Cora and Rob were one of the last couples to get married at Brixton East, which is fabulous for them, as it’s such a wonderful, versatile, warehouse inspired space (of which we don’t have many in the UK) and sad for us – as the venue currently isn’t open.
If you’re after a wedding with a similar relaxed vibe, that is all about the food and drink, then try giving their event planner, Chris Adnitt a call. With Cora and Rob’s brief, he’s created a day that was all about the fun, making the most of that gorgeous space.
Cora the Bride: Rob and I got married on our ten year anniversary after getting engaged on the top of a Mayan pyramid in Mexico the year before (April 2017). I hold both British and American nationalities and I still have most of my family in the US so we debated a bit over where to get married – the beautiful coastal town in Rhode Island where I spent most summers, or London which we’d made our home together for the past six years.
We now live in Peckham but first moved in together in Brixton where we happily lived for many years. We had lived right next door to Brixton East and knew it was a wedding venue but had always wondered what it might look like inside.
Brixton East Wedding
We decided on a whim to go visit it one sunny weekend when my Mum was visiting and fell in love with the venue. The decision was made when Rob looked out the window of the top floor and you could see our first flat together.
We had hoped to have a year or two to plan but when we enquired about booking we were sadly told that Brixton East would not be open for most of 2018. We were pretty devastated about it and realised we had our hearts set on a London wedding so decided to book in to see a few others across London over the summer. But every time the viewing appointment came around we managed to find an excuse not to go and would cancel the appointment, realising that we didn’t have the same emotional connection with most of the other venues.
I don’t know if its luck or cupid or whatever but I ended up getting an email from the owner of Brixton East, Andy, who said that he had pushed back the date and Brixton East was now available throughout March 2018. March 2018 was when we’d celebrate 10 years together as a couple and it felt like a sign so we booked straight away.
Brixton East is now sadly closed and we feel really lucky to have been one of the last weddings to take place in the beautiful venue. The space was gorgeous and we loved how we could bring in all of our own touches – food, drink etc. It just made the wedding so personal to us.
The Ceremony At Lambeth Town Hall
The ceremony was a little different (and more difficult to sort) as we had a relatively large guest list of family coming across from the USA and down from Yorkshire. We got lucky again that the newly renovated Lambeth Town Hall was available for our wedding date and meant that guests could walk between our two venues (and past our previous Brixton homes!)
The ceremony was in the Chamber at Lambeth Town Hall and Rob and I decided to walk in together. My dad didn’t have any strong feelings about walking me in and giving me away but he did say he didn’t want to miss the moment when the groom sees the bride for the first time. So we had everyone seated and Rob stood waiting outside with his parents and I walked in with my parents and we had a few brief moments together before walking in to the room to get married in front of all our friends and family.
It can be hard to make a Town Hall wedding personal but we tried our best! The ceremony wasn’t too long but it was perfect. My grandmother sadly couldn’t make it over from the USA but she had chosen a reading for us which my Mum read during the ceremony. We hadn’t heard it before the day so it was incredibly emotional.
We wrote our own vows and our godson gave us the rings. Our friend Tom, one of the groomsmen, played guitar as we walked in, whilst the registry was signed and as we walked out. Our three song choices were really personal to us (I can’t make you love me – Bon Iver, Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow and Africa – Toto). Tom did such a great job. The registrar Pauline made us feel so comfortable and was wonderful on the day.
The ceremony was one of my highlights of the day, details aside it was completely overwhelming and emotional to be marrying the man I met when I was just a teenager. I didn’t think it would feel that different but the decade we’d spent together flashed before my eyes and I felt totally overcome with joy and love.
I should say at this point it became really important to us to keep the wedding super local and work with suppliers and people from the local area. We didn’t have a theme but made most of our decisions based around working with suppliers from the Brixton / Peckham area.
Chris Adnitt Events
I can’t start any of this without telling you about Chris from Chris Adnitt Events. We knew we wanted a wedding we could personalise but naively thought it would be possible to do ourselves. We decided that whilst we’d get everything ready ourselves we’d look to hire someone for the day to help coordinate so we didn’t have to think about it. We met with Chris on recommendation from Brixton East and he told us about the wider support he could give us. Chris comes from a restaurant background and we immediately clicked when he told us that his view was that weddings should be about good food, good wine and good music.
We decided to work with him throughout the process and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever made a better decision. Through Chris we had the best food, the best wine and the most fun planning our wedding. He totally got our tastes and was incredibly organised helping to take the stress out of everything. I can’t say enough good things about Chris, it would absolutely not have been the wedding it was without his hard work and support and for that we will be forever grateful.
Bespoke Dress By Bon Bride
I knew I wanted a fairly simple dress and nothing too bridal so I started by researching high-street designs but as I was getting married out of season there wasn’t much on offer. I came across Pippa at Bon Bride from a dress she’d designed that was featured on a wedding blog and it was the first dress I had seen that I felt really excited about. From our first phone call to our last appointment Pippa made me feel so comfortable and excited about my wedding dress. She does bespoke wedding dresses so I was able to design the dress with her from start to finish, she recommended trying on lots of dresses to see what style I was most drawn to then we worked together to finalise the sketches, pick the material and design the final dress. Pippa is hugely talented and totally wonderful to work with, I can’t thank her enough for creating a wedding dress that was beyond what I could have ever have hoped for.
