Karis the Bride:
We met in London. We’re both support workers for local charities. We wanted a relaxed wedding, on a small budget, and as much fun as possible. The ceremony was at St Leonards Church, Shoreditch. We chose it because it was local but also has the most beautiful interior and grounds. Our friend Pete is our vicar and so naturally he took the service. It was wonderful because he knows us so well, plus all the music was done by our friends so it felt very personal and we are really grateful to all of them for that. Our mums baked scones and flapjacks to serve after the service and we had friends help us out with giving out cold drinks. We couldn’t have done any of it without all of them!
Clothes! My top and skirt for the day was from Ivy and Aster
which I bought at Heart Aflutter
boutique in Hackney. I didn’t want anything too stiff or formal and was inspired by Olivia Palermo’s wedding dress. It was really nice to wear cashmere! I changed into a different top for the evening which was designed by me and one of my bridesmaids Rose (who makes her own lingerie by the way) and was then lovingly sewn together by my mum and eldest sister Keren. We bought the lace from a local market. I wore a simple veil also from Heart Aflutter and I used some of the flowers from the bouquet in my hair. I wasn't ever gonna go for a veil but loved it when I tried it on. My shoes were just pale pink mules from Office
, to match the bridesmaids dresses and also because I didn’t want to hurt my feet too bad!
My friend Sharon Massey is a make up artist and did my hair and make up - she’s amazing.
Luke wore a shirt and trousers from Uniqlo
and a Harris Tweed jacket from ASOS
which was a perfect touch. His shoes were from Clarks
. He gets his hair cut at a turkish barber somewhere on Caledonian road...if that’s helpful! He looked incredible.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids dresses were from Selected Femme
. I wanted them to feel elegant but cool, and not too bridesmaidy...ones that they could wear again. The groomsmen wore shirts from Uniqlo, with their own trousers and jackets. The ties we found on Ebay! Everything else sort of came together naturally.
For flowers we wanted to make our own, so we got up at 5am 2 days before and went to New Covent Garden Flower Market in Vauxhall and hand picked everything. Then my bridesmaids and I spent the day putting them together, definitely recommend it, much more affordable and you can be as creative as you want! Just keep the bouquets somewhere dark and in water until the day of the wedding. We matched the colours in the flowers to the flowers on the groomsmen’s ties.
Photography was a big deal as I do a bit of photography myself. I’d always stalked the pics of this one particular duo, however they weren't available! So I did some more stalking of their twitter feed to see who they followed (figuring they would only follow brilliant people) and came across O&C Photography
! We loved their pictures and I loved even more that they were called Owen and Charis - I never meet other Karis’s - so we booked them straight away. They were WONDERFUL. We wish they lived in London because we’d just hang out with them all the time...plus we couldn’t be happier with the pictures, and everyone commented on what lovely people they were. We couldn’t speak more highly of them!
Our reception venue was The Dickens Inn
at St Katharine Docks. The hosts were amazing and really friendly. They already had fairy lights and bunting so we didn’t add much of our own stuff. They were so accommodating to all our quirks - the best one being instead of a champagne reception we filled the glasses with Guinness, naturally. We decorated the tables with ivy from a friend’s garden (Thanks Nicky!) and candles and jars that we got from Ebay. We didn’t do favours as we felt they could easily be forgotten and we wanted something that really made our guests feel valued and loved. So instead we wrote everyone a personal thank you note that went inside an envelope which was their place setting. On the note we wrote three things we really liked about that person. It went down a treat!
The cake decision was easy - Luke’s sister Ruth is an expert baker so she made us a Guinness cake (sensing a theme?) and it was unbelievable. We actually took the top layer home and froze it, and had it at New Year, we definitely recommend doing that! We had a pizza buffet because the Dickens Inn has a great pizzeria. For the evening snacks we just got loads of cheese and crackers from M&S
and lots of our friends brought homemade tray bakes that the ladies from Dickens Inn displayed beautifully for all of us to eat.
Two of our friends DJ’d for us and did a superb job. We chose Van Morrison - Days Like This for our first dance, it’s one of Luke’s favourites and you can’t have an Irish wedding without Van Morrison. Then we pretty much partied the night away!
The most special thing about our wedding was definitely the people who came. Having all our loved ones in one room is something you’ll never forget and really it was all of them who made it the best day ever. People say in London it’s hard to do a wedding on a budget but if you’re willing to put the hard work in (plus with a little help from your friends) then you can save a lot and also feel like you’ve made it exactly how you want. Our main advice would be don’t sweat the small stuff - you’ll never remember it in the months after anyway. Make sure your family and guests feel loved, put on some great music, drink some Guinness and you’ll have the best time!