If you're looking for a dry hire venue in London, with oodles of character, insanely high ceilings and a whole heap of history, then you need to check out Laura & Robert's Dilston Grove wedding. Yes, having a venue like this did involve a lot of organisation and a lot of suppliers, but this also meant they got to work with some of the very best, like our favourite Gin Pedalling duo, The Travelling Gin Co. and the fabulous Meringue Girls. Bride Laura is on hand with lots of sage advice, if you're hoping to have a wedding in an quirky venue then make sure you read her words :) oh and get excited! How fabulous does the space look? (P.S. If you love the hoops, then make sure you visit this recent DIY post we shared on RMW).
Our StoryLaura the Bride: We were introduced through friends, they actually tried to set us up a year or so before but it wasn't until we were planning a holiday to India together did we realised we liked each other more than friends. Going on a three week holiday when you’ve only been together a few weeks is sure to throw you in at the deep end, it was a success though! We got engaged in Copenhagen, we love bikes, food and Scandinavian design so this was a perfect place to start planning the wedding.
The VenueWe knew that we wanted to get married in London and we didn’t want a church wedding (sorry parents!). We search the internet and did our research on some venues in South East and East London. We had an appointment to see one venue but they didn’t turn up. We then stumbled upon Dilston Grove, I believe through some pintrest photos as it not widely publicised as a wedding venue, and absolutely loved the look of it. We went to see it and booked it straight away. We were asked if we wanted to think about it but we said no. In the end it was the only place we saw, they only had one date available so within two weeks of being engaged we had a venue and a date.
The BrideInitially I started looking at all kinds of shops as I wasn’t set on having a classic wedding dress. I came across Sally Lacock on the internet as she was selling off all her pieces due to a move. She was really local to work so I thought I’d pop along after work one day. She was based in an old warehouse and had a great relaxing area for browsing her dressing and trying them on. I liked the idea of a skirt and top and it turns out Sally had both which I loved, and she was great at giving advice. I did try a few other shops but my experience of wedding shops wasn’t great, so i was really chuffed to buy local to work from such a friendly person. She designed the outfits so it was great to buy direct from the designer.
The Wedding PartyI didn’t want all the bridesmaids to wear the same as they all have their own style. I suggested they find a dress they like that was muted colours. It just so happens they went for pink, one of them is in cream but I think the other three makes it look like pink! The flower girls skirts I picked up well in advance, I initially bought them as Christmas presents but then realised they’d work well for the wedding. Rob - similar to Laura I wasn’t keen on a traditional wedding. We wanted each member of the wedding party to feel comfortable and add their own bit of style to the day. My outfit was from all over the place, trousers from Hackett, jacket was from Kooples, the waistcoat and tie were from Mr Start in Shoreditch and shoes from Joseph Cheaney. It all came together as a bit of an accident really.
The StylingDilston Grove is such a fantastic and interesting space that we didn’t feel it needed much doing to it otherwise it would detract from the building itself so we opted for festoon lighting to enhance the venue. We had no theme, we just wanted the wedding to be quite relaxed and simple. We sought help from family and friends for the flowers, this meant a 5am trip to Covent Garden market. In addition to this, Rob’s mum brought most of the foliage from her garden it was a great way of saving money and we had fun making the arrangements. We spent Thursday and Friday preparing the flowers and arranging them - turns out cleaning and filling 200 odd vases and bottles does take longer than you think. Thankfully lots of family and friends turned up at the venue on friday to help. In the entrance room we wanted a statement piece, we’d been discussing this with our friend Petra and decided to go with foliage hoops. They turned out great and we loved it.
The CeremonyWe only had one reading as it was quite long. We had ‘Wear Suncream’ by Baz Luhrmann. Our friend Caroline also managed to surprise us by tailoring it to us. Laura walked down the aisle to Kate Bush, Wuthering Heights.
The PhotographyWe came across Joasis when we started searching for local photographers. We loved Jo’s style and checked out her availability for the wedding date when checking with the parents. We didn’t inquire with anyone else as we knew we wanted Jo. When we met her we spent about 2 hours just chatting about things, cycling, prints and the wedding. We booked her straight away and so pleased that we did. We adore the photos we have.
The MusicOur first dance was Lou Reed, Satellite of Love because it’s awesome. We wanted to have a barn dance/ceilidh (the scots would definitely say it was a barn dance) so we’d get everyone up dancing. Cut A Shine were able to provide music during the day too so they played outside in the park. We also had Rosie Curran there offering a slightly different photo booth option, she hand drew pictures of the guests in a couple of minutes with 30% likeness. Everyone loved Rosie. We didn’t want to have favours per say so opted for instagram style photos of everyone as place settings. We also used these photos as the table plan and managed to hang them from a branch out in Southwark Park. We tried to find amusing photos of everyone so this created quite a few giggles.
The FoodBecause Dilston Grove is limited with it’s available space we hired quite a few different suppliers and tried to do all the food and drinks outside - this took quite a bit of planning and extra authorisation so we hired Laura from Devine Bride to help organise the day. She was amazing in the lead up making sure everyone knew how to get to the venue (it’s not as easy as you’d think) and she absolutely nailed it on the day. The wedding wouldn’t have been the same without her. Van Dough came in their converted van and supplied all the main food and staff, their pizzas, charcuterie and salads went down a storm and leftovers were eaten cold later. After the ceremony we had The Travelling Gin Company serving gin and tonics and canapes we provided by Suzanne James Catering. After the main meal we needed the main room to be taken down so the band could set up. To encourage guests out of the room we served desserts and coffee outside. Ben from Black Box Coffee arrived also by bike served hot drinks and some amazing espresso martinis. Meringue Girls provided the bite size desserts, these were served in the crates they came in.
AdviceDilston Grove is amazing but it does have its challenges, as I expect all venues do. It has very limited space indoors which caused us quite a few issues in the beginning. In the end we decided to use a variety of suppliers who didn’t need access to indoor space. This meant we had quite a few in the end and something we weren’t able to manage. We hired a wedding coordinator and it was the best money we spent. Laura Devine from Devinebride made the day go without hiccup and it was exactly how we wanted it to be.
Venue: Dilston Grove | Wedding Coordinator: Devine Bride | Bride: Sally Lacock | Shoes: L.K.Bennett | Catering: Van Dough | Canapes: Suzanne James | Dessert: Meringue Girls | Gin: The Travelling Gin Co. | Coffee: Black Box Coffee | Music: Cut A Shine | Illustrator : Rosie Curran Portrait Booth | Groom: The Kooples | Accessories: Mr Start