Sophie and Naz's stylish and fun London wedding is just a dream. I'm in love with every element, from the flowers (by BloomingGayles) to the fashion (everyone looks SO dapper) to the stunning photography by Through The Woods We Ran. Lauren and Glenn are the perfect photographers if the thought of traditional wedding photography makes you come out in hives. They are subtle, thoughtful and will produce knockout images for your album. Just look at the selection below... I also think every wedding should have a neon sign from Bag & Bones - the photo opportunities are endless. Enjoy this one lovely people, I've included a bumper load of images (seriously couldn't narrow them down) and Sophie's write up is fabulous too.
The BrideSophie The Bride: I only went to the one dress shop and I found this dress first time. I knew as soon as I put it on that it was the right one for the wedding we were planning. Simple but with intricate elements of lace, the perfect shape, a bit of a back and a nod to that old Hollywood glamour vibe I love that was the perfect contrast to the venues we had booked. Our wedding rings were by Jade Jewellers in Hatton Garden. I chose my wedding ring because it reminded me of a ring my grandma wore. The second I saw it I was attached to it in a way I never am with things. I was emotional leaving it in the shop to have mine made! I know you can get rings from online stores now but it was a magical experience buying our rings together and not something I would swap for convenience or more of a discount. You do have to bargain hard though! Other than that I wore diamond earrings Naz bought me years ago, a tiny gold midi ring I bought in New York (my favourite city) and my best friends diamond necklace as my something borrowed. I was always obsessed with these shoes but spent so long unsure of what my wedding shoes should be. As a PR of a shoe brand (Russell & Bromley) I am definitely a shoe girl so I felt so much pressure to find the perfect pair. I kept coming back to these time and again so in the end it just felt right. Gotta love that flash of blue! I carried a silver chainmail clutch bag that belonged to my grandma. It was really important to me to have something of hers with me on the day. I loved my veil so much. It made me feel truly bridal and was the perfect sheer accent to my dress. There’s a brilliant picture of me running around the chapel with my “cape” and Naz laughing at me. I highly recommend at least trying a veil if you’re not sure. I wasn’t but it felt really special and made me feel so bridal. The veil ended up feeling more integral than the dress for me! I had a totally disastrous hair and make-up trial with someone who was supposed to be amazing quite early on and it taught me a valuable lesson. I changed my prep plan so I could be with my usual hair stylist as he was the only one I could trust to make me feel comfortable on the day. That was just as important as the end result and we had a great time chilling with my girlfriends in the salon that morning!
The GroomI think the groom sometimes gets overlooked. I bought my dress without even considering cost really but we weren’t sure about budget when it came to Naz’s suit. He deserved to feel every bit as special as I did and he looked so handsome in his tailored tux by Hugo Boss. I’m so glad we got him something he loved and he can bring out on special occasions to wear again.
The Wedding PartyThe girls chose their dresses themselves from Coast. I wanted them to look and feel amazing so gave them a very small brief of a colour palette! They didn’t have to choose the same ones but they did and every one of them looked so incredible!
The PhotographyWe had allll the drama with our photographer. We had someone booked nearly as soon as we booked our venues as people told us all the good ones would get snapped up. He seemed great but something just didn’t quite click for me. I found Through the Woods We Ran on Instagram - they were based in Australia so I was just following for inspiration, then a few months before the wedding they posted that they were moving to Bristol. One evening after a lot of guilt tripping myself I decided to email and check their availability. In the end we took a hit on our budget by having to pay our way out of our other contract but I wouldn’t change that for the world. These guys and their work just full-on gave me butterflies. And there’s not a hint of my famous “Chandler” face in sight.
The FlowersThe flowers at our wedding were hugely important to me. We didn’t really have any outside space at either of our venues and I’m obsessed with them generally so we really wanted to bring the outside in at both of our venues. I was completely bowled over when I met Gayle for the first time. She totally understood my vibe, it was almost as if I didn’t even need to tell her out loud. Of course I did about a thousand times over the coming months, along with moodboards, constant pinterest bombardment and a lot of changing my mind. We had white, ivory and blush big romantic flowers including David Austin roses, peonies and hydrangeas with lots of greenery. My bouquet was huge and the bridesmaids carried slightly smaller versions which we then put in vases at the reception. Nothing was ever a problem with Gayle and I felt so completely comfortable leaving such an important element of our day in her perfectly green fingers. It was so windy on the day she even touched up my hair when my veil pulled it after the ceremony!
