If there’s ever a couple that’s gone hell for leather on a theme then it’s Anna and Mark.
And I for one applaud them.
The gorgeous couple married last year at the Old Naval College in Greenwich before dancing the night away at the uber cool venue, MC Motors. Just wait until you see the venue’s decor.
It is to die for.
In fact it is so cool that it actually makes my bones ache.
And then you see all the details and the love and attention paid to the order of service, the table plan, the guestbook and the finishing touches. There’s a special story behind the theme for the day but I’ll let Anna tell you about that.
Folks, I love this wedding…there is an adorable flowergirl, giant balloons and cakes on a piano.
Let’s take a look…
I Knew It Was The One
Anna The Bride: My dress was from Angelica Bridal in Islington. I went along with my Mum with the intention of trying to figure out what styles I like. It didn’t start too well. The bus was caught in traffic and we were 20 minutes late, meaning I could only try on four dresses rather than the normal six. I knew from the start that I wanted a floaty fluffy bottom to the dress and I thought I’d prefer a really plain upper part so I could have a cool statement necklace.
Sifting through the dresses, I remember coming across one with a detailed bodice that I really liked and went into the possible pile. I tried the first three dresses and wasn’t convinced, I then needed to make a call on the last to try. I don’t know why but I opted for the one with the detailed bodice and fluffy layered bottom. Once I’d stepped into the dress and the assistant started pulling it in, I knew it was the one. As I showed my Mum the assistant dropped in to the conversation that the exact dress would be going into a one day sample sale at the weekend (this was Thursday) and would be significantly reduced – perfect!. I also bartered an extra £70 pounds off, which helped with the accessories.
I had my dress over a year before the wedding stored at my parents house. I was worried I would change my mind, but every time I sneaked a peak I fell in love with again. When I brought the dress it was fractionally a little tight, however at the fitting it fitted perfectly and I didn’t need a single alteration – it must have been fate!
Because of the detail on the dress I decided I couldn’t wear a necklace. I did however want a beautiful headpiece. My headpiece was from Donna Crain. I wanted to try and make sure that the headpiece matched in with the detail on the bodice of my dress. There were so many styles at Donna’s studio but as soon as I tried on the Annee headpiece I knew it would work perfectly. She kindly let me borrow the piece to try at home with my dress before buying.
My mum found an amazing bracelet amongst my Nan’s jewellery collection (we think it was my great or great great Nan’s) which went perfectly and was my ‘something old and borrowed’. Mark also brought me some bracelets as a surprise gift on the day which all went together perfectly.
I’m not really a shoe person so I opted for flats which I knew would be comfy throughout the day. I had lined up a pale pink pair of ballet shoes, but a few weeks before the wedding I changed my mind and opted for a simple ivory pair from Monsoon.
My original make-up artist had to cancel in the week before the wedding due to a family illness. Although completely understandable, this did leave me with two days to find a replacement. I re-contacted the wonderful Sadaf, who I had initially contacted in my first round of enquiries and wasn’t available. I remembered at the time that she had said she might be able to help me find someone through her network. She was so unbelievably helpful when I called her and within a few hours she’d helped me to find Aine, a colleague of hers from MAC in Covent Garden. From then on, it went smoothly, Aine was so helpful and reassuring. We managed to fit in a trial at the MAC store a day before the wedding and Aine did the most amazing job with everyone’s make up.
Air Force Blue
Mark has worked in the fashion and retail industry for years and is really picky when it comes to tailoring. He really loved the styles and cuts of the suits on offer at Hugh Harris and the service was fantastic. He opted for a Air Force blue suit with a waistcoat in the same fabric to make it contemporary. We still hadn’t choosen the main colour for the wedding at this point. All we knew was we wanted pastel colours that match in with the colours from an old map we love.
Mark chose a shimmer pink cravat to go with the suit and we went from there. I guess it’s unusual for the groom to lead the decision on the lead colour, but why not! Mark looked amazing on the day, I couldn’t take my eyes off him! We also hired the groomsmen’s suits from Hugh Harris too.
A Secret Venue
During my college years I spent my weekends waitressing at weddings at a countryside house. Whilst beautiful and grand, I always knew that I wanted something much more casual and informal for my own wedding. I instantly fell in love with MC Motors when we viewed it.Although Mark loved the venue, he has been to a lot of weddings in his time and I remember that at first that he was sceptical about having a wedding reception there – ‘People don’t normally have weddings in places like that!’.
It took me around 10 minutes to convince him otherwise – ‘It’s our wedding, we can have it anywhere we want’. The second time we viewed it, he was absolutely sold and once the lovely ladies at MC Motors mentioned that they regularly host secret parties, Mark was adamant that we keep the location of our wedding a secret. This was great fun although made the logistics a bit more difficult! It caused much speculation amongst our guests in the 6 months following the invitation and they were always trying to catch us out in conversations – I’m pleased to say that we managed to keep it a secret up to the day (with exception of close family and friends which helped set up and found out the day before).
We loved the differences between the two venues – one was very grand and opulent whilst the other was very urban and funky. Around a month before I started to have doubts about the secrecy and whether our quests would be disappointed with the venue following the grandness of chapel. I need not have worried!
