Danielle & Scott: The London Lovers.

danielleandscott

Hi friends! It feels like an age since my last post, but I have so enjoyed reading my fellow RMW real brides stories over the last month. They are such a lovely lot & I’m so looking forward to the next year with them! Today I’d like to share with you the ideas behind our wedding day, with a little bit of back story to help you understand why it’s going to be so perfect for us.

Ever since we got engaged back in November, Scott & I have been discussing what our ideal wedding day would involve. Our biggest decision, Scotland or England, had been tackled and decided on very early on. Ever since moving almost 3 years ago, I’ve been fully in love with this city. Actually though, I loved it long before I lived here, I’ve known it for many years.

When I was a little girl, my favourite person in the world, my aunty Gwen, lived here, so I visited often and it was always a magical, vibrant, full-of-life city to me. I used to tell my family that one day I would live here. Life normally tends to catch up on childhood dreams for most people (I still can’t believe I’m not the next Francine Pascal, aka the greatest author in the world known for Sweet Valley Kids/Twins/High/University!) but fate obviously had other ideas for me, so even though I thought I was settled in Edinburgh for good, I suddenly found myself moving to London and living out my childhood dreams at (the grand-old-past-it age of) 25.

Scott & I like to find adventure in the every day. London is full of inspiration and excellent places to visits, things to do, and wonderful people to meet. Our favourite pastimes are in no particular order: exploring different areas of the city, eating all the tasty street food, CITY FARMS, gig-going, seasonal-event attending, taking Vinnie to the frenchie meet up in Hyde Park every month (hilarious!), strolling to the top of Primrose Hill, walks on Hampstead Heath, Sunday roasts with friends, dinner parties in our beautiful flat, wine, cocktails & champagne drinking (a girl has got to celebrate her engagement, always and often!), entertaining Scottish visitors, picnics in the park on summer days and nights, finding all the quirky/independent/interesting London eateries, bars, shops and restaurants and the latest fun pop ups, exploring all of the markets (a constantly changing and evolving line up!), and just soaking up all the different areas and atmospheres this city has to offer, dependent on mood and location. I’m a city girl, you might be able to tell, and I feel so lucky to be able to live and work in this one.

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It’s true that I would be able to write a love story to Edinburgh too, but I feel like it would be for a different time and a different place in my life, which is why it felt so right to both Scott and I to marry in the city that means so much to us and our relationship right now. We’re also, as you might be able to tell, into laid back, honest to goodness fun & joy. I couldn’t tell you the last time I did something formal, but I can tell you, I was probably uncomfortable.

Firstly, we wanted the run up to our wedding to be FUN. We’re marrying because we want to be husband and wife, but that doesn’t mean to say our wedding shouldn’t be fun, or that the process should be stressful (working out the budget is enough stress for this bride-to-be!) We want the run up to be (almost) as enjoyable as the day itself as it’s such an exciting time in both our lives, and we both plan to only do this once, of course! For that reason, I started scouting out our location as soon as possible, because the last thing I am able to handle is being told no (sorry to my Mum, Dad and Scott (mainly) for that…)

I think I exhausted the internet looking at London venues and trying to figure out what would be right for us, but when we found it, it was so obvious. We wanted a Saturday party with friends and family, but on a bigger scale – with everyone we love in one place on the same day all celebrating love, and London! Firstly we started looking for marriage ceremony venues, and since neither of us are religious we quickly started focusing our searches on town halls. In the end we narrowed it down to Islington and Stoke Newington, but when we visited Stokie, we knew it was the one. It’s an area we love – a village-y feel in the middle of the city, and in a beautiful art deco venue to boot.

The other great thing about the town hall is the proximity to the Londesborough, an excellent gastropub which is a 5 minute walk away (gooooooodbye to hiring transport between venues and hellooooo to more money behind the bar!). The Londesborough has a fantastic reputation for hosting the loveliest of weddings, and we knew as soon as we met Amber, the events manager, that we’d found our place.

The food there is also great (we have tried it many times since for ‘research’ purposes, of course!), and as massive foodies this is a big deal for us. The pub itself is beautiful and doesn’t need a whole bunch of decorating to make it wedding-worthy (although, rest assured, there will be decorating…and flowers! Lots of flowers!). It has the perfect fun, laid back vibe we are looking for, and we really think that our guests are going to feel comfortable and relaxed here and that we are going to have an amazingly fun summer wedding. We can’t wait to start planning our décor in more detail and really making this space our own for the day.