The CeremonyThe Asylum Chapel speaks for itself. Those blue paint flecked crumbling walls, those stained glass windows. I still swoon. When we were looking at venues we reached far and wide and soon discovered what I didn’t like in a venue and worked out what I was looking for – something different, authentic and without the preconceptions that come with so many “wedding venues”. The Asylum gave us all this but also gave us goosebumps. My mum is pretty religious but we’re not so much so the chapel felt like it still carried the sincerity of a wedding well but with all the romance we could muster. I walked down the aisle to Songbird by Eva Cassidy and it couldn’t have felt more special surrounded by our friends and family, a million candles, flowers, greenery and the magical light that comes with the Asylum. I set a rustic vintage trestle table I bought on eBay for signing the register and covered it with vintage candle sticks, a swathe of blue velvet and my giant bouquet – it was beautiful. People often asked why I was spending so much time planning the part of the day that would only last half an hour but it was so important to me that the ceremony be the focal point of the day – that’s what it was all about! Soul Front are an incredible acoustic guitar duo and they were perfect for creating the romantic atmosphere at our ceremony and also perfect background music for our drinks reception!
The ReceptionBrixton East was the perfect reception venue in every way. It’s a totally blank canvas with the London industrial warehouse vibe we loved just with a bit more polish and Andy the owner is amazing! We wanted to keep the venue authentic and industrial but bring that out so we added a ton of festoon lighting and kept every other element minimal. The tables were long and covered in individual crystal, glass and bronze flower vases and candlesticks which I had collected from eBay and charity shops over the last year. We set up the day before and set the table flowers ourselves – massive thanks to the bride crew for all the help with that! We had no corkage which was incredible so we did a booze cruise to Calais and bought some amazing wines for next to nothing, beers from the Brixton Brewery which was around the corner and sparkling wine from the Chapel Down vineyard in Kent. Each of the day trips we had to sort these things out were so much fun and gave us some time to spend making wedding chores little adventures! One of the best things I did was to hire a neon sign to sit upstairs in the venue by the dance floor. It was a fairly last minute addition when all the aesthetics were coming together and I felt we needed a bit of a feature for the reception. I found Bag and Bones who had just the perfect sign and it was a real standout feature. Everyone loved it so much and as it was set up on the day, not while I was there it was amazing to have a surprise to walk into! We wanted our reception party to be the best night out and Wedding Smashers didn’t disappoint. They played the most incredible set of indie, hip hop, r&b and garage tunes from our youth. We got hundreds of glow sticks for people to play with and some confetti canons and everyone danced their butts off for as long as possible! At the end of the night the DJ said he had never seen quite such a reaction to Lethal Bizzle before... We also had a polaroid station which people loved – taking a pic for us and themselves and an artwork for people to participate in...inspired by J Goldbergs love walls in New York (my favourite city), everyone drew a graffiti heart on a canvas for us to keep, this worked as a bit of a guest book in the end as people started writing on it!
The CakeWhen it came to the cake we ran out of budget. I had a supplier picked out, the most beautiful cake I had ever seen planned but when it came down to it £700 on a cake seemed like it wasn’t the proper way to spend the last dregs of our budget. I love to bake so decided to make some cakes myself! I made a red velvet – Naz’s favourite, a vanilla and blueberry which is a bit of a signature my friends know me for and my cousin/bridesmaid made the most epic chocolate cake you have ever tasted. Of course I would love that beautiful fancy cake but these were so good and when people were tipsy munching on chunks of red velvet I knew we had made the right decision.
