There's nothing more pleasing to the eye than a navy blue and silver winter wedding, with beautiful bride Fionnuala's Jenny Packham Esme gown bringing all the glitz. Intricately beaded and fitting her in all the right places. Finishing her bridal look perfectly is her white bridal bouquet featuring anemones, oh how we love anemones. Just as much as we love all the love and light captured by Joasis Wedding Photography.

Our Story

Fionnuala: We met in Cardiff in September 2009 and we’ve lived together in London since 2012, first in Kilburn then in Brockley, which we now consider home. Neil casually (but romantically) proposed on our 6 year anniversary in Greenwich Park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. He picked the perfect moment having bought me a 99 ice cream only moments before. We were engaged for around 2 years before eventually setting a date for our wedding, giving ourselves 5 months to pull it altogether.

London Wedding Venues

London has been our home for the past 6 years and with lots of family living in Dublin and friends scattered across the world, it seemed like the perfect location for a winter wedding. We knew right away we wanted to have a big party with all our friends and family with lots of great food, booze and music. Importantly we wanted it to be fun and relaxed, and not overly fussy or formal. Hawksmoor Guildhall was the perfect venue. Not only does it have incredible food, it also has exceptional style, attention to detail and a casual, laid-back attitude. We were struggling to find a venue for our ceremony at such short notice. Luckily the Old Marylebone Town Hall, which had been closed for refurbishment for 5 years, had just started taking bookings for 2018. We didn’t actually view it before we booked it but we knew that it would be stunning, and it was!

Jenny Packham Esme Wedding Dress

By the time I began looking for a dress our wedding was just over 3 months away so I was limited to buying ‘off the peg’. This is how I discovered the joys of sample sales. I headed out before work one morning to a Jenny Packham sample sale with one of my bridesmaids, Jen. Within moments she’d picked five dresses for me to try while I stood dazed, confused and totally overwhelmed by the frantic crowds. They were all gorgeous but in the end I fell for the beautiful, beaded ‘Esme’ dress. I’ve never made a decision so quickly in my life - thanks Jen!

Ted Baker Grooms Suit

Neil: I wanted a fairly relaxed suit that was still sharp, so I went with a navy, wool, Ted Baker three-piece and Grenson brown brogues.

Wedding Party Fashion

Our bridesmaids, Sarah, Jen, Jadine, Lotte and Jess, and groomsmen, Gareth and James, wore navy dresses and suits, respectively, which they chose themselves. We wanted them to wear something they felt would reflect their own style and that they would hopefully wear again in the future.

Colour Scheme/Decor

Fionnuala: We didn’t have a particular theme in mind but we both had similar ideas as to what we wanted. As we went along our planning journey things started to fall into place - the Art Deco style at Hawksmoor was a big part of that and helped to set the tone for the rest of the day.

Bunch London Wedding Florist

Anna Wallis, of Bunch London, did an amazing job with the flowers for the venue along with our bouquets and buttonholes. She was great to work with and was really helpful with our very last minute requests. We wanted lots of foliage, texture and soft, wild flowers - something to compliment Hawksmoor’s beautiful Art Deco interior. The flowers were perfect, even better than we could have imagined. Everyone commented on how beautiful they were.

Civil Ceremony

We had a civil ceremony in the Old Marylebone Town Hall. We chose two readings, Scaffolding (Seamus Heaney), read by Neil’s mum, Geraldine and Always Love Each Other (Larry Chengges), read by my sisters, Aisling and Caitriona. We spent quite a bit of time picking music for the ceremony as we wanted this to reflect our tastes and our relationship. I walked down the aisle to Jim O’Rourke’s Prelude to 110 or 220/Women of the World which is a wonderful cover version by an artist we’ve loved for a long time. We left the ceremony to When The Going Is Smooth & Good by William Onyeabor, a song that always takes us back to when we heard it for the first time, on holiday in Copenhagen.

Wedding Photography

We loved working with Jo. Not only is she an incredibly talented photographer with an amazing eye, she is also very personable. She instantly made us feel at ease from the moment we met her. On the day, Jo was professional and worked her socks off (staying much later than planned due to things overrunning). We couldn’t be happier with the photos, and especially love the way she captured the atmosphere and the candid shots of our friends and family.

Wedding Music

We’re huge fans of the US Office and joked that our first dance should be the song from the cold opening of the first episode of season 7. That joke became reality as we danced away to Nobody But Me by The Human Beinz. We wanted something upbeat and fun that everyone would want to dance to and this song fit the bill perfectly!

Wedding Entertainment

We had a covers band, Happy Hour, who were easy to work with, professional and a great party band - they got everyone dancing to classics from the last 5 decades. They also DJ’d in between sets and into the early hours. The final decision on the band came down to the name - taken from a Housemartins song. Plus, they even played it on the night. We also hired a photobooth with tons of props which turned out to be popular choice, especially once people had enjoyed a few drinks. Our friends, Rob and Richard, wrote, illustrated and hosted a quiz during the meal which got lots of laughs amongst some bewildered faces

Favourite Wedding Day Moments

We both really loved having all of our friends and family gathered in one place. It’s not often you get to see everyone, with people across the globe. The reception at Hawksmoor was really special - from the moment we arrived, seeing all our favourite people chatting away enjoying themselves and the kids running around high on pick ‘n’ mix, to the speeches, food, quiz and dancing. We both kept saying that we couldn’t believe it had all gone to plan after several sleepless nights leading up to the day, trying to get everything ready! It was just so much fun and as everyone says, went by in a blink. We’d do it all again tomorrow if we could…

Wedding Advice

We’re really glad we organised drinks the night before the wedding. Although it meant we went to bed far later than planned, we had more time to catch up with our friends and family, some of whom we don’t see very often. People always say not to worry about the little details as they won’t be noticed on the day (especially once the drinks have started). We tried to keep this in mind but, of course, we obsessed over minor things right up until the night before. That said, we really would reiterate this advice. Don’t worry; people aren’t there for the tiny details. They’re there to celebrate your incredible day and will not notice the font type and colour you choose on the table number cards. Enjoy every last minute and take some time out together to savour the moment as it really does fly by.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Featured suppliers

Ceremony Venue: Old Marylebone Town Hall | Reception Venue: Hawksmoor | Florist: Bunch London | Candlestick Holders: Clas Olsen | Stationery: Papier | Cheese Cake: Neal’s Yard Dairy | Band: Happy Hour | Transport: Red Routemaster from Traditional Travel | Dress Designer: Jenny Packham - Esme | Hair & Makeup: Aria from Laura Anne Makeup | Hair Accessory: Ciara Bridal, Dublin | Bridal Shoes: Oasis | Earrings: Marks and Spencer | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Grooms Shoes: Grenson Brogues | Cufflinks: Alice Made This

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