Architects always have the best style - it's a profession I'd have loved to do, if I could do maths and had a better sense of spatial awareness ;) So featuring the weddings of architects is pretty much the best next thing for me. Abigail and Andrew's wedding is every bit as thoughtful, well put together and chic as I'd expect from a couple who careers are based on strong and beautiful visuals and clear functional concepts. The pair chose Bermondsey Yard Cafe for their reception, which was the perfect blank canvas for them to unleash their understated, elegant style on. We love the mix of industrial and chic - it's a combination they've completely nailed for the whole wedding. Enjoy this one loves, the images come from the wonderful Michelle Wood.

The Bride

Abigail the Bride: 
Wedding dress shopping is not easy. I did my research and went to 
several appointments in London boutiques, always leaving disappointed.
 A friend then suggested that I try her friend’s boutique in Leamington Spa - Tilly Trotters Brides. They were so helpful, the appointment didn’t feel rushed (I also 
didn’t have to pay for it!) and they had a wide range of dresses so I
 could try lots of different shapes/styles. I left with a very simple 
silk Andrea Hawkes dress. I had a bit of a wobble when I tried the
 dress on a few months later, deciding that it wasn’t quite right, but 
I found the incredibly talented Satish from Elite Alterations (who I
 got chatting to at a sample sale and found out lives in my home town
 of Bedford) and she worked wonders with the dress and also advised on
 the right underwear.
It turns out nude coloured underwear for people with darker skin is
 very difficult to find!! I bought my veil and shoes from Les Trois Soeurs in London. The shoes were Badgely Mischka and were called Abigail, which swung it 
for me. Also the wedge heel for the comfort factor!

 My rings are very delicate 1mm thick bands in rose gold, so I chose
 fine rose gold jewellery to match.

The Groom

Andrew chose a navy blue Paul Smith suit with a dusky pink tie from
 Reiss to match the bridesmaids dresses. His boots were from Russell
 and Bromley. He wore rose gold cuff links engraved with the wedding
date from Notonthehighstreet.

The Venues

We are both architects living and working in London and therefore 
decided an urban London wedding would suit us best.

 We absolutely fell in love with the Asylum Chapel when we saw it for 
the first time. Oh the light filtering through the stained glass
windows! the crumbling walls! the candles! the portico! the history! 
Frances, the Asylum coordinator, was just so helpful and everything
 ran like clockwork on the day. I would definitely recommend having a
coordinator, as this is optional. We printed the history of the chapel on the back of the order of
 service - as everyone assumes it’s a lunatic asylum, which is a bit dark 
for a wedding venue. 

After the ceremony we hired vintage red buses to take us to Bermondsey 
for the evening reception at the Bermondsey Yard Cafe (BYC). After 
looking at lots of venues, including dry hire options, we chose the
 BYC for its proximity to the asylum, its relaxed vibe and the fact
that we just didn’t have time to organise separate suppliers for 
catering, drinks and venue. The BYC also has an outdoor space which 
was great as it was sunny and it’s super conveniently located close to
London Bridge station.

The Decor

The colour scheme was decided by the bridesmaids dresses. I had
 initially wanted turquoise or blue to tone with the chapel interiors, 
but we couldn’t find the right dresses in those shades. So we ended up
 with dusky pink with white florals and greenery. The Asylum doesn’t 
need any extra decor - we kept it simple with their candles and a
 plywood welcome board, hand painted by Andrew's dad. Andrew's mum made 
the willow baskets for the confetti cones. My mum made the petal and
lavender confetti by was collecting and drying rose petals for months. The theme for the table plan was houses designed by famous architects
 - a nod to our profession and the fact that we are now Mr and Mrs
 House! We also had a brass house-shaped cake topper on our pork pie
 Our very talented graphic designer friend Ceri designed our A+A logo-ed
invites and we used that logo throughout the rest of the stationery, 
simply printed in black and white on textured cream card and tracing 
paper. We made personalised pepper jar favours that doubled as the table
place cards. We chose peppercorns as they are from the Malabar Coast, 
which is where we spent part of our honeymoon.

