Syon Park always manages to take my breath away as do emotion filled captures by Chris Barber Photography, so it is an absolute pleasure to put together Jon & Oli's stylish wedding there. Not only are their Alexander McQueen suits totally epic, but so is their attention to detail. They include SO many of the hottest wedding trends, from perspex signs, to concrete cakes and succulent plants, but what I absolutely love the most is all the 80s references they've included too. Their action figure centrepieces will appease to the kid in all of us, and have you reminiscing of your own old childhood toys and loves. They are definitely a reminder to have EXACTLY what you love on your own day too. So without further a do I'll allow you to pore over these gorgeous grooms and their epic wedding full of love.
AttireOli the Grooms: Our suits are from Alexander McQueen, and it was love at first sight. We knew they wouldn't be to everyone's taste but we thought to hell with it. I never dreamt of wearing a white jacket, in fact, it was the furthest from my mind. I loved the black on black combo and Jon went classic. The black and white worked for us, we matched and still managed to get our own personality in there. Our cufflinks are from the same Alexander McQueen collection and the shirts from Hugo Boss. Hand-tied bow ties were a must, and whilst we both ended up with black there's surprisingly not much choice out there in terms of size and fabrics on the high street so we turned to Mrs Bow Tie. The shoes! I have a bit of shoe addiction so I dragged Jon around London's finest. It didn't take much dragging however as we were soon sipping a whisky at Jimmy Choo, prancing around in a pair of patent-leather studded derbys to my heart's content.
RingsThis felt like a journey through middle earth, but thankfully we found McCaul's, an amazing goldsmiths in Clerkenwell. We might have been their most fussy clients but they persevered and found a unique material called Tantalum which is naturally dark in colour, so it completely fit the brief. Besides, after they told us Nasa use it in spacecrafts we didn't need much convincing.
Kids OutfitsGethin and Evan's suits came from John Lewis, along with bow ties and pocket squares from Mrs Bow Tie, and Freya's Dress was from Monsoon. We stuck them all in white Converse which looked so cool and meant they could run around all day in comfort.
VenueWe chose London because it has a special place in our hearts and we wanted everyone to join us in the place we call home. Syon was a contrast to anything else we saw, including the Barbican and the Design Museum, so perhaps an odd choice considering. It was the perfect venue for us because it has art and history in abundance, the dramatic architecture is set in beautiful grounds, and is just so swanky - and swanky was the order of the day. The ceremony took place in the Great Hall followed by the reception in the Great Conservatory. We came down the aisle to The Imperial March from Star Wars, Darth Vader's theme by John Williams and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The moment we entered the room and the music began, our guests broke out into this overwhelming roar. We couldn't have been happier, it was epic. Good weather was never a guarantee but we managed to get thunder while saying our vows, followed by glorious sunshine just in time for canapés in the courtyard. We can't thank the team at Syon enough, they were incredible and we really couldn't have done it without them. There was a moment when we had to switch off and let everyone get to work, so when Laura and Victoria came driving over to our hotel in a golf buggy to collect some last minute things we knew we were in good hands.
Theme and DecorWe tried so hard to find a theme, but what seemed to work for everyone else didn't work for us. So one evening, doodling on a bank statement, as you do, our logo emerged and kick-started a rebellion. Our theme, or lack of one, just manifested into this eclectic mix of everything we loved. We grew up in the 80's so our centrepieces were action figures from our childhood and each table was named accordingly. Toptable was Masters of the Universe, there was X-Men, Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Star Trek, Thundercats, Alien and Batman. Our favours were lego keyrings that we handpicked for every guest which was just so much fun. Instead of flowers, we went for plants to match the cactus and succulents in the conservatory, so we bought a 3D printed silicone mold from Bold Maker Studio and handmade 30 concrete icosahedron plant pots. They were all unique and reflected the geometry of our logo. The Philippe Starck chairs were non-negotiable and really helped tie everything else together. We had perspex cylinders and cubes that contained things like welsh cakes and fizz whiz, perspex name tags and a perspex table plan that was printed in white ink. Oh and not forgetting the flamingo! We got engaged in Hawaii and became a bit obsessed with flamingos, hence the neon flamingo light and flamingo stirrers and napkins. A bit of a cliché but together with the neon lightsabers we were bringing the 80s back.
EntertainmentWe're quite particular about our music, so opted for a DJ through Yes Events with a strict playlist that included everything from Led Zeppelin to Bonnie Tyler. The photo and video booth was out of this world. We were looking for a showstopper when everyone walked into the conservatory, and this was it. It's a stunning replica of a 1929 police box that looks remarkably like a Tardis, and due to its awesome mirror interior, it's also bigger on the inside. There's only one like it in the country and it was absolutely worth it.
FoodCreate were the first caterers we met and everyone else just didn't quite fit the bill after that. We did ended up spending more than we budgeted, but the bottom line was that Create just cared more, they really understood what we wanted and they sealed the deal with their attention to detail. We started out planning everything with the lovely Sophie and she really did pull out all the stops. Rachel was with us on the big day and she was just amazing and so attentive, together with her team they were superb.
DrinksWe decided to do a free bar early on and planned everything around it, so made savings where we could to give everyone a good time. We're huge gin lovers so it was mainly stocked with a good range of our favourites and a few other spirits, wine, and beer. The gin went down a storm, everyone loved the unusual flavours, Pink Pepper was the most popular. All our wine and mixers were on sale or return with Majestic who conveniently had a store across the road from the venue. We highly recommend them, for value and for their range of wines, they were so helpful. We got mates rates at Brew Dog but completely underestimated our guests love of gin and ended up with quite a few cases of beer leftover. We're not complaining!
CakeWe met Krishanthi at Syon's open day. Her cakes not only look impressive but are mouthwateringly good, we've not tasted cake like it. We threw some ideas around and it wasn't until we started making the plant pots that we had the idea for the concrete cake. Krishanthi is an amazing artist, her sugar work skills are insanely detailed, so as a contrast to the minimalist exterior she handmade edible succulents. We were blown away!
PhotographyChris Barber is awesome and his style of photography is awesome. He's such a nice guy and a fun person to be around so he put everyone at ease. He was the photographer at our friend's wedding a few years ago so we didn't hesitate or bother looking for anyone else and just hoped he was available. Luckily he had a couple of dates free so we got in there quick. We were even luckier because accompanying Chris was the equally talented Alline Beatrici and together they were amazing. We will cherish our photos forever.
Second Shooter: Beatrici Photography | Suits: Alexander McQueen | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bow Ties: Mrs Bow Tie | Rings: McCaul | Venue: Syon Park | Bell Jars: I Love Retro | Plant Pots: Bold Maker Studio | Neon Flamingo: Selfridges | Photo Booth: Police Bob Photo Booth | Catering: Create Food | Wine: Majestic | Beer: Brew Dog | Cake: Cakes by Krishanthi | Entertainment: Yes Events