This is the perfect mix of 'timeless classic' meets 'modern contemporary' and I can't get enough. The gorgeous crisp white and lush greenery colour scheme, enhanced with gold accents is simply divine and compliments the architecture at ICA in London beautifully. The fireplace and cake table garlands in particular are botanical masterpieces, and I just love the idea to have the table names as their families wedding dates. The impeccable style continues in the fashion, with beautiful bride Katie opting for an exquisite bespoke bridal gown, and groom Nick donning our favourite look for groomsmen at the moment, a black tie suit. As well as poring over the beautiful pictures by Kylee Yee, make sure you read the full wedding report, as Bride Katie has an off the chart adorable tale to tell regarding her Dad, that'll make you feel all fuzzy inside.
Our StoryKatie the Bride: Nick and I are both interior designers and met at work in London in 2011. I had only met Nick via email as he was based in the Abu Dhabi office, he was then relocated back to London and that’s how we met. I had assumed he was about 50, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out we were the same age, only 12 days younger than him! We became firm friends pretty quickly and it developed into more over 5 months. After 5 months his visa ran out and he had to go back to Australia, he was there for 6 months and whilst we were apart we realised that if we could be apart for 6 months on opposite sides of the world, we were in this for the long haul! We ‘ve been together happily ever since.
ProposalNick the Groom: When Katie and I met she was living in a hotel in Waterloo, London. We spent so much time getting to know each other there that it seemed like the perfect place to propose to Katie. It was the 4 year anniversary of our first date and I sent a cab to collect her from work around 4pm, which she didn’t expect! I also hid a letter in her bag in the morning describing where I was waiting for her and asked her to come and find me! Katie the Bride: When I arrived at the hotel, I knew he would be waiting for me in my old room. Sure enough, when I got up there he was waiting for me on the balcony, playing music from the band we had seen on our first date. I think he was pretty nervous as he just went straight into the proposal, I hadn’t even put my bag down! There was also a half naked old couple sunbathing on the balcony opposite, which I couldn’t stop staring at! It was so funny. Something funny always happens with us. It was such a special moment and he had really thought about all the little details. We spent the next hour sitting on the balcony drinking champagne and laughing, looking out over the Southbank.
The Brides FashionWhen it came to choosing my dress it took a long time to decide what I actually wanted! I’m pretty indecisive! After trying on a lot of different dresses I chose to get one made as I would have more control over the design. I wanted something quite simple and classic, a bit like my everyday style. Melanie and I decided to go for quite a simple fishtail shape with a deep V neckline to give it a modern twist. She overlaid a lace panel onto beaded fabric to give it a bit of detail. I kept my hair down and wavy, which is pretty much how I wear it daily! It was really important to me that I looked like myself on the day. I chose some Jimmy Choo heels and bag to go with my dress, it felt so special having a pair of designer heels that I had always wanted! I don’t really wear much jewellery in my day-to-day life, so I just wore my engagement ring and diamond stud earrings that had been made from the diamonds from my Nans engagement ring. My something old!
The Grooms FashionNick the Groom: I’m not a suit guy, plus I’m in a creative job so most days I don’t even wear a collar; but for some reason I really liked the idea of wearing a Tux at our Wedding. I’d only ever had about 2 suits and they were pretty ill fitted and cheap, so I was keen to get a tailored suit as I knew it was probably the only time I’d ever do it. I was referred to Oscar Hunt through a friend, and the experience was awesome…they were really accommodating and well priced, and the head fitter Steve Barkla just made the whole thing a great experience. I was very happy with the final product and know I know how a suit is supposed to fit, I don’t think I can wear one off the rack again! I also wore tasselled loafers and no socks to modernise the look too.
The VenueKatie the Bride: When we started looking for wedding venues we knew that we wanted to get married in central London as it held so many special memories for us, but a lot of the places we looked at were very pretentious and over the top. As soon as we saw the ICA we knew it was the right fit. It had such a nice feel and it’s a really bright space with high ceilings. It has such beautiful original features, but is also quite modern. As we’re both interior designers it was important that we loved the space and that it had some meaning behind it. The space is usually used as an art gallery and is a John Nash building so it felt pretty awesome to be getting married there! The balconies overlooking The Mall were also a massive draw for us, it was amazing to be stood on the balcony drinking champagne and looking over St James’ park.