I had gone to a few wedding shops as part of my research for what style of dress I wanted and at one of the stores was given a pair of italian designed Faber Novella shoes to try on with the dress. They were beautiful and bright and comfortable and I couldn’t get them out of my head. As my dress had a slit down the front I knew I wanted some colourful shoes and looked for others but couldn’t find any I liked as much so contacted Faber Novella and ordered some bespoke shoes. The service was so lovely and personalised and the shoes withheld a whole day and night of dancing. They were an investment purchase but I love them and have worn them for special occasions since so would definitely recommend!
I was going to have any accessories as wanted a fairly simple look but a few months before my wedding became obsessed with Simone Rocha’s pearl hair clips so decided to splurge and buy two as my hair accessories.
Similarly I wasn’t going to wear a veil but met with Pippa for my final fitting the week before my wedding and she gave me one to try on which complimented the dress so well I decided to go for it. It was a beautiful sheer veil from Britten Weddings.
Groom In Reiss
Rob didn’t want to feel too dressed up or uncomfortable so decided to try on two piece suits rather than three. We tried a few different brands and spent a few afternoons at selfridges trying on different styles. He ended up finding a great blue suit from Reiss just a month before our wedding.
In a nod to our London theme we decided to get ties from Liberty for Rob and his groomsmen. However the price of Liberty ties was a bit out of our reach so I found the amazing CatkinJane on Etsy who makes ties herself from Liberty Fabric.
We didn’t really go for a colour scheme / decor as wanted to spend the majority of our budget on flowers. The venue is so beautiful and it felt important to keep it simple. We had found a florist but unfortunately she had to pull out a few months before so on her recommendation we contacted the amazing Lara at Wild Renata Flowers who also lives in Brixton. I now can’t imagine what my wedding would have been like without her! Lara dressed the space beautifully and had this vision to have foliage essentially growing out of and around the beautiful wooded building. My bouquet was beautiful and so thought through, it unexpectedly snowed on our wedding day and Lara on a last minute whim added snowdrops to my bouquet which made it all feel so special.
Lara was so key in not just the decor and flowers but in making me feel comfortable about the whole day and calming my anxiety, she was always there to chat through things and calm me down even when it was about things that weren’t flower related.
We started with the flowers as our main point of decor and as we had quite a bit of foliage went for a green (ish) colour scheme. But really this only extended to the plates and napkins. Everything else was just very casual and natural.
The only decor we had was a photo wall made by my Mum which was placed upstairs. She worked really closely with Rob’s mum and one of my bridesmaids to get together a collection of photos throughout the years of Rob and I with everyone who attended the wedding. It was a HUGE task but she did it perfectly and it was such a nice touch.
We had an afternoon wedding so didn’t really plan any entertainment but as a nod to our Mexico engagement decided to serve margaritas post-dinner. What we didn’t know is that my parents had planned a surprise and booked us a mariachi band. It was so much fun and really kicked off the dancing for the evening – I don’t think I stopped dancing from the moment they started until the end of the night. Paul Courtney dj’d for us after the mariachi band finished.
The Food & Drink
I don’t know where to start with the food. It was not only the best wedding food we’ve ever had it was the best food full stop. Chris had pulled together a few menus for us and one of them was the London Basque Kitchen run by Monica. She’s based in Loughborough Junction and given we were going for a south London theme we decided to go with her.
We both really enjoy great wine and long meals with lots of courses so had decided to go for a semi-Italian food theme as meant we could have lots of courses.
Monica went above and beyond and created a menu that was better than we could’ve dreamed of. We started with artisan breads and whipped butter. If that’s all she had served we would have been happy because it was honestly the best bread and butter we’ve ever had and I still dream about it! For a main we had incredible lamb and sides. The dessert was a blood orange panna cotta. I had declared before meeting Monica that I HATED panna cotta but the minute I tried Monica’s I changed my mind.
The food tasting with Monica was one of our highlights of our entire year not just wedding planning process. I can’t recommend her enough, one of the most talented, kind and generous chefs I’ve ever come across. I would honestly get married again just to have an excuse to work with her again.
We didn’t want a wedding cake as neither of us are huge fans but we had come across the Peckham Cart Project who supply doughnuts for a couple of different places in Peckham. They give all their profits to the Southwark Refugee and Migrant Project and they are totally delicious so we ordered a load to be served in the evening along with Old Spike Roastery coffee from Peckham.
I really want to thank Sam and Laura at Peckham Cart Project who run this incredible initiative totally on their own whilst working full time purely out of the goodness of their own hearts and to support an incredible cause. They brought us fresh doughnuts on Saturday evening when everyone had had a bit to drink and they went down SO well.
Photos were hugely important to us because I knew it would be difficult for my grandmother to make it over for the wedding so I wanted photos that would capture the whole day and not just focus on portrait style shots – especially because these are the ones I felt most uncomfortable with. I found Ben by spotting his photos on a wedding blog and fell absolutely in love with his style which was beautiful and documentary-like. I contacted him to have a chat and we were completely on the same page about what we wanted so we booked him immediately. Ben lived just down the road from us and ahead of our wedding we went for a drink to get to know him and chat through things. From the minute we met he made us feel comfortable and we loved having him as part of our day. He was totally relaxed, even when we asked him to venture out in the freezing snow to take photos of Rob and his groomsmen doing park run. One of the loveliest moments and most calming moments of the day was after we took our portraits, Rob, Ben and I went for a drink in the pub we’d first met him in and just took time for a breather before going back to greet all our guests.
We knew the photos would be good but were of course blown away when we saw the final products. I had never been comfortable having my photo taken but you wouldn’t know it from the photos. When I sent them to my grandmother she described the reaction perfectly “thunderstruck”.