Sophie and Jeremy’s wedding can’t fail to put a smile on your face. It’s just full of fun and quirky details and happy, smiley people.
I’m in love with the giant paper flowers in place of Bridesmaids bouquets. Teamed with statement necklaces, nude heels and royal blue dresses – I think they’ve created one of my all time favourite Bridesmaids looks!! The ladies all had adorable personalised clutch bags too…Bride Sophie’s says ‘I Do.’ Such a cute idea!
There are some rather amazing cake pops too, which make a great alternative to the traditional wedding cake. All the fun comes from The Amadeus in the heart of London with lovely images by Olliver Photography.
Sophie The Bride: I always I knew I wanted a vintage dress. I tried on dresses from the 20s to 60s, but I quickly realised that it would require a lot of searching and alterations to find the perfect vintage pick. Luckily, I visited Helena Butler’s Heavenly Vintage Brides studio, and discovered that she was working on her first collection of vintage inspired dresses. The collection included a 1950s inspired dress called Chantilly with an Italian silk organza skirt, and boned bodice made from French Chantilly lace with contrasting mocha.
As soon as I tried on the sample I knew this was the dress I would marry in. Helena insisted that I should visit other wedding dress shops, but on learning about the craftsmanship behind the collection and the fact that the dresses were made in the UK, the visit to the other bridal dress shops only confirmed what I knew. Best of all she was based locally to me – which I took for a sign.
I wore my hair half up and half day with tousled curls and a birdcage veil, secured by a beautifully crafted and brightly coloured baroque-rococo floral hair comb purchased from Etsy. I also had my nails painted in sparkly beige with gold fade tip for some understated glamour.
I love whimsical jewellery, but I didn’t want to detract from my dress so wore a pair of pastel coloured donut shaped Swarovski crystal stud earrings, a Zoe & Morgan lasso love ring (a gift from the groom) and a pair of mint green wayfarer sunglasses by Amy Cavill.
I had the dress made in tea length, so I could dance in it so it was important that my footwear didn’t prevent me from doing so. My shoes du jour were a pair of Luna: champagne glitter platform peep toe pumps by Jimmy Choo which were perfect for dancing the night away in. To complete the look I carried an “I do” canvas clutch from Alphabet Bags.
Jeremy opted to wear a blue suit from Reiss with light grey coloured shoes from Reiss and brightly coloured socks from Happy Socks. We both love skull motifs, and the juxtaposition with the elegance of our day so Jeremy wore an Alexander McQueen silk tie with polka dot textured background and miniature skull pattern, blue skull hologram cufflinks and Marcella shirt from Thomas Pink.
Jeremy is from Melbourne, Australia but we met and live in London, so it was no question that we wouldn’t get married here. We decided to host our ceremony close to home at Pitzhanger Manor House & Gallery, a beautiful period house set in Walpole Park in Ealing a designed by architect Sir John Soane.
We decided to marry in the Georgian Eating Room located at the front of the building with the guest seated under a barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with classical and floral motifs painted in shades of light blue and white. We also knew if the sun was shining (which it was) we could also enjoy G&Ts in the beautiful grounds outside.
Pitzhanger Manor is a Grade 1 listed building and there are restrictions on dancing, and because we very much wanted our wedding to be a party for our friends and family to dance until the early hours, we decided to host our reception at The Amadeus. Formerly a Welsh Presbyterian chapel located in Little Venice, North London. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we walked through the duck blue doors and spied the art deco tiled floors and wood panelling. We loved the idea that we were creating a wedding in reverse and wanted somewhere that was unique, but flexible enough for us to put our personal stamp on it from the décor to the catering – it ticked all the boxes.
The Amadeus is split across two flours, and wanted to give the venue a DIY feel. We held our drinks reception in the Lower Hall, which was a small intimate space that we hung paper pom poms and lit with tea lights. Instead of a guest book we hired a red post box and vintage style postcards and stamps that we placed in a vintage suitcase decorated with homemade hessian flag (I painted LOVE using a red nail polish) and a customised tin pot with a personalised sticker.
We customised two birdcages with vintage style paper rose flowers, and hung craft paper with mini wooden pegs for our table plan and placed these on easels on both floors, and filled the niches in the room with tea lights.
On the Upper Hall where we hosted our wedding breakfast and disco, we really wanted to bring the outside in, and make it feel like we were eating underneath the stars, so we hung a pea light canopy from the ceiling and wrap lights around the pillars in the columns. Our florist also covered all of the window sills, niches and the centre of the tables with moss which we placed bottles filled with flowers on top of, and scented the venue we with lily of the valley candles which we had burning throughout the building.
