There is no denying we're huge fans of The Asylum in London, but what we love most is how each couple put their stamp on the iconic wedding venue. Francesca & Tony opted for gorgeous jewelled plum & fuchsia pink flowers in gold urns to decorate the chapel and it added to the dramatic setting perfectly. They also chose to have a guitarist sing as Francesca made her grand entrance and once again when they exited as husband and wife. I bet the acoustics were amazing. This couple and their city wedding are seriously cool and the pictures captured by On Love and Photography will make your spine tingle.....

The Dress

Francesca The Bride: I had my ultimate dress in mind, sleek, fitted and understated but failed to find it anywhere. I went to 12 bridal shops in total and it was cutting it fine. In the end I re-visited Morgan Davies in Islington after they said they had a new designer coming in that I might love. Even then it wasn’t the ‘Oh My God’ moment. So I had a bespoke crepe dress made taking elements from two Gemy Maalouf dresses they had, and when it arrived I fell in love. It was so nerve-racking waiting to see the final dress, but it was so worth it!


We had visited 10 (if not more) venues across the country. We were in search of something that stood out and that was totally unique. We instantly fell in love with the Asylum as soon as we saw it. We both love church spaces, but neither of us are religious, so the deconsecrated chapel was perfect. It literally looks as though it is falling apart, but with the candles and the live music it made the whole feel perfect and so romantic. The Garden Museum was equally as stunning and is also an old church. Perfectly located right on the Thames and has a gorgeous little garden, so we managed to get all the little elements we were after.

Décor/ Styling

We did this all ourselves. There is no way I would give up my creative rights to anyone, and although it was really stressful, it was so worth it. We based it on our invitations, rich plums, fuchsias and hints of gold. We had our parents spraying mirrors gold, bridesmaids and family researching lists upon lists of where to find things, it was endless. The Tequila bottles were definitely one of our favourites, we ordered the bottles from Germany, we filled them all, stuck personalised stickers on, tied each one by hand with a gold bow (with help) and attached personalised name tags, it was a long process but looked great.


I designed this myself and had them printed. It was from this that the rest of the wedding took flight, as it was our starting point to our colours and theme. I continued these designs on through to the menus and orders of service.


Emma from Palais did the most amazing flowers. We loved her style from the beginning, as we were looking for a vibrant and wild feel. We had a really specific vision in mind based on the invitations I had designed and she got it straight away. From the elaborate gold urns she used to the sprayed gold foliage on the head table, she absolutely nailed it. She even moved all the flowers from the Asylum where we got married to the Garden Museum so that we got the most for our money.


We wanted it to feel really personal and intimate. We had lots of candles and festoon lighting, which was perfect as the Asylum can be quite dark, the only light coming from the stain glass windows. I walked down the aisle to ‘Stand by me’ by Ben E King, sang live by Ross from our evening band, just him and his acoustic guitar, it was beautiful. We had three beautiful readings from family. The whole ceremony was very emotional. I remember signing the register as Mrs Malone by mistake (a bit to eager) which I got told off for, so had to put a giant cross through it, we found it hilarious. We walked out together to Ross singing ‘Signed, sealed. Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder; one of the best feelings ever, so much happiness.


These boys are insane. They are a 3 piece acoustic band with so much soul. So many people commented on how amazing they were. We didn’t want anything cheesy, and they were perfect. They sang some of our favourite songs in their own style and had everyone up dancing. The lead singer Ross even sang at our ceremony in the Asylum with his acoustic guitar, it was beautiful. The djs were brilliant too, they had everyone having dance offs by the end of the night, it was hilarious.


My step brothers partner Benjamin made the cake, and wow what a cake! Distressed, gold and shabby chic, he nailed it and it was delicious, we had three layers, chocolate, victoria sponge and fruit cake.


Food Events were incredible. They were more than just caterers; they ran the reception at the Garden Museum, as it was a dry hire venue. The food was amazing, everyone loved it. They went out of their way to make it perfect for us from designing bacon canopies (our fav) to a top notch three course menu, we couldn’t have been happier. They even met us a few times in our local pub to go over things until we were happy.

Makeup and Hair

Nadia and Zara from Portraits Bridal are so friendly and have such a nice vibe. They arrived first thing in the morning to start their work on the bridesmaids and me. They got just the look I was after and were more than just makeup and hair. They kept us together that morning, from getting the girls into their dresses to doing my dads tie. I couldn’t of asked for more.


Where do I start? Giulia and Ben from onloveandphotography were fantastic. So creative, non-intrusive and such lovely people. They made us feel so comfortable and everyone kept saying how nice they were. We fell in love with how they captured our day.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Gemy Maalouf Couture | Bridal Boutique: Morgan Davies | Veil: Vintage Styler | Hair Accessory: ASOS | Bridal Shoes: Love Art Wear Art | Hair & Makeup: Portraits Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress: ASOS | Venue: The Asylum | Garden Museum | Catering: Food Events | Florist: Palais Flowers | Entertainment: The Ozones | Wedding Car: Star Car Hire | Bus: This Bus | Grooms Suit: New and Lingwood | Grooms Tie: Mrs Bow Tie | Festoon Lights: Lights4Fun

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