Big City Love.

Joanna and Dave we married over the Easter weekend earlier this year. Dave is from Southend on Sea and Joanna is from New Zealand and they both now live in London. Their ceremony was at the beautiful 1920s building that is Islington Town Hall. The guests were then whisked away to a reception at The Londesborough in Stoke Newington in a classic Routemaster bus.

Aparently there was a substantial amount of New Zealand bubbly on board to get everyone in the party spirit.

Photography today is by Joanna Millington.

Show A Bit Of Ankle

My dress came from the lovely ladies at Morgan Davies in Islington. It was important to me to have a dress by a British designer and I was delighted when I found ‘Heaven’ by Blue Bridal. When I tried it on, the pure silk fabric felt so luxurious and it fitted perfectly. I’d wanted a 1950s style dress from the start and was pretty sure that I wanted a ‘tea length’ dress. Being on the shorter side I thought it might be an idea to show off a bit of ankle! It’s such a buzz to twirl a full skirt with petticoats!

Perfect Sentiment

One of the most special pieces of jewellery was a silver filigree bracelet belonging to my late mum. My dad brought it over from New Zealand for me and it was a great feeling knowing I had a part of her with me. I’d been on the lookout for earrings for months, so I was delighted when I saw a beautiful pair that matched my engagement ring in a shop in Courmeyer, Italy. A very surprising find while on a ski holiday!

Shoes in Twos

Accessories are my weakness… I couldn’t have just one pair of shoes! For the ceremony I wore a pair of ivory silk Filippa Scott peeptoes, which went perfectly with the dress. I love to dance, so later in the evening the party girl was unleashed and I slipped into a pair of gold glitter Kurt Geiger peeptoes. I can’t wait to wear them again at another party, they are made for disco!

Half Up Do

Jaydean Allen was super at suggesting styles and advising on what would work with my hair and for the bridesmaids. To show off the dress I wanted a half-up do and went for a bit of lift at the front, then loose wavy curls at the back. I often wear hair combs, it is almost my signature look, so I really wanted to add a comb to my do. After trawling lots of vintage shops, I found the perfect one with a vintage vibe at Glitzy Secrets. Our make-up was created by Jane Weston, who did a fantastic job making me look like I’d had a full eight hours sleep! Jane had great ideas about lipstick and colours and even met me at Bobbi Brown to help choose a lipstick colour. When I saw my bridesmaids all dressed and done up, it almost made me cry – not good for my own mascara!

The Flower Appreciation Society

Our flowers were a real mix, roses, rununcullas, tulips, clover and so many varieties I can’t name! I saw the work of The Flower Appreciation Society and loved their style from the start. Ellie and Anna add lots of foliage and have wonderful country garden look. I went a bit mad and even sent them a ‘mood board’ of ideas and colours, but I left the selection of the flowers to Ellie and she captured the look perfectly.

Nothing Strapless

After a few false starts on the colour theme, I decided on a coral colour for the Bridesmaids. I didn’t want an identical look, so left the dress selection to the ladies. Our one stipulation was no strapless prom dresses! The search produced dresses from Oasis and Warehouse and the girls looked stunning. Their bouquets contained bright coral anemones which brought the colour to life.

Suit Suprise

If only shopping for a wedding dress was as easy! Dave and his best man Rob went out one Saturday and came back with suits from Ben Sherman. Dave thought since he wasn’t able to see my dress, that he would leave his suit as a surprise too. I couldn’t bear this and asked one of my Bridesmaids, Bryony to ‘inspect’ it. Luckily it passed the test and I am pleased to say Dave looked amazing and without any of my style input! Honestly, my heart skipped a beat when I saw him turn around as I walked into the ceremony.

The Story Of A Wedding

Our photographer was one of the first things we decided on. I’d seen Joanna Millington’s work and loved the way she captured details and people. Jo really tells the story of a wedding and when I look at my photos now I get transported right back. On the day, Jo just fitted in like one of my friends, lots of laughs and a real calming influence in some of the more anxious moments! Jo does more than just ‘shoot’ the day, she really concentrates on spotting little details that make up a bigger picture.