Giant LOVE marquee letters were hired from Vowed and Amazed and formed the focal point of the room – and became a fun photography spot for our friends and family. Jeremy also made marquee letters of our initials using a template we found online. These surrounded a grand piano in the room, which we used as our cake table. In a nod to both our hometowns and heritages, the “cake table” was decorated with London and Australian memorabilia, including a boomerang, Melbourne Tram, Routemaster bus and black cab, which complemented our London and Australian inspired wedding cake pops.
We really wanted to celebrate the city we were getting married in, and starting with save the dates. We wanted to make sure that the date was front and centre particularly if we were asking people to fly as far away as Australia, so we commissioned from Shell from Something Kind of Cute to design the bus ticket shaped magnets that would act as a constant reminder of our special day. For our invites we had love story invite, detailing how we met and the proposal – some of our friends said it was a like works of our and quite a few of them have kept them as mementos!
We designed and printed all of on the day stationary from the wedding programme, table names and menus which we placed in frames purchased from IKEA. I even hand stamped each of the names on the luggage labels by hand for each of the guests for the place cards.
Seasonal and colour was the brief for the flowers, and where possible we didn’t want anything to go to waste just for our day. For both venues we and my friend James (who works in a bar) collected glass bottles of various heights, shapes and colours, which our florist filled with seasonal flowers.
At the end of the aisles at the venue for the ceremony our florist tied bunches of flowers and included craft luggage tags inviting people to take them away after the ceremony. The same flowers were used again at the wedding reception venue.
My bouquet was everything I could have dreamed of including flowerpurple phlox, blue delphiniums, yellow billy ball, lilac ‘Memory Lane’ roses and fresh green alchamilla and thlaspi green bell. It added splashes of colour to our day and I loved the fact they were seasonal.
The Wedding Party
I really wanted the bridesmaids to wear dresses that they could wear again, and chose royal blue dresses with cut outs from Warehouse which were inspired by the silhouette of the 1950s shift dress. To complete the look the dresses were adorned with a brightly coloured floral bib and collar, and each of the girls wore vintage inspired floral hair pins which matched my hair slide.
Each of the girls also carried canvas clutches with their initials to dress down the look and give it a made-down feel. I’d been to so many weddings where the bridesmaid flowers have been left around and lost, and in the spirit of not being wasteful my bridesmaids carried giant paper flowers made by my sister Janet, and floral corsages with silk ribbons on their wrists.
For the groomsmen, we kept it simple: navy blue suits with navy blue spotted ties from Thomas Pink to contrast with the groom’s bright blue suits. We added a splash of colour with handmade mix and match cufflinks of each of the boys’ initials and bright pair of Happy Socks to match the pair worn by the groom.
I walked down the aisle to Kissing You played by a string quartet. The song features during Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. I love the melody, even without the words it’s a powerful and emotional piece of music, so much so it brought me to tears and we spent like the good part of what felt like forever to find a tissue for me to blow my nose!
Thankfully, my friend Suna reading of Adam Sandler’s I Wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer lightened the mood. We wanted the day to be a day of laughs, and we chose the song as for the reading as we thought it was a good reflection of how we felt about getting married!
For our recessional, the string quartet played Dog Days Are Over – which seem like the perfect song for the occasion. We were so excited about the day that we literally ran out of the room, straight outside to The Travelling Gin Company guys who were parked up outside to enjoy a gin and tonic and toast our marriage before everyone followed us!
Breaking with tradition, while our guests enjoyed G&Ts in the sun, I got on the steps in front of the building and said a few words. I called it my pre-emptive strike in advance of the groom and best man’s speeches later in the evening, and also to say thank you to all our friends and family.
Music for the G&T drinks reception at Pitzhanger Manor was provided by The Shaw Quartet, who were briefed to play contemporary pop tunes, while a Spotify playlist compiled of our favourite songs set the mood at the cocktail reception at The Amadeus.
For our first dance, we hit the floor to Love Is In the Air by Paul Simon before our bridal party joined us for an unrehearsed dance routine Sugar Hill Gang’s Apache – the groom only showed the bridal party a YouTube video of Will and Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air dancing to the song the night before at our pre-wedding drinks reception.
The Wedding Smashers provided the music for the party at The Amadeus. In advance of our wedding they asked us for a list of all our favourite songs to create the ultimate party. The DJ Dan was fantastic, as soon as he spun the track after our first dance song everyone hotfooted it to the dance floor – it was so great to look around to see all of our favourite people having such a good time. In fact two of our friends who are getting married next year have even asked for the CD of the music for their wedding playlist.
