This urban wedding couldn’t be more innovative and stylish. From the copper altar adorned with blush blooms and magnolia tree branches, to the etched perspex and lightbox signs. And not forgetting bride Hannah’s immense concrete cake perched on geometric stands (but you wouldn’t expect anything less from an uber talented cake designer).
The wonderful Camilla Arnhold and This Modern Revelry did a spectacular job of capturing all the love, pretty, love and general deliciousness. So much so my eyes literally haven’t been able to stop popping out of my head. My fingers are now at the ready as I know I won’t be able to stop myself from pinning all these fabulous ideas too. Enjoy lovelies ones, it’s truly inspiring.
Hannah the Bride : Initially, I decided to have my dress made and the process seemed to go well. Seven weeks before the wedding though, the final dress arrived and it just wasn’t right. I made the decision to start over and find a new gown. With such a short timeframe, I went with a friend to Wed2B and, happily, had a great experience.
Wed2B is for the budget-conscious bride, which I then was given I’d already paid for a dress that I wasn’t going to wear. They couldn’t have been more helpful and picked out a beautiful dress for me by Anna Sorrano. It was simple, classic and, funnily enough, totally different from the original dress. But I absolutely loved it. I took it to Zoe Saves the Day for minor alterations. She was an absolute star, gave great advice and turned a bad dress day into the best dress day.
My shoes were from Ted Baker. I wanted something simple and comfortable, but took a pair of ballet slippers to change into for the evening, just in case!
I wasn’t too worried about the old tradition of something borrowed, blue etc. I did borrow a friend’s Swarovski bracelet and bought a hair clip from Liberty in Love, had simple swing back earrings from One by One and a drop back necklace from Etsy.
I wanted timeless, striking makeup. Victoria Percival knew exactly how to achieve that and how best to work with my short blonde hairstyle. She persuaded me to go for a bold lip colour and I’m so glad I did.
Tom wore a light grey, three-piece, suit we had made in Hoi An, Vietnam. We love Vietnam and had this done while on holiday there. His shoes were from Kurt Geiger and we bought him and the groomsmen matching ties from Cos in a dark blue knit.
We found Tom copper cufflinks from Alice Made This and they completed his look perfectly. They are something he’ll definitely wear again.
We love living in East London and it only seemed right to get married here too. Our criteria was that we would get married, and have the reception, in the same venue. Hackney Town Hall was perfect. It was only the second venue we looked at and we booked it there and then. Its art deco features have been beautifully restored and we loved how we were able to work with this in our styling. The old brass details and marble bar worked perfectly with our loose copper and marble scheme.
We were able to separate the venue into the different parts of the day, so our guests didn’t feel like they needed a change of scene by the end of it! Our drinks reception was on a beautiful mezzanine flanked by two sweeping staircases with huge sash windows. The light in the whole venue is just amazing. The small bar next to the dance floor, with dark walls, brass lights, and a backlit marble bar, is an absolute gem.
We wanted a modern feel but without doing too many of the obvious urban wedding trends (just a few!). The venue was art deco, so we didn’t want to try and fight against that by going too industrial. People kept asking us what our “colour scheme” was but, to be honest, we didn’t really have one in particular.
I had this idea of using geometric origami diamonds on each place setting as favours. These were used by guests to exchange for a cocktail at the bar to kick off the evening. So I started early and set about making 90 diamonds with the help of Tom’s Mum. I used black and marble paper with black and copper ink splatters and copper washi tape.
One of my bridesmaids has her own modern sign writing biz, Ink + Ivy. She wrote out all of our menus on acetate sheets and the table numbers, order of the day and table plan on large Perspex sheets which I ordered online. We also had a Perspex menu on the bar for our card basket and our guest book table.
I bought copper wire baskets for cards, confetti cones and even for the baskets of extra toiletries in the ladies and gents.
The place names were by Oh Wonder Calligraphy. I asked Lauren to use black card and a copper ink splatter to tie in with the origami on the tables. I could not have been happier with them and think they made a great keepsake for our guests.
We hired big light up cinema signs from Locke & Busby. They were a little bit different to the usual light up letters and our guests took lots of photos in front of them.
One of the best decisions we made was to have on the day set-up. Lucy from Lula & Rye did an incredible job. I was able to meet with her and talk through all of our plans, give her all of our wedding décor and let her work her magic on the day setting it out like we’d imagined. It meant we could all enjoy the whole day and turn up to a beautifully set up venue.
We knew straight away who our florist would be as soon as we got engaged. I’ve worked with Eram and Aelia from Boom Blooms for years and Tom absolutely loves their work, so it was a very easy decision.
We gave Eram full creative licence and she had this amazing idea to have copper trees as a backdrop when we were saying our vows. The shaping was architectural with the texture of the blooms and the negative spacing created a contemporary wedding arch. With nothing but a sketch on a piece of paper, Tom’s Dad made us two beautiful three “stem” copper tree constructions in just an afternoon! The trees were created with magnolia branches, each wired with flowers in a palette of blush, white and green. Eram used Coral Charm and Festiva Maxima peonies, Juliet and Vuvuzela roses, Cymbidium orchids, Bleeding Hearts vines and Amaranthus.
The tables had smokey grey glass bottles in different sizes that we hired, along with copper cutlery from Classic Crockery. Each bottle was filled with the same style branches wired with flowers, but each table was slightly different.