The FoodMan was our food was good. I had worked with Juliet at Green & Graham for years on work events so when we set a date there was no one else I would book. She created the most incredible relaxed menu featuring Italian antipasti boards to start, lamb cutlets and beautiful garlic mash for mains and chocolate amoretti cheesecake pots for pudding. The food was so incredible people kept asking for more and our dinner overran by about an hour! For late night food we hired Luardos Mexican food truck to sit outside the venue with burritos and nachos for our guests. We got engaged in Mexico so this felt like the perfect ending to the night and I still have people telling me how much they loved it! It gave the evening guests something exciting to participate in and was so perfect for end of the night tipsy snacking. I will always remember walking into one of Nazs friends stumbling about with the biggest bowl of nachos and guacamole at the end of the night!
The On The Day CoordinatorWe booked an on the day coordinator to hand over to on the day and make everything happen. I found Abigail through friends and she was just amazing. As I planned all the elements of the wedding myself it was important to be able to let it go on the day and focus on everything that was happening!
The StationeryI designed all the stationery myself and found a good printer to produce it all. It saved us some money and sticking to a simple rose gold theme gave everyone an insight into the vibe of our wedding.
The AccommodationWe stayed at Dean Street Townhouse – with the girls the night before the wedding and with Naz the night of. The night before the wedding I was setting up until late and when I finally got to my room the girls had run me a bubble bath. It was total bliss! As we were getting married at 4pm it was amazing to relax and have brunch on my wedding day with my best friends in such a beautiful place and to wake up the next day married and order the best fry-up in town from bed!
The Cutest ThingsNaz brought me flowers. Naz went out on the morning of the wedding and bought me the biggest bunch of beautiful hydrangeas which he brought to the wedding with him...how adorable is that?! The best bridesmaids: it goes without saying my bridesmaids were special. They spent so much time helping us out in the run up to the wedding. On the day they gave speeches in groups, one beautiful poem, one “hip hop lessons in love” and one epic rap on the history of Sophie and Naz! Grooms gift: I wanted to get Naz a special wedding gift and Rolexes run in his family. I couldn’t afford a new one so I got one that was made the year we met and it means so much more for that.
AdviceI still have people messaging me about our wedding and how relaxed, fun and full of love it was. I really struggled with the whole “wedding world” you get sucked into when you start planning and for a while really didn’t enjoy the experience. Everyone has their opinions and there is a lot of pressure on the bride and groom to do things in a certain way and keep people happy. Of course there is a degree of compromise to these things but it is crucial that the day reflects who you are as a couple and that you’re planning the wedding you want rather than to keep people happy. As soon as we started focusing on that a weight was lifted our wedding became what we had always wanted, which people could see on the day. And funnily enough it was people we thought wouldn’t understand that loved it the most in the end! It's all in the detail: we planned every element ourselves and the smallest things made the biggest difference. The neon light we hired at the last minute and hundreds of glow sticks made the biggest impact for the smallest cost and everyone loved them so much! Do try and be organised...pretty basic and I was (mostly!) but I booked a bus for all the guests and bridal party but didn’t pre-book a black taxi to take me and Naz to the reception venue...queue bridesmaids in pink dresses hailing a black cab for me in the middle of Peckham! (man I wish I had a picture of that). Go with your gut and book people you can trust...I felt so happy and safe with every single supplier I worked with. I booked independent companies where possible, they get more from your business and will go to the ends of the earth to make your day as you want it. Prioritize your budget. I spent more on some elements that others I knew but the quality I received in return was worth every penny. Other elements we saved on by doing things ourselves like invitation design and cake making. Try and take a moment. At one point in the reception Naz dragged me away to look over the party from a balcony and take it all in. It was just 5 minutes but gave us time to reflect on an incredible day together before rejoining the party. It was a pretty big moment! Go on an adventure...we had the best honeymoon right after the wedding in South Africa and the Seychelles and it was just the perfect time for us to settle into married life and take some time out together.
Bride: Willowby by Watters | Boutique: Love Bridal | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Hair: Fabz at George Northwood | Groom: Hugo Boss | Shoes: Russel & Bromley | Bridesmaids: Coast | Flowers: BloomingGayles | Ceremony Venue: Asylum | Ceremony Music: Soul Front | Reception Venue: Brixton East | Neon Light: Bag & Bones | DJs: Wedding Smashers | Catering: Green & Graham | Food Truck: Luardos | On The Day Coordination: Bessie Jones Bespoke