Selfridges has hosted the first ever wedding at its London store as an Essex couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony.
Carlene Noel, 40, and Danny Sains, 47, who live together in Billericay, Essex, wed on Saturday, joined only by the bride’s son Carnell, 10, and the groom’s daughters Nancy, 12, and Lola, 13.
Mr and Mrs Sains kept their wedding a secret from their entire families, and only video called their parents and close friends after the ceremony to tell them they were married.
Mrs Sains told the PA news agency: “I got a bit emotional when I told my mum because then it felt real and she just broke down, she said she is really happy.
“We just thought we want it to be us and our children, it is our day and it’s very easy to get carried away and there is nothing wrong with that, but we just wanted to keep that intimate feeling, and what better place than Selfridges.”
Mr Sains said: “I had never been to this Selfridges until last Christmas and I fell in love with the place, and she loves it.
“I pushed Selfridges for Carlene and after we went for it, it turned out we were the first wedding so it just worked out perfectly.”
Mrs Sains runs her own personal styling and shopping business, Carlene’s Closet, and Mr Sains is due to open his own pie and mash business called Sainsy’s next week in Brentwood, Essex.
Selfridges acquired a wedding licence in May 2021 allowing weddings to be hosted at its Grade II listed store on London’s Oxford Street.
The celebrations included a choreographed dance by the couple and the children to the song Candy by Cameo before the cake was cut.
The newly dedicated wedding suite, nestled behind a black curtain on the fourth floor, had pictures of the couple showing on slides around the room, and a centre table adorned with gold-framed pictures and flowers.
It can accommodate up to 20 people and there is a bar and couches with a clear view of the altar which is positioned in front of a window.
After the wedding, the family were taken on a personalised tour of the store, including shoe shopping, followed by lunch at the Brasserie of Light before cocktails and a private screening of Grease at one of the store’s three cinema screens.
Rebecca Warburton, director of events and customer experiences at Selfridges, said: “We are delighted to have hosted the first wedding at Selfridges today, and are thrilled that Carlene and Danny chose to celebrate their special day with us.
“It has been a very special day for everyone at Selfridges, too.”
Selfridges offers three wedding packages – earth lovers, a sustainability-focused option; all-out extraordinary, with a ceremony officiated by a drag queen; and just the two of us, a small wedding which was this couple’s choice.
As part of its Project Earth commitments, the retailer is offering Resellfridges: The Wedding, which offers upcycled bridalwear, outfit rental to brides and a service to repair or remake existing dresses.