The Colour Scheme/ DecorAs the ICA is such a beautiful venue with lots of amazing original features that we didn’t want to distract from that, so we kept the colour scheme and styling very simple and classic, lots of greenery and white & grey tones. We mainly wanted to use flowers as the decorations and styling. As Nick is from Australia, it was important to incorporate that through the styling. We included lots of eucalyptus into the flowers. We wanted to do something a bit different with the table numbering, so we chose to use the years that our parents and all our grandparents got married, including 2017 for us too. We then managed to get a photo of each of the 6 couples on their wedding days and had them framed and placed on the fireplace at the reception. We had a flower wall made as a backdrop for photos for the guests and then later on for the photobooth –The Light Box London. It served as the perfect backdrop for photos and our guests loved it!
FlowersWe wanted to use a lot of greenery with white and grey tones. Ami at Chic Flower Designs was amazing and captured our vision perfectly. She kept the look very soft and loose, which gave the flowers a very romantic feel. My bouquet included peonies, jasmine, eucalyptus, roses and succulents. Peonies are my favourite flower and they happened to be in season at the time. At the ceremony we had a circular hanging piece with foliage and flowers above our heads at the end of the aisle, we really liked the simple design and that it symbolised unity. At the reception we had the tables dressed with lots of vases at varied heights with floating candles and white roses, hydrangea and peonies. We also used succulents as place settings for each person. We have lots of succulents at home so it felt like a nice idea to include them into the day. There is a beautiful fireplace in the room we had our reception and we dressed with lots of greenery, flowers and candles in hurricane vases to make it feel very intimate. We added the photo frames of our parents and grandparents on top of the mantel. We also had lots of candles dotted around the venue too. The main staircase is the most amazing space at the ICA and we felt that we needed to dress this space too. Our florist decorated the banister with a garland of greenery and flowers from top to bottom, this made the space feel really considered.
Wedding Party FashionWhen were choosing the bridesmaids dresses we wanted something very neutral and a simple style. I wanted the dresses to be a similar shape to my dress, so I chose simple strapless dresses with a fishtail bottom. The girls have different hair colours and skin tones and the nude colour seemed to suit everyone well and looked really elegant. For the groomsmen we wanted suits that were a simplified version of what Nick wore, we chose slim fit suits from Marks and Spencer and had the guys wear black ties instead of bow ties.
The CeremonyWhen we were thinking about our ceremony it was really important to us to make it as personal to us as possible. We looked into finding a celebrant and we found Holly Smith. We met her via Skype as we were living in Australia at the time. As soon as we met, we knew she was perfect to conduct our ceremony. Holly included lots of lovely stories into the ceremony and also included a friends and family vow to make everyone feel included. We chose to sing ‘I wanna hold your hand’ by the Beatles and it was one of the most uplifting moments of the day and even when we were having our photos outside our guests broke into the song again! We also included a hand fasting ceremony, which is where the term ‘tie the knot’ comes from. Coincidentally my grandparents had done the same thing at their wedding 60 years before, which felt very special. I also walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘Crazy in Love’ one of my favourite songs! We wanted to include old classics with our music choices, but also more modern songs. We walked out together to ‘Stevie Wonder – For Once in My Life’.
The EntertainmentAfter the ceremony, we had champagne and canapés in the private garden opposite the venue. The ICA gave us the option of hiring the private garden and we immediately said yes! It felt really cool to be able to get access to one of the private gardens in central London that you would never normally be able to do! It didn’t feel like we were in central London, it was a nice bit of calm after the ceremony. For the evening entertainment, we hired the band Blue Juice from Brighton. We couldn’t have asked for a better band! There were people of all ages at the wedding and everyone was up and dancing all night! Their music was so varied, one of them even rapped at one point! One of the most special moments of the day was just after our first dance. As we finished we heard the beginnings of ‘Isn’t she lovely’ by Stevie Wonder playing, we were both pretty confused at this point as the band were supposed to start playing. The next thing we know, my Dad is standing where the band is with a saxophone in hand and begins to play the whole song perfectly from beginning to end! My Dad and I have had a joke going since I was about 12 years old that he would play the saxophone at my wedding one day. I never for a minute thought he would do it! He learnt to play in 4 weeks! Incredible really. It was such a special moment and that song will forever mean so much to me. The weirdest thing about that song is when my dad and I were in the car on the way to ceremony ‘Isn’t she lovely’ came on the radio and we sang it together to calm my nerves! Funny, as I had no idea what was coming later on!