The bouquets were absolutely incredible; I’ve never seen a bouquet like mine! It was a front facing bouquet with blousy and petite blooms in a blush palette, with succulents and twisted birch. The bridesmaids’ had smaller versions in white and green. The groomsmen and Dads had succulent buttonholes and Tom had a Juliet rose buttonhole.
The Wedding Party
Finding the bridesmaids dresses was fairly painless. We initially thought they’d look great in separates but realised that trying to find the right combination for everyone’s figure was a challenge. Then, my sister found the dresses which fit the bill in Oasis – a separates look in the colours we were after. They all wore their own black strappy shoes and Eram provided some extra flowers to put in their hair which Moira Borg expertly placed in the loose, low updo styles she created for them.
We asked the groomsmen to wear their own grey suits, white shirts and shoes. We bought them all a slim dark blue wool tie from Cos which looked super sharp with the succulent buttonholes.
Having been very chilled all morning, I felt a pang of nerves just before my Dad and I walked down the aisle. Then as soon as I saw Tom, I felt totally relaxed and so happy to have everyone there to watch us tie the knot. We both just grinned at each other through the whole thing.
I walked down the aisle to “33 God” by Bon Iver and the recessional was “(Your love keeps lifting me) Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson.
We took quite a long time choosing our readings and went for “Love” by Roy Croft, “One Thing at Least” by James McAuley and “Instructions for life in the New Millennium” by the Dalai Lama.
The music was really important to us and we were recommended DJ Mikey Snooze by a friend. He had a really relaxed approach, had a coffee with us to chat about our taste in music and how we could also make the whole set inclusive to all our guests, old and young. He told us he was a DJ that did weddings and that was really evident in his set. He did such an amazing job and everyone was up dancing all night, including us!
We hired a Polaroid camera from Occasion Queens and borrowed an extra one from a friend. We asked people to take photos, stick them in our guest book and write a personal message. This was all in the bar and it really captured the evening and all the guests having a great time. It turned out better than we expected!
We love food so it was another element that was very important to us. We were given a list of approved caterers for Hackney Town Hall. This actually helped us to whittle down our choice quickly and as soon as I spoke with Shonagh from Mimosa, I was confident we would go with them.
They are a small company with a handful of cafés in London and a catering division. Through the whole process, nothing was too much trouble and Shonagh really helped me to put together the whole schedule for the day, working through all the details.
They served canapés with Cava after the ceremony (smoked salmon roulade, ham & leek tarts, pork rillettes with blackcurrant crostini, falafels & mini stuffed mushrooms). One of my sisters is vegan and they were able to suggest some great canapé choices that would appeal to non-vegans too.
We had huge platters of antipasti on the tables to start, with dips, fresh breads, charcuterie and lots of pickles, olives, roasted aubergine etc. Then, we had a plated main course of slow roasted pork & dauphinoise potato. Everyone commented on how delicious the food was and that there was so much of it!
As a cake designer, I wanted to design a statement cake for our wedding. I love the texture you get when frosting concrete cakes, it’s a softness that looks incredible teamed with super sharp buttercream corners. Concrete cakes are a developing trend in Australia and I’d love to see the style grow here. Cake design is definitely moving more towards tall, single tiers and I knew this deconstructed look would look really striking on my friend’s geometric glassware, from her company, Monti by Monti.
Working with your florist is a must for me on a wedding cake. So, along with Eram, we designed the cake tablescape with three tall single tier cakes, each with simple concrete buttercream, using the glassware as cake stands, and accented minimally with copper, flora and fauna. Lucy and Eram set it up beautifully on the day and I was so pleased with how it turned out, even in my absence!
The three cakes each had a different flavour. I went for my most popular, crowd-pleasing flavours and baked chocolate cake with hazelnut praline buttercream, carrot cake with tahini cream cheese frosting and vanilla cake with coconut buttercream and passion fruit curd.
Instead of having a dessert, we served evening nibbles along with the cake, which people enjoyed throughout the evening.
I have followed Camilla for years on social media and love her classic, timeless style. We decided to go for a pre-wedding shoot that was so worthwhile. Tom in particular felt much more at ease with the thought of being “papped” all day and it meant we were both so much more relaxed at the wedding having met Camilla already.
Camilla was really great to work with and we had a good laugh with her on the day. We also opted for a second photographer and Kelsie headed over to shoot the boys before they left for the venue and she slotted in really well with everyone too.
Having a videographer was one of the last decisions we made during our planning but it’s probably the best decision we made. We didn’t want a traditional style videographer which put me off having one, initially. I’m so glad we found This Modern Revelry.
Laura and Alan totally blew us away with their work. They could not have got what we wanted more perfectly. They captured all the small moments we didn’t even realise were happening, all the laughs and made it into a video that suited the urban location and vibe of the day. I cried when I saw the highlights video. They absolutely nailed it. I had no idea they’d stayed so late until they came and said goodbye!
Take it from a self confessed perfectionist, that as much as you might plan your day down to the last minutiae, something will always be slightly different to how you expected it to be, on the day. For example, our napkins were supposed to be grey, not lilac (I really hate lilac!) It really didn’t matter on the day when I saw them and you will have the BEST day regardless of the small details. So, try not to lose sight of the purpose of the day in your planning – getting hitched and having the most amazing party you’ll ever throw!