If you’re planning to or considering getting married in London but haven’t quite settled on your big day venue then this morning’s wedding is for you. Becky and Will took their guests on a whirlwind tour of London taking in not one, not two but three locations for different parts of their wedding day including the very atmospheric House Of Commons!
There are maids in mint, beautiful all-white florals, bubbles, a traditional London Routemaster bus, a beautiful bridal gown and some truly beautiful couple portraits.
The Bride’s Fashion
Becky The Bride: My dress was classic. I had a little gold watch from my late grandmother which I wore as ‘something old’ (it didn’t work but was sentimental – the time it was stuck on turned out to be the time we said our vows). My good friend who couldn’t make it back from Hong Kong (she was heavily pregnant) lent me her pearl earrings for ‘something borrowed’ and as a result I decided to have a pearl necklace made to match. I also had a beautiful hair clip with a blue stone in the middle – this was my something ‘blue’ and given to me by my bridesmaids the night before. The accessory decisions fell into place, which was great.
The Groom’s Fashion
Will’s tailor in Hong Kong had made him a few suits previously and we were happy with the cut and the fabrics. The boys sent their measurements from far and wide (UK, USA, Korea, Australia) into Hong Kong and Kenny the tailor got to work. The wedding colours were mint green and grey – therefore Will chose grey suit fabric. We had the ties made in the same colour/fabric as the lining of the suit jackets .We also had little hankerchiefs knocked up in this fabric. Will wanted something about his to stand out a little more, so he had a waistcoat to match with the silk back panel in the same fabric as the lining, ties and hankerchiefs.
We chose Trinity Buoy Wharf for several reasons; the setting, the late license, the free corkage! It is an empty event space and at the start I found this a little daunting and I wasn’t sure if this venue was for us. Laura, my contact at The Pink Peony assured me that there was lots of great things we could do and that she’d be happy to liaise with us in HK and co-ordinate on our behalf in the UK.
Once we had the reception venue, we wanted to find somewhere off site to get married, we liked the idea of travelling between the ceremony and reception. We did not want a church wedding, which made searching for a venue that could sit 150 people for a civil ceremony difficult. Most registry offices are not big enough and our good friends married in Angel and Islington Town Hall not long before, which would have been the only one suitable. Most venues with a licence wanted us to use them for the whole day, but of course we already had TBW set. I had seen a wedding video of a couple marrying in the House of Commons and began to investigate. The team were helpful and good to deal with, and we saw them on TV in the BBC documentary ‘Inside the Commons’!
These two venues allowed us to transport our guests by boat, which we knew would be a hit with both our home and international guests! The pier at TBW broke three days before the wedding and last minute we were told we couldn’t dock there. After much drama, Ensign Bus Company stepped in to save the day and picked us up from Canary Wharf for the short ride over. The two gentlemen were so lovely and they’d extended their shift to help us out. We would probably say they were the supplier heros of the day!
The credit for the colour scheme should be given to the Will. He suggested it pretty early on and I loved it. That was that.
Laura at The Pink Peony helped us with our decor; she is an absolute dream and she kept our morale high at moments when we actually realised how much was involved in dressing this huge venue. She has tons of ideas and has a ‘we can make it happen’ attitude to most things. TBW looked amazing and most of her work was either sourced by her, handmade, or bits she had and was able to hire to us for very good prices. I hope she starts growing her own bamboo trees as those things cost a fortune – she’ll be set with those!
I’m not too clued up with flowers but early on Laura was sending me picture boards, questionnaires and photos of her work. I absolutely loved our bouquets and the buttonholes were gorgeous. We had a couple of decorative flower arrangements in the venue and some little bunches on tables. It all looked incredible and we were super happy.
Wedding Party Fashion
We had a few rogue sunglasses amongst the boys but that was about it. For the girls, it took us a long time to decide on dresses. I was happy with something from the high street, but nothing we tried we liked – either the colour didn’t match, the material wasn’t nice, the cut didn’t work or it was overpriced for what it was. Cue Hong Kong… The girls paid me a surprise visit in HK a few months before the wedding (to join the Phuket Hen Do!) and we started to have a different take on the dresses. We went to see Margaret Court, a seamstress in Hong Kong. We explained loosely the sort of thing we wanted and she drew up a picture, showed us some fabric and we were good to go!
We had two readings from two of my old school friends. It was a civil ceremony so no religious content was allowed. Walking down the aisle was the best moment ever; I had to look straight ahead for fear the tears would come… I wish I’d had a GoPro on!
Alex our guitarist played us into the ceremony (instrumental of Clocks, Coldplay). He then whizzed over to TBW and was set up ready for our arrival. He played a fantasic repertoire throughout our reception. Our first dance was played by our very own best man himself, Tom Spence. Tom plays regularly around Leigh on sea and Southend, Essex and he offered up his services for the wedding.
Our choice of first dance was to the same song we met to 12 years beforehand, he learnt the acoustic version of Wayne Wonder, No Letting Go! We danced the night away to a band aptly named ‘The Dance’ – they were great. One of the highlights was ‘Titanium’, the singer was incredible.
We used a company called Essex Hog Roasts and we were very impressed. We had a tasting session with Hilary when we were home a few months before. We had extra canapés as a substitute for a starter as we only had a couple of hours for a sit down meal. On the tables were salads, bread, condiments and sides. The waiting team served up lamb and pork to the tables and even managed to get around for seconds. Our desert was Eton Mess, which was lovely. We laid the leftovers out on the evening buffet with baps, accompanied with cold meats, cheeses and other bits. Essex Hog Roasts also supplied our bar staff for the evening – they were professional, efficient and everyone commented on not queuing once for a drink!
Rob Dodsworth was a recommendation from a friend and he was great. Outgoing, friendly and great company throughout the day. More importantly, he was great at crowd control in a very professional manner. We are absolutely thrilled with the photos!
Andrew Collin was another recommendation from a friend whose wedding he shot in Italy a few years back. We loved their video and decided to ask Andrew to cover ours. Again, very professional and great company. In fact, Andrew was so discreet that we didn’t really see him at all. We have since spotted him in a few of the photos and we cannot wait to see the result!
You can plan everything to the last detail but there will always be things that are thrown up for you to deal with. For us, the broken pier was a real spanner in the works! But you deal with it and find alternatives. There were other smaller things that didn’t happen on the day, but it didn’t matter. To have all of our friends under one roof, who are all showing you a huge amount of love is probably the best thing about a wedding. That and marrying the person you love of course.
Photography by Rob Dodsworth Photography
- Bridal Gown Hitched! Bridal, Hong Kong
- Groom Kenny at King’s Tailor, Hong Kong
- Florist The Pink Peony
- Ceremony Venue The Members’ Dining Room, The House of Commons
- Reception Drinks Venue Aboard the ‘William B’ on the Thames
- Wedding Reception Venue Trinity Buoy Wharf
- Outdoor Furniture Hire Dick Ropa
- Cake Kay’s Kupcakes
- Catering Essex Hog Roasts
- Make Up Rebecca Fleur
- Guitarist Alex Crowhurst
- Evening Band The Dance
- Transport Ensign Bus company