The Flowers

Catherine at Floral Evolution provided the gorgeous bouquets, button
holes, greenery and table centre pieces. I gave her a very loose brief
 (white and green, not too structured) and she did an amazing job with 
seasonal flowers. She also provided all the vases at the BYC with 
individual stems. This was a really cost effective way to soften the 
space and I’m glad we decided to add the vases last minute at my mum’s

The Wedding Party

The bridesmaids dresses were possibly one of the most difficult things 
to agree on. It’s very hard to find one dress that pleases everyone. 
As my bridesmaids all live at opposite ends of the country it was also
 difficult to meet up and try things together. So we went for ASOS 
dresses in the end - easy to try and send back - plus they do a
maternity range as one of the bridesmaids was expecting! The groomsmen wore their own navy suits with pink Reiss ties to match
 the bridesmaids dresses. We bought them monogrammed cuff links and tie
 pins from Notonthehighstreet.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was led by Yvonne Beck. Yvonne worked with us to create a
very personal ceremony which incorporated readings from the brides 
sister and a friend.

The Entertainment

We had initially hired a string quartet recommended to me by a friend. 
They were so good that they were also asked to play at Prince Harry
 and Meghan Markels wedding (which took place the day after ours). As 
rehearsals for the royal wedding clashed with our day, they organised 
a replacement for us...Leos Strings. They were absolutely amazing and
 really added to the ambience of the chapel with a mix of classical and
 contemporary music.

During the meal we had a playlist put together by a friend and another
 friend DJed in the evening. We also hired Nisha, a menhdi artist, to
 do henna tattoos on guests after the meal in a nod to my Indian roots. 
This went down a storm although I was a little nervous about getting 
henna covered hugs from friends and ruining my dress! Fortunately the
 dress was unscathed. We also had the obligatory photobooth.

 We provided a flip flop crate for guests and little bathroom beauty 
kits. Whilst these were quite time consuming to organise, guests have
 since told me that they were very appreciative of those touches.

The Food

We toyed with the idea of canapés at the Asylum but decided to keep
 costs down and arrange our own snacks - cupcakes and a tiered pork
pie. The pork pie was very popular!
 We considered arranging our own drinks too, but in the end the thought
of transporting ice, cups, etc was too much and we booked The 
Travelling Gin Co. to serve drinks after the ceremony at the Asylum.
 They were brilliant and the G&Ts were delicious.

The Photography

I wanted a photographer that had shot at the Asylum before, and found 
Michelle online on Rock My Wedding. Michelle also lives in Bedford! We 
had a practice run engagement shoot in Bedfordshire at the derelict 
Houghton House and we ‘clicked’ with Michelle straight away (haha!). Neither of us are particularly natural in front of the camera but 
Michelle completely put us at ease and captured the wedding perfectly 
in a relaxed and contemporary style that suited us completely. It’s
 been hard to choose our favourite pictures as they are all so lovely.


When I got engaged a friend recommended keeping £1000 contingency in
 the wedding budget for additional extras the month before the wedding.
 I thought she was joking, but actually we did end up getting last 
minute things we hadn’t budgeted for, like a cake stand for the pork
pies and the table flowers, so this was good advice! 
Londoners - consider leaving London to go dress shopping. Most 
boutiques have the designers that you like, but without the long
 waiting lists for appointments and then paying for the privilege.
 Definitely do an engagement shoot, especially if you hate having your 
photo taken - good practice for the day and we got some great shots 
in a cool location!

 Abbie xx
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Andrea Hawkes | Boutique: Tilly Trotters Brides | Alterations: Elite Alterations | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Boutique: Les Trois Soeurs | Groom: Paul Smith | Tie: Reiss | Boots: Russell & Bromley | Ceremony Venue: Asylum Chapel | Reception Venue: Bermondsey Yard Cafe | Transport: London Retro Bus Hire | Flowers: Floral Evolution | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Celebrant: Yvonne Beck | String Quartet: Leos Strings | Mehndi Artist: Nisha | Gin Bicycle: The Travelling Gin Co.
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