I love the quintessentially vintage vibe to this chic London wedding. That header image above captured by Eliza Claire of the Bride, Groom and bridesmaids, lead by a bag piper, (and followed by the wedding guests) strolling along the city streets is pure magic. What a procession. And what fabulous fashion. Just look at those hives, and how exquisite is Kayleigh’s Stephanie Allen Martine gown? No wonder she knew it was ‘the one’ as soon as she put it on.
The historic Museum of the Order of St Johns where Kayleigh and Steve held there ceremony is simply breathtaking and makes a gorgeous and incredibly romantic backdrop for the nuptials, plus only a short walk away the stylish Peasant gastro pub decked in bunting and bright florals was the only choice for this couples celebration.
Also make sure you read to the end to ensure you don’t miss out on the incredible piece of advice bride Kayleigh shares. I certainly wish I’d done this on my big day.
Kayleigh the Bride: As soon as I tried on the Martine, I knew I’d found “the dress”. I was tending towards grecian, floaty styles but on trying the Martine, my bridesmaids and mum observed how my whole demeanor changed as I yanked back the changing room curtain and proceeded to strut up and down Stephanie Allin’s shop. It was a dress that better reflected my personality whilst remaining feminine. It also showed off my curves, something going into the process, I thought I’d want to conceal. I chose the Martine with the embroidered sequined lace, which gave a really subtle sparkle as I moved. Being able to move freely and dance on my wedding day was important to me and the dress allowed me to do that whilst still giving structure and showing off my figure.
Special mention to Stephanie and the ladies at Chiltern Street. They were always helpful, honest and so down to earth. They planned the stages of the dress alterations perfectly so I always knew where I stood in the process and there was no panic.
The Grooms Fashion & accessories
Steve wanted a suit that was modern and sharp-looking. Seeing as half his wardrobe is from there anyway, Reiss seemed an obvious starting point. Having chosen a suit he liked, Reiss were able to make all the adjustments he needed.
He finished the look off with a tie and pocket square (also from Reiss) and a pair of shoes from the English shoemakers, Barker on Regent Street. He also bought personalised tie clips for himself and his groomsmen from Men’s Society via notonthehighstreet.com
We decided early on that we wanted to get married in London. It’s mid way between our families and most of our friends live here. It was important that our friends could catch the tube home and not have the faff and expense of having to trek outside of the capital. Also, working long hours meant it was more low maintenance to meet the venue owners and arrange stuff.
Our ceremony was held at the Museum of the Order of St John. We were taken away by how beautiful and old it was – all kind of hidden in the middle of trendy Clerkenwell. We liked it because it felt like a church but was a secular building. What’s more it was a short walk from the Peasant, which made for a noisy procession led by our friend Paul on his bagpipes.
We researched a few pubs but knew early on that The Peasant was the one for us. We loved that we could hire the whole place and switch upstairs for the meal and back down for the party – good for an atmosphere reset. We wanted our guests to all feel at ease, especially as most people hadn’t met before. A pub is a great base for this as everyone knows what to do when they arrive.
Our colour scheme was “colour” – any type, as much as possible and no rules. Something we loved about the Peasant is that it was already highly decorated with bunting, movie posters and art which took away a lot of stress as we didn’t have to dress the space from scratch. Steve’s mum and Auntie kindly made some new bunting which we dressed the upstairs restaurant in the pub – a nice personal touch amongst the existing decor.
In the spirit of colour, the flowers were no exception. I just wanted loads of beautiful blooms against the dress; the same for the bridesmaids. Ellie at The Flower Appreciation Society was great at pulling this together – a jumble yet complementary range of flowers.
For our table decorations, we collected empty jars in the months before to create a mix and match look. Steve, myself and Steve’s mum (a retired florist!) all got up at the crack of dawn to get the best deals at the New Covent Garden Flower Market. Steve’s mum then spent most of the day before carefully arranging the flowers and keeping them healthy in buckets.
The Wedding Party Fashion
To keep our groomsmen as comfortable as possible (and to keep costs down), we asked them to wear their own suits. But to single them out as groomsmen, and to give them a visual link to Steve, we bought them all matching ties and tie clips. They also wore the same buttonhole as Steve. We found this was a great way to keep them feeling like a group, but without having to all wear matching suits.
The bridesmaids dresses were black, sparkly cocktail numbers from Reiss which mirrored the shape of my dress. This lead to a 60s girl group vibe, which we continued with the beehive hair. The make-up was very very classic with emphasis on the eyes with neutral lip. Jo and Ric did an amazing job rotating us all!
We had a non-religious ceremony conducted by a wonderful registrar called Suzannah Stack from Islington council. We played classic covers of modern tunes by the Vitamin String Quartet. We exited the beautiful Museum of the Order of St John to Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours. Post ceremony, we took the time to have some photos with just Steve and I in one of the smaller rooms which meant we could a) enjoy a quiet moment together and b) allow everyone else to exit the Museum and greet us outside with bubbles and ribbons.
The entertainment was all about Lee (AKA DJ Catfight). We met him before to discuss a loose playlist but he bought the roof down with his range of tunes – from Abba to Taylor Swift, he covered it all and kept the dance floor packed the whole night. Couldn’t recommend him highly enough.
A big reason for choosing the Peasant was the amazing food. As well as tasting great, it also took the stress out of having to negotiate outside caterers. We also loved the way that people could have a choice of 3 dishes on the day. People were greeted with homemade scotch eggs and Pimms on arrival – another great icebreaker after the ceremony stuff.
We weren’t very fussed about a traditional wedding cake so went for two giant Colin the Caterpillar cakes from M&S. They were more fun to look at and were a trip down memory lane for lots of people (plus saved us pennies).
When it came to photography, we both knew exactly what we wanted – somebody we wouldn’t notice was there! Neither of us particularly enjoy having our photo taken. So we wanted somebody who could capture the whole day in a relaxed observational style, rather than lots of staged, set-up shots. After an extensive search online, we found Eliza. After meeting her for a coffee we knew we wanted her to be at our wedding. She was so friendly and relaxed that we wanted her there as a guest as much as a photographer! On the day she worked with her assistant to ensure they were able to cover as much as possible. She gave us a clear plan of how long we’d need to set aside for the more formal family shots and was great at sticking to these timings. We couldn’t have been happier with the results and couldn’t recommend her highly enough. She even set up a photo booth section in a small corner of the pub to allow guests to take their own hots in the evening.
We wrote down all the little memories and moments from the day when we got home. We’ve forgotten half of them so it’s nice to have them to look back on.
You may think that 4 hours is enough time to get three girls ready but the time flew by so fast, so factor in as much as you can so you don’t have to run across London traffic to get to your ceremony.
Photography by Eliza Claire
- Dress Designer & Boutique Stefanie Allen – Martine
- Necklace Tiffany & Co.
- Earrings No. 1 by Jenny Packham at Debenhams
- Bridal Shoes Benjamin Adams – Minnie
- Grooms Suits Reiss
- Grooms Shoes Barker
- Tie Clips Mens Society
- Bridesmaid Dresses Reiss
- Venue The Museum of the Order of St John
- The Pheasant
- Florist The Flower Appreciation Society
- New Covent Garden Flower Market
- Entertainment DJ Catfight
- Stationery Feel Good Invites
- Hair Square Roots
- Makeup Jo Feeeman
- Cake M&S Colin the Caterpillar Cake