Rachael and Tom fell in love with the venue as soon as they saw it, and when they realised they would be able to enter the building in their vintage taxi, the deal was done!
So, many beautiful details for your pleasure today folks. Stunning images too courtesy of Rik Pennington.
Tears Of Joy
My dress was the “Joy” dress from Jenny Packham. I had tried on quite a few more traditional dresses and had narrowed down the list and was actually going to cancel my Jenny Packham appointment because I thought I was just one of those people who wouldn’t get a “feeling” about a dress. In the end, I decided to go just to see what they had and when I put on the Joy and saw myself I just started crying, which wasn’t what I had expected at all. So I guessed that probably meant it was “the one”!
My hair accessory was from Jenny Packham as was my veil. I had hoped to shop around a bit as it seemed a bit boring/easy to get something from the same shop but in the end I decided that they all looked so good together there was no point getting something else just for the sake of it! Also, JP had a sale a few months before my wedding so that was the deciding factor for me!
My shoes were gold kitten heels from Jimmy Choo. I am quite tall (5’11″) and Tom is REALLY tall – 6’6″ so although I could have worn massive heels and still been shorter than him, when we are that tall together, everyone always comments on what giants we look like! I decided to do away with that for the wedding so my shoes gave me a bit of height but also didn’t make me feel weird or uncomfortable – as it was by the end of the night (we carried on to the hotel bar where all our guests were staying), I was really really glad that I hadn’t gone for a higher heel!
Just How I Wanted
I decided to have both my hair and make-up done and I ended up using Jane Lattin who is amazing. She did the hair and make-up for a really good friend’s wedding for which I was her bridesmaid and I really liked how calm she was that day. It was exactly the same on our wedding day – she did hair and make-up for the bridesmaids too and my mum’s hair and make-up – and everyone was so happy with how they looked. I decided that morning to change how she had done my hair in the trial, and it came out just how I wanted it.
Whites And Greens
I am not much of a gardener so I don’t really know the names of different flowers. I just told Chantal (the florist) to use whites and greens and what was in season. When we went to the venue with Chantal she fell in love with it and had loads of good ideas so we just left her to it as she had a vision of how great it could look and I didn’t think we could match her creativity!
Because the venue has so many cool pieces of furniture, she did lots of hanging greenery and foliage coming out of drawers and cupboards. We also got a giant cog to put behind us which she decorated with flowers. I also got my Mum to pick up some sets of silver prayer bowls in Asia which Chantal used for the table settings. Chantal’s website is Chantal Floral Design.
Blue Suit White Shirt
As the venue had quite a relaxed feel and as Tom wanted to feel like himself (as much as that is possible on your wedding day when you have a speech ahead!) we decided that suits would be the best option for Tom and the groomsmen. As they were coming from different places (Canada, the US and New Zealand), we just asked them to each bring a blue suit and white shirt (as most guys have a blue suit) – we weren’t too bothered about them all matching perfectly. We then got them white pocket squares which Tom’s sister brought over from Canada and matching ties. I was quite pleased with myself as I managed to get Tom to pick a platinum tie (to match my dress) with blue spots (to match their suits) without giving the game away about the colour of my dress!
The bridesmaids both wore dresses from Amsale. It was easier to get them in North America as that is where they both live and Amsale is a great brand as they do a lot of different dresses in the same colour/material – once I knew the colour I wanted (a dark slate grey) they just picked the style they liked the most. We thought the dark grey would match the platinum colour of my dress nicely and my flower girl wore a light gold dress from Dessy which picked up the gold from the beading on my dress.
Off The Peg
Tom got himself a suit from Gieves and Hawkes. As he is so tall he had thought he would need to get a made to measure one but as it turned out he fitted one off the peg almost perfectly so he just needed it slightly tailored – he doesn’t often wear suits so I am not used to seeing him in them, but I did think he looked really handsome on the day
The amazing Rik Pennington was who we chose for our photographs. We are not very good at posing for photos and we really liked Rik’s style of photography. We looked at quite a few photographer’s websites together and Rik’s was really the only one where we both loved the photos and the style of photography. When we went to see him we loved that it was very casual and we just had a good chat with him so we just decided to go for it – it’s a bit like us to go for the first thing we see but usually we trust our gut instincts and we were right to with Rik.
We did a pre-wedding shoot with him too which was great as we got to know him a bit better which made us a bit more relaxed on the day. I genuinely didn’t notice him on the day (even when there were only a few of us getting ready in the house) and Rachel (Rik’s second shooter) was equally unobtrusive. They both made us feel at ease when we were doing the shots with just the two of us and we both love all of the photos – they have come out just how we wanted.
