A ‘double bill’ wedding certainly sounds like the best way to ensure you get to spend time with your nearest and dearest and have a celebration your day your way.
With the help of Lauren Wyllie from Delicious London, oh so stylish Fran & Matt went about planning their urban cool humanist ceremony at The Worx in London. The industrial lighting there is fab and really set the tone for the rest of the contemporary wedding. There were geometric terrariums, a hand drawn portrait machine as well as fabulous favours drawn by Fran.
I have to say I’m utterly in love with all the autumnal hues too. From the sumptuous forest green satin Ghost Bridesmaid dresses to the burnt orange blooms, it’s almost enough to make me long for darker nights and rich tones already. Almost. Plus Fran’s bespoke gold dress, what can I say accept for simply stunning. Thank-you Story + Colour for smashing it out of the park and capturing both of these days to perfection.
Fran the Bride: A wedding is something you only do once… or twice in our case! We had a ‘double bill’ over one weekend: a church ceremony at Ealing Abbey (near where we both grew up) for a small number of close family on the Friday, followed by the big day on Saturday with all our family and friends.
Getting legally married in the church on Friday gave us the freedom to have a more personalised, less traditional ceremony on the Saturday delivered by our celebrant, Mark.
On Saturday we did things our own way by having both a best man and a best woman (why should the boys have all the fun?!) both of whom – alongside my Dad and Matt – delivered fantastic speeches leaving very few dry eyes in the room.
I had always known that I wanted to design my own wedding dress and I am lucky enough to have Clare Farrell as a talented friend who helped hone my design ideas and brought my beautiful gold dress to life. Clare and I are both cycling nuts (her main business is designing clothes for cyclists) so a wedding dress from her is a true original. On the day I was told that I looked both like an art deco statue and a perfume bottle. I took both as compliments.
I love all things gold but I also love all things geometric, hence the cut of the sequins on the top half of my dress. The fantastic shoes by Kat Maconie were my nod to wearing white, whilst retaining the geometric vibe. The gold trainers I wore later in the evening were flatforms by Superga.
Matt and his groomsmen hired their suits from Moss Bros (although Matt wore a suit from Marks and Spencer on the Friday). To match my dress I bought them all champagne coloured ties that had a slightly pink tone.
I chose forest green for the bridesmaids as I wanted them to be wearing a colour that stood out from the rest of the party but remained in keeping with the gold autumnal theme. The dresses are from Ghost’s dye to order range, and the personalised ‘bridesmaid’ necklaces are from Lisa Angel.
Matt and I both grew up in London so it was really important to us to have our wedding there. We had a strong vision, hence decided early on to look for a ‘blank canvas’ venue which wouldn’t tie us down to any particular style or suppliers. We knew we didn’t want round tables and certainly didn’t want to even think about chair covers.
I met Lauren Wyllie (Delicious London) at a wedding fair and it was through her venue finding service that we came across The Worx. We loved it as soon as we saw it; the studio was huge with high ceilings, plus the hire included a second studio for the caterers and the gallery and courtyard areas which we used for the drinks reception.
Styling / Decor
I just love gold (did I mention that?) and given that our wedding was in October a gold and autumnal theme was the natural choice. I’m not a huge flower enthusiast but I love plants which is why I chose to keep the bouquets simple and decorate the tables with little succulents in a variety of gold pots and geometric terrariums, all of which were provided by our florist Dora Kovacs. This, combined with the drop bulb lighting, soft background lighting and candles (lit during dinner) created a warm and cosy environment.
We chose to have long wooden tables to create a rustic feel and make the wedding breakfast feel like a feast!
I made the seating plan and favours (which doubled as place cards) myself. I devised a lucky dip game for the favours, in a bid to encourage people to socialise and make new friends. Half of the guests received one of my own small drawings (see my instragram hashtag #franbfranbmini) created especially as a project for the wedding, whilst the other half received a token for the Portrait Machine (see below in entertainment) which was the surprise element of the evening entertainment.
Instead of a guest book I created a guest poster and in the run up to the wedding collected an eclectic range of gift and luggage tags which we left out alongside stickers and pens for guests to leave messages. It’s now hanging up in our house as a lovely memento.
We had a magician (Neil Granger) who mingled with guests during the drinks reception which was hugely popular! The band was ‘Out of Control’ and they did two live sets and one DJ set. We had the fabulous ‘Portrait Machine’ (Amy Pennington) whose drawings of guests from inside her ‘machine’ (box) was a lot of fun. Matt’s brother Oran, a very talented pianist, played during both ceremonies and during the drinks reception on Saturday.
Pieminister did our catering. I always worry about not getting enough food at weddings so we opted for hearty canapes such as sausage rolls and smoked salmon blinis followed by cheese and meat sharing platters as starters. The main course was pie, mash, mushy peas and gravy. Pieminister catered excellently to the various dietary needs and everyone was certainly well fed!
I designed the wedding cake myself and had a little help from friends making it and putting it together. Pieminister kindly cut up and handed out the cake for pudding. They also did a cracking soaker feed!
Dan from Story and Colour photographed both days. I loved Dan’s candid and natural shots as soon as I saw them on his website. He was an absolute pleasure to deal with throughout the lead up to the wedding and on both days, putting us both at ease and taking a stunning selection of photographs that captured the day perfectly.
Have some family time the day before, whether it’s a meal or a casual get together. This will help you worry less about getting round and talking to everyone on the day.
Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan, chances are you are the only person who knows what the plan is, so nobody else will even notice!
It’s amazing what you can do with a pack of alphabet stamps and some stickers. People loved the home made seating plans and favours so don’t be afraid to have a go at DIY – it will save you a tonne of money too.
Do the speeches early so that nerves don’t get out of control. We did them whilst people were eating their sharing starters, which meant that those speaking could then relax and enjoy their dinner.
Think about using Paperless Post for your invites. Not only does it save the trees, it’s cheap, there are a beautiful range of designs which you can personalise and the tracking system will help you keep tabs on who has RSVP’d and who needs chasing. (You can also use it to create personalised “Thank You” cards as well).