Pete & Joe, an English guy and a Pittsburgh native, wed at the Ealing Town Hall in London, with a reception at the London Museum of Water and Steam. I think I would have had a field day at their wedding exploring the museum and I know I would have had more than one ride on the outdoor miniature steam train, what a treat for all their guests, I bet they LOVED it, especially all the mini guests.
Their first dance was an upbeat waltz to ‘Changing Times’ by The Irrepressibles; such a fitting choice given that their wedding was only two months after gay marriage was legalised in the UK.
Pete & Joe’s personalities continued to shine through on their day and this was most apparent when they put steampunk goggles on their top hats and were announced into the wedding breakfast hall whilst looking through mini telescopes & binoculars; genius and very cool boys!
The Fashion & Accessories
Pete The Groom: The suits were mid-grey Victorian style with tails and top hat, ivory waistcoats and deep red cravats. We were aiming to match the style/era of the venues (Ealing Town Hall and the London Museum of Water and Steam). We decided on adding in a hint of steampunk with some goggles for the top hat when entering the museum, watch cog cufflinks and a large golden cog behind each of our buttonholes. I had some jewellery made for my stretched ears by Onetribe; they were garnet stones set in silver and embedded into hand carved ebony wood to match our colour scheme.
We chose to get married at Ealing Town Hall; it is a beautiful Victorian building local to ourselves and was ideal for photography also. After looking around online at various places, Joe found the London Museum of Water and Steam for our evening ceremony. It was being refurbished at the time but even then the unique potential of a place to party and explore was clear! The guests entered through the side and straight into the Grand Junction Engine House where they were greeted with champagne, canapés and a 90 inch beam engine operating that they could walk around and explore over three storeys! During the meal – in the Steam Hall – we had another engine running and lights that moved in time to the sound of the steam hissing; there is a mezzanine with spiral staircase that provided a separate entrance for the extra ‘wow’ factor as Joe and I entered to Kate Bush’s ‘The Big Sky’. After speeches there was a period where we needed to move the tables around for the evening guests and disco, so we had the steam train at the museum operational for guests to ride for an hour and it gave us perfect time to mingle with guests!
The first dance we chose was ‘Changing Times’ by The Irrepressibles. We both enjoy music a lot and have been to a lot of concerts together but The Irrepressibles were the first, and the upbeat, happy song encouraged crowd interaction as they could clap along and we pulled them onto the dance floor to dance with us! The staff at the museum were always on hand with a smile throughout the day and evening; even taking extra time to talk to guests about each engine and switch on the water outside for the children to play on the park!
The Colour Scheme/Décor
Our colour scheme was Ivory and Garnet, with décor being Victorian with a hint of Steampunk. The colour scheme worked well with the reception being in a Victorian era water pump house for the city of London. We decided that with all of the engines surrounding guests being so beautiful already there was little to add aside from up lighting on walls. On each table, we used silk rose petals, hurricane candle vases surrounded by a wreath of flowers and wooden cogs hand painted by ourselves. For the top table we also had sprays of flowers. Each table was named after a steam locomotive engine, fitting in with Joe’s career in engineering for railways and the museum itself. With the table names we also had a brief history of the steam engine the table was named after which the guests agreed was fun and helped to break the ice with conversations.
To match the theme of red and ivory, the flowers chosen were:
Buttonholes: Swartzwelder calla lilies, berries and ivy leaves
Centerpieces: Swartzwelder calla lilies, red roses, light hypericum, berries, ivy leaves and other greenery.
The table centrepieces surrounded a hurricane candleholder with an ivory candle set in deep red sand.
We chose the music for entering, signing certificates and leaving the venue from a film soundtrack – We Bought a Zoo, by Jónsi – the main reason being that we wanted continuity between songs here to create a flow of music and really enjoyed the music from this film, particularly the triumphant ending song that we used to leave the venue, Gathering Stories. The lyrics to Gathering Stories were printed on the back of the order of service as we felt they told our story of falling in love and wanting to be together forever.
