Spring weddings come pretty close to my all-time favourite wedding season that of Autumn. There’s something so blissfully romantic about big days held at this time of year both from the symbolic viewpoint of new beginnings but also aesthetically too; I mean how can you resist the pillow soft temptations of pink cherry blossom.
Jen and Tom opted for a low-key city affair marrying first in Camden Town Hall before celebrating tying the knot at the Artisan of Clerkenwell. I love the fact that the duo decided to do a ‘first look’ which their photographer Dale Weeks captured so perfectly on camera.
I also can’t help but mention the official un-official bridesmaids who sound epically cool; Jen will reveal more about them below…
The Bride’s Fashion
Jen The Bride: Knowing we were planning on having a relaxed and low-key city wedding, I wanted something very simple. I actually tried this dress on a month before we were engaged in Canada in navy as a potential bridesmaid dress for a friend’s wedding. So a couple weeks after we were engaged I went to a David’s Bridal in London to try on the dress again, this time with the specific thought that it could be my wedding dress. However, the dress was a new design and wasn’t available in any UK stores yet. So I relied on my memory and blindly ordered the dress in ivory and crossed my fingers that it would all work out.
Since my dress was so simple, I wanted a statement piece of jewellery or headpiece to compliment the dress. After much internet searching, I discovered the Australian brand Bride la Boheme and fell in love with one of their handcrafted head pieces. I also liked that it was a subtle nod to where Tom and I met and lived prior to moving to London.
As I ended up spending much less on my outfit than I anticipated, I somehow also justified purchasing a really nice handbag. Otherwise my complete outfit, including alternation costs, would have been less expensive than the groom’s outfit – I didn’t want to be outshone!
The Groom’s Fashion
Tom The Groom: The main part of my outfit was the suit, and for me when buying the suit my decision was based both on the suit and the tailor. I bought the suit from Mark Marengo because from the first time I visited the shop the owner, Neil, was most concerned about getting the right suit for me. I was also really pleased with the little touches, such as the being able to get the buttonhole stitching to match the tie.
We decided to get married at Camden Town Hall sort of on a whim. We had to register our notice to get married, and not being from an EU country, there were specific places we were able to do this. We opted to register our notice at Camden Town Hallas we live in the borough of Camden and we didn’t realise at the time that we already had to know the location of where we wanted to get married – so quickly decided then and there to have the ceremony there.
The decision to have our reception at the Artisan of Clerkenwell was mainly based on two factors, we wanted somewhere close to Camden Town Hall and as we were having a very small wedding with 30 guests we wanted a venue where we weren’t bouncing around in a space that was too large. We liked the open spaces at the Artisan that allowed everyone to mix about but still be together.
We had no formal colour scheme and kept the décor to a minimum. The main decoration we opted to have were colourful paper lanterns that were purchased from Ebay hung throughout the venue. We also liked the existing décor of the Artisan that allowed us to get away with only minimal decorations but felt like the lanterns still made a big impact.
Other than the lanterns, we had minimal other décor. We opted to have a calligrapher make our placecards and loved that our wedding was small enough that we just about got away with only having first names. The vendor I found on Etsy ended up being from the same place that Tom grew up – which was a happy coincidence.
Originally, we decided to forego having any flowers but my wonderful friend, Lily Dou, offered to make a bouquet and boutonniere for us. I gave her free reign and she ended up using roses in white and light pink.
The Wedding Party Fashion
We didn’t opt to have an official wedding party as our wedding was so small but I had two close friends get ready with me the morning of to help keep me relaxed (and to carry my stuff around!). They kept inquiring if we had a colour scheme but I insisted they wear whatever they felt comfortable in. They however decided on their own to both wear navy dresses from Club Monaco as official un-official bridesmaids.
We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet so decided to forego any readings. My entrance was slightly delayed though because as soon as the processional music started the belt on my dress popped open and it took my dad a minute or so to figure out how to fasten it again.
Keeping with our theme of a relaxed and low-key wedding, we opted to use Spotify for our evening dancing needs. We asked all guests to request songs on their RSVP so we ended up with quite a varied playlist!
To us, the most important part of our wedding was to keep our guests well fed and the drinks flowing. When we did our tasting at the Artisan, we liked that we were able to mix and match the menu a bit to our preference. The chef was also very keen to customise the options to our preference as well. We also liked that the guests were able to select their own options for each course.
We opted to have canapes served as soon as guests arrived and a three course sit-down dinner.
As dinner included dessert, we opted to have a cheese wheel cake from cheese from Neal’s Yard Diary. In another subtle nod to the country where we met, we had the cheese served on a beautiful wooden board we purchased in Australia. The cheese was accompanied by a bottle of port from Tom’s birth year which his parents purchased for him when he was a child for a special occasion.
Being relatively new to London, I didn’t know of any photographers from the London area or have referrals from any friends. As such, I took to Google and found Dale. I was really attracted to his photography style and was very excited to learn he was available for our wedding day.
We didn’t have a chance to meet Dale before our wedding day, but he was so friendly and nice that it was like we were old friends when we finally did meet. He fit in so seamlessly throughout the day that some of our wedding guests assumed he was one of our friends or that we at least had met him prior to the day. I think this helped to allow him to capture some great photos of our guests throughout the day.
Being quite risk adverse and knowing we wanted to do photos in a few locations, I over budgeted time throughout the day which I am very thankful for. It helped to keep the relaxed, laid-back wedding vibe I envisioned. We even had a pre-ceremony pub stop to kill some time (and calm the nerves!).
I also really liked doing a first look as I liked having a few moments to spend with each other before the wedding craziness took over. The decision to do this was based more on logistics, as we wanted to do an Abbey Road crossing photo since we live on Abbey Road, but I’m very happy we got to hang out before the ceremony and I felt like it made me less nervous for the ceremony ahead.