Weddings don’t come much more laid back or stylish than this intimate family focussed celebration in London’s East End. Town Hall Hotel is such an atmospheric place to hold your wedding ceremony and we love the relaxed, industrial vibes of Bistrotheque for dining – it’s the perfect place for a wedding breakfast that values both substance and style.
Our favourite lady Miss Gen was on hand to take the photographs and she’s done so in her natural gorgeous way. This wedding is full of heart as well as swoon worthy details, so enjoy lovely ones!
We met at work – I was his boss. I hired him! It was totally unprofessional and we kept it a secret for a while until I Ieft the company. We got together in 2010, engaged in late 2015 and married early 2017. We would’ve done it sooner but our daughter needed surgery so we postponed until that was safely behind us.
We wanted a really fun party with lots of amazing food, our friends and family but we didn’t want the planning to take over our lives. I was pregnant a lot of the engagement and then breastfeeding a new baby so there wasn’t a lot of extra time to lose sleep over colour schemes. Having said that we wanted it to feel special and thoughtful for all the people travelling to attend, so we took care to think of things we could do to make it meaningful.
My dress was the Prospere from Delphine Manivet. There are so many beautiful dresses out there but the Prospere was the one that stuck in my head while I was scrolling Instagram during those months with a newborn. It’s classic but a little bit daring, and it’s the sort of dress that demands an amazing, crazy shoe. Which leads onto my Jimmy Choo lace booties. They were so painful but worth every minute of torture. I changed into another pair of gold mules at the reception. James wore a blue Paul Smith suit with a green leather belt, and shoes from Charles Thyrwitt.
We chose That Flower Shop in East London because they do the flowers every week at Bistroteque, where we had the reception, so it made sense. The arrangements they created were mostly green and white. I didn’t give them much of a brief, I just asked them to do their thing. In retrospect I might have been more specific but I loved what they did for the tables and in the restaurant. (James wasn’t very involved in that decision!)
We used vows that the registrar provided because we actually really liked them. Our readings were Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney, The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer and an excerpt from Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman. We had a banjo player sing and play ‘California Girls’ while we signed the paper, partly because I’m from California and partly because it was one of the only pop songs he knew, and he played the wedding march and recession too, which was so perfect.
We were drawn to Miss Gen’s reportage style and her work stood out from all the rest by a long way. She was an absolute pro from start to finish, from the pre wedding meet up to the event itself, to the way she organises everything afterward. She was the right choice; she took the most incredible wedding photos and everyone says so. She captured all of the moments. I am in awe of how skilled she is. We are sooooo happy with the shots.
I love all of the shots of James and I walking along the canal and around the streets of East London. I also love the reception shots, and the ceremony shots too! There is one photo where I think we’ve just been announced husband and wife, and we’re looking at each other smiling. I love that one. I also love the ones with me and gals in the wedding party. They’re all great!
The First Dance
We had a trad jazz band and I have no idea what the name of the first song was. We just got out there and started dancing. After their set was finished we put on a playlist with all of the essentials: Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Chaka Kahn, etc
We had a Banjo player during the ceremony; Trad Jazz band at reception; then James and I did a Pecha Kucha, which is a slide show where where someone speaks about a topic and the format is 20 slides, 20 seconds each. We each did one about each other.
I’m not sure! We just picked a bunch of stuff we liked and put it all out there without coordinating too much. The bridesmaids dresses were mustard, navy and pale pink. Other than that, we wanted a laid back atmosphere though we loved the idea of dressing up, and we wanted good music and amazing food. That’s what we focused on.
We loved watching everyone read the booklets we created for our guests. It was a last minute idea but we decided to print simple staple-bound books with a description of each guest, with funny memories, who they are, why we love them, what they mean to us. It was a crunch to get them done but it was really special to watch people read them.
It’s hard not to get caught up in the planning but try not to get fanatical about it. I didn’t order my dress until January for an April wedding. James looked for a suit and chose one after one day of shopping. We asked our wedding party to wear certain colours but beyond that, it was up to them. One practical thing I would recommend is that we only had beer, wine and champagne at the open bar and it worked a treat because there was no sloppy drunkenness as a result and our budget went a lot further. Enjoy the day, it really does fly by. And take it from me, get more than one hour of sleep the night before!