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So there you have it: our laid back, summer in the city, pub wedding! It was a really organic process for us picking the venue, with zero amounts of stress. We visited a few places, liked them, and put serious thought into how we’d make it work for us, so when we visited Stoke Newington Town Hall and the Londesborough and didn’t have a single question in our minds as to how we would make the venues ‘us’, we knew we’d found them. Beautiful buildings, lovely décor, excellent food and booze, dog friendly (yes, Vinnie might just be our ring bearer and one of my Bridesmaids has already claimed him as her dance partner…) they literally ticked every single box.

Choosing the venue first actually helped us a lot with other choices we might have to make down the line, namely our guest list (room for no more than 85 day guests) and our entertainment (room for a band, but a bit of a squeeze if we’re at capacity, so DJ it is!) I love this approach – prioritise what is most important to you and then you may just find that other things fall into place around it.

How did you, or are you, planning on doing it? Guest list first, then venue? Or like us, venue then picking the lucky few (let’s leave the guest list woes for another post…this one is far too happy for a topic like that!)

Much love,

Danielle xxx

Author: Fern Godfrey
Fern spends most of her time dreaming about weddings and trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend to propose. Lucky enough to live in sunny Cornwall, if you need her – you’ll find her at beach.

27 thoughts on “Danielle & Scott: The London Lovers.

  1. Hi Danielle,

    Fab second post!!! I find people either love London or hate it, and your love for the city comes across so much, it’s great. Such a gorgeous venue too, from what I know of you (from our facebook convos and the posts on here), it seems so perfect for you and Scott. Picking the venue certainly helps with other things like guest lists because you know how many you’re limited too then…we did a draft guest list, then venue, then had to re-do guest list anyway!

    Also, fellow Francine Pascal fan in the house!!! YESSS! SVH was my life growing up!!

    And a Frenchie meet up?! AMAZING.

    Lauren xxxx

    1. Hi Lauren!

      Ah thanks!!! I think you’re totally right, it is a love or hate sort of city…I can’t imagine ever falling out of love with it though. I even find the insanely irritating London commute sort of hilarious (and this is coming from a girl with zero patience).

      We did the same thing – we drafted our guest list, found our venues, re-did our guest list completely… we’re still not completely happy with it as we have a fair few people that we know we’ll want there on the day that currently aren’t on the “a-list” but we have a year, so we’ll just have to see how things pan out (I’m also selfishly crossing my fingers that my single friends only meet the loves of their lives approximately 3 months before the big day so that they can get an evening invite only haha)

      Did you know that Francine wrote Sweet Valley Confidential in 2011 as a 10-year catch up on the lives of Jess & Elizabeth?! I have it winging its way to me right now. Did you also know that Jessica had FIVE boyfriends who died?! Those books were a rollercoaster of emotion!!!

      The Frenchie meet up is great – if you are ever in London on the 2nd Sunday of the month, you must come along to Hyde Park and witness the chaos xxx

      1. Haha ‘A-List’….we have that too! Thanks to our large (but amazing) families on both sides, plus quite a big wedding party (and partners) we can’t invite absolutely everyone we want to for the day – we’re on a 120 limit and struggling with that, so 80 must be tough!

        Also enjoying the photo of *just* spirits, my kind of photo 😉

        Seriously though…that venue is just gorgeous

        Lauren xxx

        P.S. Second Sunday of every month…noted!!!

        1. A-list sounds terrible, doesn’t it? Especially since the ones that are on our B-list are people we love SO much, but due to all the “have-to-haves” we have on our list, we just can’t find the space. I’m remaining ever the optimist though and feel sure that it will all work itself out and in the end we will have every single person that we couldn’t imagine getting married without there. It’ll be all good!

          Ha, yes…my kind of photo too (I’m Scottish, there is no other way for me to be!) xxx

  2. I sooooo love a good London wedding. They’re just effortlessly cool, always. Really look forward to seeing this all unfold Danielle!