We’re proud to say the party didn’t stop after the last track was spun, and a hard group of our friends and family continued to St Martin’s Lane Hotel, which culminated in a surreal evening drinking champagne in a casino. Lots of our married friends had advised that our day would fly by, but we honestly feel like we enjoyed and didn’t miss every moment. In fact, we didn’t get home until 6am!
We are huge foodies and quickly decided a sizeable amount of our budget would go towards food. We feel so lucky to have found Simon at Food Events. He was incredibly patient with us (we chopped and changed our menus so many times) to devise a menu we would be proud to serve to our friends, and most importantly wasn’t the traditional fare no matter how delicious we’ve come accustomed to at weddings but a central part of our day.
We love Spanish food and this inspired the canapés at the cocktail reception including mini Spanish tortilla, fried chorizo lollipop with pear aioli sauce and tempura asparagus spears served with a rich romesco sauce. To wash down the canapés we offered our guests signature cocktails chosen by us: a Cuba Libra for the groom, and a Passion Fruit Mojito for the bride.
For the wedding breakfast, we served popcorn cooked in beef dripping which also formed the bar snacks during the evening party instead of bread. In a nod to our South East Asian heritage we started the meal with a dim sum medley. The selection, included grilled sesame prawns, a pork dumpling and sticky rice parcel accompanied by bean shoots and edamame beans paired with an ice cool glass of Riesling.
Pies are synonymous with Australian food culture, and after we failed to find a pie warmer for the snack table it was only right that they should form part of our main meal. We couldn’t choose on the filling, so instead opted for a hat trick of pies comprising an Aussie meat pie which we decorated with a mini Australian flag, red Thai chicken curry pie and a Popeye pie which we served with a choice of beef jus, and Asian inspired coconut gravy, roasted sweet potato and stir fried pak choi, served with a glass of Rose.
To end our meal, Simon and his team recreated one of our favourite desserts from Spuntino, a restaurant in London: peanut butter and jelly sandwich: two slices of peanut putter parfait, layered with raspberry jam and a sprinkling of peanut brittle, which we served with a glass of cava.
We didn’t have any evening guests, but knew that everyone would get peck-ish on the dance floor so we created a tuck shop table which we filled with Aussie sweets and snacks, including Freddos, Shapes and Burger Rings and British sweet shop classics including Love Hearts and Refreshers.
As for the cake, well we didn’t see the point of the traditional cake cutting, and had been to numerous weddings where the cake was just left on tables uneaten so we opted for cake pops by Molly Bakes comprising British and Australian icons. These included Routemasters, phone boxes, AFL balls, koala bars and Vegemite jars as well as pops of us! These were placed in a wooden crate that we filled with moss.
We searched for a lot of photographers and videographers. We were quite particular about what we wanted from our photography and filming. First and foremost, we didn’t want it to be intrusive and takeover the day. We narrowed down our photographers, and met with Annie and Christian – and I knew from the meeting that they understood exactly what we wanted from our photographer. They even arranged for an engagement shoot at Borough Market a few months before to be sure. The pictures like the ones from our wedding day were stunning – and really captured our day.
As soon as I watched clips of other weddings captured by Martin and Carina at The Camera Chaps our decision was made. Meeting with Martin was just a formality. Just like Annie and Christian, Martin and Carina blended into the background and were never obtrusive – even now our friends are surprised when we tell them we had a videographer at our wedding, that even despite the fact that set up a video guest book at our reception!
Photography by Olliver Photography
- Gown Heavenly Vintage Brides
- Earrings Astrid & Miyu
- Love Ring Zoe & Morgan
- Hair Comb Jewelsalem
- Birdcage Veil Lily Bella
- Hair & Make Up Sophie Murray
- Florist Peony Flowers
- Ceremony Venue Pitzhanger Manor
- Reception Venue The Amadeus
- Lighting Red Cat Lighting
- Giant Letters Vowed & Amazed
- On The Day Coordination & Styling The Bijou Bride
- Cake Molly Bakes
- Crates Plantabox
- Catering Food Events
- Drinks The Travelling Gin Co.
- Bridesmaids Warehouse
- Personalised Clutch Bags Alphabet Bags
- Necklaces Accessorize
- Groom Reiss
- Tie Alexander McQueen
- Groomsmen Formally Yours
- Stationery Something Kinda Cute
- Stickers Label Amour
- Routemaster This Bus
- Classic Car Vanilla Classics
- Videography The Camera Chaps
- DJ The Wedding Smashers