Just like this afternoons Bride and Groom, and their photographer Motiejus, St. Pancras station in London holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve always found train stations incredibly romantic, they are the place where lovers are so often reunited. But St. Pancras is extra special to me as it’s the station where I used to meet my lovely boy when I was a student in Sheffield and he was living in London. Every time I see images of the station it gives me butterflies, so I can completely understand why Dominique and Fred chose to have their wedding at the St. Pancras hotel.
It’s also a real treat to share a wedding where the Bride has fashioned a floral collar from spectacular blooms to wear on her wedding day. I’ve never seen anything like it – but I’m in love! Dominique is a lady with serious style…
Dominique the Bride: Deciding to finally go ahead and get married was emotional. Having lived in seven countries in the past 11 years together, as well as both being of mixed nationality, and growing up on different continents, it’s not an exaggeration to say that literally thousands of people have contributed to our happiness. However, if they had all come to our wedding, we would be selling our bodies for food right now. We wanted a small, simple and elegant English day, perhaps a little louche around the edges. There was no dress code, just a call for self-expression, we loved how our guests interpreted it, looking elegant, fun, and stylish.
Motiejus and his assistant caught the atmosphere beautifully, from the arrivals, to the ceremony, to the building, right through to the end of the night, when mobile disco DJ Ian Smith threw down the Motown and everyone kicked off their shoes for a big ol’ knees-up, before I did a Cinderella and passed out from exhaustion just as the party started.
A few surprises were good: we were all supposed to take a double decker from Islington Town Hall to the St Pancras Hotel, but my Dad suddenly showed up in his 1929 Lagonda which my Mother had covered in garlands of flowers. On the way to the wedding, he got lost, but traffic stopped for us, buses beeped, women wept, little girls squealed, and grown men ran into Upper Street traffic to take pictures and blow kisses. I don’t know if any of them even saw me in the back, but I felt like a Queen, and it’s all there in celluloid thanks to Motiejus.
Sam, the maid of honour, is an incredibly talented producer in her day job, and kept things (ie Dom) from spinning out by remaining sensible throughout. Miriam Oppedijk, our contact at St Pancras Hotel, is wonderful. I had no wedding planner, and like many creative people, my attempts at organising manifest in even more confusion, so to have a friendly, sympathetic point of contact at the venue was wonderful. My mum, an antique furniture restorer, who briefly watched in horror as I began to sew silk flowers into the wedding dress a couple of days before the wedding stepped in and saved the day. The cake was an elegant English Lemon Drizzle Mess by Claire de Wait. Inspired by The Secret Garden, and sort of like Eton Mess, but unbelievably delicious and much prettier.
Motiejus the Photographer: London is and will always be a very special place to me. Not only for the reason that it has been home for me a long time now. It always makes me feel small but somehow incredibly lucky because I’ve managed to live and do what I love in this crazy environment. It has this strangely magical mixture of new and old, of something very strong and static but fast and never stopping at the same time. It’s one of those places where you live surrounded by the past, however, you sometimes hardly notice how fast your time is flying by…There is probably nothing you can do about it, but simply observe and admire.
I met Dominique just days before her wedding at St. Pancras hotel. We were having a look around the venue and discussing her wedding plans and I was trying to learn more about her and Fred’s story. She left London long time ago, however, her love and admiration for this city was still very strong. In fact, when we walked around St Pancras station, an old date spot for them before heading to Paris, her eyes simply lit up and that was the moment when I’ve understood – this place, station, this city – is as important to her as it is to me. I knew it there and then – she’s my kind of bride. My kind of love story to document.