    Also really glad to hear that you and the other real brides are getting to know each other. It really is one of the best things about being a RMW Real Bride. I’ve made friends for life. 🙂 x

    1. Hey Sophie, it’s amazing isn’t it? Like a ready made support network, which is so great. I’m so excited about the whole experience of being a real bride – it’s a ridiculously brilliant opportunity. x

      1. Exactly! I don’t know what I would have done without the support of those girls. 3 of us even met up in New York for a weekend together because we felt like we’d known each other forever! It’s amazing how weddings bring people together. 🙂 x

        1. Wow Sophie, that’s amazing! NYC is one of my favourite cities in the world (after London and Paris, obvs)…maybe I should convince the girls (& Paddy!) that it’s just the real bride (& groom) thing to do! x

  3. Hey, guys!

    Ahhh, this is SUCH a great venue! We shot here last year and had a total blast… and you’re right – the food is AMAZING 🙂

    x

    1. Hey Lee, amazing to hear such good feedback! We can’t wait…I especially love how it has the little walled garden…it will be perfect for an August wedding (& fingers crossed we get at least a little sunshine to enjoy it!) x

      ps. I just checked out your website – amazing stuff!

  4. Oh how brilliant!! Stokey is our home and the Londesborough one of our favourite pubs 🙂 we love watching happy couples coming out of the town hall on summer Saturdays – and their guests having pre-ceremony drinks at the Rose and Crown opposite!

    Sounds like it’s shaping up to be a fab day – cannot wait for the next installment 🙂 xxx

    1. Hi Pippa, oh lovely! Stokey is such a fun area…and I bet it’s so good seeing all these brides & grooms at the weekend…it’s like a fun production line of love haha. The Rose & Crown is where I am planning on staying before and on the night of the wedding – it seems great…and what a super easy wedding morning! xxx

      1. Awwww guys this is such a lovely description of what it’s going to be like – so relaxed and fun and carefree!! x

      2. Oh you’ll love the rose and crown!! I’ve never stayed over but I’ve heard great things! My fiance and I had a similar choice to make when deciding where we’re going to get married: London and stokey, or where I grew up in the Peak District. In the end, we opted for the Peaks, so I’m so excited to be able to follow your stokey wedding planning 🙂 enjoy every second, and if you need a hand (or a car!) with anything local let me know 🙂 xxx

        1. Ah Pippa, that’s so kind – thank you! As two non-drivers you might regret an offer like that 😉

          A wedding in the Peaks will be amazing – it’s such a difficult choice…I like the easy life, so London was the natural choice for us. Getting married in Scotland would have been magical, but a totally different wedding I think! xxx

  5. Knock out second post! The venues look amazing, so perfect for a London loving couple (and doggie friendly too!) I love a wedding procession walking between venues! So so fun! Can’t wait to hear more xxx

    1. Me too Summer – some of my favourite wedding images are of wedding guests on the move…it always makes me wish I was a part of it! x

    2. Ah thanks Summer, you’re too kind!!! I’m excited for the wedding procession walk…so many fun things we can do with it! Dog friendly was so non negotiable haha. xxx

    1. Thank you Julia! Still can’t get over my jealousy that you live in Paris & I don’t. Did you get to Buttes-Chaumont and if you did, what did you think of it?

  6. Such a lovely second post, Danielle! You really take us with you, if you know what I mean. I can’t wait to read more from you and see your wedding come to life. Now I really want to go to London and check out that food!

    1. Thank you Anja! The London food scene is like nothing else…so many great options and so many reasonably priced ones too. The street food scene is my absolute favourite 🙂

      & thank you for the kind words about my writing – it’s much appreciated! x

  7. So exciting to see another London bride keeping it casual and fun! I’m planning my wedding for next July and a pub reception is definitely the way forward. I don’t know about you but I found it impossible to find a “proper venue” that would let us do things the way we wanted, rather than according to a pre-arranged schedule. Good luck with the planning, looking forward to seeing how things go! x

    1. Hi Natalie, amazing! Have you picked your venue yet? Looking forward to hearing about it if you have. Good luck with your planning too! X

      1. We’re getting married at St Martin’s-in-the-fields (which I can’t WAIT for!) and then having the reception at The Three Johns in Angel. Both rather understated but gorgeous enough that they won’t need much decorating to make them look even more stunning, which is ideal for me! x

        1. Oh wow, getting married at St Martin’s-in-the-fields will be beautiful, you lucky thing! I just checked out the pub too, sounds perfect. That’s exactly what I love about the Londesborough and Stoke Newington Town hall – they are both so beautiful in their own right, that all they really need is some personalisation to make it ours for the day 🙂 x

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