Well travelled

Our cake was truly jet set! My stepmother, Jillian made the amazing fruitcake bottom layer in New Zealand and brought it over the week before the wedding. Jillian even contacted Defra (the UK food agency) to get a permit to bring the cake into the UK in her hand luggage! That’s dedication we are so grateful for! The top layer was an amazing chocolate mud cake. Jillian iced it all here and we decorated it with fresh flowers to match the bouquets and two little porcelain birds that I made myself at my pottery studio.

Swedish Death Metal

DJ Neville the Devil was our DJ of choice. On our RSVPs we asked everyone to fill in: “the song that gets me on the dance floor is…..”. We compiled all the answers (minus some Swedish death metal requested as a joke) and gave them to Neville. This meant that everyone, including the older generation had funk, soul and 80s tunes to dance to. Luckily most of our guests had good taste! Neville is an interactive DJ and got involved on the dance floor. Everyone loved it and I didn’t stop dancing all evening!

We also had a photo-booth section with all the crazy costumes we had collected over the years – the results were hilarious!

Baby Let Me Take You

Dave is the music brains in our partnership. He told me many year ago that ‘Baby let me take you’ by the Detroit Emeralds would be his first dance song. When we were planning the wedding I reminded him of that and nothing else came close!

Handmade Touches

I’d always wanted a few handmade touches at my wedding, so I made lots of vases in my pottery studio that we used to decorate some of the side tables. At the end of the night I told all the ladies to take one home with the flowers inside.

Super Venue

The fantastic team at The Londesborough did the hard part of putting up the 25 white pom poms, 8 pink honeycomb ball and 20 meters of handmade doilies bunting. It looked amazing and really transformed the venue into a celebration.


One part of the day I will always treasure is the special moments I shared with my Dad on the way to the ceremony. In the lead up to the wedding lots of people said “remember it is your day”, but it wasn’t until that moment in the car with my Dad that I really embraced that feeling.

We put lots of effort into heartfelt handmade touches, from the invitations, to the decoration, but it wouldn’t have been half as successful without the help of friends and family. I will be eternally grateful to my brother who repeatedly burnt his fingers while ironing doilies bunting!

Dave’s impromptu serenade to the Kool & the Gang song “Joanna” has to be up there with priceless memories!

A Final Thought

It’s an empowering feeling expressing your love in front of family and friends, so make it as personal as possible.
Don’t buy into other people’s expectations, stay true to your vision.

Venue – The Londesborough

Photographer – Joanna Millington

Dress – Blue Bridal

Boutique – Morgan Davies

Shoes – Filippa Scott

Hair – Jaydean Allen

Hair comb – Glitzy Secrets

Makeup –Jane Weston

Blooms – The Flower Appreciation Society

I love the fact that Stepmum Jill phoned up DEFRA to make sure she could get a wedding cake through customs… That has to be one of the most random stories to ever grace these polka dotted pages!

I really do dig the chilled and relaxed feel to this cool big city celebration… but I also love those little bits of fun and excitement. The celebratory spin in the hallway of Islington Town Hall is priceless and the couple shoots on the adventure playground can not fail to bring a smile to your face.

Thanks to Joanna and Dave for sharing their big day with us.


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

34 thoughts on “Big City Love.

  1. Erm, I haven’t got loads of time today as I became an aunty at the weekend (just six weeks early, but hey ho) so I am currently running round like a lunatic buying all sorts of paraphenalia for a little girl (we all thought it was a boy!)…I was outside Tiffany’s at 8.55am on Saturday morning waiting to get it…my niece is not being blingless in hospital when there might be cute doctors about…

    Anyhow, this is a spectacular wedding…and I’ve just emailed the link to my photographer saying, ‘Please can I have a montage of shots of me swirling about a corridor?’


  2. Awwww I now want to go to an adventure playground for out photos, that looks like sooooo much fun! And I bet all the little children at the playground loved seeing the bride in her gorgeous wedding dress 🙂

    What a lovely, fun wedding to brighten up my dull Monday afternoon!

    (right, better get some work done, I suppose!)

  3. @Pamela!! haha love it! Tiffany for your newborn niece, she is going to be one spoilt little girl 🙂
    Glad you’re getting her into the world of bling early on! hee hee xx

    ps. congrats!!!

