The brief was good food, good wine and good music. We travelled around the world researching venues but ended up in London, the town that we live in and love so dearly. Once we decided on London we wanted to find a venue that showed our guests why we love this place so much. St. John restaurant in Farringdon had been on our list of top restaurants in London for some time, when we found out they catered for weddings we knew it was the one – we booked a late lunch one afternoon and a few bottles of wine later we were convinced. That same day the manager at St John told us about the museum just up the road, “they do ceremonies” he said. We left with full tummies and strolled up the road to the museum. The second we saw it we knew it was perfect. The Museum of the Order of St John is a beautiful old building steeped in history. It balanced nicely with the industrial feel of St. John restaurant which used to be an old smokehouse next to Smithfield meat market. We found venues that show London at it’s best, full of history and great food.
We had a beautiful civil ceremony with two readings from a close friend, Jess, and Chris’ sister Leah. We asked for the readings to be a surprise which was so lovely after planning everything so meticulously. My Dad walked me down the aisle (which was very emotional for us both), Chris’ Dad was one of his best men and our mums signed the register together. Family is very important to us so we made sure everyone had a role. My brother Dan was an usher, and Chris’ other two sisters were bridesmaid's, Megan, and MC, Emma. Emma did a fantastic job of making the day run smoothly.
We knew St. John would do a great job with the food and wine so it was down to us to find the music. It took us such a long time to find something we loved, we were super fussy. We ended up booking four different acts and all of them were amazing. A string trio played through the ceremony, including Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós as I walked down the aisle, it was stunning. A friend put us in touch with Will and Austin who played the trumpet and sousaphone New Orleans style as we walked between the two venues. It was one of my favourite parts of the day, we took over the whole street with black cabs stopping as we all passed by. We kicked off the evening with the fantastic Wandering Soul Band who worked very closely with Chris to join in with his speech and really get the party started. We booked the band through Stormont and they were so great, they met us at the restaurant beforehand to work out how to make it the best party ever. I don’t think anybody left the dance floor! Rach Speakeasy (DJ) took over at 10 pm and the tunes just kept on coming. We danced the night away. We’ve had so many compliments on the music.
We had a feast. It was incredible. Potted mackerel, whole crab, roast hake, suckling pig and the biggest pavlova for our wedding cake. The suckling pigs were a highlight of the day, the chefs carried them through the restaurant and carved them up in front of us, people we eating the cheeks from the heads.
I went to one bridal shop and realised straight away that I didn’t want a traditional wedding dress, I felt like I was in fancy dress. I then searched for a dress that wasn’t a wedding dress. When I saw the Francine Tattoo dress by Alice Temperley I fell in LOVE. I wore my Mum’s wedding veil from the '70s which was very special to me, Tiffany pearl earrings that my brother and his girlfriend gave to me as a gift in the morning and Carvela grey Gabby heels. I had my closest friends as bridesmaids (Lydia, Gemma and Charlotte), they all wore soft grey dresses from Asos. Gemma was 7 months pregnant on the day and looked fabulous! My cousin Bailey was also bridesmaid/flower girl and wore a white dress from Marks and Spencer. My cousin Charlotte is a hair stylist and did a fantastic job of my hair, and my makeup was done by close friend and makeup artist Rebecca Durrant.
Chris’s wore a grey three-piece-suit from Suit Supply with an antique pocket watch that I bought for him from the Antique Watch UK in Clerkenwell. We asked the groomsmen to wear navy suits. Chris’ speech was a real surprise and really got the party started. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say he couldn’t have done a better job.
Absolutely no theme, just nice things. I designed all the wedding stationery myself as I am a graphic designer, I picked up on the grey in my dress for the invitations which were printed on G.F Smith cool grey Colorplan paper combined with classic typography. My talented friend Megan wrote all the place names for us in a modern calligraphic style. The venues didn’t need decorating as they both had so much character so we just added lots of lush greenery, white flowers and loads of candles. Jess and Charlie from One Flew Over were brilliant, we wanted something a bit different and their creations were stunning – elegant bouquets, gorgeous swags and a giant hanging flower bomb! They are so talented and a pleasure to deal with. We spent two days trawling through quotes about London, we wanted to give each table a sense of why we love London so much. Once we settled on the quotes we had the table names: Wilde, Johnson, Woolfe, Shakespeare and more – they set the imagination on fire. Add a disco ball and some festoon lighting supplied by Halo Lighting and that’s about it.
Looking for a photographer was quite depressing until I found Dale Weeks. Dale’s work really stood out, we got a sense of each wedding in his portfolio and there was zero cheese which was our number one rule. Plus he’s an awesome photographer. Dale was great on the day, it was almost like he wasn’t there but he was and he captured the day perfectly. We felt so at ease with Dale and couldn’t have been happier with photos. We didn’t have a videographer but my brother Dan, and his girlfriend Fran were assigned to a Go Pro each. They got some great footage.