How beautiful is Katie?! The relaxed fit of her dress is just gorgeous and you’d never know it was in fact a bargainous purchase from Coast. It just goes to show that YOU know your style best, so whether your dress is £10,000 or £100, if it feels right – then go for it.
That was pretty much the whole ethos of Katie and Ryan’s East London shindig anyway, they chose a venue that celebrated their love of music, allowed them to have a pizza van and just generally turn the blank canvas space into a cosy, rustic wedding heaven. Enjoy this one lovelies, it’s laid back and stylish, with a big dose of East End charm.
Katie the Bride: For my dress I was after something, simple, elegant and timeless and I found it online in the Coast sale. I took my sister with me to try it on, there was only one left in the store and it was my size (and the name of it was Kate!!!) It was the first dress I tried and I fell in love with it. It was meant to be! I also had a second dress for the evening, a similar shape to the first but covered in sequins – a real party dress. My shoes were from Rachel Simpson, I love their vintage look. I also bought shoe clips for them which clipped onto the front and turned them into something really special. I wanted trainers for the evening – I fell in love with the Kate Spade glitter Keds, the ribbon laces make them look so bridal!
Jewellery wise all the pieces I wore were all very personal. I wore a necklace borrowed from my nanny which was a present to her from my grandpa. I have always loved it, it was my something borrowed. My earrings were a present from my aunty and being blue topaz they were my something blue. I wore a bracelet by Bill Skinner which my Mum and Dad bought for me to wear on my hen do, they also bought Ryan cufflinks by the same maker for his stag, Ryan also wore these on the wedding day. I was given a silver sixpence from Ryan’s grandad’s collection. His grandad passed away earlier in the year so this was something very special. My florist gave me fresh flowers that matched my bouquet for my hair on the day. They looked really feminine and are something that will never go out of style.
Ryan’s suit was Kenneth Cole, which we picked up in House of Fraser. His tie was from Libertys. Ryan’s brother Josh bought him a pocket watch to wear on the day and a feather pin which Ryan and both his brothers wore to represent his Granddad. Ryan also had on him his Granddad’s handkerchiefs.
Our chosen venue was the Pickle Factory in Hackney, London. We spent a long time hunting for a venue that would suit what we both wanted as well as work with a tight budget in London. We didn’t want a traditional venue. Ryan is passionate about music and runs a club night in London so he wanted somewhere that had a decent sound system and a place that would let us party into the small hours. My requirements were to have somewhere a bit alternative and untraditional. We both wanted a very relaxed feel to the day without too much formality. The Pickle Factory, (which is usually a music venue) ticked all the boxes for us. They were extremely flexible and accommodating and also had the best bar staff in London who kept everyone topped up! They also let us use their sister venue across the road (the Oval Space) for some pictures with the bridesmaids and groomsmen and a few intimate shots of the two of us.
We didn’t have any colour scheme as I think sometimes it can look a bit too contrived. Instead we went with a sort of theme. William Morris, is one of my favourite designers and I love his floral designs, and as Ryan is very green fingered, we made choices with a botanical theme in mind. The bridesmaid’s dresses for example were from Uniqlo but used Liberty floral Prints. Ryan’s tie was from Liberty with a floral design, and the groomsmen’s ties were chosen based on that. I am quite crafty and I knew I wanted to make presents for our guests. I sewed 72 napkins and edged them with material that had floral patterns. We made our table centre pieces with succulent plants and also give out small succulents out as favours. The venue was also dressed with loads of flowers and foliage that I picked up from new Covent Garden market.
We chose That Flower Shop to do the bouquets and buttonholes. I loved their arrangements and they were also a local East London florist. As I had no colour scheme I was a bit vague with what I wanted. A lot of the flowers that I liked turned out to be unavailable due to the changing of the season (October wedding). I showed them my Pinterest board and asked them to create bouquets and buttonholes with the same ‘feel’. I wasn’t sure what they would look like really until they turned up. I was so pleased when they turned up on the day, they did a brilliant job of interpretation a very indecisive and vague bride and got it spot on. The day before the wedding I got up at 6am and went to New Covent Garden market and picked up a load of flowers that were then used to decorate the venue.
A church wedding wasn’t for us, so we set about searching for a registry office. We chose Islington Town Hall for the ceremony because it was so beautiful and not too far from the reception venue. The ceremony was very important to us as we have been together for 15 years already so getting married was a momentous occasion. We tried to make the reception as personal as possible. Our nans were our witnesses, both our mums did a reading which we chose specially for each of them. Our Bridesmaid Alice, who is a writer, wrote something which neither of us read beforehand, so the first time we heard it was on the day and she had us both in floods of tears! It was a very special moment. In fact the whole ceremony was very emotional.
As Ryan runs a music night, a lot of our friends are DJ’s. Very handy. It was great, as the venue already had all the equipment. We just asked our friends to bring a selection of records, and then they took it in turns to jump on the decks. We had disco, funk, soul, garage, 90’s RnB as well as pop classics like Bowie and Prince. It worked really well, the music was amazing and got everyone was up dancing!
For the food we didn’t want anything formal. We chose pizza because, who doesn’t like pizza?! Our caterers were a London based pizza company called Well Kneaded. They operate out of a van and all the pizzas are cooked in a wood fired pizza oven. Their menu is seasonal, but they let us pick out our pizzas to give it a more personal touch. They also provided salad and charcuterie boards for us. All delicious!
Ryan’s Mum was amazing and made all our canapes. We were really struggling on what to do for puddings and then my Dad offered to make them for us. They are both total superstars. For our evening food we did a cheese wedding cake with crackers and my Mum and Dad got a lot of chutneys and jams from Kent where we both grew up, which went down really well. This was served alongside our wedding cake which was made single handed by my cousin Sean. A non-negotiable for both of us was a free bar. Ryan’s Mum was very generous and did a trip to France to get all the alcohol for the day. It was a really nice surprise for our guests.
Ryan and I are both very awkward in front of cameras, so we didn’t want too many posed pictures. Our photographers were Emily and Steve who I found online. As soon as I saw their work I knew I wanted them to shoot our wedding. We loved their informal and candid style. It was also great to have two photographers and they could capture more of the day. We couldn’t be happier with the pictures, they really captured the emotions of the day.
We chose to do a lot of the wedding ourselves to save money but also we wanted to feel really personal to us. My brother Adam worked his socks off making things for us. He made wooden planters for our centrepieces, all the signs to go around the venue, menu boards to go on the tables, and spent hours cutting and sanding logs into slices for the cakes to sit on.
I spent days at my sewing machine making a napkin for each of our guests because I wanted to make something personal for each of them to have and take away. My bridesmaid Louise helped me to iron all the material. We made our own labels for our succulent favours and got all our friends to help drawn an individual picture onto each one.
We had a day where our families chipped in with, planting centrepieces, tying ribbon around cutlery, tying brown paper around succulents and ironing napkins. Our bridesmaid Kas did the graphic design for our invites.
We didn’t want to spend much money on expensive cars, so we caught Uber Lux’s to the venue. Uber were great and gave us a code for our guests to use to help them get around London.
Accept help. You can’t do it alone because you’d go insane. If someone offer to help in anyway – accept it. Planning a wedding takes way more effort than you Imagine it does, so be prepared!
Make sure you spent a few minutes with those who you really love on the day, your nearest and dearest, and make some special memories with those people.