FoodThe ICA has a café that is run by Peyton & Byrne and they offer catering as part of the package. We had been to the café before when visiting and were really happy to hear they would be making the food. It was pretty important to us that the food could be as close to restaurant quality as possible and the catering team really delivered on our wishes and the food was faultless on the day. They were really accommodating with all of our requests and were even happy to design a new main dish for us, which included some of our favourite foods. We also made sure the wine that was served was Australian as a nod to where Nick is from. To start, we had smoked trout w/watercress mousse; for mains, French trimmed lamb cutlets; and for dessert, a salted caramel tart. All 3 dishes were brilliant, and we still have people compliment us on the food! We had our wedding cake made by Wildflower Cakes and found her on Instagram. Her cakes are so beautiful and simple, exactly what we wanted. She even makes the sugar flowers, which look exactly like real ones! We had a 2 tier cake one was carrot cake and the other was coconut sponge with chocolate buttercream.
PhotographerAfter a fair bit of internet research we finally came across Kylee’s instagram page, and after looking through her previous work we knew it was exactly the style of photography we were looking for. We didn’t like our chances of her actually being free on our day, because it seemed she was very popular; but sure enough we got lucky! So when she replied to our enquiry, not only was she free on our day, she was actually going to be in Sydney in 2 weeks time and she was really keen to meet us! We went out for a few drinks, and once we got to know her a bit it was very clear she was the perfect fit for our day, we went home and booked it that night. Kylee was actually one of the very first consultants we booked for the wedding, and she was such a big help to us through the whole process, including advice about other suppliers and ideas. About 4 or 5 months out from the wedding she was coming to Sydney again to photograph another wedding; she made contact with us and even offered to do an engagement shoot for us. This was great practice for the big day, especially for me (Nick) who finds it pretty hard not to be awkward in front of a camera! On the day, Kylee was perfect…she managed to organise and capture all the set photos that we had requested with our families and friends, which at times was like herding cats! But the real beauty of her work was capturing all of these incredible moments during the day that would normally go unnoticed. Half of the time you didn’t even realise she was pointing a camera at you… she even managed to make me (Nick) look natural in a photo! We were so blown away with the end result that it really exceeded our expectations; even when Kylee posted it all to us in Australia it was so nicely packaged and put a lovely finishing touch on an incredible experience!
Advice for organising a wedding long distance (we organised the whole wedding from Sydney)- One of the biggest pieces of advice we could give is giving yourself plenty of time to organise things, it already feels daunting not being in the same place, let alone the same country as the place you’re getting married! - Make sure you have that go-to person for advice or to help out with organising items for the day. Ours was my mum I know I can trust her 100% and her choices were always spot on. She was so great at calming me down too! - Go with your gut instincts. This applies to pretty much every part of the day. I’m so glad we listened to our intuition when choosing suppliers etc. Sometimes you can doubt yourself, but your first instinct is normally right and you won’t regret it! - Take advice from anyone you know that’s gotten married recently. I’ve sent a list of things we did last minute/forgot to do on our day that I wished I’d thought of beforehand. - Take some moments just the two of you to soak up the day, it flies by. One the best moments for us was watching everyone at the reception laughing and getting along. It was a great feeling! - Try not to stress! I know this sounds so cliché, but it’s so true. I am the biggest worrier of all time and I had thought about every single possibility of what could go wrong. On the day, nothing major went wrong at all and we had the greatest day!
Bespoke Gown: Melanie Ford | Engagement Ring: A&S Jewellery | Wedding Ring: KSD | Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Makeup: Jessica Yorke | Hair: Hannah Spencer | Venue: ICA, London | Florist: Chic Flower Designs | Cake: Wildflower Cakes | Caterer: Peyton & Byrne | Stationery: State of Elliot | Entertainment: Blue Juice Band | Photo Booth: The London Lightbox | Celebrant: Holly Smith | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jarlo | Grooms Suit: Marks and Spencer