning. We were engaged for over two years before we got married.
The London Morgan: Where in London should couples consider celebrating their big day?
Cally Squires: As hidden gem venue the Royal Hospital Chelsea is glorious, or for something super glam I love the newly refurbished ballroom at The Berkeley.
The London Morgan: Do you have top tips for selecting a wedding venue?
Cally Squires: For me personally I wanted somewhere with outdoor space, lots of natural light, high ceilings and quite classic. Then there is the practical side like what time the band can play until and what time the liquor license runs out. It’s also really important to have a good rapport with the events staff who’ll be manning your day, so don’t sign on the dotted line until you’ve met with them in person.
The London Morgan: What do you expect to see from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s big day?
Cally Squires: Some informal fun mixed in with traditions.
The London Morgan: How did you choose your own wedding dress?
Cally Squires: I was lucky enough to have worked for Conde Nast Brides magazine so already had an idea of a few specific styles and designers I thought could be ‘the one.’ In the end I went for lace, the opposite of what I had originally assumed I’d wear, and then a more sexy silk satin dress for the evening. Both were by Emma Victoria Payne, who was recommended by word of mouth.
The London Morgan: Who do you think the designer of Meghan’s wedding dress will be? Do you have a prediction on what it will look like?
Cally Squires: An interesting choice could have been her friend Misha Nonoo, the half-British designer who now lives in New York. As Meghan is American and Harry is an Englishman there would have been a nice symbolism. Maybe after the Ralph and Russo gown(s), she’ll do a change of look for the after party.
The London Morgan: What do you think Windsor will be like as a venue?
Cally Squires: I was riding through Great Windsor Park last week, and the bunting is already up in town, everyone seems so excited! In comparison to Westminster Abbey it will probably feel a little more relaxed, although Meghan’s an actress so I can’t imagine her being phased by the cameras.
The London Morgan: What did your husband and his groomsmen wear on the big day?
Cally Squires: They all wore morning suits with duck egg ties from Twobirds to match the bridesmaids. Richard’s grey morning suit was made by Chester Barrie, with a simple but elegant buttonhole from florist Neill Strain.
The London Morgan: Who was your photographer and hair & makeup artist – how did you go about choosing the right people?
Cally Squires: I was so lucky to have my dream team of photographer John Nassari and hairdresser Errol Douglas. Not only are they both great people individually, but they’ve worked together on weddings and shoots many times, so that bond made for an extra lovely atmosphere when I was getting ready and nerves could have easily set in.
I was so blessed to meet my make-up artist Denisa Kleinova by chance at a work event, she totally understood what I wanted straight away and really listened to me. We did a trial where she experimented with three or four different looks, but of course she had nailed perfectly it the first time!
The London Morgan: Let’s talk hen and stag dos, where in London do you think Harry and Meghan should hold them?
Cally Squires: For Harry Bunga Bunga in Battersea, where the epic piano man Michael Moore (formerly from the Piano Bar in High Street Ken) now plays a couple of nights a week when he’s not being flown around the world for weddings and private parties.
As Americans love an English traditional, for Meghan I would say afternoon tea at The Lanesborough followed by a pamper party at the hotel’s spa. Anastasia Achilleos at The Lanesborough is honestly the best facialist in the world.
The London Morgan: If you were having a Royal Wedding and money was no object, what would you do? Flowers/Food/drinks/after party?
Cally Squires: Fly everyone out for a bush wedding at Ivory Lodge in South Africa, there would have to be room on the plane for a five-tiered Glorious Victoria sponge cake by Peggy Porschen.
The London Morgan: Where did you spend your honeymoon? What should you look for when planning the perfect break? Where would you recommend for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry?
Cally Squires: We went on safari in Botswana and South Africa, which sounds like it could be Meghan and Harry’s thing too. We saved up our air miles for absolutely ages to upgrade our cabin and make the trip extra special.
The London Morgan: We spotted you out in London in the Morgan, where did you spend your weekend in the car, where have you been?
Cally Squires: We drove it down to Somerset for the wedding of two amazing friends, so it was great to get out on the open road, even if the weather didn’t play along.
The London Morgan: What was it that you liked about the car? What was it like to drive?
Cally Squires: The roar of the engine, the power, the style, the heritage – it ticks all the boxes for me.
The London Morgan: What was it that you didn’t like about the car?
Cally Squires: The lack of hanging space for a silk dress and a morning suit, especially with the top down. Worth it though!
The London Morgan: Did the fact that it is handmade change the way that you felt about the car?
Cally Squires: The heritage aspect and the British craftsmanship combined make it feel that extra bit special. In London we parked it amongst Bentleys and Jags, and the owners of those cars were stopping in their tracks and getting out to take pictures of the Morgan, which is when you know you’ve got something special!
The London Morgan: What do you think a car should say about you?
Cally Squires: You probably don’t want to define yourself just by the car you drive, but I suppose a car can be a reflection of aspects of the owner’s personality. Nobody really wants to be that plated gold Ferrari or Swarofski-encrusted Range Rover…
I’d like to think the Morgan implies credentials of understated good taste and an appreciation of fine craftsmanship in a modest, very English way.
The London Morgan: What are your wardrobe essentials?
Cally Squires: For driving, my prescription sunglasses by Tom Davies and to carry them, a classic Mulberry handbag like the Bayswater. Dress-wise Beulah’s cuts are so versatile and flattering.
The London Morgan: What’s your favourite restaurant?
Cally Squires: It would be too hard to name just one! Locally I’m loving dog-friendly places like Stecca on Hollywood Road, Manicomio in Duke of York Square and M in Victoria. For special occasions brunch at the Ivy Garden in Chelsea, afternoon tea at The Langham, cocktails at Bluebird or Ritorno and dinner at Amaya in Belgravia or Elystan Street in Chelsea.
The London Morgan: What is the last book that you read and what book would you take on your next holiday and where would that holiday be?
Cally Squires: I just read the Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown and coming with me to the UAE is the latest Philip Pullman, the Book of Dust.
The London Morgan: Which influencers inspire you on Instagram and which do you avoid?
Cally Squires: I was pretty late to the game joining Instagram but I just got a dog who now has his own handle @doggystyletravel and Freddie likes @love.my.human for clothing and homeware, plus rescue charity @wild_at_heart_foundation