I always try to think to myself, when walking around towns and cities, “Look up“. It’s suprising how much spectacular architecture you can miss (especially on high streets) if you never look up and beyond the shop fronts and signage.
London has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, and Rock My Wedding readers Terri and David decided to use it as a backdrop to their rooftop romance. Anneli Marinovich came to the rescue when Terri and David found themselves without a photographer, and judging by the gorgeous set of images that you see before you, I think she did them proud…
We got married on the 16th of July 2011 at Soho House in London. We loved the idea of a ‘no fuss’ wedding where all our London based friends could hop on the tube to get to the wedding, they all remarked on how convenient it was! It was quite difficult to find a London wedding venue that wasn’t too expensive or overly traditional, or that didn’t insist on a minimum number of guests that was way above what we could achieve, a disadvantage of having family and friends scattered all over the world (me) and a small family (David). When we discovered Soho House we knew we’d found ‘the one’. The size was perfect, the food was exceptional and not very ‘weddingy’ (macaroni cheese was the veggie option) and it had the perfect mix of modern/traditional décor that we like. They also have a licence to hold civil wedding ceremonies there so it made everything quite easy. It was the perfect location for the simple, city chic London wedding that we had in mind.
My dress was designed especially for me by my lovely friends who own Mimmo Couture. It was a wonderful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed being handed a stack of Haute Couture Look Books one Sunday afternoon to look through for ideas. It was a real treat. They usually only make clothes for private clients and charge a lot for the privilege so I was very lucky! My dress was basically an off white evening dress. I have never wanted a traditional wedding dress and before Mimmo offered to make the dress for me I had enjoyed a lovely afternoon trying on vintage dresses at Fur Coat No Knickers. In the end the dress was quite different to what I had originally envisaged but it was perfect. It was a gorgeous off white silk crepe with beautiful detailing in the front with a small train at the back, it was quite heavy and it draped beautifully.
Mimmo designs clothes for some very well known people, he advises his clients on the whole ‘look’ and he’s very particular about accessories so I listened to him religiously. I was told not to wear a veil or any hair accessories, which suited me fine. My ‘something borrowed’ was a lovely pair of pearl drop earrings from the 1920s that I borrowed from a friend who has a fabulous collection of vintage jewellery. My ‘something old’ was a vintage rhinestone pearl bracelet from Vintage Bridal Jewellery. It was just what I was looking for and far more interesting than a high street equivalent. I also had a gorgeous little Whiting and Davis mesh clutch bag that I found on Etsy from the VintageDiva60 shop. It is from the 1940’s and still has its original box, it reeked of stale cigarettes when I got it though, the downside of buying vintage.
When Nothing Else Will Do…
My sandals were Jimmy Choo ‘India’ and they are beautiful! I did try on some more affordable high street alternatives but to be honest after seeing the Jimmy Choos on my feet nothing else would do. They’re actually very comfortable, they’re medium height, 3.3 inch, I’m quite tall so I never wear very high heals and I also didn’t want to be taller than David but I found it quite difficult to find medium height strappy sandals that looked stylish and sexy rather than ugly and frumpy, definitely a gap in the market!
A Simple Curl.
I’ve had medium length or shortish hair for a long time and couldn’t imagine growing it out and wearing it up for the wedding so my usual hairdresser in Clapham just curled the ends for me. I loved it, loose and a little messy and unfussy. The lovely Jane Lattin at Inspired Weddings did our makeup. I had professional makeup done when I was a bridesmaid for my maid of honour and I loved it. I wear makeup every day but it always seems to fall off by the end of the day so I needed Jane’s assistance. It was money well spent, I looked fine in the photos until we left the party after 3am, the false eyelashes she put in the corners of my eyes looked great too.
I had a fair idea about which flowers I wanted because I deal with florists in my day job. I had noticed that Hydrangeas were making a comeback and I love their traditional, blowsey quality but having them en mass in simple arrangements keeps them from being too ‘country’. I found Rachel Morgan of Rachel Morgan Flowers online and we were on the same page from the outset. I decided on blue and white hydrangeas because of the colours of the fabrics on the Roof Deck. I wanted silver tumblers for the smaller arrangements, a nod to the Georgian interior of Soho House and the silver rose bowls Rachel used for the larger table displays were spectacular. She used Hydrangeas, vintage lilac Amnesia roses, Eucalyptus leaves, Freesias (a favourite scent from my childhood) and white roses. Rachel also advised me to have a bouquet that consisted mostly of hydrangeas to stop it from being too heavy, a bouquet comprised entirely of roses is apparently very heavy, who knew!? She also interspersed the table arrangements with mercury votives.
