‘Sanditon’ Star Ben Lloyd-Hughes Reveals How Charlotte and Colbourne’s Wedding is Tied to the Colin Firth ‘Pride & Prejudice’

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Wedding bells finally rang for Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) in the Sanditon finale on Masterpiece on PBS. After two seasons of brooding looks, stolen kisses, and secret touches, the two characters can finally live out their happily ever after. Sanditon fans got to see Charlotte and Colbourne’s dreamy wedding play out in a gorgeous sequence immediately after their joyous cliffside proposal.

If you found yourself swooning over Charlotte and Colbourne’s wedding ceremony, you weren’t alone. Sanditon star Ben Lloyd-Hughes revealed to Decider that it was also a “joyous” occasion for everyone involved in the Jane Austen adaptation.

“I remember it being really joyous and, again, just an amazing moment of look where we are, look where we came from,” Lloyd-Hughes said. “From that first read through, from that first Zoom chemistry read that I had with Rose, to here we are at our wedding.”

Even though Lloyd-Hughes remembers shooting the wedding as “joyous,” he also called it “quite complicated.” When Colbourne and Charlotte leave the church, they are showered in dreamy pink rose petals. Capturing that idyllically romantic moment was tricky. Lloyd-Hughes said that between him, co-star Rose Williams, and the countless supporting artists in the background, “there was always someone doing something random” in the shot. Not to mention the roses…

Charlotte and Colbourne's wedding day on 'Sanditon'
Photo: PBS

“It was a hard to balance to get the roses to look romantic and beautiful or just thrown in my face. I remember there are a couple of takes where the note had to be, ‘Stop throwing it like you’re throwing a grenade,'” Lloyd-Hughes said. “[We] just wanted the wind to catch it in the right way.”

Lloyd-Hughes added that even though most of the cast, crew, and producers were on set that day, one original Sanditon star had to miss the happy event.

“Kris Marshall had COVID, so he had a stand in I think, and I don’t know if they just kind of CGI-d his face into it, but he was missing,” he said. It’s unclear if he meant just for the procession — where Marshall’s Tom Parker is out of frame — or for the whole wedding sequence.

Perhaps more importantly, Lloyd-Hughes also revealed that Charlotte and Colbourne’s big day had a connection to another iconic Jane Austen adaptation: the 1995 BBC miniseries version of Pride & Prejudice.

“I know that we filmed [the wedding] right near the house and it might be the same church,” he said. “Our green room was the same house that Colin Firth’s Pride and Prejudice, the Bennet house was filmed in. So that was quite poignant to be there in that house. It might have been the same church that they got married in, so that was a kind of nice little nod to kind of iconic Jane Austen moments.” 

Sanditon started off as a imaginative riff on Jane Austen’s final, unfinished manuscript and now, thanks to Masterpiece on PBS, it’s forever part of the pantheon of dreamy Regency romances.