How gorgeous is Anabel's dress by designer Hermione De Paula? The detail is incredible and you'll have to look through the gallery to see what I mean. It truly is a one of a kind piece, created especially for her and just goes to show that if you do go down the bespoke route, you most definitely won't be disappointed. Anabel looks absolutely beautiful and her dress fits like a glove. This London based duo decided to hold their intimate wedding reception at a friends pub, filling it with bright blooms by The Flower Appreciation Society and marbled paper details by Jemma Lewis. The combination is amazing and just wait until you see the hanging floral display!!! A truly fun and relaxed day from start to finish, Anabel and Struan certainly know how to get married with style.
The BrideAnabel the Bride: The dress was a really big deal for me as like lots of brides I love fashion and this was going to be probably the only time I could justify having something made bespoke. Shortly after I got engaged I went to have my colour done, and my hairdresser, Sofia at Kennaland, said she knew of a designer I would like, Hermione De Paula. As soon as I googled her I knew she was the designer for me and I set my heart on one of her dresses. The only problem was at that point she hadn’t officially launched her bridal studio and I had no idea whether she would be in budget or even say yes to making me a dress! Emailing her was a bit like emailing a boy you really really fancy to ask for a date and I felt like a lovestruck teenager anxiously waiting for a response. Fortunately she said yes and it was the most lovely experience visiting her brand new studio in Seven Sisters over the next few months and watch both the studio and the dress take shape. Because her bridal collection was all so new there were no samples for me to try on, so it was a bit of a leap of faith, and at one point I thought to myself “what am I doing, I’m basically naked!” but it all came together and I LOVE my dress. Hermione also adds lots of lovely personalised touches to the dress, so along with the date and our initials on the sleeves, on the train there were little images of a meat cleaver (as my husband is a butcher) the Isle of Wight (where he proposed) and a shuttlecock (which is the corner of the Cresta Run in St Moritz which is something my family are really involved in). Hermione also made my veil which had our initials and the date embroidered on it. Its really handy having a best friend who also happens to be a very gifted jeweller. Kinvara had been waiting for the day for Struan to ask her to help him find an engagement ring and had been keeping the perfect rebuilt 1920s diamond and sapphire target ring aside for the moment. She made our wedding bands and also lent me some of her timeless diamond studs so I was a very lucky girl. Beauty wise, I was in the very capable and lovely hands of Amanda Harrington from In Parlour. As I am pretty pale and my dress was rather revealing a tan was a must. Amanda is famous in the industry for her body contouring technique which meant I looked perfectly bronzed and toned with no signs of dreaded streak marks or Tango shades. Sadly she is was too discreet to splurge any details on her celebrity clientele so I didn’t get any juicy gossip from her, but I’m sure she is why I got lots lovely complements about looking like a movie star on the day!
The Groom￼Struan’s suit was made by Tailor Made London. He usually hates wearing a suit as he thinks he looks like a bouncer because his rugby playing build means off the peg suits don’t fit well. Now he has a bespoke suit he no longer dreads more formal occasions! The tie was from Drakes and his shoes were from Mr. Hare who happens to be a customer of his so he got a great discount on them in the sample sale.
The CeremonyThe ceremony was in the council chamber at Islington Town Hall. Most of the guests had never been to a registry office wedding before and I think were surprised about how beautiful and grand the room was and how it more than stands up to a church wedding. Struan’s father and my sister in law both did readings and we also had the string quartet so the ceremony felt very personal and intimate. My extremely adorable nephew Max, who had just turned one toddled down the aisle just before I made my entrance and captured everyone’s hearts when he took a small tumble, but got up smiling and carried on. We then all got on to routemaster buses and were taken to Beagle in Hoxton. The wedding party nipped off to the Geffrye museum, which is right next door, so we could have some pictures taken in their beautiful gardens.