David and his best man always wanted to wear bespoke suits. The traditional morning suit look is not for us; give me a man in a well-cut suit any day. A good friend of theirs told them about Luke’s Bespoke Tailors in Canning Town. They loved the experience, they each had 3 fittings, and they couldn’t have looked more dapper. I didn’t want the wedding to be too matchy matchy so my brother (the usher), my father, the best man and David wore their own suits and a blue tie. I created a mood board and distributed it to everyone to give them a general idea of the colour scheme, it worked well. The bridesmaids each chose their own dresses and accessories. One is based in London and the other one lives in Los Angeles so the thought of finding dresses in exactly the same colour sounded like a logistical nightmare to me.
Dressed To Impress.
David’s suit was made in a navy blue herringbone wool, really lovely, he wore a crisp white shirt from TM Lewin and he wore some of his trademark stripey socks. He spent quite a bit of time finding a tie to co ordinate with the wedding colours and the lining of his suit (his idea). His brogues were from Loake. My heart did somersaults when I saw him standing there at the end of the aisle.
RMW To The Rescue.
We had originally booked another photographer but we had to change the date so I had a crazy panic to find another photographer who was free. I started emailing photographers I found on the RMW site and one of them very kindly put me in touch with Anneli Marinovich who they knew was free on our wedding day. It also turned out that Anneli is from the same part of Joburg in South Africa as me, a nice icebreaker. We met up with Anneli in the Spring for an E Shoot and she put us at ease immediately. David always freezes when I take a photo of him so I was pleasantly surprised to see him relax with Anneli. We are thrilled with the photos that Anneli produced and she was very unobtrusive, I don’t actually remember seeing her take many photos!
We were always going to have a chocolate cake. I love baking all kinds of cakes but David only really wants me to bake chocolate cakes so a chocolate cake it was. I contacted Mela at Kicca Cakes and was very pleased to find out how reasonably priced they were. I am not interested in paying close to £1000 for a cake! The cake she produced for us was a tasty chocolate cake with a raspberry filling with a rustic chocolate icing covered in white hydrangeas and roses. I was so pleased to turn around after the cake was served to see everyone tucking in, it certainly didn’t go to waste. Everyone loves a bit of chocolate cake.
We left the music to the in-house DJ at Soho House, she did a great job, no YMCA in sight thank goodness and people danced till 3am! David put a lot of effort into the pre ceremony, ceremony, post ceremony drinks and wedding breakfast music. His music collection extends to 1000’s of cds so he had quite a task to narrow it down. I love the play list he put together. Peter Gabriel’s cover of The Magnetic Fields’ song ‘The Book of Love’ for the signing of the register is a particular favourite; the lyrics are excellent and not too schmaltzy.
Sea Of Love.
Although he loves music I haven’t seen David dance much at all so the first dance caused a bit of stress. We eventually decided on Cat Power’s cover of ‘Sea of Love’, I love her voice and the slow 50’s sound. It worked really well.
We were on quite a strict budget and I couldn’t justify the cost of favours and I’ve often seen them being left behind but I eventually relented and I’m pleased I did. I decided that if I was going to buy some they were going to have to be edible. The Rococo chocolates, I chose were very pretty, I have always loved their packaging, they taste divine and the colours were perfect and they didn’t cost too much.
We realised early on that we wouldn’t have time to make/set up any decorations so finding a beautiful venue that spoke for itself was a prerequisite. Soho House was absolutely perfect. The storm lanterns, the extra tea lights and the lovely décor was all there. No extra embellishment was required. The only thing I added was the floral arrangements.
We kept things very simple and that led to a very relaxed day. I designed and made all the wedding stationery and David spent a lot of time creating the play list and these things put a personal stamp on the day but we didn’t get bogged down with too many other details because we wanted to remain calm during the lead up to the day and on the day itself. If things go wrong, don’t stress and just go with it. I didn’t exactly imagine being taken to the wedding ceremony in a people carrier but that’s what happened to me when the company I hired brought the wrong cars. We got there in good time and that’s all that counts.
Photographer – Anneli Marinovich
Venue – Soho House
Dress – Mimmo Couture
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Make-up – Inspire Weddings
Flowers – Rachel Morgan Flowers
Tailoring – Luke’s Bespoke Tailors
Grooms Shoes – Loake
Cake- Kicca Cakes
Favours- Rococo Chocolates
This lofty Venue has played such a key part in the styling of Terri and David’s chic city shindig (careful how you say that). The Georgian architecture influenced floral displays, the menu reflecting the relaxed contemporary vibe and the beauty of Internal architecture accentuating style and class with minimal dressing.
A very understated and classy affair. Styles and themes come and go, but I get the feeling that this big day will stand the test of time.