Oh the flowers, the pretty flowers. And the pretty dress… and the stamp bunting and the dougnut cake.
It’s all just so lovely and a little bit of this and that, which was exactly Lynda and Eddies dream day. All the bits of things they love, so they didn’t set themselves a theme. They wanted to throw a great party and during the planning process, it seemed they always went back to one thing… London. And that, without really planning on it, became their theme.
No Waiting Around
Lynda The Bride: We got engaged on my birthday back in November 2011 and after waiting 8 years for a proposal I didn’t think there was much point in waiting too long for the wedding! Thankfully Eddie agreed. He got the calendar, we looked at it for about 5 minutes and we came up with May 2012 – just over 6 months away which seemed quite far away at the time. Little did we realise that a lot of people seem to plan for a lot further in advance. Not to mention that the wedding industry in general seems to be geared for a lot of forward planning.
The process in general was fairly simple – there were no wedding folders or mood boards here! Within 2 weeks we had the venue, the registrar and the reception venue all booked so we were pretty decisive on the big details.
Quite a lot of things (not just small things!) were left to the last minute. I changed my mind about my make up lady with about 3 weeks to go. I had to find another one quick smart but was so happy I did.
I had thought that my brother’s fiancée was going to do the bouquets and buttonholes for us – but a few weeks before the day we decided it wasn’t going to work out time wise as they were also coming over from Northern Ireland the day before the wedding. So I set about looking for a florist. I knew I didn’t want a single colour bouquet and started searching for a florist who actively showed something a bit different. Rebel Rebel in Broadway Market came up and I emailed on the off chance and luckily they were able to fit us in! Mairead there was great and to tie in with the name places she managed to incorporate our idea of having a scrabble tile (their initial) into the men’s buttonholes! The bouquets themselves were the most amazing flowers I have ever had the joy to see (even if I do say so myself!). I was over the moon with them!
One Day, One Dress
Before I started properly looking in shops and trying dresses on, my ideal dress would have been a Jenny Packham; Eden…or maybe Willow. Oh those sparkly sequins! Or actually I did love the Long Jean by Alice Temperley even more. Sadly this style of dress didn’t actually do much for my shape. I tried on one ‘long thin’ dress and quickly realised that I wasn’t going to look good in a slinky dress no matter how much I wished it! So I had to go shopping with an open mind…
It was really important to me that my mum played a part in helping me choose my dress. I’m from Northern Ireland where my parents both still live and trying to get a date where I could get enough appointments and where my mum could fly over was quite difficult! But she flew over for a weekend and I had two days of dress appointments scheduled in.
So on the Friday morning we headed to Angelica Bridal in Islington. It’s a lovely shop and the staff there were really nice and not pushy at all. My choice of dresses was restricted by the fact that I was getting married in less than 6 months (I only started dress shopping in January!) but they didn’t restrict what I could try on and said they would do what they could if I found one I liked. I did! But I still had two other appointments that day so decided to go to them as if I was only going to have one day of dress shopping and my mum had flown over that we might as well go to them! The other two shops were nice too – but the first dress at Angelica Bridal still stuck in my mind – it was poufy without being meringue-y and was a lot more flattering. We rushed back and ordered it and that was it! One day of dress shopping – dress done!
I have LOVED Eltham Palace ever since Poirot came on TV back in the late 80’s. The stunning art deco entrance hall was used in several episodes as a set for the show. I actually work with Eltham as part of my job, and about a year ago I got a call from my contact there who told me that Poirot was filming there once again and if I wanted to go over and see the filming I could! I rushed over after work and was lucky enough to meet David Suchet (or should I say Poirot as he stayed in character as he kissed my hand and said Enchantee Madame!). Eddie is also a fan of the Palace and we started looking at dates and costs. It turned out to be a bit more expensive than we had hoped to have our whole day there, but having our ceremony and a drinks reception there just fell into budget! We booked it within a fortnight of getting engaged and didn’t even look anywhere else!
