One thing you won't be able to stop doing whilst looking through this lovely collection of images by Chris Barber Photography is smile. Rachael & Mark are the most adorable couple and are literally beaming from ear to ear the whole time, as are their guests. The bright colour scheme and laid back vibes will bring you pure joy, as will the fabulous fashion and florals. I love that Rachael had her gown tailor made, the ankle length hem is perfect for showing off her beautiful shoes, and the bridesmaid floral frocks are delicious. Now who's ready to delve into this city wedding...?


Rachael the Bride: I knew I didn't want a full length dress and wouldn't enjoy the whole dress shopping experience as I dislike ordinary shopping, so it felt right to take my ideas to a dressmaker. My parents live in Ringwood and so told me about Frances and her team at Calm Amongst the Chaos. I took down photos of both wedding dresses and normal dresses and it became obvious what style I wanted. I don't feel comfortable in long dresses and so although the team were initially unsure about my wish to have a calf/ankle length dress, they listened to me and could see I was more at ease with a shorter style. Thank god I didn't have a huge dress as our wedding day was very hot!


My make up was done by the lovely Zoe Hickman who I found on I chose her as she has a very natural style and as I don't wear a lot of make up normally I felt this would be right for me. She was so relaxed on the day and really helped me stay calm. She also did my bridesmaids' hair and makeup and my mum's hair. My hair is notoriously hard to manage and it has never kept it's style as well as when Zoe did it! I will be forever grateful to her as this was one of my main concerns due to copious photos of me in the past with hair that looks like I've been dragged through a bush!

Groom's Suit

Mark initially wanted to get a suit tailor made and booked an appointment for the day he arrived back from his stag do in Vegas! Obviously he did not feel up to attending and so we went to Hugo Boss who were incredible, and he found a suit he loved. We wanted the wedding to be fairly casual so Mark chose not to wear the waistcoat. Mark chose a lovely coral tie from Paul Smith to wear, and some socks with pineapples on for a bit of colour!

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

As I knew my dress would be short I felt the bridesmaids should also have a shorter style. I think this was the most stressful part of the organising as I wanted to girls to all feel great in the dresses. I thought it would be easy to find their outfits as I had no particular idea of colour or style but we spent the longest time trawling the shops until finally me and Mark accidentally came across the dresses they wore in Oasis. All the girls loved them, and I loved the fact they were colourful but understated, and I felt they suited a London wedding. The groomsmen wore blue suits from Marks and Spencers to match Mark's and we chose pastel blue ties to co-ordinate with his coral tie. Our dad's chose their own suits but we asked them to wear the same ties as the groomsmen so that were obviously part of the bridal party.

The Venue

We wanted a venue that screamed London. As soon as we saw the Oyster Shed online we were hooked. We loved the fact that it was glass fronted so whatever the weather you would have a view of the Shard and the Thames and there was no mistaking you were in London! Chris and his team made our lives so easy and we loved how the venue was set up on the day. We had so many compliments about the food and how good all the staff were. We didn't have a particular theme as we wanted to keep the Oyster Shed looking like a bar in London. We decorated the tables with flowers in old alcohol bottles and place names in corks, and our favours were London icon keyrings so everyone could take a piece of London home with them. We ended up accidentally having a slight Instagram theme as we hung pictures around with hashtags on them! Our table names were meaningful places in London to us as a couple.


Our cake was made by our incredible friend Jenny Savill who spent so much time and effort on it. It was exactly what we wanted and everyone loved it. We added the "Finally" cake topper as our friends and family have always been asking us when we would get married!


I found Kristi at Wild Child Flowers by accident and she was amazing! I wanted a laid back look to the bouquets with lots of colour and that's exactly what she delivered. I only wanted a medium sized bouquet but I wish I'd gone bigger as I absolutely loved what she made. The boys all had buttonholes with flowers taken from the bouquet. Kristi was so relaxed and really understood what I wanted despite me knowing nothing about flowers!


We had our ceremony at Islington Town Hall as our original location was being refurbished. It worked out amazingly though as the registrars at Islington were all so lovely and helpful. No question was too stupid! We loved the feel and look of the Council Chamber and how everyone could sit in a circle around us. We kept it simple and had no readings as we wanted the day to be more focussed on the party aspect rather then the ceremony. We had our siblings as witnesses which was meaningful to us.


We chose the band, Alive, from hearing their style on their website. We like our music and wanted the band to be modern but still play some classics that would get everyone on the dance floor. We definitely chose the right band - everyone loved them and they were brilliant from start to finish. They even helped us pick our last song of the night, Champagne Supernova by Oasis, which went down very well. We also asked them to learn our first dance, You and I by Crystal Fighters, which they did and it was so fun when they played it and really made it special for us.


We felt we had to have a London bus as part of our wedding so hired one from RouteMaster. They were brilliant and were so chilled out, even letting a family friend serenade us on the microphone as we travelled. They stopped off at St Paul's cathedral so we could have some photos here too which was really fun with all the tourists staring! As for my wedding car, how could I not use Uber to get to Islington Town Hall!


What can I say about Chris Barber…amazing! My main priority was finding a photographer that was relaxed and focused on capturing the emotions of the day rather then concentrating on too many posed photos. As soon as I saw Chris' work on I knew we had to have him! When we met him for our pre-wedding shoot, it was like meeting up with an old friend. He was brilliant on the wedding day, not obtrusive at all, and when we got our shots back it was incredible how they brought back the happiness we felt on our wedding day. There is not one photo we don't love. Chris also got a lot of compliments from our guests who commented on him being friendly and professional, as well as discrete. We can't thank him enough.


We kept our wedding true to what we wanted and kept it quite simple. At times I thought I was forgetting things as people kept asking about different things they may have seen at other weddings, but we didn't want too much fuss and I'm glad we kept it simple as it meant that everyone concentrated more on having fun and getting to the bar! I had never been one of those people who dreamt about their wedding day so it was nice to go into the planning with a blank canvas and really work as a team to create the day we wanted together. Everyone told us it would be the best day of our lives and we kind of took this with a pinch of salt. It sounds cheesy but it really was the best day of our lives, so our advice to everyone is to plan the wedding that they want and it really will be the best day ever! I have definitely gone over the word limit but obviously you will edit it anwyay. Can I just ask that the piece about my friend doing the cake will be in there but obviously feel free to edit the text about it, I just want to give her recognition!
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Calm Amongst The Chaos | Beauty: Zoe Hickman | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss | Tie: Paul Smith | Bridesmaid Dresses: Oasis | Groomsmen Suits: Marks and Spencer | Venue: Oyster Shed | Florist: Wild Child Flowers | Cake: Jenny Savill | Band: Alive Music | Transport: RouteMaster

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