Nadia & Michael undoubtedly had their day their way. From the Townhall hotel wedding venue chosen for sentimental reasons, to the bright florals and all those delicious meringue treats. Not to mention Nadia’s beautiful blush bridal separates, consisting of a tulle skirt and detailed corset top.
When there’s contemporary vibes and a whole lot of love on display, I can’t think of a better photographer to capture all the precious moments than Irene Yap Photography.
Nadia the Bride: We got engaged in the sea at dusk on holiday in Crete last summer and to say I was surprised is an understatement; my only response for about five minutes (until I managed to say yes) was to ask if Michael was joking. Despite this, we got straight into planning as we were keen to get married in the next summer holidays as I am a teacher.
We love living in East London and knew we wanted to get married in London. Although we did also view another venue first, we decided to get married at the Town Hall straight away; it is just round the corner from the very first flat we shared and we had celebrated my 30th birthday there (and loved the food). We loved all the colours and styling; the quirky details of each room are amazing and so many of the art deco features have been preserved.
I started looking at dresses quickly too. When I started, I was convinced that something simple and fitted would suit me best but soon eliminated this as I felt so uncomfortable. In the end, I tried on over 40 dresses but realised white just wasn’t for me and finally decided that the blush tones of the Watters Ahsan skirt and Carina corset were just so beautiful and unusual that I was hooked.
At my hair trial, Joanna had hair vines to try and I contacted the maker to customise, simplifying the vine and choosing blush pearls to match the dress. Because of the stand-out dress, I decided not to wear any jewellery apart from my rings – I don’t wear much usually and wanted to spend the day feeling like myself. Despite doing two trials with an amazing make-up artist in the lead up to the wedding, I decided to do my own make-up, as I am so uncomfortable in much more than a tiny bit and wanted to be natural on the day.
Michael was much simpler than me (and more decisive) and chose a suit from John Lewis. His groomsmen were just asked to wear their own suits. The bridesmaids wore the same dress from ASOS, although Zoe wore it in grey and Naomi in navy.
Colour Scheme/ Decor
Because of how beautiful the venue is, we didn’t want to have too much in the way of additional decoration. I had visions of beautiful bright blooms in all colours that were unstructured, but not too wild. When I first met our florist, Rachel, she understood perfectly what I was looking for and we shared pictures ahead of the day to clarify colours and styles. On the day, when I saw the flowers for the first time, I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for the venue – I felt like everything was just as I had imagined it. Even better, each table centrepiece was handtied so our guests (many of whom were local to the venue) could take them home at the end of the night.
We then added a few extra details too. To mirror the dress, we chose some things in copper to add to the venue to bring out the colour of the wood. My dad built the table plan from copper pipe and my mum wrote details of our initials and the date of our wedding onto heart shaped stones that she and my dad have collected for many years.
I also chose copper pencils for guests to fill in our table quiz and we clipped mini packets of confetti to our orders of service – which had on the same illustration of the venue that we had commissioned when we were designing out invitations – using tiny rose-gold bulldog clips.
My knees were shaking as we went in to the ceremony (although you couldn’t see it under all the layers of dress) but everyone being there and seeing Michael expectantly at the end of the aisle made me happier than can I explain. It took us MONTHS to decide on readings, but eventually chose Union by Robert Fulghum and Blessing for a Marriage by James Dillet Freeman which were very simple and elegant and really explained how we both felt about the day. They were read by two close friends.
My favourite part of the lead up to the wedding was the cake tasting – Claire from Little Bear Cakery was local, utterly helpful and created exactly the look we wanted, working with the florist to make sure all the fresh flowers on the cake were perfect. Given my sweet tooth, we also decided to have mini meringues as our favours and ordered a crate of multi-coloured (and multi-flavoured) meringues from Meringue Girls (another local supplier). They matched the venue and the flowers and went down an absolute treat.
The food at the Town Hall is amazing and very unusual – we could’ve chosen anything from the menu they sent us, but decided on a starter of Lamb (and peas, my favourite food), pork belly for main and a peanut butter cookie ice-cream sandwich with chocolate sauce for dessert.
I LOVED getting married and now we have beautiful photos to relive it – Irene really made the day. She was settling and cheerful at our engagement shoot and brought this to our day too, capturing everything with such good attention to detail. She – and all the suppliers we used – is so warm; she put us at ease straight away and is so talented – I couldn’t recommend anyone more.
I enjoyed planning the details with Michael of the wedding and working out how it would be, but I definitely didn’t let that take over from my enjoyment of the day. Handing everything over to the venue the day before the wedding meant I had absolutely no stress when we got married and could just enjoy it with Michael, our friends and family. People will remember how happy you were, how much they danced and whether they laughed, but I doubt they remember the colour of the cake flowers, so it just isn’t worth panicking about!