We agreed on not wanting ‘cheesy’ wedding music and found Discowed online. After playing a sample playlist we were able to choose a type of music in a package and suggest specific songs we wanted during the evening; our main selection included indie disco and 80s pop! Our DJ – Dom – took requests from guests as well as playing from our selection; it was of most importance to us that they felt included and a part of our celebration as much as possible! During the evening, guests were encouraged to use a photo booth we had set up by Uberbooths. There was a prop box and the ability to record videos/print two copies of photos; one for the guest to keep and one to be glued into a book for memories after the wedding. We would recommend doing this! It’s a really fun way for guests to leave a message and have their own fun memories of the evening! The idea for the photo booth came from watching Four Weddings, a great source of inspiration for general ideas.
We mainly looked online for inspiration with most of the wedding, and for the food found our caterers Easy Gourmet initially as they were attending a Gay wedding exhibition in Camden. We looked through the site and were impressed with the ‘shop window’, met them at the exhibition and sampled before working with them on our menu. Laure-Marie and Flavia provided us with gourmet food but in decent sized portions!
Montgomery cheddar foam with pickled pear on chive and sea salt short breads.
Rare roast beef with truffle oil mushrooms on croustini.
Smoked mackerel and horseradish rillettes.
Homemade Ham hock terrine served with piccalilli and green leaves salad.
Ballotine of chicken stuffed with woodland mushrooms truffle oil sentenced with champagne sauce, with green beans wrapped in carrots.
Vegetarian: Winter vegetable tower with melted mozzarella and pesto, served with tagine sauce Parsnips and celeriac bake.
Lavender panna cotta with berries compote and honey Madeleine.
Assorted Continental and British cheese buffet, crackers, celery and grapes.
Assorted slice white and brown sandwich buffet with meat, vegetarian and fish filings. Small free range bacon and butty with brown sauce.
Our photographer came recommended from a friend that Joe worked with; Sasha at Sasha Weddings. We looked at her photos which had a wonderful vintage feel taken as documentary so the people looked natural which we liked. We met with Sasha and instantly connected with her; she was very friendly and easy to chat to and the guests all commented on her ability to blend in and take photos naturally! We were presented with a beautiful leather bound photo book of selected images and proudly show friends/family when they visit, all are impressed with Sasha’s work!
Joe entered a competition on Facebook to win a video of our day from Eight Wood Studios and we were overwhelmed to win. Joe is American and so most of his family were unable to attend the day so it meant a lot to us to be able to share an emotive, beautiful video with them; we have not watched it with a dry eye in the room yet! Laura and Andy are such a friendly couple and worked with such dedication and care to their craft and we would recommend them to anyone. There was so much attention to detail in the menus, choice of music with trailer, packaging and quality overall and we are so happy to share our day!
All stationary, the seating plan and direction signs for the venue guests were designed by Joe and created together as a team; we found making our own very rewarding and unique, all in the Victorian theme and fun to make! We sent out mini maps with directions to all guests as most were not from London and not used to the busy area/underground. Guests were appreciative of this gesture. We helped out our guests by block booking rooms at a hotel close to the reception venue; this meant they could take full advantage of the open bar without any worry of getting back, as the hotel was a walk away! Our main idea was to have as fun a day as possible for everyone; the choice of venue, music and entertainment was made so that all guests felt included and had a great time whilst we all celebrated
Photography by Sasha Weddings
- Wedding Venue Ealing Town Hall
- Reception Venue London Museum of Water and Steam
- Grooms Attire Young’s Formal Hire
- Rings Jewelry by Johan
- Plugs (for stretched ears) Onetribe
- Cufflinks & Steampunk goggles Etsy Shop Steam Retro
- Florist Flower Haven
- Catering Easy Gourmet Catering
- Cake Pete’s Mum
- Cake Topper My Memory Dolls
- DJ Discowed
- Photo Booth ÜberBooths
- Videographer Eight Wood Studios