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.
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.
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!)