Wheels Of Cheese
We decided to go for wheels of cheese for our “cake” as I love cheese and our local cheese shop in Highbury called La Fromagerie was able to supply the wheels – after a rather long “tasting” session in their cheese room!
To accompany the cocktails and canapes we had a Dixieland Jazz band as we both love that style of music and thought that it would set the drinks off nicely. For after dinner Blue Harlem, a swing band, came and played – we wanted live music and something a bit different and I have to say that they surpassed our expectations – they were amazing.
We got an old taxi as our wedding car from Cats Vintage Taxi and as the venue was an old garage we were able to roll up the doors and drive in to the Jazz band playing – that is one of my strongest memories of the day as I think everyone was really surprised and it was so nice to drive in and hear great music and see so many smiling faces!
An Easy Choice
Our first dance was My Dearest Darling, Etta James. We wanted something that Blue Harlem could sing – they hadn’t actually done it before but when we told them that was what they wanted they were happy to do it for us – we needed a song that suited that style of singing and the lyrics mean something to us so it was a pretty easy choice.
Photo Guest Book
For favours we decided to get in a photobooth as we thought that was a memento that people would probably keep. It also meant that we got a bit of a guest book as people left one set of photos in a book where they wrote a message and took the other set home. We also got them in soft copy so they are a great memento of the day for us as well.
Lighting, Props, Action.
The venue was “dry hire” which means that you just pay for the building itself. The venue also did all the lighting and put all the various props around. This meant that we brought in our own drinks and food and also all of the furniture, plates etc. so we could set the room up however we wanted which was great. The food that we got was sharing style which we thought was a bit more sociable and would encourage chatting and the long tables suited that as well.
The venue is so great I just wanted the tables to be neutral shades so we went for long white tablecloths and sepia coverings. Our caterers – Rare Food were so lovely and helpful helped me source all the tables, chairs, cutlery etc and managed everything on the day from accepting deliveries to making sure everything was set out perfectly – actually don’t know what I would have done if Kate hadn’t been there! The food was also really delicious – Tom and I both love food and had some trouble finding a caterer within our budget but Kate was so accommodating and the food she produced was really amazing – everyone commented on it and that meant a lot as the main things that we cared about once we go the venue was good food and drinks.
I made drinks stirrers for the cocktails with dark grey, platinum and gold ribbon which matched the bridesmaids dresses and my dress and also streamers with the same ribbon for outside the church. I also tied our programs with the same ribbon, so I guess there was a bit of a ribbon theme! We also had a fingerprint tree which I ordered off Etsy and will soon be hanging on our wall which is another nice reminder of the day. I used Etsy quite a lot actually – I also got our table numbers off there and I thought they looked really good on the day.
We also spent quite a long time trying to find funny photos of our guests which I then made into escort cards for the table seating. It was quite easy with things like facebook but it was a bit of a struggle with some people!
As we had so many people from overseas we also did welcome packs for them which included biscuits in a cool telephone box tin, hangover medicine, percy pigs, polos, maps of london and guidebooks and a thank you card. Although I was cursing myself for having the idea when I was trying to make them all, I think the overseas guests really appreciated it – when you come such a long way it’s nice to feel a bit special!
A lot Of Love
I was glad that I had spent time making the streamers, drinks stirrers, orders of service, escort cards etc but I think you have to be that sort of person otherwise it just turns into a hassle. We also went around the tables in between courses which meant that we got talk to most people which was a nice feeling because I didn’t really feel like I hadn’t spoken to anyone.
I am not very good at remembering things so I did buy myself a lightweight Smythson Panama Wedding Planner (in the sale!) which was probably one of my best purchases. It is such a small book it stayed in my handbag for the whole process so I never needed to remember it and it was always there to jot down things in if I suddenly remembered something.
It’s an incredible feeling to have so many people that you love in one room and celebrating the both of you – we went massively off the schedule before we even got to the venue (when we arrived was when we were meant to be sitting down for dinner) but just trust everyone who is there to sort it out for you – they will all have loads of experience and seen it all before – once I knew everything was off I just had to trust everyone else to get on with it which I did and we really did have the best time!
Venue – MC Motors in Hackney
Dress – Jenny Packham
Headpiece & Veil – Jenny Packham
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Hair & Make-up – Jane Lattin
Flowers – Chantal Floral Design
Photography – Rik Pennington
Maids – Amsale
Cheese – La Fromagerie
Catering – Rare Food
Swing band – Blue Harlem
Taxi – Cats Vintage Taxi
Well, I think I may have just found my venue… All I need to do now is convince Miss Minogue to say yes
How about that Jenny Packham dress, headpiece and veil combo too… pure elegance.
Thanks to Rachael and Tom for sharing their big day with us.