The header image above captured by Remain In Light Photography really sums up this city wedding perfectly - the epitome of cool. Take Bride Eimear's Anais Anette 'Savannah' gown for instance, it literally made me gasp when I saw the delicate lace and exquisite back detail, with her groom in the distance in a Walker Slater tweed suit and the waters edge and urban backdrop framing them beautifully. The whole wedding is very relaxed and laid back with many more gorgeous moments captured between this fabulous couple and their guests. The venues, Clissold House, and Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre chosen for their architecture, have been enhanced with minimalist decor and detail, including plant pot centrepieces and the most delicious looking Croque-en-Bouche tower wedding cake.
The DressEimear the Bride: Finding a dress in London was a lot more painful than I anticipated. Initially I found a site on Instagram that had dresses I liked and I emailed to see if they might have had a Trunk show in the UK or any recommendations… After phoning a store who wouldn’t even give me an appointment, to a second store which charged a fee for a specific time slot (all of this was very new to me), I called Amy at LA BESPOKE who couldn’t have been nicer! Her boutique is based in Worcester and I caught the train up from London arriving into a driver from the station to her store. The boutique is set in the most beautiful countryside and it was a glorious day as well… From the first greeting, Amy was warm and so friendly and very knowledgeable. Her advice was to try on everything as the dresses look completely different on… the last dress I tried was the Savannah by Anais Anette and it felt incredible on. One of my friends Lauren actually drove down from Gloucestershire to meet me and gave some very valuable advice (as well as a Sunday roast that day). Having gone to a few other appointments, I couldn’t help but think back to the Amy at LA BESPOKE and the Savannagh. Amy actually came to London to do a fitting and Birmingham to deliver the dress (as I was there on business) – she couldn’t have been more accommodating! Thank you Amy! On the day I wore a chain with my Granny’s medal and my Auntie’s bracelet that was made bespoke for her at a jewelers at home in Ireland. On our wedding morning, I had to hide in the bathroom whilst Simon came in with a gift – and in a Liberty bag, there was a beautiful bracelet from Monica Vinader.
The Grooms FashionSimon the Groom: Having grown up in Ireland and lived in Scotland for many years I wanted a tweed suit (and matching hipflask – thank you to Finty, our compeer, for that) that made reference to my heritage. I also wore one of my grandfathers braces, another’s cufflinks and pocket watch given to me when I was born by my godfather.
The VenueWe were keen to have our wedding in Hackney, where we live, in venues that reflect our interests and personalities. We also wanted venues that were unique and memorable. As an Architect, I was blown away by the staircase at Clissold House and the industrial architecture, steelwork and views in West Reservoir. We wanted a combination of old and new which was reflected in the buildings and also throughout the day.
Colour Scheme/DecorWe worked on the basis of keeping it simple and subtlety using the décor and architecture to complement each other. The venue was primarily white with coloured uplights. We made plywood and raw timber props to enhance the industrial feeling of the venue, used latex clear balloons and added some gold colouring and plants to soften it as well as candles in vases on each table which we got directly from Knot & Pop.
Flowers/FloristMatt our local florist, kindly made the centerpieces, bouquet, buttonholes vases and provided all the different cacti for the tables. Jip and Donegal heather played a big part in the decorations as they complimented both the detail of Eimear’s dress and the Suits and making reference to our heritage. A dried oak leaf, from my garden in Ireland, accompanied each guests name place, which we sat for nights on end, dipping the tip of it into goldleaf.
The Wedding Party FashionWe wanted to keep the wedding party simple as well as the clothing our two little nieces, our flower girls, wore. Who knew it would be so difficult to get two dresses for two ages groups that matched!
CeremonyWe wanted to keep the ceremony as lighthearted and as fun as possible. My brother Daithi sang The Night Visiting Song by Luke Kelly, Eimear’s best friend, Jill Young sang “Dream a little dream of me,” by Mammas and Pappas and the ceremony ended with Niall, and a band he put together for the wedding, including String & Tonic, playing Chuck Berry’s “Never Can Tell.” Eimears sister Aine also read a lovely poem by John O’Donohue and brother Conor was the ring bearer and sister Shauna signed the registrar along with Daithi.
EntertainmentWe wanted to provide a variety of music throughout the day to keep the party going from 2pm to late. We had a string duo at the beginning of the day, which was fitting for the Clissold House period style setting, the volume was cranked and the party started with Niall Kearney’s rendition of Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry). Jason our DJ played everything from Van Morrison to 2 Many DJs, keeping the dance floor full. The night ended with the Jokers resident DJ playing into the wee hours
FoodWe are both massively into our food and it was extremely important to choose both a caterer and dishes that appealed to everyone. Clive and Ashley were so accommodating and interested in us and our love of food and wine. They prepared a selection of amazing canopies, which again made reference to Ireland, and our love of Asian food. We had a shared starter, which involved a variety of dishes, including Dorset Crab, Green Apple & Chilli; Crisp Lamb Belly, Peas & Minted Yoghurt (this was the highlight/amazing); Wild Mushroom Bruschetta – all of which was an absolute treat! The main was Breast of Chicken and Confit Leg with Roast Root Vegetables & Shallot Cream Sides of Grilled Savoy Cabbage & Jugs of Sauce - delicious and beautifully presented. The desert involved us cutting the croquembouche cake with a sword – great fun but terrifying for the staff (and our guests) catching the profiteroles
PhotographerMairéad was amazing in the lead up to and on the day and was a great help keeping us both calm. She captured all the key moments without being intrusive and managed all our guests extremely well without coming across as intrusive – truly a lovely person as well as very professional. The final photographs are fantastic, extremely creative and unique - we couldn’t have asked for more.
AdviceFor wedding favours we wanted to give something back that people would use. Eimear and I came up with the idea of chilli oil. Eimear made and bottled 150 bottles of 3 levels of oil (mild, medium and hot) and Sara (Daithi’s girlfriend), came up with the name – ‘Taps Aff!’ Our advice would be – Research, plan in advance, delegate as much as you can... And make sure to enjoy yourself!!
Dress Designer: Anais Annette - Savannah | Bridal Boutique: La Bespoke Bride | Ceremony Venue: Clissold House | Reception Venue: Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre | After Party: Joker Pub, Islington | Florist: Bunch Hackney | Cake : The Gatherers | Stationery: Brian McLaughlin | Entertainment: String and Tonic | Transport: London Rickshaws | Grooms Suit: Walker Slater | Flower Girl: Joh rocha at Debenhams