If you caught Emma & Jake's Barbican engagement shoot by Fern Edwards Photography, you'll know we've been pretty excited to see their actual wedding day. Set in the gorgeous Horniman Conservatory with eucalyptus, ferns and all manor of gorgeous foliage framing the aisle and altar, not to mention making up the majority of the bouquets, along with some protea stems for an added pop of colour. Bride Emma wore a simple, but incredibly chic Charlie Brear gown, and her bridesmaids looked fierce in white and nude asymmetrical AQ/AQ dresses. The whole wedding is a botanical dream, and will have you swooning from start to finish.


Emma the Bride: I was pretty sure from the off that I wanted a simple dress, something I might wear anyway, but just in white, but that was all I knew. I visited a few boutiques, but kept coming back to the same dress from Charlie Brear that I’d seen on their website. When I visited their beautiful studios and tried it on, it was perfect, comfortable and simple but sophisticated. My engagement ring is a champagne diamond on a rose gold band and I wanted those tones in my accessories, so chose the metallic leather belt also from Charlie Brear and rose gold minimal earrings from Cos. My cathedral length lace veil was from Britten Weddings and made my outfit feel a bit more bridal, I kept it on well into the night as a favour to my 7 year old self.

Grooms Attire

Jake has quite a casual style so was never going to don a top-hat and tails. His navy three piece suit was from Moss Bros and then tailored to fit by a great local company, who also worked on the bridesmaids dresses. Jake designed his own unique wedding band (as well as with my engagement ring) in rose gold and bought brilliant cufflinks from Etsy, made from matching metal and recycled newspaper.


With the venue we knew we wanted to get married in London and that it had to be an interesting building. We looked at glasshouses and conservatories as they are beautiful and a great compromise between getting married outdoors and British weather, also décor can be kept to a minimum. The conservatory at the Horniman Museum and Gardens was the ideal ceremony venue, being architecturally striking yet not too formal, 15mins from our house and flooded with light. The reception was held at the art deco Town Hall Hotel in the middle of Bethnal Green, the staff were amazing having no qualms about us dragging 3m high palm trees through their reception and singing at the top of our voices into the night.


Neither venue needed a great deal of decorating because they were such interesting spaces, but my dad made us some big grass covered initials for the reception and we constructed our seating plan frame from copper pipe. For dinner we sat all 92 people banqueting style, on one long table. The ‘top table’ was demarked by giant balloons above. I designed the place settings and menus and printed them on tracing paper attached with bulldog clips, this worked out well as people were wearing them as name badges for the rest of the evening!


I know nothing at all about flowers, so after collecting some images from pinterest, we put all our trust in Michael and Michel from Blooming Haus, they did so much with a limited budget. Decorating three rooms at two different venues and the flower arch they designed for the ceremony was perfect. Eucalyptus ran through the whole wedding, featuring in our bouquets, pew ends, buttonholes, vases and a table garland and the smell was lovely.

Wedding Party

The bridesmaids dresses were one of the most unique style choices we made, all the girls have completely different styles, but I was never going to make them wear a-typical chiffon bridesmaid gowns. We found these grey and white mini dresses with trains at AQ/AQ just off Carnaby Street which were young and fun and suited all the girls so well, we did have to let a couple of the hems down a bit for modesties sake though. The groomsmen all wore three piece suits from Moss Bros to match Jakes but with burgundy ties and patterned pocket squares from TM Lewin.


I walked down the aisle to Bon Iver – For Emma (which sounds a bit conceited, but it really is one of our favourite songs). Jake and I wrote our own vows, which seemed like a good idea until I was in floods of tears after he read his and could barely get mine out. My maid of honour and Jake’s brother did readings and we walked (danced) back down the aisle to Bob Marley.


We are lucky to have very musical family and friends, so had ready made entertainment for the champagne reception. One of our bridesmaids sang wedding classic Etta James’ – At Last and my cousin sang and played Bon Iver – Skinny Love on the piano, which had me in floods of tears again. Our DJs were Karl and Kate from the Wedheads who kept the dance floor jam packed all night, they even made us a separate mix for the wedding breakfast which was held in another room. We travelled between the ceremony and reception venue on a bus, which was one of the most fun parts of the day. We made a 90s dance music playlist had champagne flowing and what could epitomise a London Wedding more, than travelling over tower bridge in a big red vintage routemaster.


We left out a lot of formal or traditional elements, but being pretty obsessed with food, a sit down dinner was right for us. We chose the food from the menu provided by the Town Hall Hotel and everyone said how delicious it was especially the Guinness braised beef and pumpkin risotto.


We hadn’t planned on having a wedding video, but at the last minute found Chris from Hummingbird Video and I’m so glad we did. The video looks like a Hollywood film on a south London budget, it was even ready a week after the wedding so we could watch it on our honeymoon.


Our photographer Fern Edwards was fantastic, she managed to wrangle our wild family and friends, and seemed like just another guest (albeit a very hardworking one). Her documentary style is just stunning, grabbing moments that other people might have missed and capturing the intangible joy of the whole day!
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Charlie Brear | Veil: Britten Weddings | Earrings: COS | Groomsmen: Moss Bros | Venue: Horniman Museum & Gardens | Florist: Blooming Haus | Bridesmaid Dress: AQ/AQ

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