Elly the Bride:
The dress was the Chloe from Halfpenny London
. I wanted something elegant but that felt modern and in keeping with our venue. The flattering cut nipped in at the waist and eyelet back were perfect, and the polka dot design gave it the fresh twist I was looking for. It was part of Halfpenny's new collection and I would be the first bride to wear it which also felt really special.
Halfpenny was the first and only dress shop I went to, you get the shop to yourself so it's a lovely experience with family and friends. The assistant made me try on the Chloe last, she said after that she knew it would be the one so she wanted to build up to it.
As the dress had a high neckline I just went for one statement bracelet, a jewel encrusted cuff from Jenny Packham
. I had bought an accompanying belt for the dress from Halfpenny but on the day, once everything else came together and with the dress fitting me so perfectly I just felt like the belt would have detracted from the delicate design.
The Groom & Groomsmen
Born and bred in Glasgow, so the kilt was never in question. Hugo wore his family tartan - Ancient Hunting Cameron, the kilt was his Uncle's 21st Birthday present and over 40 years old. Hugo bought the tweed jacket and waistcoat from MacGregor and MacDuff
in Glasgow. Although they were bought ready to wear, they fit him perfectly and worked much better with the overall style of the wedding than the traditional Bonnie Prince Charlie. To differentiate from the groomsmen Hugo wore a black (painstakingly self tied) bowtie.
The groomsmen wore blackwatch tartan kilts and ties and had matching charcoal tweed jackets and waistcoats, again all form McGreggor and McDuff.
The venue was a fluke find. We knew we wanted a small wedding of max 50 guests so we originally were looking at private houses or apartments. About a month after we were engaged we went to an Argentinian wine tasting event in Shoreditch at Perseverance works. The venue looked so great set up for the event with its white wash floor boards, big warehouse windows and a live band performing. We both thought it would make a perfect wedding venue so enquired if they did non-commercial hire the next day.
The problem was that the space was not a "venue" it was just that, a space, so we had to work really closely with our caterer to make sure we brought everything together on the day.
Having a blank canvas to work with was fantastic, it meant that every element of the room could reflect our tastes and we never had to compromise. However it is certainly more work than a ready to go venue and we had our fair share of last minute panics, trying to hang the festoon lighting and keep all the alcohol chilled!
Perseverance Works is managed by JJ Media
, and Hannah (our contact) was an amazing help throughout the process...she even got on the step ladder to hang the fairy light curtain!
To get get our guests from Islington Town Hall to Perseverance Works in Shoreditch we hired a traditional London bus from London Retro Bus Hire
. It's fairly common to do this in London now, and was a great way to ensure all our guests arrived together and no-one had to worry about parking.
I had planned to get an Uber exec from our house in Tooting up to Islington the morning of the wedding and right up until 10 minutes before we left I still believed this was the case. However Hugo had other ideas and had hired a vintage Bentley to take my Dad and I to the venue, which was lovely. The car also took Hugo and I to the reception whilst our guests were on the bus and it was really special to have a few minutes alone to say "oh my god we’re married!".
The florist was Scarlet & Violet
and was a recommendation from our caterer. I gave a simple brief of Spring wild flowers and what they delivered on the day was breathtaking.
My bouquet was absolutely stunning, it looked so vibrant, fresh and wild, it was exactly what I was after and couldn't have worked better with the dress. When I arrived at the venue the flowers on the tables were stunning. All in different sized milk bottles and vases, they worked so well with the candelabras & rustic trestle tables, and filled the white space with colour.
We had been to a friends wedding at Islington Town Hall
the previous year and thought it was a really beautiful room. The Council chamber feels quite grand but was the perfect size for 50 guests. Our registrars David and Susannah were absolutely wonderful on the day and really put both Hugo and I at ease during our pre-ceremony interviews.
We went with the non religious 'Love is a Promise' vows which were the right mix of legal language and loving words. A civil ceremony can be over quite quickly so we chose to have the maximum 3 readings, 'He's Not Perfect' by Bob Marley, an extract from Earnest Hemingway 'A farewell to arms' and an extract from Phillip Pullman's 'The Amber Spyglass' which was a favourite book for both of us before we had met.
My nephews were ring bearers and certainly added some comedy to the proceedings, but it was so lovely to have them be a part of the ceremony (not that I think they had a clue what was happening!)
Once we had secured the venue and knew the space we were working with we decided we would go ahead with a traditional Scottish Ceilidh in the evening. With the majority of guests being non-Scottish there was some skepticism about it, however everyone conceded that it was the most fun they had had at a wedding reception for a long time. What’s great about a Ceilidh is that it’s intergenerational, so everyone feels they can take part. It also really mixes people up, at points I would look around and see my boss dancing with my sister, while Hugo's dad was dancing with my friends. The band were called It’s No’ Reel
, they were a 3 piece made up of fiddle, drums and keyboard/caller. We brought them down from Scotland having found them on YouTube and it was so worth it. Two friends of mine are having a Ceilidh at their wedding next year, because they had so much fun, and they’re not even Scottish!
I had a vision for how I wanted my wedding to be and Peardrop London
, our caterers, brought it to life. From the outset Rose at Peardrop said she would be as involved as I wanted her to be, so I asked her to help with the furniture, flowers and staff, as well as the catering, and this was absolutely the right decision.
I had been recommended Peardrop by a friend so knew it they would be good, but I wasn't expecting just how good! We had a four course Italian feast (Hugo is one eighth Italian and loves people to know it), consisting of Burrata and tomato salad to start, followed by Beef shin ragu, then sea bass fillet and finally Tiramisu. Rose also made our Rosemary and Olive oil semi-naked wedding cake, which was demolished on the day!
Her team were fantastic, and kept the day running seamlessly including re-arranging the whole room for the Ceilidh whilst the guests were still in it.
One really nice touch was that Rose had some of the chefs preparing the food in front of us as we arrived, which I loved and was a real talking point.
Food is so important to us as a couple and so we knew we wanted to deliver a special feast to our guests, Peardrop delivered just that!
Our photographer was Adam Cherry
, he was recommended to us by a friend, and having trawled the internet we were glad for the personal recommendation.
We met Adam for a drink beforehand and he showed us his work and we knew straight away that he was exactly what we were looking for. He had done a number of London town hall weddings before and scouted out some great spots around Shoreditch for our couples shoot.
He was understanding that we didn't want too many posed group shots but still managed to get all of our family and friends covered off with his stunning reportage style.
We were so happy when we got the photos back and haven't stopped looking at them since, the best day of our lives captured so beautifully.