Laid Back And Fun Weekend Wedding
Anne & Lionel:
Lionel is French, I’m English: we met and fell in love when I moved to Paris for work, and six years later we still live here! We decided to have our wedding in London: it meant a lot to me to come back to my hometown to get married, but we made sure to include lots of French elements. Other than this we didn’t really have a theme, we just wanted a laidback, fun weekend with all of our closest family and friends in one place. We planned the wedding in a year, hopping on the Eurostar every couple of months for our church and supplier meetings.
Classic London Wedding
We had an emotional and very personal ceremony at my parents’ church, St-Martin-in-the- Fields
in Trafalgar Square. Almost all the parts of our service were in both English and French: from the Bible readings to the songs sung by the soloist and the hymns.
A classic London Routemaster
then took us all from the church to the reception. We got married on the day of a massive annual cycle event which closed off most central London roads, but luckily the organisers were so helpful and sorted a special access pass for our bus. What could have been a logistical nightmare for transporting guests instead turned into a beautiful festival atmosphere, with the sunny streets of London full of music and families on bikes.
Stylish Rooftop Wedding At Ace Hotel Shoreditch
We wanted somewhere modern with outdoor space, less than 30 minutes away from our church. As we were planning the wedding from abroad we didn’t want to faff around with hiring caterers or furniture, so dry hire reception venues were out. As soon as we stepped onto the Ace Hotel
rooftop we were sold: the perfect laidback vibe and a sunny terrace with amazing views over London!
Choosing a hotel also meant our family and friends could stay together for the whole weekend. Our bridal suite came with a HUGE private terrace, so we turned the wedding into a three day affair and had everyone over for drinks the day before, an afterparty, a boozy Sunday brunch the next day, and then an “after-afterparty” right up until 4am on Monday morning!
We hit it off with Lorna
straight away! We loved how light and relaxed her photography style is, she was so passionate about every part of our wedding, and everyone agreed how lovely she was on the day. After the family speeches, so many of our friends felt inspired, stood up one after the other and gave beautiful, totally improvised toasts to us - this was a total surprise (I think I was in tears throughout!) and she captured the emotion of this moment perfectly.
At French weddings you can expect Michelin star level food, so this was going to be tough to live up to. But the Ace chefs exceeded our expectations, and the long afternoon we spent tasting alllll the food and wine was the BEST part of wedding planning! We had BBQ skewers for canapes, then served a classic French starter of celeriac remoulade with cured ham, roast salmon for mains, and the pastry chef created a chocolate and English strawberry dessert for us. We also brought out mini fish & chips and bacon baps towards the end of the night. All this was accompanied by lots and lots of French wine, bubbles and unlimited purple vodka cocktails!
We chose an English vs French cheese ‘cake’ from La Fromagerie
in Marylebone, served with Bonne Maman chutneys and jams we had brought over from Paris. We also served donuts and mini eclairs halfway through the evening for those with a sweet tooth.