  4. Awww @Pamela congratulations!! 6 weeks early? I do hope mum & baby are doing well 🙂

    I’m enjoying the band posters at the venue, and all the personal touches. What a supercute dress and also props for the pretty frilly knickers in that unmistakeable AP packaging. I want pretty frillies!

    Can I also give big love to the pride on Dad’s face on EVERY photo. /eye-wipe/ xx

  5. @Rebecca – well of course, dearie! I’ve bought her a wee charm and am going to get her one every year until she is 18 and then I’ll get her the bracelet. She is a very precious baby that we have all waited an awful long time to meet. And I cannot wait to dress her!

    @Karen – they are both amazing. She is in special care because she is so tiny and frail that just stretching or moving takes up a lot of energy for her…so they are fattening her up! I went into sympathy labour on Friday night while we were watching Jimmy Carr at our wedding venue…the Big C thought I’d lost it and then we came out to messages saying my sister was giving birth!

    @Charlotte – I wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to pop them on my head!


  6. Omg that first kiss photo is so beautiful and full of emotion!!! Also, thumbs up for signing the register!!! What a fab picture!

  7. @Pamela – awww that’s a beautiful idea
    You are one fabulous auntie 🙂
    Hope all goes ok, and she grows strong and healty – and as soon as you are allowed to, give her big kisses from all of us xx

  8. ps. I may have to start hinting to Dave about AP and how lovely it is when brides get lovely underwear on their wedding day!! 😉 xx

  9. @Charlotte @Rebecca – they have an outlet store?? I have no idea where Bicester is but I clearly need to go there

  10. @Charlotte – Oooo a bargain….Dave’s training to be an accountant so loves a good bargain! will definitely have to take him on a trip there

  11. /googles Bicester outlet/

    Amazing, there’s a golf course nearby. Drop Lee off and go shopping for a couple of days! xxx

  12. Congratulations Pamela – glad all is well considering she’s so early!

    @Karen I too am jealous of the AP frills! I was perusing the website at the weekend and had the grim realisation that I definitely won’t be able to afford it 🙁 Anyone got any good ideas for more budget-friendly alternatives?!

  13. PS I completely forgot to say what I set out to – this looks like a really fun wedding and love all the pom poms and the doily bunting 🙂 Mmm paper!

  14. This is exactly the kind of wedding I would want – if I was as cool – but I am so not! I got talked out of a 1950s tea length dress.

    Everyone looks like they are having oodles of fun – and the flowers are just gorgeous 🙂

  15. Adventure playground on your wedding day sounds awesome! Also those gold sparkly shoes are amazing…I want them!

    But huge congrats – looks like it was a great day!

  16. @Kitty – the Biba underwear in House of Fraser is pretty spech…and lots in the sale. Also Mimi Holiday…


  17. @Kitty, Bicester’s near Oxford, not sure how far that would be for you?!
    Been once years ago when my brother was at college there & definitely need to go back – it’s been far too long! 😉 xx

  18. Bicester is amazing! (well it can be luck of the draw but generally amazing!) we went yesterday on our way back from a trip to the coast and I bought lots of Calvin Klein cute knickers (worked out at about £4 a pair or something) and an All Saints “Bondage” (!) dress that I’ve had my eye on forever that was reduced from £180 to £72…..bargain.

    They also sell La Perla heap as chips and various other fancy frillies.

    Charlotte xxx

  19. Oooh is it anywhere near Woodstock?? Al’s brother lives there and we’re overdue a visit… 😉

    Can I also add that like the lovely bride Joanna I too am thinking of going for two pairs of shoes… I want to be able to dance the night away!

  20. Thanks for all the lovely comments! Everyone is very sweet! We had such a fantastic day. We just didn’t stop smiling and laughing. There was so much love in the room all day long! Bliss!

    The shots in the playground were a lot of fun. The kids all stood around and stared as if a spaceship had just landed. I’m not going to recommend jumping on a trampoline in a wedding dress though! x

  21. Oh my god Joanna you look so stunning!!
    Michaela your consultant has just seen your pictures and is almost in tears!! Looks like you had an amazing day and congratulations!
    Please do send us some pictures when you get a chance on we would love to have some of the shots on our website in our ‘real brides’ section!
    Lots of Love,
    Morgan Davies London Ladies x x

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