We’re starting the week with a wedding EXTRAVAGANZA. Seriously – I’ve never seen anything like it.
Yes, the gorgeous wedding elements are there…Alexis has a swirly to-die-for Jenny Packham gown, a dreamy bouquet filled with pink roses and green foliage, and there’s the obligatory London wedding transport – a big red wedding bus.
But that wasn’t enough for theatrical pair Alexis & Nathan, OH NO.
They’ve taken weddings to a whole new level.
There are also magician acts, live bands, sparklers, performance artists, hula hoops AND a flash mob first dance. You have to see it to believe it. But it looks like SUCH FUN.
Alexis & Nathan – all I can say is that you guys really know how to put on a show.
Alexis The Bride: A London wedding surrounded by some of the most romantic London landmarks seemed like a magical prospect. The wedding room at Trinity House has a huge window with beautiful views of Tower Hill.
For the reception, Hackney Round Chapel was one of the few venues that allowed us the freedom to DIY everything from the décor to catering. Perfect for a big yet affordable party in London.
I’m used to styling myself for shows, so hair and make up was another DIY job. We wanted to nod to the classic vintage looks of the 30s: old Technicolor movies, vintage circus as depicted in Water For Elephants, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in Top Hat. For stay-put red lips and nails, lip inks and Gel nail varnish were a must.
I had one priority with my dress: I wanted to be able to dance! The Jenny Packham dress I chose was huge on me at first. The lovely Brides Room of Birkdale performed wonders and in the end it fitted a dream! I spent half the wedding swishing the billowing silk skirt around on the dance floor.
All our rings were created by Maria at Tyrrell Blois. She makes unique pieces for each of her clients, works earnestly toward your budget and makes creating your perfect ring a joyful experience. I gave her the challenge of finding a bi-coloured Sapphire. Not only did she find my dream stone, it came with a happy, ethical, story.
Nathan’s nephews and nieces were ring bearers. We wanted them to be comfortable and have elements they might wear again before they grow too big! Everything was from high street shops, apart from the braces, bows and bow ties, which were from Etsy and Not On The High Street. They all wore vintage-style sneakers. Sandy-coloured Converse All-Stars worked surprisingly well with sweet denim dresses from The Traditional Children Company.
I wanted to be given away by my family, not just my father, so was escorted down the aisle by my Mother, Sister and Father, all of whom planned their own outfits (according, loosely, to the style ot the venue and wedding).
So as not to be a slave to a colour scheme, but still tie things together, we had a tonal colour scheme. This was a palette of washed-out aged shades. Likewise, we allowed ourselves to be inspired by a 30s design scheme rather than strictly adhere to it. A combination of lanterns, fairy lights and bundles of Baby’s Breath made it feel like a Baz Luhrman set. Combined with theatre lights on the architecture, designed by our amazingly talented friend Luke Gledsdale the space was transformed.
The decorative flowers were a DIY job. We sourced them from Covent Garden Flower market (they were collected the day before the wedding, and ordered one week in advance). On the wedding eve we had a flower shower where the flowers were arranged by a few helpers, before being taken to the reception venue for decoration.
The music was played by our friend Guy Connelly from Clock Opera. He played his version of Dance Me to the End of Love (originally by Leonard Cohen), as well as this acoustic version of his song Lifeboats.
Our readings meant so much to us. They were ‘Let Our Scars Fall In Love’ by Galway Kinnell, ‘The Irrational Season’ by Madeleine L’Engle and ‘We Are Made One With What We Touch And See’ by Oscar Wilde.
Nathan is a Theatre Director and I’m a performer so we had lots of talented friends and colleagues providing all of the entertainment.
The first dance was a recreation of the night we got together, directed by Nathan. I was part of a flash mob with confetti canons, dancing live to Clock Opera’s Once And For All. Our usher, Mario’s band called Mr Cova Lova, provided most of the music and created a real party atmosphere.
I got a couple of my fellow variety performers down to join me on stage in between the bands sets. I was joined by Miranda Keeling, Craig the Incredible Hula Boy, and Jon Hicks Adult Prodigy. Nathan even performed a surprise serenade along with his beautiful backing singers, The Stags.
Our best man Charlie Urry and Scott Forte joined chef forces and created a fabulous on the table buffet of huge gammons and a range of salads. As well as the benefit of not having to queue for the buffet, sharing a tabletop feast got people talking.
In the evening we had the spicy treats of Dosa Deli, a light Indian snack which worked really well. As well as the usual alcoholic and soft drinks we got in some great local beer from The Kernel Brewery.
We handwrote the guests’ names on a luggage tag, which we placed on the back of each chair, alongside simple table labels on white card in a handwritten font. For things that could not be done by hand, designers like Mans Greback created gorgeous fonts that are free to download for personal use. We particularly liked Made With B!
Tarah was simply a joy to share our wedding day with. She caught the atmosphere of our day and engaged with it. She was easygoing, lighthearted and fun. All this whilst working incredibly hard to get us the best pictures. In the more formal (obligatory for your granny) shots, where it was necessary to coordinate everyone, she was gentle yet commanding.
However; when it came to the reportage style pictures she kept an understated and light hearted presence. The pictures she created show how at ease all our guests felt in her company. We will always treasure the images she has given us.