I don’t think there are many of us who don’t adore the beautiful designs of Needle & Thread. Their dresses are embellished, elegant, feminine and really wearable, making them the perfect choice for stylish brides and the perfect choice for gorgeous Laura and her relaxed city wedding to Nicolas.
The French duo decided to bring their friends and families to London to share their love of our excellent capital with them all. It looks like everyone had the loveliest time celebrating together with good food, good wine and good cheese (French naturally). Images come from RMW favourite Laura Debourde.
Laura the Bride: Nicolas and I are both French, living and working in London for six years now. We met at University in France almost ten years ago. At the time of our wedding prep, people were often asking us how Nicolas or I proposed. It was both strange and funny for as marriage was not a big thing for us and even a little game came relatively quickly in our relationship: we proposed each other during various travels every time we found a place we loved. Two years ago, we finally decided to get married and to set up a lovely day for Londoners and French family / friends to enjoy. Visiting everybody is always a struggle for us as it takes lots of travel across France and scheduling mathematics! People can hardly say ‘no’ to a wedding and we thought it would be a beautiful moment to share all together – but in London this time! So basically, our wedding was more a friendly celebration of love than a traditional commitment to each other.
We browsed many photographers’ websites, but selecting Laura as our wedding photographer was quite obvious and spontaneous. When we discovered her work we felt immediately connected to the way she captures emotions and movements. We really loved the brightness and sweetness of her pictures and all the joy she somehow manages to catch. We were not big fans of the pre-wedding photoshoot idea, but she happily embarked with us in this adventure. And believe me, the odds were not in her favour that day: it was after work and a rainy day around Greenwich, but we ended up having fun doing this with her! She’s an incredible people person and I am almost disappointed I barely noticed her during the wedding…but I guess that’s also how you get beautiful and authentic pictures! What great memories we have thanks to her! Thank you to Dani Dunne for second shooting too.
We were adamant not to spend thousands on clothes and more interested to have good food and quality time with our guests. Luckily, I am not a big fan of the white / princess wedding dress. I would have gone for a midi white dress but have a long time legs complex! So I started to look at more ivory and pinkish maxi dresses and fell in love with this Needle & Thread model. Once I saw it, I could not picture myself in any other dress…I felt I did not need jewellery or complicated hairdo as the dress was quite self-sufficient with its sequin embroidery. On a daily basis, I wear very little make up so I did it myself, but for the hair, I went to see Evis – my fantastic local hairdresser – with a few braid pictures and she did an amazing job as usual! Nicolas chose a grey tailor-made suit and his key accessory was a lovely yellow bow from Mrs Bow Tie. As a Conductor, he does not wear rings as it bothers him, so we chose a light Titanium ring he can wear continuously. As for myself, I wanted a very simple thin twisted ring and Amy Stewart from Junghwa had the perfect one. I wear it with another ring of hers stamped with an ‘N’.
We wanted our guests – French particularly – to fully experience a British wedding ceremony. So we chose to celebrate our wedding at Islington Town Hall in the Council Chamber Room which has this lovely round burgundy space and wood / leather furniture. It’s a beautiful but unusual setting where you are sitting / standing in the middle surrounded by your guests. It was an amazing feeling to see them all and for some reason we couldn’t stop smiling and giggling. We’ve made our entrance with a song by Michael Giacchino from Lost ‘Hurley Handouts’; signed the register with Almeria a composition by one of our guest and friend Gerard Maimone and we exited the hall with Alright by Supergrass!
After a shower of confetti in Islington, there was an old red double decker bus waiting for us. It was a surprise for our guests. We wanted them to see the city Nicolas and I love so much and we knew with the wedding they wouldn’t necessary have time to so. We took a ride around London all together with people in the streets waving at us. Our favourite moment was probably to see our mothers seated together at the front and looking excited like two little girls during a school trip!
For the reception, our guests were free to do whatever they wanted. Our only request was not to endure any embarrassing power point slides or videos! In the end, in addition to speeches, my sister treated us with a funny and charming dance act that concluded with a confetti explosion. She also passed a book onto our guests. Nicolas and I are running a website where we publish interviews of classical music artists. Some of these interviews are called ‘Confessions’, based on the ‘Proust Questionnaire’ and have very little to do with classical music for a change. The purpose of Sarah’s book was to ask our guests the question for artists slightly adapted for the wedding. You can imagine we had a marvellous time reading this – and a good laugh! As for the rest of us, after the dinner, we headed to Trapeze to dance.
I’ve always followed some wedding blogs as they bring a daily dose of inspiration and colours and like many brides, I had Pinterest boards for my wedding. However, we always felt sceptical towards weddings. The cost, stress, traditions and protocols, trends, faux-pas or ending up with a wedding that isn’t you at all! We definitively wanted our day to be fully enjoyable, personal and under £10K. We designed our big day with these three ‘rules’ and we’ve tried to use as many local / artisan suppliers. I think these choices and trying to stay under 60 guests helped us to achieve one thing: to just having to enjoy our wedding the big day. There was nothing else to think about or panic for! We must also thanks people from The Artisan for that: from planning, to food or service, they were just really efficient and nice.
Scottish Salmon & Smoked Salmon Terrine – Sweet Mustard Sauce
Barrel Aged Feta – Roasted beets, watercress, toasted seeds
Potted Ham Hock – Piccalili, Toasted Sourdough
Saddle of Norfolk Lamb – Apricot stuffing, potato gratin, summer vegetables
Fillet of Sea trout – potato gnocchi, peas, broad beans, mint & chive butter sauce
Butternut Squash & Spinach filo parcel – Tomatoes fondue, grilled courgettes
Cake/ Macaroons: Ladurée
Cheeses: brought by our guests from French local farmers (St Nectaire, Fourme d’Ambert, Morbier and Gaperon)
Flowers were not an easy quest! I sent a crazy amount of emails for quotes and I finally found these wonderful ladies from The Botanique Workshop. I remember Nicolas and I popped up in the shop and I said: ‘I love flowers but I just suck at names and everything. I don’t like roses, I prefer the ranunculus shape and I am craving for a mix with succulents. Our wedding colours are mint, yellow and gold and I’ve crafted these himmelis. The rest is up to you!’ We completely trusted them and the result was fantastic! It was so enjoyable to have this element of surprise in our own wedding…exactly what we wanted and their quote was ironically the lowest we received! So tables had some flowers in mismatched glass jars, we recalled our coloured scheme with a few costumed paper pompoms and the little twist was brought by guests treats which were creative marshmallows and a small succulent for each person. For the rest: yes, we are still finding glitter in our flat from the gold table numbers I crafted and our clothes got stuck a crazy amount of time in our seating plan grating. But no regrets really, it was fun to make and even funnier to watch our guests trying to figure out their table!
Photography and graphic design are my favourite hobby so of course we decided to do all the stationary ourselves from invitations to Menu and ‘Thank you’ cards. To avoid using too much paper, we create a ‘Save the Date’ magnet; and on this occasion, we launched a little website for RSVP and practical information. After the wedding, we recycled this space to help our guests watch and download pictures both from Laura and other people.