My flowers were by the talented Julie from My Little Flower Shop in Essex. Julie understood what I wanted perfectly despite the sometimes random descriptions from me – ‘I’d like a fluffy bouquet’. I wanted the bouquet to include old style Roses and not to be too structured. My bridesmaid and flower girls had bouquets of Gypsophila. Mark’s, the best man’s and the Dads’ buttonholes matched my bouquet, whilst the other groomsmen had simple gypsophila buttonholes to match the bridesmaid.
For the venue I asked Julie to bring although a mixture of ‘fluffy’ flowers in whites and pale pinks to fill all the glassware, rose bowls and bottles that were dotted around on the tables, ledges and nooks. I wasn’t too specific on the flower types and instead gave Julie a selection of images of things I liked from my pinterest board. Julie did an amazing job with the flowers, not only was my bouquet beautiful it smelt amazing too.
I wanted to remember loved ones that had been lost on my wedding day. I found some beautiful amulets on Etsy which I used as lockets for pictures and tied to my bouquet. I added a vintage brooch of my Nan’s and Great Nan’s to the bouquet too.
Just The One
As I had just one bridesmaid, my cousin Kayleigh, I wanted her to choose her dress. I was really glad when she suggested that she would like something Grecian in style. We got her beautiful dress from Satin and Lace it was from the Jasmine Bridal B2 collection, which meant she could pick the style and colour. I was really pleased she picked something so beautiful.
If I’m completely honest I’d actually booked another photographer for our wedding at first. However when the photos came back from our engagement session we were really disappointed! After speaking with our photographer about our concerns, we decided to give them benefit of the doubt– I still however had a niggling feeling about this!
Shortly afterwards, I was looking at Rock My Wedding and I saw a real wedding photographed by Dottie Photography. I instantly feel in love with the style of photography. I thought it was pretty impossible with just over two months to go that Mandy would be available but I thought it was worth a call just in case. Unbelievably this was the only space she had free for the rest of the year. It must have been fate. Mandy did such an amazing job and we’re so over the moon with the photos. I guess my real tip from this experience is to go with your gut!
I didn’t want a large traditional wedding cake because it seemed like a waste of money. Instead I wanted a small cake to cut and a table of cakes that could be served as the desert course. I collected lots of beautiful cake stands for the cake table – these belonged to relatives or came from charity shops and Homesense. Not only did the table look great but this saved us a lot of money – for the cost of a standard wedding cake we were able to feed our guests beautiful individual cakes for dessert and save on the catering costs.
We had a round red velvet cake from the Hummingbird Bakery to cut. The amazing individual cakes were from Ottolenghi (http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/).
Indie Style Hitmen
For entertainment we wanted an indie style band that would get everybody on the dance floor. The Hitmen were fantastic. We also brought lots of inflatable guitars that went down a storm on the dance floor.
Our first dance was to ‘One day like this’ by Elbow. The song was released just after we met it feels very special to us. We had the song title engraved on the inside of our wedding bands. We also had a Dottie photography funbooth that went down a storm with our guests and also acted as entertainment.
We wanted to make the favours ourselves to save money. We made limoncello (our favourite drink from our first holiday together in Italy) using a tested recipe from the internet and filled up small glass bottles we found on ebay. We finished the favours with a handmade label.
Over the course of a year my mum and I collected lots of old books, rose bowls, bottles and glassware from boot sales and charity shops. We used these to decorate the main tables, plus all the other ledges and nooks around the venue. Our florist then filled these with a mixture of flowers in whites and pale pinks. I also made some paper flowers using our inspiration map, which were slotted in every so often. The decorations really fitted with the style of our venue and each table was different.
Table Plans And Trunks
Our table plan was our biggest bargain. My brother rescued the trunk from a skip. We lined it with wrapping paper and used some free vintage envelope images we found online for the tables and names.
We wanted to do something different for the guest book. My Dad made a large frame which we hung lines of twine across. We asked guests to write on the back of a vintage style postcard and peg it to the lines.
Groom With A View
I think Mark’s involvement in the wedding was what made it really special. Grooms don’t necessarily want to get involved with absolutely every decision. I was lucky Mark was great at getting involved and talking through decisions with me. However, if there was something he had a particular preference or idea for I was keen to embrace it.
The inspiration or theme for our wedding was an image of vintage map. Mark studied cartography at uni and loves maps (he has lots of books about them!). We also love travelling, so it was great to have a theme that reflected both our interests. The ‘map’ led our thinking on most things – stationery, decorations, etc. It was great to see something so special, and so Mark, reflected throughout the details of the wedding. Creating a good atmosphere was really important to me. Having our reception in an informal venue really helped everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. The free bar also helped too!
Reception: MC Motors
Photography: Dottie Photography
Boutique: Angelica Bridal
Headpiece: Donna Crain
Bridesmaid: Jasmine Bridal
Flowers: My Little Flower Shop
Groom: Hugh Harris
Band: The Hitmen
Cake: Hummingbird Bakery
It’s quite clear from the looks on the guests’ faces on the dance floor that Anna and Mark’s wedding was a blast.
And any bride that reapplies her make-up whilst leaning on a signature red London bus is a winner in my book. I mean that’s literally the ‘London Look’ right?
There was so much detail in this wedding that I couldn’t fit it all into this post so I implore you to take a gander at the gallery.
There you can pin to your heart’s content whilst simultaneously thanking Anna and Mark for all their gorgeous inspiration.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
All my love Lolly xxx