The ReceptionBeagle is owned by great friends of ours Kieran and Danny Clancy, although we would have had it there even without that connection. It is such a beautiful venue and has the perfect set up for a wedding and proves my theory that if you want a decent crowd on the dance floor you keep everyone in one room and make sure the bar is right next to the dance floor. The copious amounts of margarita cocktails being consumed also helped. Initially we were in a real muddle about where to have our reception as we wanted a London wedding at a dry-hire venue for 120 people. We looked at so many venues but nothing worked in our budget, and we slowly realised that dry-hire would have required a serious amount of stress and work to pull together. We were discussing this dilemma at Beagle and midway through the seriously enjoyable meal we had an epiphany to slash the guest list to 80 and do it there where we knew the food, booze and party would be top-notch and that they would take care of everything on the day so we could enjoy it stress free. Although it was hard to cut the guest list down, I don’t regret the decision as it meant that everyone there was really our most close and best friends so it felt really intimate and special and we had the time to talk to everyone.
The FlowersI asked our florist, The Flower Appreciation Society, for lots of bright seasonal flowers and they totally nailed it. Early on I asked if they could do a hanging flower display from the central light fitting in Beagle, at the time they had never done anything like it before but they totally embraced the idea and ran with it. By the time our wedding came around they had pitched and executed hanging displays for a few other clients, including a spectacular installation for Erdem, so they had the technique down pat and it looked stunning, elevated the space and created a really special atmosphere. The only home-made element to the wedding were the place names and table signs which we made ourselves one wet afternoon using marbled paper from Jemma Lewis (which is a current obsession of mine). It made me glad we hadn’t taken on more work ourselves!
The Wedding PartyMy bridesmaid and I happened to be in New York on the same weekend and found her dress in Zimmerman so that was a really fun experience. The flower girls are Struan’s nieces and we found their dresses from John Lewis and ASOS. The groomsmen all wore their own suits and my little nephew Max’s outfit was from Rachel Riley.
The EntertainmentWe had a string quartet play during the ceremony which was assembled for us by a very talented friend of a friend Jonny Byers, who plays the Cello. I always wanted if I got married to walk down the aisle to the song “More I Cannot Wish You” from the musical Guys and Dolls, as it’s an old family favourite with perfect lyrics for the occasion. Jonny was able to arrange the music so it could be played by a string quartet so it was a very special moment for me to have that playing while my dad gave me away. In the evening our friend, Henry, DJ’d for us. Henry has excellent and eclectic taste in music, but occasionally his taste is too good as he refused to play summer hit of 2015, Cheerleader for us, otherwise he was fantastic. As Beagle’s owners are also known as DJ duo/recordlabel/party organiser Krankbrother, Beagle has an amazing sound system and is perfect for a party. We got a late licence so we could keep the party going to 2am.
The FoodStruan used to work in advertising but decided to re-train as a Butcher just before I met him 5 years ago, so food for the wedding was very important to him. One of the reasons we chose to have the wedding at Beagle was because they are just as serious about good food as he is and they have a super talented chef, Tom Ryalls. As about 30 of the guests were not staying on for supper we had lots of tasty canapés during the drinks reception the highlight being Lindisfarne oysters. One of my favourite little moments of the day was when we snuck off to have a few oysters that we had asked to be put aside for us as we didn’t want to miss out. Dinner was a feasting menu of Roast Beef Sirloin and Roast Chicken, supplied and butchered (of course) by Struan, with sides of Hispy Cabbage & Coolea, Crispy Potato Cake and Smoked Marrow Butter sauce. For pudding I asked Tom if he could possibly do something involving peanut butter as it's my absolute favourite thing. He came up trumps with a peanut butter mousse tart with salt caramel, chocolate and peanut crunch, it was D I V I N E. The cheese wedding cake was supplied by Struan’s good friend Matt at the Bath Fine Cheese Company.
The PhotographyHermione McCosh was our photographer and we feel so lucky to have found her. She was such a great presence on the day as she is so calm, totally fitted in and it felt completely natural for her to be there. Even better, she has a brilliant eye and utterly captured the mood of the day. Its great having a record of the day that so aligns with our memories of it.
Bride: Hermione De Paula | Jewellery: Kinvara Law | Shoes: Bionda Castana | Hair: Kennaland | Make Up & Tan: In Parlour | Florists: The Flower Appreciation Society | Reception Venue: Beagle London | Cheese Cake: Bath Fine Cheese | Meat: Provenance Village Butcher | Groom: Tailor Made London | Tie: Drakes | Shoes: Mr Hare | Marbled Paper: Jemma Marbling | Transport: This Bus