That left us with a dilemma about where to hold our evening reception. We decided that what we would both love was a good old pub do, where our families would feel comfortable and we could let our hair down. But how would we find somewhere that could follow such a visually stunning backdrop such as Eltham Palace? And moreso – how would we find somewhere that wasn’t too expensive what with Eltham taking up quite a bit of budget. Suddenly whilst staring at a map of London we had a thought. Leadenhall Market is a hidden gem in the City of London – an undercover Victorian market arcade with amazing colours and stained glass ceilings and we knew there were a couple of pubs in there. Our luck was in! The Lamb Tavern catered for weddings, had no hire fee and was reasonably priced! We went for a meeting to chat through our ideas and when we learnt that the band could play outside and the dance floor would be on the cobbled streets it sealed the deal!
Cake Pops And Doughnuts
I LOVE cake. Eddie doesn’t! Eddie suggested a cheese tower, but I LOVE cake and was finding it difficult to imagine getting as excited about cheese. Then we saw a Krispy Kreme cake online and it solved our dilemma! We ordered them the week before to be delivered straight to the Lamb Tavern and the great staff there assembled the ‘cake’ for us! We bought a cupcake stand off eBay and a small birthday fruit cake from M&S for the top (about £6 and we just peeled off the Happy Birthday sign on top!!) and then topped it off with an antique birdcage clock that we had found in an auction. Another last minute addition were some amazing cake pops from the Pop Bakery which were added to our sweet table in the evening. We had London buses, brides and grooms, wedding cakes and underground signs with our names on.
A No Brainer
We saw some amazing photographers online, but we couldn’t quite get our heads around the cost (like with a lot of things!) We wanted a contemporary look but at a reasonable price and just when I thought that this didn’t exist, we came across Milda’s website. It was a no-brainer – her pictures were beautifully shot, relaxed which was exactly what we were looking for – and she was so much more reasonably priced than many similar photographers.
Yet another last minute addition was our photobooth from The Mighty Booth. We only booked it a couple of weeks in advance. We had been umming and ahhing for ages and it was something Eddie really wanted and we were so lucky that they had availability for their cool Sherlock booth – retro on the outside, all wood panels on the inside! It went down really well and provided a bit of an activity for the early evening.
Dancing In The Streets
I’m sure everyone says this but everything! The whole day flowed so well and considering we weren’t exactly sticklers for the planning detail it couldn’t have gone any better! But if I had to pick out a few moments they would be… being married in Eltham Palace was a dream come true. It’s such a stunning place and somewhere I had really loved for a long time even before actually visiting it! The bus journey was great as even though they didn’t put our music on or do the route we had been promised, everyone had a little packed lunch on the bus and a few glasses of champagne later and everyone was singing Irish Rover and stomping on the floor and everyone loosened up and got to know each other. Finally dancing on the cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market for our first dance (Waterloo Sunset) with an audience of bemused tourists (who we invited in for a drink but they were too polite!) then heading down to the downstairs bar later for a bit of karaoke topped off an amazing day!
I really wanted to go to America for honeymoon and Eddie really wanted somewhere with a private pool. We’ve been to lots of places in the USA before but not the West Coast so I started looking at doing a trip around Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco. I found the Villa Sophia in LA! It’s been a set in Entourage and a shoot location for Victoria’s Secret! As soon as I showed Eddie the website he was convinced! We then planned our trip around that and it really was the most amazing place to stay! We felt like Hollywood royalty for a few days. Las Vegas and San Francisco were as amazing as everyone says and we Segway’d and gambled and Grand Canyon’d and ate like there was no tomorrow and generally had a marvellous time!
Don’t Sweat It
Don’t sweat the small stuff! Only you know how the day is meant to go so if little details get left out, no-one else will know! Do exactly what you want to do. Don’t feel bound by wedding conventions; if you don’t have an order of service or you want to cellotape your invitations together (like we did!) then do it how you want to. As long as there’s a ceremony the rest of it is really up to you!
Dancing on the cobbled streets of London I hear you shout! I KNOW! How amazing is that.
What a wonderfully relaxed wedding. I’m loving the idea of a bus ride with a packed lunch as well. Such a great way to get people chatting and relaxed around each other.
I’m off to perfect my karaoke and dream of segwaying around Vegas!